Inviting the Fresh Air In

open window
Photo by batega

Do you “air out” your home? I mean opening up the windows to let fresh, new air inside.

I do this a lot when the weather is nice. I especially love opening the windows after it rains when everything outside is fresh and clean.

In the winter when it’s freezing outside, though, or in the summer when it’s stifling hot, I don’t air out my home as often, but maybe I should.

I was just wondering what you do?

Do you open the windows and brave the temperature outside? Or do you wait until spring?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. I love opening the windows in winter, even if it’s just for a short time to let the air in.. It feels so much cleaner and fresher after doing so..

  2. I OPEN ! I wouldn’t do that after the rain, i guess it would let humid air inside, but during winter there is no problem (cold temp=less humid).

    I don’t do that after warming the whole house, that would be a waste of calories. I usually decide NOT to warm the house in the morning, and keep a polar fleece. Then, i open between, say, 10 to 12, i fell it’s the best time. The only drawback is that you cook just after 12, so sometimes it’s a pity to add kitchen smells to the fresh air…

    Ah, and when that’s done, i warm the house again !

  3. No, because my husband’s allergies would kill us in the spring and fall when it makes sense to air out. But secretly, I’d love to :)

    Bonnie´s last blog post..The Mojito

  4. I air it out all year round, usually for an hour or so a week while I’m cleaning the house. If I’m working up a sweat scrubbing the tub I don’t mind the chilly air. I like to get out all the cooking and living smells. In summer they’re open constantly, as I hate air con.

    FruGal´s last blog post..Five Frugal Mintues with… Savings not Shoes!

  5. I like to open the windows just a crack even if it’s horrible weather outside – mind you, they’re usually only open for about 5 minutes max in that case!

    As soon as the warmer weather comes in our windows are usually opened every morning and stay that way til lunchtime, unless we’re going out!

    Marylin´s last blog post..Photohunt: Aftermath

  6. No, I live in Minnesota where it is currently 5 degrees out. So no, I don’t open the windows all winter long. But I do open them as much as possible in the spring through fall, only keeping them closed on the hottest, more humid days of our warmer seasons.

    MNKristy´s last blog post..101 in 1001 Progress – 1/11/09

  7. I’ll open the windows in the winter… but only for a couple of hours. The crisp, cold air definitely airs the house out. I just have to expect the house to be freezing for awhile.

    Michelle´s last blog post..For Your Viewing Pleasure…

  8. We live in a REALLY chilly winter climate (Michigan)…but I’ll crack the windows even in the winter sometimes. Once it starts to warm up, I open them for longer and longer. In the summer we rarely use our air, we open up the house. It’s lovely!

  9. It’s funny you should ask that. We’ve had a cold going around for a while now. It seems like everyone keeps getting it, and a friend suggested I air out my house every day. Like the girl above from Minnesota it is freezing cold here and it seems like my furnace runs constantly. Seems like a waste of money to let the heat out of my home, but if it would ward off sickness I’d be willing to do it.

    Nicki at Domestic Cents´s last blog post..Anatomy Of A Thoughtful Person

  10. Sorry Rachel… but I don’t open my windows in the winter. It’s currently -2F here in Green Bay this morning!
    If, and when, it warms up to around 32 degrees I will open my windows then for maybe 15 minutes. I will probably have to wait till March I can do that :(

    Dana @ Letters to Elijah´s last blog post..Review:

  11. We open our windows as much as we can. Luckily in S TX that is pretty often! I much prefer the fresh air to not.

    Melanie´s last blog post..Saturday in my Kitchen

  12. I will occassionally turn off the heat for an hour and air out the house (I live in Northern VT) I usually do this when the house starts to smell like “human” and I take the fresh air opportunity to use bleach to clean the bathrooms which I don’t usually do because of the fumage : )

  13. I’ll open if the temp is reasonable in the winter. For instance, I cleaned our oven on Thursday and because it gets to such a high temperature to burn off the nasty stuff, I always think it creates a bad smell. So, I cracked a window to let some fresh air in. So nice. I also think it’s necessary to air out the home if your family has a round of sickness.

    Nancy´s last blog post..Menu Plan Monday | January 11 – 17

  14. if it’s really hot in here I’ll open the patio door to let air in even if it’s winter, we do it a lot in December since there’s always so many people here for birthdays and Christmas.

    Casey´s last blog post..out of sorts

  15. I like to open the windows when neither one of us is home, even if it’s chilly outside. Unfortunately, my partner-in-crime lost his job last month, so he’s almost always in the house, which means we haven’t been airing anything out lately.

  16. True, Christine, I tend to air out the house when it’s just me.

    Nicki, when we all were talking about staying well, I learned that bacteria thrive in the warm, humid air inside in winter, so airing out the house should definitely help prevent illness.

    I agree with FruGal, I love to get rid of the cooking smells.

  17. YES, YES, YES! My favourite thing to do – it’s like rebooting the house. :) Especially after cooking!

    sherrieg´s last blog post..Shop Update

    • Just imagine breathing the same air over and over! UGGGGGHHHHH! Anyhow, I have lots of trees around my home and they’re constantly making OOOOOO’s for me, so why wouldn’t I let OOOOO’s in? A no brainer! Anyhow, our bodies thrive on an OXYGEN BATH! So strip off those clothes and let it breathe fresh air! Winter/spring/summer or Fall! Breathe in those fresh breaths of God-given air! While cooking, I open the windows! Sorry, that’s gross to think of all those greasy fumes whether baking or frying or boiling or whatever hanging around! And guess what? I never do any frying or malodorous cooking indoors! It’s too easy to buy a tank of propane LPG and a cheap 100 dollar weekend camper double-eye burner rig from a hardware store or sports shop. Those cooking odors/vapors get into your finer things and ewwwwwww that’s nasty! Get an outdoor cooker for those! Houses cost a fortune to revitalize once ruined by cooking odors and grease, uggggghhhhhhh! Don’t do it!

  18. This is one of my favorite things to do when the weather is nice! I haven’t tried (intentionally) in the winter, but I would dare say that is when our homes need it the most.

    Satchell´s last blog post..Food for the Week 1-12-09

  19. I’m in sunny southern California so my “airing out” schedule is the opposite of most. My windows are open most of the day right now, but tend to stay shut tight in the summer when the temps stay well over 100 degrees almost 24/7.

    Emily´s last blog post..Creative Gift Wrap

  20. That’s a good question because Germans open their windows ALL THE TIME. Whenever I come back to the US, I feel like I am struggling to breathe because of the lack of fresh air in many homes.

    I’m always torn: do I ask people to open their windows so it won’t be so stuffy or just leave it?

    Katie at´s last blog post..Celebrate Green! An Author Interview

  21. I went to college in Spain and the señora I lived with insisted on doing this everyday no matter what the weather was, something about chasing the bad energy out. With a husband, children, two cats, and a shedding labrador I try to do it as much as possible. Probably not good for our energy bill.

    Why were you wondering?

  22. I air out the house spring-fall, but Massachusetts winters are very cold, and even a few minutes with the door open per day would make our high heating bills substantially higher. I love the concept, but our budget can’t handle it.

    maryanne´s last blog post..Geometric shape play

  23. I love the nice days here in Charleston when we can open the windows!!! The house smells so good!! When we lived closer to the coast, the smell of salt in the air is unmatchable. We live further inland now, so we don’t get that wonderful sea breeze. But open windows on beautiful days are a must!!

    Amanda L´s last blog post..Note to self…

  24. I live in a really mild climate here in San Francisco, so even in the “dead of winter” I get to air out my apartment all weekend. There’s nothing like fresh air.

  25. I’m in the humid, hot south, so we open windows mostly in the spring & fall and I absolutely love those days! It’s so nice to have that breath of fresh air swirl into the house! Throughout the year, I never hesitate to open a window & our back screen door to air out cooking smells from the kitchen – can’t stand for those to get too entrenched (especially with certain meals!)

    jodi @ bpr´s last blog post..Taking it day by day

  26. In Kansas, the winter temps. can vary wildly. So whenever the mercury pokes its head above 49 degrees F, I’m opening windows. We have a screened-in porch, too, and I usually open the doors to it when the weather is nicer. Our cat loves those days.

    Jen in KS´s last blog post..How’d we do and what’s ahead

  27. Nicole, I was just thinking about the benefits of fresh air compared to the cost of heating.

    I think it would at least be worth airing out the bedrooms for a few minutes each morning, letting the sheets air, and then making the bed.

  28. It’s a little hard to brave subzero temps so we keep windows and screen doors open in the spring, summer and autumn. All seasons are mild enough here to enjoy the fresh air without too much heat!

    Jennifer´s last blog post..Convenience Foods Hacked

  29. We open them a lot in the spring and fall. I love fresh air! I think that is why I am somewhat of a grump in the winter months.

  30. I am seriously struggling with this one! I am from the Caribbean where we even sleep with our windows open all year long. I didn’t know I was allergic to things until after we moved to the Pacific Northwest where I can no longer open the windows, perhaps until July! (temperatures below 72 degrees are freezing to me) I feel like I’m about to loose my mind…

    To all of you who can open their windows, please do so and enjoy!

  31. We live in VA, with the beauty comes tons of pollen at different seasons & times.

    We sleep with the sliding glass door open/cracked (in the bedroom) regardless of how cold it is. The AC is on during the warm/hot & humid months. I routinely air out the house when the temperature permits (the heat is the only thing that keeps me from doing this)….I throw open the windows & doors & turn on the celing fans. Sometimes when it is cold, I shut certain doors & air out just parts of the house to preserve some heat!

  32. I feel like if I don’t air out the house at least every couple weeks we all get sick – or are more likely to pass around the germs. It’s tough in Iowa in the winter, but it makes the rooms feel so clean. I also try and air the bedding often. We live in a two story house so my daughter and I hang out on the other floor for the couple of hours I have the windows open. The rest of the year – except in the crazy humidity – the window are always open.

    darah´s last blog post..why, hello sisyphus.

  33. I also love to open the windows and I find it not too bad in winter if I open one on the south side of the house. The air feels so warm on that side as opposed to the chilly north side. Granted I am in NM but our elevation is around 5500 so we get winter too. I need to do this more! We leave the windows open all summer as well.

  34. Open it up to let out all those wonderful fireplace smells? Maybe on a really warm random winter day. But mostly I wait until we can smell spring coming.

  35. I read on MSNBC that people get sick in the winter more often because of all the stale air in the house – that was kind of a revelation to me. Now I make a conscious effort to do it whenever possible, even though of course I like it anyway. Our climate is pretty mild so even in the winter we will have random bouts of warm weather so we never have to go too long without getting some fresh air, comfortably.

  36. It’s pretty nippy here in northern Illinois in the winter! But as a compromise, I open my front and back doors on those sunny winter days. We have sturdy, new, energy efficient storm doors, and it feels like a little freshness is getting into the house, along with the warmth from the sun.

    chinamama4´s last blog post..Broadway Baby!

  37. I do air out, I think it drives my husband nuts (allergies). But I love the smell of a freshly aired room. I know that I tend to air out more in the spring time, but a couple of weeks ago we had a huge snow and ice storm and I felt the urge to open the windows for a few minutes even though it was below freezing. I especially air out it someone is sick in bed. I will sweep through, straighten up and slide the windows open for a few minutes.

  38. We have radiant heat, which is lovely, but is slow to reheat our apartment. My hubby is in the “keep everything airtight” camp during the winter, but when he’s not around, I “forget” to close the front door when I run downstairs for a few minutes. It doesn’t fully air stuff out, but it does seem to make the air fresher.

    During the summer, the windows are open except during the hottest part of the day (we don’t have air conditioning, but I don’t mind one bit).

  39. I love to open the windows year round! In the winter, I wait until we have a day over 45 degrees (not uncommon in central Ohio) and then open the windows for a couple of hours or until my husband comes home, whichever comes first! He hates open windows in the winter. :)

    Kimm´s last blog post..Words of Wisdom

  40. I actually air out my home all year round… but only once a week during the winter. What I do is I open up the windows when I know we’ll all be gone for a few hours. I’d rather be cold for a little when I return then live in a stuffy house.

  41. Nope, we attempted this one evening and my son woke up wheezing and coughing. It was horrible. Won’t be doing this again anytime soon.

    punkinmama´s last blog post..sunday reflection

  42. I LOVE to open up the house, in fact after a big glass of water and a look in on the kids in the morning, opening up the house (yes, even in Winter!) is the next step in my morning routine.

  43. I open the house every day that it is even relatively pleasant to do so…summer and winter! I love the fresh air and more sunshine seems to come in when the windows are open!!

    Marianna´s last blog post..Bag Giveaway at Joyful Maiden

  44. It would be too cold to open the windows during the winter, but I love having them open during the summer.

    Geri´s last blog post..Anxiety: Essential Aromatherapy

  45. Hee. One of the quirks of our lovely little cottage is that the windows are all PAINTED SHUT. It’s a shame, really, because they are these gorgeous, old, big windows that could really air the place out. But, as you know, we are just renting so it’s not a battle we are going to take on. I do, however, like to open the front door and raise the glass on the screen door to let some fresh air blow through. I mean, I really love it, even on cold days. You just cannot beat fresh air!

    Megan@SortaCrunchy´s last blog post..i ♥ faces, week 1

  46. We live in NW Minnesota, where last night it got to -40 and right this minute it’s -24. I think air blows in our 100+year-old house, but I don’t intentionally air it out. Once the temps are more mild, we open windows periodically, and because we don’t have central air, this is often in the spring/summer. Even if we had central air, I’d want to air out the house. Hate stale air!

  47. I air my flat every morning and evening for 10 minutes or so – plus I sleep with the bedroom window open (I live in Frankfurt, Germany, where it was very cold for the last two weeks – down to -10 celsius). In the summer, I keep the windows open all night and close everything during the day, to keep the heat out.

    I suppose I would not air my flat like this if I lived in the cold Mid-West or Canada!

  48. I try, but down here it’s so humid just about all the time that everything feels damp after just a few hours. We ARE getting a cold front through here today, so maybe by this weekend I’ll be able to before the humidity starts rising!

  49. yes! in fact we have been having unseasonably warm, extremely windy (it blew my clothes tree out of the stand and snapped it in half :( !!!) weather here. first thing i did was open all the windows to let the air flow through. so nice!

    nicola´s last blog post..lemons and rocks

  50. I had to post – I love to have the windows open in the Spring – Fall, and do as much as I can, though we try to keep an eye on the inside vs outside temp in the Summer and close the windows before it gets too hot & muggy outside so we have to run the AC as little as possible. But we don’t normally open any windows once it gets to be winter here (Northern Ohio).

    However… We heat mainly with a woodstove, and so before we go to bed, my husband tries to stuff as much wood in as he can so the fire will burn most of the night. Monday night he finally picked a piece that was just a little too big such that it got stuck going in. So he had all the stove doors open trying to get this piece of wood in or out, and meanwhile smoke was filling up the house (having fire alarms go off late at night when your toddlers are in bed = bad idea). We ran around opening all the windows to try to let the smoke out, and I remembered having read this post earlier in the day and thought about what an interesting coincidence it was as we shivered through our forced airing-out of the house. :)

  51. I wish I did this more. Living in Florida it’s a little hard with it being 80 degrees and humid most of the year. Plus, when we bought our house, it had no screens on the windows, which is now on the list of a million things to do.

    Amanda´s last blog post..Let’s Switch Things Up A Bit

  52. Three of my five upstairs windows (bedroom, office, bathroom) are locked about an inch open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Plus my downstairs toilet window has mesh instead of glass on the top 10 centimetres.

    On top of that, if I’m home the back door is open from spring through autumn assuming it’s not raining. The screen door is always locked (I’m not silly!)

    And at this time of the year when the outside cools down in the evening I throw all the upstairs windows open to let the heat escape and the cool air come in.

    The Shopping Sherpa´s last blog post..The Bendigo or Bust Road Trip (Day Three)

  53. I love letting open the windows every day. But I don’t. My husband is terrified of the cold and a breeze… forget it. We have two small children and he’s very afraid they will get sick if I open the windows. I’m concerned for the opposite. Fresh air makes you hearty, I think. For the Winter, at least, he wins out. But come Spring, allergies or not, this house is going to breathe.

  54. I love airing the house out. But, since I live in Florida where it is hot practically year round. The only time we can air out the house is in early Spring and late Fall.

    SoBella Creations´s last blog post..My First Blog Award

  55. katherine jenson says:

    In the wintertime, I air the house out twice a week. All heaters turned off, kids bundled up and doors and windows open. I also do deep cleaning at this time all scatter rugs are hung outside after being shaken. Once the cleaning is done, all windows and doors are closed up, something is placed in the oven to get things warm quickly and we loose the extra clothing as the rooms warm up again. The good thing is when it is cold and everything is work quickly.