For thousands of years, humans rely on the sun for light. We adopted our own body clock with reference to the movement of the sun, from when we wake up, when we hunt for food, and when we sleep. It is only after 140 years ago that we shifted to artificial light, when Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. It disrupted how our body naturally functions and affects our health and wellbeing. Here are the reasons why you should have more windows and natural light in your homes.
1. Better Health
Studies show that being exposed to natural light during early mornings and late afternoons makes us healthier. Sunlight is our natural medicine to fight for common illnesses and bacteria. It is also a great source of vitamin D, which increases the ability of our body to absorb calcium, magnesium and phosphate.
2. Better Vision
Natural light can enhance our vision and regulate the growth of our eyeballs. Our eyes are already used to the dynamic change of sunlight throughout centuries and are not used to the fluorescent lights that we have today. Too much exposure to fluorescent light inside our homes can cause eyestrain and headaches because of its flickering property.
3. Better Mood
Our bodies have adopted to the dynamic natural light that the sun produces. The intensity and colors of light change with time, from dark during night time, to the soft yellow-orange hue during mornings and afternoons, to the intense bright white-blue light during midday. This natural biorhythm raises our moods and increases our energy levels. Also, seeing the outdoors makes us feel connected back to nature and enhances our moods.
4. More Productive
Studies have shown that providing more natural light in offices increases the productivity and comfort of its occupants. The building with more natural light also has happier occupants. Its naturally-changing shades stimulates our brains and affects our energy for the task at hand.
5. More Savings
On average, lighting consumes 15% of our energy consumption. Artificial light, especially incandescent bulbs, produces heat that makes our house hotter and less comfortable, increasing our likelihood of using air conditioners and electric fans, which consumes a lot of electricity. Using natural light instead of artificial lighting can significantly reduce our energy consumption.
BluHomes Breeze, a nature-friendly townhouse development in Amparo Caloocan, are designed to have better natural lighting. It has bigger and wider windows, and its interior walls are painted plain white to reflect these natural light deeper into the house.
Your attic is one of the main reasons why your house is hot. Roofs in the Philippines are mostly made of very thin steel sheet called "long span", and it is a highly-conductive material. When the sun hits your roof, it absorbs the heat and transfers it to the inside, directly to the attic of your house. The attic is the area between the roof and the ceiling of the highest floor. What does your attic do to this heat?
Why is my second floor hot?
Your attic transfers that heat downwards into the the second floor of your house. To add to this, the principle of convection states that hot air will naturally rise and cold air will naturally go down. These are the reasons why it is hotter in the second floor compared to the ground floor. The bad news, your second floor is usually where you spend most of your time in. It is also where you sleep!
What can I do?
You can replace your roof into a material that is not as conductive as a steel. You can also add insulation under your roof. But these will be very expensive for you.
The easiest and most practical way to cool your attic is to allow it to vent the heat outdoors, instead of into the house, by providing some holes or vent to your ceiling eaves. That is why the ceiling eaves under the roof of BluHomes Breeze, a nature-friendly townhouse development in Amparo Caloocan, have slotted holes on them, to allow these heat to escape from the attic to the outside environment.
What are the benefits?
This attic ventilation will significantly reduce the heat inside your attic and, most importantly, will make your house cooler and more comfortable. You will be able to stay in your room longer without air conditioners. Your house will be cooler, literally.
With a more comfortable house, you may lessen the use of air conditioners and electric fans, and your electric bills will go down and give you more savings. And with lower use of energy, it will lower also your carbon footprint to nature. You and your home will be nature-friendly.
Will these holes look nice on my house?
Yes. Check out BluHomes Breeze in Amparo Caloocan and how they incorporated this attic ventilation into the design of their house. Also, people will not notice these holes from afar, especially if the facade of your house is eye-catching!