Flooding your home with natural light doesn’t just save you from having to turn on the overheads; it really just makes you feel good. In fact, being exposed to sunlight increases the brain’s release of serotonin, a hormone that can boost your mood and help you feel more calm and focused, says Healthline.
Just think about great it feels to open up the blinds, throw up the windows and enjoy some fresh air. Even in the winter, peeling the layers away from your windows can work magic, letting natural light stream in and do its job. From warming your interiors to decreasing your energy bills, there are several benefits that come with natural light in your home.
Who doesn’t want to save a few bucks on their rising energy bills? By using the natural light available to your advantage, you use less heat in the winter time. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), both the U.S. residential sector and the commercial sector used about 273 billion kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity for lighting in 2017, equal to 10 percent of the total electricity consumed by these sectors and seven percent of total U.S. electricity consumption.
“Daylighting” refers to the use of windows and skylights to welcome more natural sunlight into your home. Today’s modern energy-efficient windows, along with advances in lighting design, can decrease the need for artificial lighting during the day time.
Base the size and location of your windows on where you get the most sun – not just on aesthetics from the outside. Energy.gov offers these examples:
- South-facing windows bring the most winter sunlight into your home but not much direct sun during the summer.
- North-facing windows provide even, natural light, with little to no glare and no summer heat gain.
- East- and west-facing windows provide lots of sun in the morning and evening, but could result in glare, bring high amounts of heat during the summer, and contribute very little to solar heating in winter.
Mood and Mental Health
As we said before, exposure to sunlight makes the brain release a hormone called serotonin, which has mood-boosting properties and contributes to calm, relaxed feelings. When night falls, the brain gives off another hormone, called melatonin, which helps us feel sleepy. If you don’t get enough exposure to sunlight, you could suffer from very low serotonin levels, associated with a higher risk of seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. This is a form of depression brought on by changing seasons.
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms may include feelings of depression, no interest in activities you once enjoyed, feeling sluggish, difficulty concentrating, sleeping problems, and changes in appetite or weight.
Studies show that commercial real estate with no windows lease for 20 percent less than spaces with windows. In the retail setting, an abundance of windows can lead to increased sales volume. In residential homes, the use of natural light can be used to your advantage when designing an open concept space. Architects and builders often use natural light to make spaces appear larger, illuminate an interior structure and increase the beauty of a particular room.
There are many other benefits to natural light in your home, including reduced eye strain, reduced prevalence of mold and mildew, and increased intake of Vitamin D, an essential mineral that helps with immune system regulation, body weight maintenance and asthma symptom control.
Contact Rescom Exteriors
For the most energy efficient windows with the largest surface area, choose Rescom Exteriors for the best ways to introduce natural light into your home. Call us today at 508-832-5202 to learn more.