From neutral colour schemes to considered placement of electronics, nowadays many homeowners make home improvement decisions with their health and wellbeing firmly in mind. Yet despite this, some may still be surprised by the direct impact windows and doors can have on their quality of life.
Glare, sound pollution, warmth and comfort are all affected by the specification of windows and doors, especially if they are more than ten years old. So what impact can windows and natural light have on our comfort and lifestyle?
Natural light is the most important aspect of a home for 63 per cent of homeowners , largely due to its proven benefits for our mental health and wellbeing. Particularly during summer months when days are longer and evenings lighter, increased exposure to natural lighting can reduce symptoms associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder. The body releases serotonin – the ‘happy hormone’ – during these prolonged periods in natural light. Just 30 minutes a day is enough to meet daily requirements.
There has also been research into the benefits of vitamin D, most easily obtained via natural light, and the positive impacts it can have on chronic pain and depression.
With this in mind, it is important to incorporate sources of natural light into your home’s interior design. Choosing skylight windows will allow natural light to flood your living spaces. Similarly, large windows that face the sun during daylight hours can help you to reap the benefits of natural light within your home.
Natural light is also one of the most effective tools for regulating the body’s internal clock. Allowing the sun to wake you up in the morning is one of the least disruptive ways of starting a new day. Having windows within the bedroom that face the direction the sun rises can help with this.
Of course, with early starts for work and darker mornings during the winter months, this isn’t always possible. Nevertheless, spending just one hour in natural sunlight can improve sleep quality and make the morning routine that much easier.
Trying to artificially create ideal living conditions through using heat and lighting is one of the biggest energy expenditures within the home. Whilst technology is advancing, such as lightbulbs that help replicate the benefits of natural light, these still use energy. Installing windows that allow natural light into a room can reduce energy use and therefore lower utility bills, whilst also providing wellbeing benefits to the homeowner.
However, up to 24 per cent of a home’s heat can be lost through inefficient windows. According to the latest MyGlazing.com survey, 62 per cent of homeowners aren’t aware of this fact. Replacing older windows with modern, energy efficient glazing has the potential to reduce heating bills by significantly curbing this heat loss and creating a more comfortable living environment at the same time.
The survey also revealed the average household could save up to £215 a year by replacing old, inefficient windows. You can find out how much you could stand to save by upgrading your windows by using the GGF Energy Savings Calculator.
Not enough people are aware of the benefits natural light and quality glazing have within the home, however a one-off investment in new windows and doors could not only reduce energy bills for the average homeowner, but positively impact their personal wellbeing.
Disclaimer: The sole responsibility for any views expressed lies with the author(s). Any opinions shared do not necessarily represent the views of Saint-Gobain.