A poorly ventilated home has poor indoor air quality. According to studies, indoor air is typically two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. The spread of airborne pollutants in your living spaces can make indoor air a bit harder to breathe, especially for family members with allergies, asthma and other respiratory issues.
Fortunately, you can make indoor air a little easier to breathe with the help of top-quality windows. Renewal by Andersen of Knoxville, a top provider of custom windows in Oak Ridge, TN, discusses the importance of indoor air quality and how the right window style can help you maximize ventilation in your home.
Why Is Indoor Air Quality Important?
Indoor air quality has an important role to play in your overall health and well-being. After all, you spend a lot of time indoors. Thus, you need clean, breathable air free of harmful pollutants. Good indoor air quality prevents health issues such as asthma, cough, colds, sore throat and other symptoms that point to respiratory illnesses. Public spaces are common areas for pollutants, but these can make their way inside your home.
Your home can create its own pollutants that regularly recirculate inside. These contaminants may include pet hair, dust, cleaning chemicals, aerosols and fumes from substances such as paint. Increased humidity may also cause mold growth, which may lead to the spread of spores that, if inhaled, can lead to cough, colds and breathing difficulties, to name a few.
How Can Good Windows Help?
Old, drafty windows usually have cracks around the outside edges, creating gaps where outdoor air can enter and indoor air escape. Apart from contributing to poor indoor air quality, drafts also decrease your home’s energy efficiency and drive up your monthly bills. To combat poor indoor air quality, you need to replace old windows with new, energy-efficient options, be it casement, sliding or bay windows.
If you’re in the market for new windows, it’s best to choose the ones that open and close easily. Keep in mind that poor indoor air quality is also caused by a lack of airflow. When your air conditioning unit blows cool air inside your home, for instance, it circulates the same air over and over again. This means the same pollutants constantly circulate. Thus, the best way to solve this issue is to open your windows even for just a few minutes.
Opening your windows lets fresh air inside your home and eliminates pollutants and allergens circulating throughout your home. It also introduces fresh air into your home’s HVAC system, flushing some of the contaminants out of the indoor air. If you live near a busy road, you may hesitate to open your sliding windows. However, keeping your windows shut will allow harmful chemicals and allergens to build up inside. As such, try opening your windows at night when the traffic has lessened.
What Are the Best Window Styles for Ventilation?
While all operable windows provide ventilation, some styles are better than others. If you are in the market for new windows in Oak Ridge, TN, we recommend paying attention to these particular styles:
- Casement windows are a popular choice for homeowners who want to maximize ventilation. Some windows are manual, while others operate on a crank or motor. These windows hinge on one side and swing outward to let fresh air inside your home. Due to how this window opens, you have almost complete control over ventilation. This way, you can crank them a bit to catch a light breeze or fully open them to let more air in. Unlike other windows, casement windows even catch side breezes. These windows are also extremely energy efficient. On cold winter days, these windows seal even tighter when the wind blows against them, reducing air leaks.
- Bay and bow windows are both projection windows, which means they take up space outside your home. Bay windows generally have three windows arranged as a single unit, with one larger, fixed window combined with two smaller, operable windows. Meanwhile, bow windows have three or more windows arranged in an arc. When installed together, these windows catch breezes from at least two directions. Therefore, this window style is ideal if you want to maximize ventilation as well as natural light and view. Since these windows are on the heavier side, however, they need to have adequate structural support.
- Double-hung windows are not only aesthetically appealing, but they also promote good air circulation. With these windows, you can open both the upper and lower sashes. This way, these windows let cool air inside the home through the bottom while pushing stale indoor air out through the top. This window style is a great choice if you have a small opening space.
- Horizontal sliders, more commonly known as sliding windows, can be opened through one operable sash, which slides over a fixed sash. As with double-hung windows, this window style works well if you have limited indoor and outdoor opening space. In the summer months, it’s best to use a window screen to keep the smallest insects out while letting fresh air and natural light in.
- Awning windows hinge at the top and open outward, which means you can open them for ventilation even during rainy or snowy days as they still provide protection from precipitation. It’s also worth noting that this window style is usually smaller than others. For this reason, awning windows work best in smaller rooms such as bathrooms and basements.
Is your home suffering from poor indoor air quality? It’s probably time to replace your windows. Get in touch with Renewal by Andersen of Knoxville for top-quality window replacement services. We offer a variety of window styles, from double-hung windows to specialty custom windows.
Count on our certified installers and design consultants to ensure that your window replacement is a positive and rewarding endeavor. Give us a call at (865) 221-7970, or fill out our online contact form to schedule a FREE in-home consultation. We proudly serve the communities in and around the Knoxville metropolitan area, including Oak Ridge, TN.