The Air We Breathe: Open your Windows

It’s -20c degrees outside right now.



And yet, every morning, each girl in this house opens their bedroom windows and air out their bedrooms. I open the kitchen windows slightly and have fresh air creeping in as I wash the breakfast dishes. Our bedroom window is opened, allowing beautiful clean air in to replace the stuffy feeling of a too-warm room in the winter. Yes, airing out our home is a morning ritual … and it must run in the family because I have noticed my sister does the same thing in her home.

I have visited some homes where I feel I can barely breathe – the house is kept so very warm and everything is shut up tightly. It does not take long for one to feel sleepy and lethargic in such a room!

  I have read studies that suggest opening your window for at least one hour a day to exchange the bad air in your home for fresh, beautiful air. With 11 people breathing the air of this house, we must make sure our air is fresh and clean – especially in the winter months when windows are shut tighter.


This is something I feel very passionate about – airing out the home, letting fresh air in and breathing clean air …  it sounds strange, but I cannot even fathom being in a room without some fresh air trickling in slightly.

And so we send out the bad air and bring in the good air – every day, we opens the windows, despite the temperature, and air out our rooms. Have you ever noticed how beautiful winter fresh air smells? You cannot even explain it … but I do know, in general, rooms inside houses definitely need refreshing – especially in the winter months when everything tends to shut up tightly to combat the cold winter outdoors.

Have you tried opening your windows for at least 10-15 minutes per day to exchange your old air for good, clean air? Try airing out your home two or three times a day.  I have read that air inside your home is 2-5 more times polluted that the air outside your window.  It’s so important to freshen your home and bring in that fresh air!

“Overheated houses waste energy, make us drowsy and become too dry for optimal health and comfort.
Airtight houses are unhealthy, and cold air will not make you catch a cold. Open the windows and let in the sun.”
– The Air in Your Castle, Home Comforts/The Art and Science of Keeping House




Many years ago, I was visiting my Dutch friend at her mother’s house.  My friend and I were both young mothers, with new babies and a fresh start and clean slate on motherhood. Around 2 p.m., I watched the Dutch grandmother wrap up her grandson in nice homemade blankets and tuck him in gently into an old baby carriage, nestled up against the country house on the porch. It was winter, but that did not matter – she said the baby would sleep just fine and it would be good for him.

“That’s the way we’ve always done it,” she said, proudly, as she turned the kettle on for afternoon tea.

That little scene was so foreign to me – putting a baby to sleep outside in the fresh, cold winter air? While it may sound extreme, it actually does make sense. (Of course, modern parenting and professional advice would probably have a lot to say against this advice, but I do see the benefits in it, if done properly – and obviously, this grandma knew what she was doing.)

“Many people, especially those in European countries with mild summers, swear by keeping the window open for better night’s sleep, even in the winter. Proponents of this practice claim that soothing outdoor sounds, cool night air,
and fresh oxygen all contribute to a more restful bedtime.

Do you sleep with your window open? I do – if at all possible! Yes, even in the winter … I would encourage you to try it one night.

“When you get adequate sleep, and you are sleeping in a room with an average temperature in the mid to high 60s, you are encouraging your body to produce more melatonin, the sleep hormone. Evidence links increased melatonin levels to brain health, cancer-fighting capabilities, and lowered diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s risk. Keeping light distraction to a minimum and stopping screen use a few hours before bed can also improve melatonin production. ”
-UpWelness, Dr. Josh


Can you smell that crisp, beautiful winter fresh air? There’s nothing like it …


January 17, 2022 - 5:28 pm

Laura Jeanne Yes, I do this too! I open my bedroom window every morning while I make my bed. I go take a shower, and when I come back I close the window. I do this even when it’s very cold. I love the fresh air also and when the weather is warmer I love to have all the windows of the house open. Unfortunately, at certain times of the year we have to keep them all shut, when the farmers around us are spraying their fields. That stuff smells awful!

I really liked your photos…that window is just beautiful!

January 16, 2022 - 6:10 pm

Rachel Living in the desert means our home is closed up with the air conditioning on for a good six months out of the year. It’s just too hot! But for the the rest of the year, the doors and windows are left wiiide open!

January 15, 2022 - 1:12 pm

Gigi Ohhhh, I love that idea! I am going to do that – drag out the mattresses! I do bring out the area rugs and hose them off and air them out … but I do love the idea of top to bottom cleaning, including mattresses!

January 15, 2022 - 12:43 pm

Teresa @ Simply Farmhouse Gigi, I love sleeping with my bedroom windows cracked in the winter time, it is so good for the health. Yes, everyday I air out my home in the winter. In the summer we sleep with the windows open. Yes, I love having my kitchen window open when washing dishes! I love breathing in the clean fresh air,while listening to the birds even during the cold months. Every spring when I was little, my mom would have the boys to carry out all the mattresses and lay them on a trap in the hot sun, in a few hours she would have the boys to flip them. In the house all the girls would help mom clean each bedroom from top to bottom. With lace curtains, bedding, and rugs hanging across the clothesline getting kissed by the warm sun. Everything felt clean and fresh after a long winter. I love this post thank you for sharing it!

January 15, 2022 - 9:53 am

Gigi Hello Danessa,
So glad you like sleeping with your window open, as well!
We are loving the winter here so far – not too bad, but the storms are WILD. We are without power right now, but are mostly fine with that – we have heat and ways of cooking, so all is well. It’s fascinating to see the island somewhat ‘shut down’ as no one plows the roads for a long time (compared to Ontario) for the sake of the wind blowing. Temperature wise, it’s very similar to Ontario. The difference is the winds – reminding me of the majesty and strength of our Creator! He is in control!

January 14, 2022 - 8:36 pm

Monica Yes!! I do this, too. My bedroom window is cracked a few inches in the daytime most of the time. I used to open the window wide every morning while making my bed, a ritual I have gotten out of since I moved my bed in front of the window.

Funny, we visited my grandmother late this afternoon and when I walked in I just about passed out from the HEAT and stuffiness. Wow. It was overwhelming. I really didn’t want to take the baby inside! This is something we need to remember as we get older…to do…so important for the elderly not to be in shut up, overly heated homes!!

I loved this post! And such pretty curtains and windows, too. Xoxo

January 14, 2022 - 7:42 pm

Danessa stride Hello again! I could not agree more, there is nothing better then the sweet aroma of clean fresh winter air, my husband and I sleep every night with our window open a little, I cannot settle without it! How are you finding the winter so far? Is the weather much different from what you are use to in Ontario? It’s only early yet in the season, here in Newfoundland we find From February to April the coldest months and that’s when we get most snow. Hope your enjoying it