Lighting plays an important role in setting the overall mood of your home’s interior. Artificial lighting is an effective way to brighten your living space, but if you’re looking to create a vibrant, cheerful atmosphere, there’s just no substitute for natural lighting. Natural light not only makes your interior feel more spacious but also helps improve your mood and even provides health benefits.
In this post, Renewal by Andersen® of Cincinnati, your local window replacement company, lists the health benefits of natural lighting.
Getting Your Daily Dose of Vitamin D
If you spend a lot of time indoors or are working from a home office, you might not be getting your needed dose of vitamin D. Aside from dietary sources such as fatty fish, eggs, dairy products and nutritional supplements, your body gets vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. When sun rays hit your skin, your body starts producing vitamin D, an essential nutrient that can improve your mood and sleep quality.
A person’s moods and sleep patterns are intertwined, which is why it’s not surprising that sufficient levels of vitamin D can improve sleep quality. In fact, research has shown that vitamin D deficiencies can compromise sleep quality and disrupt sleep patterns, reducing the total amount of sleep time to less than five hours.
Sunlight also plays an important role in regulating your circadian rhythm or body clock. The warm soft light only found in sunlight when the sun sets sends a signal to your body to prepare for sleep.
Here’s a tip: If you always feel groggy after waking up in the morning, you might want to install replacement windows with wide glass areas in your bedroom or move your bed nearer your windows. Waking up to sunlight sets your body clock for the day and helps you remain naturally alert all day.
What Happens If You Don’t Get Enough Vitamin D?
Vitamin D deficiency can cause mood changes or in some cases Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a condition that many people experience in winter when there’s less sunlight. If you experience fatigue, weight gain, feelings of sadness, lack of interest or have trouble concentrating during the winter months, you should consult a medical professional.
Preventing Abrupt Mood Changes and SAD
Regular exercise is one way to prevent SAD. Exercise releases endorphins, hormones that can increase feelings of well-being. In winter, however, exercise isn’t always an option. An alternative is to install large replacement windows with wider glass areas to improve indoor natural lighting. Keep in mind that since glass is not a great insulator, a larger window glass area means there’s a higher chance of heat loss or heat gain. That’s why it’s important that you choose a window that’s suited to the Midwestern climate.
Choosing a Midwestern Window Replacement
Look for windows with the ENERGY STAR® label. Only windows that have met the EPA’s stringent performance standards will have this label. Underneath the ENERGY STAR label, you’ll find the National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) ratings, which will tell you if a window is suited for your area’s climate.
Here’s an overview of the ratings:
U-factor – The U-factor indicates a window’s insulative capabilities. The higher the U-factor, the better insulation the window provides. Here’s a tip: Windows made from Fibrex®, a composite with excellent insulative capabilities, have a high U-factor. Consult your local window contractor to learn more about the advantages of Fibrex.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – The SHGC gives you an idea of how much heat from the sun a window can block. The lower a window’s SHGC, the less heat can pass through its glass panes.
Visible transmittance – The visible transmittance rating indicates how much sunlight can pass through a window’s glass panes.
Air leakage – This rating indicates how much air can pass through your windows. The lower the air leakage rating, the fewer drafts a window will let in.
Homeowners in the Midwest and in temperate climates should look for windows with a low U-factor and a high SHGC. Your window contractor can help you select windows that are suited to your local climate. To take full advantage of solar heating and improve natural lighting in winter, we recommend installing windows on the south side of your home, the part that receives the most amount of sunlight.
One more thing: to make sure your new windows are installed properly, only reputable contractors should handle the installation.
Renewal by Andersen of Cincinnati offers a wide variety of premium windows and professional window installation services. What sets us apart as a window replacement company is our signature service. We customize each window according to our customers’ unique needs. To schedule a free consultation with one of our design experts, call us at (513) 283-8981 or fill out this form. We serve homeowners in Cincinnati, OH, as well as the surrounding communities.