How your windows could help fight infection during the pandemic
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Let’s be honest, life right now isn’t exactly what we thought it would be. Instead of going out and enjoying the new sunshine, spending the afternoons walking in the park and having barbeques with all of the family, we are staying at home, trying to juggle working in a new environment, acting as school teacher and generally trying not to get under each other’s feet – all while trying to avoid getting sick. And one of the things you might do to protect yourself against Coronavirus is keeping your home sealed – shutting all windows and doors unless absolutely necessary, so that no airborne diseases can get in.
But we’re here to tell you that keeping your home shut up tight isn’t the answer. And actually if you want to keep yourself and your family happy and healthy, what you really need to do is open a window.
Why ventilation matters
Think of a hospital. Full of people with various illnesses and diseases – including coronavirus at the moment, and they need a way of killing all the various germs floating around so that they don’t infect other people and spread diseases. Modern hospitals do this with high tech systems like air extraction, high temperature sterilisation and ultraviolet lights. But before all of this fancy technology was invented, the solution was much simpler – just open a window.
Traditional hospitals were built with high ceilings and large windows, not because it looked pretty, but because it’s the best way to remove all of those infectious germs from patients. Research has shown time and time again that naturally ventilated wards have much lower rates of cross-infection for airborne respiratory diseases like tuberculosis (of Covid-19) than mechanically ventilated ones. Opening windows and doors maximises the natural ventilation in a space, which means the risk of airborne infection is much lower. In English, that means that when you have doors and windows open, there is more airflow, and the virus will disperse more widely, so the likelihood you will get infected is much lower. So when you’re designing a new space, or just looking at a new home, having lots of big windows is a real plus.
How opening a window can be good for your health
Beyond lowering your risk of catching Covid-19, opening your windows is generally a good idea for your health, especially when you’re stuck indoors all day (like we are at the moment). But did you know that the air quality inside your home is often much worse than the air quality outside?
That’s mainly because your house can easily become a closed circuit, especially now when you may only be opening doors to go out once a week. But inside your house there are a lot of invisible things building up and ruining the quality of the air you breathe. Things like radon, pesticides, formaldehyde (often found in cheap carpets), other toxins, emissions from household appliances, allergens from pets, dust mites and even the airborne residue from all those cleaning products you’re using. All of this is stuck in the air in your house, where they will keep floating around and never have a chance to escape. Opening a window or a door means all of those toxins have a chance to leave your home, and they will be replaced with fresh, clean air, which is much better for you and will reduce the chances of you developing respiratory illnesses. With less traffic on the roads than usual, the outdoor air is actually cleaner than ever, which makes this the perfect time to ‘air out’ your house and get rid of any nasties that have been hanging around.
So as it turns out, there’s a good reason your mum always told you open a window and let out the stale air when you were sick!
Now that you’re spending a lot of time in the house and hopefully opening those windows and doors, you might have noticed that your frames, or glass is starting to look a bit tired. Old, cracked or discoloured window and door frames can happen without us even noticing, and just by updating them you can really transform the look and feel of a room. At Truglaze we supply and fit all forms of windows and doors, and are ready to get started on installations the second the lockdown ends. In the meantime we can offer consultations over the phone or over zoom, and can even give quotes based on photographs and measurements. So if you’re tired of staring at the same 4 walls (complete with windows and doors), why not give us a call and find out how you could refresh your home.