One sided open window. A hand opens a vinyl plastic window on a blue sky background.Yes, it is cold outside. And yes, letting cold air in will only end up boosting your heating bill. Despite this, it is a good idea to open your windows in the winter.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air pollutants can be higher than those found outdoors. And not just by a little, either. Estimates suggest that particulate matter and other pollutants could be two to five times higher inside your home than out.

Keeping the windows closed traps all of these pollutants inside. And what are these pollutants, and where do they come from? Virtually everywhere.

The materials in your furniture, paint, air fresheners, unvented or malfunctioning stoves, furnaces, cleaning products, personal care products, dust, and mold are all top offenders. Even your television and talking family create waste that can reduce air quality.
When your windows are closed, these pollutants are trapped, safe and warm, inside your home along with you. Most home heating and cooling systems, including forced air heating systems, do not mechanically bring fresh air into the house; it is recycled.

Opening your window for just a few minutes every day can help reduce the number of pollutants. Some experts suggest that cracking a window for about five minutes per day, even in the winter, can help reduce pollutants and bring some fresh air into the space.

Along with opening the windows every day, you can improve the air quality in your home with HEPA air purifiers, using non-toxic cleaning products, and being sure to remove dust regularly. Clean sheets and vacuum carpets and sofas on a weekly basis.

Maybe opening the windows to start your day is a good strategy. Make a hot tea or coffee, crack the window, and let the cool air and caffeine kickstart your day!

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