Windows are such important features of a space that it is out of the ordinary to find a room without one. Windows are bare essentials for natural airflow, as well as an effective solution to poor airflow. However, there might certain scenarios where a windowless room serves a certain purpose – it can become a much-needed home office, laundry room, workshop, sewing room, or bathroom. In these cases, ventilating such windowless rooms becomes paramount.
How can I ventilate a room without a window? One of the simplest ventilation strategies is to leave the door for a windowless room open for most of the day. However, this strategy is not sustainable due to factors such as the risk of dust accumulation. An alternative to this natural method of ventilation is to install passive vents. Another strategy you can try involves using ceiling fans and portable fans to enhance air circulation in the room. If this isn’t ideal for you, another option is to use an air conditioning system to not only regulate the temperature of your space but also to circulate air. Exterior ventilation works well when it comes to dealing with mold and other humidity-related damage.
Ventilation is crucial for every room in your living space. Health and safety considerations generally mandate some type of ventilation, and many building codes have very specific requirements. Read on to discover ventilation strategies you can incorporate in a room without a window, as well as the importance of ventilation.
Ventilation strategies for spaces without a window
1. Leave the door open
You can leave the door to a room without windows open for the longest time, particularly during the day to get air circulation going.
As much as this strategy helps with the circulation of air, it may not be sustainable. This is because you run the risk of more dust finding its way into the room, or pets and children straying into the room and potentially damaging some valuables inside the space if present.
Therefore, you might want to consider installing passive vents that will facilitate airflow between rooms. That’s not all; you can also opt to install registers and grilles typically used for heating and air conditioning in your walls, ceilings, and floors to improve the air circulation in the room.
2. Use ceiling fans or portable fans
A portable fan is highly effective when it comes to air movement and redistribution, especially in a small room. Nonetheless, if it’s directed into the space, it may produce unwanted drafts. To reduce the likelihood of this happening, place your portable fan near the open door and facing away from the occupants in the room. This may slow down the cooling process, but the hot, stale air will be removed effectively.
Some ceiling fan models can be operated in reverse gear, sucking in hot air away from the room occupants when needed, and during colder months, they can trap the hot air and bring it down from the ceiling to warm a room.
3. Mechanical ventilation on the outside
To significantly reduce or rid yourself of mold, mildew, fungi, and other humidity-related damage, it’s best to install a vent fan via the outside wall of a windowless room.
Similarly, in a kitchen without windows, you can install a wall fan to get rid of smoke, food smells, and hot air that may accumulate. Alternatively, you can install hooded vent fans that are placed directly above the cooking stove.
4. Passive outside venting
Many building codes stipulate that clothes dryers be vented to the outside, rather than be fitted through a small space in the wall. For machines that are installed on an inside wall, flexible vent tubing may be the most convenient way to reach an outside wall.
To counter some of the heat generated by electronic devices, you can now find air conditioners specifically made for windowless rooms. They have also been fitted with flexible vents that can be put without much fuss through a wall or a window in an adjoining room.
5. Use of an air conditioning system
Apart from bringing down the room temperature when it gets uncomfortably hot, it can also act as an effective ventilation tool by circulating air in a windowless room. An air conditioner works on the principle that all the hot air that is collected in a room is processed and released into the cold air in the same space.
As a result, these systems also eliminate dampness that’s usually brought about by high humidity. If you’re not keen on using air conditioners, louvered doors are a great alternative that also increase air circulation without compromising your privacy.
6. An effective extractor fan
An extractor fan is best suited for small kitchens that don’t have proper functional windows. The main purpose of an extractor fan is to capture any smoke, moisture, and steam that build up as you cook. The fan then redistributes them inside the room, subsequently ensuring adequate ventilation.
In addition to preventing humid air from accumulating in your kitchen, an extractor fan helps in solving the damaging effect that excessive moisture on paint and plaster.
7. Introduction of plants that purify the air
Plants can be so much more than mere aesthetic accessories. As you might know, some plant varieties can cleanse the air in your home thus creating a safer and healthier environment.
Some indoor plants that can help purify the air in your space include:
- Barberton Daisy
- Aloe Vera
- English Ivy
- Snake Plant
- Spider Plant
- Dragon Tree
- Weeping Fig
- Chinese Evergreen
- Broad Lady Palm
8. Reduce the amount of furniture in a windowless room
If you want to improve the flow of fresh air in a room, then you might want to scale back on the amount of furniture. This is because when you stockpile a lot of furniture in a room that lacks proper ventilation, it will hinder the free circulation of air, which might add to stuffiness and dampness, consequently making the space inhabitable.
9. Use porous building materials
Another way to maintain sufficient airflow in a room is by using porous building materials. Standard bricks or special air bricks, in particular, come in handy when it comes to contributing to better air circulation in your living space.
10. Hidden air bricks
Speaking of bricks, special air bricks can be strategically placed high up inside the walls of a windowless room to help mitigate your ventilation woes.
11. Use of a portable evaporative cooler
A portable evaporative cooler works in the same manner as a portable fan. However, what sets the two apart is the fact that an evaporative cooler circulates much colder air. You can put ice or water into a tank, which the cooler, in turn, converts into a blast of very cold air that is circulated in the room.
12. A ductless air conditioning system
This is a powerful ventilation system that comprises both internal and external units. The internal units are attached to walls or ceilings, whereas the external condensers are used to power the entire system.
A ductless air conditioning system is relatively easy to install – all you need to do is drill a hole in the wall to lay the pipes that will connect the internal and external units.
13. Use a dehumidifier or an air purifier
Air purifiers filter and clean air. These handy devices have fans that suck in the stale air in a windowless room through filters to catch dust, pollen, and other air-born contaminants. The air is purified through the system and the cleansed air is released back into the room.
Dehumidifiers filter humid air and extract the moisture from the air through the cooling coils in the device. The excess moisture condenses on these coils and then drips into a collection tank.
Why is ventilation so important?
Ventilation is good for your home for the following reasons:
1. It removes condensation
Condensation commonly manifests itself in the form of dampness, which eventually leads to mold growth. Mold causes damp patches which could lead to paint and all paper peeling, musty smells, and even health problems.
2. It’s important for a healthier living environment
If a room or home doesn’t have an adequate ventilation system and humidity is high, it can result in asthmas attacks, eczema, and chronic sneezing.
3. It helps to alleviate symptoms of hay fever
An effective ventilation system can filter out large airborne particles such as pollen, consequently alleviating seasonal health conditions such as pollen allergies and hay fever.
4. It helps to reduce the effects of radon gas
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is mainly found in areas with high levels of igneous rocks such as granite. Radon exposure can cause lung cancer; a Positive Input Ventilation system can help reduce the levels of radon if you live in an affected area.
5. It lessens the impact of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
VOCs are invisible gases that can lead to a myriad of health problems. They originate from a variety of sources including cosmetics, air fresheners, and paint. An effective ventilation system can introduce fresh and clean air to dilute and lessen the impact of VOCs in your space.
If you have a windowless room that you’re wary of using due to lack of ventilation, try these handy ventilation strategies to make the space more habitable. Consider combining two or several of these tips to achieve better results. Keep in mind that ventilation is important for your health and safety, so always make it a priority.