"Opening windows is more than just ventilation – opening a window creates the link to the outside and is a symbol of affection for your family"
There are many important issues in ventilation science other than the strictly technical. There is the basic human need for access to ventilation. Scientific work shows that ventilation with windows or ‘fresh air from the outside’ is not about ‘fresh’ or ‘air’, but rather deals with the notion of creating a ‘good indoor environment’. Something that obviously involves many other aspects than fresh air.
The subjects of the different aspects of fresh air are typically divided into three main elements; a functional (practical), an aesthetic (bodily and sensory) and a social (care and impression management) element.
The functional element is related to practical pursuits, like airing out after bathing, washing the floor and doing the beds - but also being able to act in dialogue with the weather and the house itself.
The aesthetic element includes both a bodily and sensory perspective. Factors like regulation of body heat and being able to smell oneself are important. Not only the odour backdrop (good, fresh smell) in the house from activities, but also the enjoyment of a breeze in the home. The social element deals with the strong wish to be in control. Showing concern for your family’s health by airing your home, enjoying the feeling of freedom by being able to open the windows – but also letting in the sounds and scents from outside.
Three very important aspects that all deal with non-technical issues show us that openable windows are a necessity for the indoor environment on many human levels.
Another human aspect is the ability to open the window in the transition periods of our everyday lives – like coming from work to home, going from sleep to waking up or returning home from vacation. Routines and unreflected actions are a part of the transitions – and here opening of windows has been shown as one of the actions that we need to perform.