Why You Should Stop Closing Your Blinds During the Day

Updated: Mar. 21, 2019

The health benefits of letting sunshine into your home probably outweigh any privacy risk.

Sun protection for windowsNevena Marjanovic/Shutterstock

While concerns about privacy might prevent you from keeping your blinds open during the day, you might change your mind when you hear how bringing a bit of sunshine into your home can benefit your health. While you may be focused on removing the dust in your home, according to an article published in Science Daily, letting the sunshine into your home through the windows can actually kill bacteria that live in the remaining dust and this can help decrease the risk of respiratory issues.

The article references a study published in the journal Microbiome, describing how researchers at the University of Oregon led by Dr. Ashkaan Fahimipour, PhD, created climate-controlled rooms and exposed the bacteria found in indoor dust to three different situations: one in a dark room, one in a room with visible light, and a third in a room with ultraviolet (UV) light. After 90 days, results were collected from each environment and studied, and there was a correlation between light exposure and the number of bacteria in the dust, noted the article. Bacteria was more apt to be alive and reproduce in dark rooms—about 12 percent more on average. However, in rooms where bacteria was exposed to daylight, only 6.8 percent was viable and where it was exposed to UV light, only 6.1 percent was viable. Additionally, those bacteria that were kept in the dark were also more closely related to respiratory diseases than those that stayed alive even with exposure to sunlight. So not only are you benefiting from the vitamin D that comes from the sun, but it could also be saving you from respiratory disease as well.

Our study supports a century-old folk wisdom, that daylight has the potential to kill microbes on dust particles, but we need more research to understand the underlying causes of shifts in the dust microbiome following light exposure,” said Fahimipour, an expert in experimental and computational biology at the university.

If dust is a big problem in your home, here are some smart strategies to minimize it. And don’t miss these 16 cleaning hacks from professional cleaners that you’ll want to use yourself.