Should you open your Windows during a Hurricane?

Keeping your family safe during home season can seem like a challenging task, especially when faced with the destructive effect a hurricane can have on your home. This is made much more challenging by the number of myths about the best way to prepare for a hurricane in your area. Being informed about which information can aid you in protecting your home, and your family is essential.

One of the most frequently asked questions by many homeowners is, “Should I leave my windows open during a hurricane?” The answer to this question is NO. Though some people may recommend to you that opening your windows during a hurricane will help to equalize the pressure of the air in your home, it can actually result in more damage to your home from hurricane-force winds. Enough air leaks out of your home naturally to contribute to equalized pressure during a hurricane. The idea that closing your windows during a hurricane can cause your house to “explode” is a complete myth.

Why isn’t it recommended to open my Windows during a Hurricane?

Opening your windows allows the outside wind to enter your home, often at extremely high speeds. Once air enters your home with a significant amount of force, it will seek out a way to exit. If the force of the wind is strong enough, such as wind speeds that occur during a hurricane, it may blow off the roof of your home. Other damage can include blown out windows, doors, and even damage to your home’s structural integrity. In reality, a large percentage of homes that lose their roof during a hurricane have been victim to high-speed winds that entered through a broken or open window.

During a hurricane, wind will be traveling over the top of your roof at extremely high speeds. If wind is also inside your home, putting pressure on your roof, this causes an effect similar to the force which allows airplane wings to generate lift. To best protect your home, it is highly recommended that you tightly shut all widows, doors, skylights and garage doors. If you aren’t able to evacuate your home during a hurricane, be sure to stay away from the windows. Even if you have storm windows, there is still a chance that large debris can have enough of a force on impact to send glass shards flying.  The best way to keep you, and your family safe during a hurricane is to either move to a basement area, or to evacuate along the route designated in your town.