The windows in your home can provide a connection to the outside world. However, there are only certain things that you want to let into your windows. By making a few improvements, you can control exactly what comes in through your windows and what stays out. This guide explains more.
Letting natural light into your home during the day can help to make it a happier and healthier place. Natural light helps to brighten up your home and it can help your body to produce vitamin D (which is important for your skin, bones and mood). Pulling back the curtains and keeping windows clean can maximise the amount of light pouring into your home.
Of course, too much light can sometimes cause problems like glare if you’re using a screen. Letting in lots of sun on a summer’s day could also make your home vey hot. This is why it’s beneficial to have a level of light control. Venetian blinds and plantation shutters have slats that allow you to adjust how much light gets into your home. You can also cover windows with voile curtains that can offer privacy while allowing some light to pass through.
At night, you may want to prevent light from street lamps and cars entering your home. Totally opaque options like blackout blinds and blackout curtains will block out all outside light, which could help you to get a better night’s sleep.
It’s also important to consider how air passes through your windows. Ideally, all windows should allow some ventilation, while also being able to keep out cold drafts and wind when necessary. This comes down to the design and condition of the window.
On a hot summer’s day, it could be useful to let in lots of air from outdoors. Consider whether all your windows are able to open fully. Some windows only open partially as a safety function, which can be useful if you have young kids or pets, but may not be necessary otherwise. Options like double hung windows can maximize the amount of air getting into your home – spending time searching for the best looking double hung windows. Sliding glass doors are another great option for letting in lots of air.
When shut, windows shouldn’t be able to let in any drafts, although it can be useful to still allow some ventilation. Trickle vents are a useful feature on UPVC windows for letting some air to leak out so that gases like radon and VOCs can’t build up in your home. These can then be closed on a windy night to stop cold drafts getting in.
If you have old windows, make sure that there are no cracks or gaps that could be letting in unwanted drafts. You can usually tell if air is getting through your windows by running your hands around the frames. Whistling sounds and visible cracks are a clear giveaway that there is a problem.
It’s worth noting that switching to double glazing can also help to prevent air passing through the glass, often keeping your home warm in winter. Thick winter curtains can also stop cold air getting into your home and prevent heat escaping. You can also use internal and external shutters for trapping heat in (external shutters will also be able to protect your windows from high force winds, which could be useful if you live somewhere prone to storms).
In most cases, you probably don’t want rainwater and moisture coming through your windows. Water can damage your home and encourage mold growth.
Shutting windows while it is raining is an obvious solution to preventing water getting into your home. However, with old and damaged windows, this may not always be enough to stop rainwater getting in. Cracks and broken seals around windows are a common source of leaks and are something that you should repair, particularly if there is visible damp around them or water dripping in. If you have very old windows, there may be cases where the entire window has to be replaced to stop the leak.
Many pests such as wasps, mosquitos and flying ants can enter through open windows. Such pests can be attracted to smells in your home or light. In areas where these pests are common, it could be worth considering ways of keeping them out.
Just how do you keep out pests while still being able to ventilate your home? One effective option is to install bug screens over windows. These screens contain lots of small tiny holes which are enough to keep out bugs, while still being able to let in a cool summer breeze. They’re ideal for summer nights when you want some air coming in, but don’t want to invite in creepy crawlies.
If you live in a noisy area, you could find that noise passes through your windows. Consider whether it’s worth looking into ways of muffling sound being passed through your windows.
Thick curtains and shutters can often help to serve as a buffer against noise. You can also look into soundproof glass, which is popular among those living near busy roads. This post explains more about soundproofing windows.
Last but not least, it’s also important that windows are able to keep out intruders. Good quality windows need to be secure against someone trying to break in. Ideally they need to be in good condition with strong security features.
A few useful window security features that you can consider include internal locks, security shutters and window alarms. When it comes to maintaining privacy, consider hanging up blinds or shutters. Shutters can also be useful for creating a barrier, helping to prevent a break in.
If you’re looking for extra secure windows, it could be worth considering aluminium frames. Certain types of glass are also much more secure against a break-in and could be worth looking into. You can read more here about ways to secure your home if you’re worried about intruders.
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