Darkness, Dirt, and Depression

How Dirty Windows Can Contribute to Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Exactly one month since the autumnal equinox, Latin for ‘equal nights’, and it has grown noticeably darker each evening. That sense of darkness will be even more impactful when the observance of DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME ends, this year on the 7th of November, 2021. We enjoy the ‘extra’ hour of sleep that evening, however the loss of that hour’s light affects our evening routine.

Decreased sunlight has a direct bearing on our mood. As it grows darker, our bodies produce less serotonin, the brain chemical that controls our mood. Melatonin production is also decreased, as it is produced in proportion to the light received by the retina, affecting our sleep patterns. This combination of factors has a direct bearing on our mood. This may result in loss of energy, lack of interest, oversleeping, and feelings of hopelessness: symptoms of SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER. However, there are simple solutions to combat these ‘winter blues’.

While we experience darker evenings, the time shift means an earlier sunrise. Taking advantage of that by rising early and making the most of the morning light can help us get a good start for the day. A daily walk in the sunshine and fresh air, even for as little as ten minutes can make a difference. But as most of us spend our days indoors, especially with so many now working-from-home, light exposure may be minimal. In fact, even our home’s efficiency is affected by the lack of sunlight. It is therefore imperative to maximize light and sun exposure for the next two months, until December 21st, when the winter solstice begins, and sunlight once again increases.

The most cost effective way to boost mood, boost light, and boost energy efficiency is to thoroughly wash windows and glass doors. Even a little bit of dirt or dust on windows can affect your home’s energy efficiency. According to one study, windows bear 2530% on home energy consumption. That means that dirty windows means less sunlight (heat) exposure, increasing energy consumption as your heating system works harder to heat your home. Therefore, clean windows, inside and outside, not only reduces your energy costs, it also allows more light to brighten your rooms and lift your spirits, boosting your mood, maximizing your use of energy.

Other helpful tips for boosting light include:

  1. Using mirrors to reflect natural light entering through windows.
  2. Using light colored paint on walls, light colored furnishings and floors, and adding reflective surfaces to help light bounce around the room.
  3. Add lighting. While skylights optimize sunlight, even adding lamps and other energy-efficient lighting can increase the brightness of dark days. Light Therapy (via Lightboxes) also helps to curb the effects of SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER, by tricking the eye, and therefore the brain, into receiving more light, boosting melatonin and serotonin production.

Banish the ‘Winter Blues’, take care of your home and your health by scheduling a Professional Window Cleaning, making your home clean, light, and bright.

Home Window Cleaning in Bethlehem, PA by Grime Fighters

“Paying It Back” is Better Than “Paying It Forward”

Why Paying It Forward May Not Be Enough…

We’ve all heard the expression of “Paying it Forward”, which carries the idea of a random kindness with no attachment. It may do some good, but the anonymity carries a vacancy. What has real longevity is connection, community, and genuineness. “Paying it Back” has power to build relationships.

As a local business that prides itself on helping our neighbors to have cleaner, safer homes, we feel a community responsibility to do our part to educate our neighbors and support those who give back to us. October is NATIONAL FIRE PREVENTION MONTH, so it is important to know how we can practice fire safety in our homes and at our workplace, while supporting our community. What are common fire dangers, and how can we avoid them?

6 DANGERS

  1. NO WORKING SMOKE ALARMS. 3 OF 5 HOME FIRE DEATHS RESULT FROM NO ALARM.
  2. LESS THAN 50% OF HOMEOWNERS HAVE AN ESCAPE PLAN.
  3. CARBON MONOXIDE (CO) IS THE #1 CAUSE OF ACCIDENTAL POISONING IN THE U.S.
  4. LESS THAN 50% OF HOMEOWNERS HAVE CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS.
  5. 60% OF HOMEOWNERS DO NOT TEST THEIR ALARMS MONTHLY.
  6. THE #1 CAUSE OF HOME FIRE: UNATTENDED COOKING.

PRACTICING SAFETY

AT HOME:

  1. INSTALL SMOKE ALARMS ON EVERY LEVEL OF YOUR HOME, INCLUDING INSIDE AND OUTSIDE BEDROOMS, KITCHENS, AND BASEMENTS.
  2. TEST ALARMS MONTHLY, REPLACING BATTERIES AS NECESSARY.
  3. HAVE A FIRE ESCAPE PLAN. PRACTICE 2 TIMES A YEAR. IT DOESN’T NEED TO BE ELABORATE. EDUCATE CHILDREN HOW TO SAFELY EXIT THE HOME.
  4. IF THERE IS A FIRE: GET OUT, STAY OUT, CALL FOR HELP.

AT WORKPLACE:

  1. REPORT ELECTRICAL HAZARDS SUCH AS FAULTY OR BAD WIRING.
  2. DO NOT OVERLOAD OUTLETS OR CIRCUITS.
  3. DO NOT USE DAMAGED ELECTRICAL OUTLETS OR CORDS.
  4. ENSURE PROPER STORAGE OF FLAMMABLE MATERIALS.
  5. KEEP COMBUSTIBLES AWAY FROM ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT.

The best way to practice fire safety is to take seriously the responsibility to keep our homes, families, and communities safe from hazards. But more than that, we can support those who put their lives on the line to keep us safe in times of emergency. Pay it Back to those volunteering their time for us. To quote LOWER MILFORD FIRE COMPANY, “We’re neighbors helping neighbors.”

Even the smallest donations can make a difference. Support your local fire company.