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As the summer months creep in you may well be starting to think about this year’s home improvements. Is it time for a conservatory? A loft extension? Perhaps a splash on a new interior colour scheme? Whatever you choose, even the smallest of finishing touches is likely to be chosen based on a range of priorities.
These will likely include your budget, the size of the room or property, planning restrictions and of course your personal taste. Here’s another one you should think about: natural light.
If the health and wellbeing of your home’s occupants – that’s you and your family! – is paramount, you’d be surprised at the direct impact your choice of windows and doors can have. And it’s all because of their ability to bring that bright airy stuff into your living areas.
That’s not all though: sound pollution, glare, warmth and comfort are all affected by your windows and doors, particularly if they are more than ten years old. Here’s how carefully selecting these products can have a huge impact on how happy you are in your home.
It’s no secret that natural light is proven to benefit our mental health and wellbeing, with sixty-three per cent of homeowners rating it as the most important aspect of a home. During the summer months when the days are longer and evenings lighter, increased exposure to natural lighting can reduce symptoms associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
During these prolonged periods of natural light, just 30 minutes a day is enough time for the body to release serotonin, also known as the ‘happy hormone’. In addition, vitamin D, most easily obtained via natural light, has been recognised for its positive impacts on chronic pain and depression.
Therefore it is important to take advantage of natural light sources when looking for ways to improve your home’s interior design. To reap the benefits of natural light within your home, you could incorporate large windows that face the sun during daylight hours or skylight windows that allow natural light to flood your living spaces.
Early morning starts are never easy, but 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 that the sun rises can help to regulate the body’s internal clock and ensure you wake up happy.
Although this isn’t always possible when the darker winter months approach, spending just one hour in natural sunlight can improve sleep quality and make your morning routine a little easier.
Did you know that the biggest energy expenditure within the home is artificially creating ideal living conditions, including heat and lighting levels? While advances in technology, such as lightbulbs that replicate the benefits of natural light, are helping they still use significant amounts of energy. By installing windows that allow natural light to flow into a room you can both reduce energy costs and provide wellbeing benefits for you and your family.
However, it is important to remember that up to 24 per cent of a home’s heat can be lost through inefficient windows. According to our latest survey, 62 per cent of homeowners don’t know this. Replacing old windows with modern, energy efficient glazing has the potential to reduce heating bills by significantly curbing this heat loss. The survey also revealed the average household could save up to £215 a year by replacing old, inefficient windows. To find out how much you could save by upgrading your windows use the GGF Energy Savings Calculator.
It’s important to ensure that you’re aware of the benefits of natural light and quality glazing within the home because remember, a one-off investment in new windows and doors could not only reduce your energy output and bills, but positively impact your personal wellbeing at the same time.