“If eyes are the windows to our souls, then windows are the eyes into the soul of a house.” -Rose Tarlow
Most of us take our windows for granted. We do not pay any significant attention to them on day to day basis and when it comes to listing things we like or dislike about our home, windows rarely make the list.
But, think about it for a minute. Can you imagine what your home – or indeed, any home – would look and feel like without any windows? What would your living room feel like if you blocked up the windows? How about your bedroom or home office?
If you actually stop and think about it, you will realize that windows are actually a pretty important part of a home, or any building, really. Much more so than any of us realize – if your windows were not there or you suddenly lost them, the effect would be incredible, and not in a positive way.
Here, we look at how and why windows are such an integral part of your home, even if you do not realize it.
They are key for lighting
If you have ever been in an environment where the only source of light is artificial, you will know how depressing it can be. There is absolutely no substitute for natural light. Next time the sun is shining through your windows, take a look around. Notice the glow it creates and how that changes depending on the weather or time of day – the ‘golden hour’ around sunset and sunrise can be particularly beautiful. Look at the shadows that are created from even the most ordinary of objects.
Not only does natural lighting look great, but try living for long periods of time without natural lighting. You will almost definitely see a decline in your mood and overall mental health because natural lighting is a massive mood booster. Natural light boosts the production of vitamin D, which reduces feelings of depression by releasing a natural antidepressant and mood enhancer called serotonin. It is not just your mental health either. A study carried out in 1984 showed that patients who had large windows recovered much faster from surgery than those who had no access to natural light. Modern studies show that exposure to natural light can slow down the neuron response to pain receptors.
Also, imagine the costs if there were no windows in your home. The lights would have to be on all day long, significantly increasing your electricity bills as well as being hugely damaging to the planet.
They make our living environment more comfortable and energy-efficient
We risk stating the obvious here, but windows are (primarily) made out of glass. Glass is obviously transparent, meaning it lets light through rather than obstructing it. The main source of light that windows let in is sunlight.
In the cooler, winter months, there will be some natural heat transferred through your windows from the sun. Have you ever sat by a big window on a sunny day, even if the outside temperature is cold? You will soon feel the warmth. This helps to heat your home up a little which saves you money on your heating bills and plays its part in helping the environment too.
In the summer, being able to open a window allows for the circulation of fresh (and hopefully cooler) air. If you are using an external cooling system, such as air conditioning, a good set of windows will stop the lovely cooled air from escaping outside.
Of course, this does depend greatly on the quality of your windows. Old, single-glazed windows or ones that no longer are as secure and efficient as when they were first installed can hamper your attempts to be energy efficient. When this is the case, it is a very good idea to look at Renewal by Andersen window replacement to make sure your windows are doing the best possible job for you.
They make our homes look much nicer
Having windows that keep the elements out is one thing, but they can also make a huge difference to the total look of your home. The difference between old, damaged windows and new, up-to-date windows can be the difference between a well-maintained property and one that almost looks dilapidated. You might not think that the windows of a house are the features that first draw someone’s eye, and you would probably be right about that. However, they are crucially important when it comes to complementing other features, such as the door, the brickwork, the porch, and even the roof. It is absolutely crucial to get the design right. Believe us – it might not be the first thing that comes to mind but if they are just not there or the ones that are there are in poor condition, it will be noticed – by everyone.
They increase the value of your home
While you may not necessarily be thinking about selling up and moving home any time soon, it is important to take into consideration the value of your home when making any decisions. You never know when circumstances may change, and it goes without saying that you want the most money from your home that you can possibly get. A good set of windows can really lift the value of your property up, especially if you are upgrading double or even triple-glazed windows.
You might not pay a lot of attention to your windows. You might think that no one else does either, and on a basic level, you may be right. No one needs to think about a good set of windows as they should be integrated into your home and life as a natural part of it. Bad windows – or no windows – will be noticed, by you and others.