Our air conditioning went out in mid-July, so what could we do? We opened our doors and windows to capture the breeze and keep our home as comfy as possible. Open windows are another simple pleasure that I particularly enjoy during spring and fall, but when the a/c goes out, it’s a reminder that at one time they were a necessity. (I also made use of another simple pleasure, the clothesline to keep my dryer from heating up the house further.)
I especially like sleeping with fresh night air. It seems more oxygen-rich, and the mixed symphony of locusts, tree frogs, whippoorwills, and who-knows-what-else, lulls me to sleep. I don’t usually get to sleep with the windows open because my husband is more sensitive to sounds and light than I am, so I’m trying to enjoy this rare treat. Focusing on this glass-half-full part helps me deal with the I’m-hot-and-sweaty part. In doing a quick search, I found the following research that supports my own feelings: The Effects of Bedroom Air Quality on Sleep and Next-Day Performance. It’s conclusion states that the lower carbon dioxide levels of fresh air are more conducive to a good night’s sleep, and that next-day performance is better. It seems to me that if the carbon dioxide was lower that the oxygen would be higher, but I’m not a scientist. I just know I sleep better.
Have you ever been gone from home a little while and when you return and walk in the door you become acutely aware that your home has a stale, musty odor? (I know you have, LOL) Out with the old and in with the new. Open the windows and invite in the fresh air!
There are times, such as mine now, that it’s nice to be able to open the windows. In past times homes were designed to take advantage of cross-breezes for cooling but with air conditioning becoming so widespread we’ve become dependent on it. Our home really wasn’t designed with cross-breezes in mind. We have plans to do some remodeling, and at least my plans, include some new doors and windows. We need some that are easier to open for when we lose our air conditioning, for one reason or another, and need fall back on the old ways.
Fresh air brings long-forgotten memories to mind. I remember being about five and waking up to the sound and smell of my dad mowing the lawn first thing on a summer morning. Another fond memory I have is of spending the night at my grandparents’ farm during the summer and sleeping in one of the upstairs bedrooms with the window open for the cool air. Both of those experiences are anchored in my memory because of an open window.
If you’re thinking of building a new home or remodeling you might want to think about natural circulation and plan types and placement of windows accordingly. Whether you just want to enjoy this simple pleasure, or have the occasion to actually need it, you’ll be glad you did.
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