For many people, winter in New Jersey and New York is a wonderful time of year, especially if you are an avid skier. But for half a million people, cloudy days and cold temperatures mean months of staying indoors, avoiding skin-drying wind and trying to stay warm without going crazy. For many people, this is a very serious condition. It’s not just that they don’t like cold weather. They suffer from a type of depression known as SAD — Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD symptoms (lethargy, weight gain, moodiness and anxiety) appear when natural sunlight is limited or blocked for extended periods of time.
Many studies have proven that humans (and other animals) need light for health and vitality. Research confirms natural light is necessary for many bodily functions and has numerous, essential benefits. Daily sunshine supplies the vitamin D your body needs to stay healthy. It helps keep skin healthy, regulates body temperature, protects you from some bacteria and viruses, and elevates your mood and cognitive skills.
While most of our New Jersey & Metro New York neighbors don’t suffer from SAD or fall into a deep depression during the winter, we all fight the winter blahs once in a while, especially when the season seems to linger on without end. Whether you just have a case of the blues, or you suffer with SAD, you can benefit by making sure you get as much natural light as possible during the remaining weeks of winter.
- Spend at least 15 minutes outdoors each day to soak up your vitamin D.
- Open your drapes during the daylight hours to encourage natural light to bathe your indoor spaces with abundant light.
- Opt for outdoor seating on mild days instead of dining in the company cafeteria at work.
- Bundle up and hit the slopes or take a walk once in a while instead of exercising in a gym under artificial lights.
- Don’t give in to the urge to hunker down inside. Ask your friends and family to help you find opportunities to get outdoors.
Create a Light-filled Environment
You don’t have to struggle with mood fluctuations, irritability and low energy. For the most severe cases, physicians may prescribe medication to help you overcome that heavy feeling in your limbs and brain fog. The most effective “cure” is to get as much light therapy as possible. Aging, home windows may be contributing to your seasonal depression. Keeping heavy drapes closed all day to block air leaks dramatically reduces your exposure to sunlight. Installing plastic storm windows, especially those made with opaque panels, or covering windows with blankets, cardboard and aluminum foil to prevent air leaks, also reduces light levels in your home.
New Jersey and New York Metro residents who want to improve natural indoor illumination have myriad options. You could build a glass sunroom to hang out in during the daytime when you want to relax, read a book, get some work done at home or just soak up those healing sunbeams. If you have been thinking about updating single-paned windows with energy-efficient Energy Star certified replacement windows, consider your natural lighting needs while selecting styles and glazing option. Here’s a short list of options available to help you avoid malillumination (a fancy word for light-deprivation).
- 1. Choose low-profile sliders without grilles to expand light opportunities in living spaces where you spend the most time every day.
- Replace over-sized picture windows with bay or bow configurations which create a mini-room instead of adding a sunroom. Both configurations expand window surface area and add a bit of extra floor space without additional construction expense associated with enlarging your existing footprint or modifying your exterior envelope.
- Ditch the ornamental metal grates that add visual interest. Instead, use grille patterns that enhance appearance, but typically have narrower widths than metal bars. You want to capture every bit of sunlight you can, so even the littlest of details can make a big difference.
- Make sure you talk to your replacement window dealer about glass options that effectively manage heat transfers. You want more light, but you need to be able to take advantage of solar heat gain in the winter and minimize heat transfer during the summer to effectively lower both heating and air conditioning bills.
Renewal by Andersen of New Jersey & New York Metro Replacement Windows Help You Achieve Better Health Throughout the Seasons
Your health matters to the Renewal by Andersen of New Jersey and New York Metro team. SAD doesn’t just affect our neighbors during the fall and winter seasons. Although not as common as winter-onset SAD, summer-onset SAD, sometimes called “summer depression” is a challenge for some people in our area, too. Natural sunlight is vital to your health. Replacing damaged, foggy, scratched and opaque windows is a good first step toward getting your daily dose. Fill in the short form on this page or all us at 1-888-826-2451 for more information today.
Download our Free Guide to New Jersey & New York Metro Replacement Windows
- The Difference Between Replacement and New Construction Windows!
- The Different Kinds of Frame Materials and What That Means to Your Windows’ Performance and Longevity!
- How the Right Glass Can Save You Money on Your Heating & Cooling Bills!
- The Critical Role Proper Installation Plays in the Performance, Durability and Warranty of Your New Replacement Windows!
- What Features and Options are Important to You and What Role They Play in Your Ultimate Satisfaction Today, and for as Long As You Live in Your Home!