The first cool months of fall have homeowners reaching for their windows. After all, we’ve spent all summer in our climate-controlled homes, and now it’s time to fall asleep to the sounds of the outdoors, right? The experts at Air Specialist take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of open windows at night, so you can decide what is suitable for your home and family.
Nature’s air conditioner
There are going to be evenings when the air outside is cooler than your standard A/C setting. Why should you pay to cool the air inside when you have an unlimited supply of it just outside your window? The key here is to ensure that the air is unhampered—open windows on all sides of the house for an unimpeded airflow and create a fresh breeze. Leave the bedroom doors open to keep the air circulating naturally. Consider running your HVAC system fan alone to keep air moving steadily throughout your home as well. Open windows and a fan will still save you money overrunning your A/C or furnace.
Open windows can be healthier
Pollen, mold, dust, and other toxins can build up when your house is shut up for long periods. Opening your windows gives your home a chance to “breathe out” the old air and take in new air.
Open windows may help you sleep better
Is there anything better than falling asleep to the sound of a gentle rain? September and October tend to be wetter months in Houston, and raindrops on your rooftop are better anesthetic than anything a sound machine can produce. Most people find that nighttime outdoor sounds have a relaxing effect on them, so let nature’s white noise take over when the nights are cool enough for open windows.
Open windows may make energy costs rise
That sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? But opening windows at night can place a burden on your HVAC system, especially if you leave them open during the morning hours when the Houston heat builds up. If you wake up to a warm home, your A/C will have to work harder to bring things back to a comfortably cool level.
Consider the humidity factor
Morning temperatures may be cooler, but that’s also when the relative humidity is at its highest. Humid air can make your house feel sticky and uncomfortable. Extra moisture in the air will make your A/C work harder the next day, cutting into your energy bill’s savings you were hoping for by opening the windows.
What’s in the air?
Depending on where you live, the outside air may not be conducive to your comfort and health. If you reside next to a highway, car exhaust may be a problem. Houston’s temperate fall means ragweed pollen counts stay high throughout the autumn months. Hence, an open window at night means a stuffy nose and sinuses the following day if you’re bothered by seasonal allergies.
Keep your home comfortable all year round with Air Specialist. Our whole house humidifiers and dehumidifiers can reduce the clammy feeling you might experience after a night with the windows open. Our HVAC maintenance programs keep your home ready for comfort no matter what’s going on outside. Contact Air Specialist at (713) 481-1305 to find out how to work together for comfortable days and cozy nights in your home.