10 Ways to Ventilate a Closed Room Without Windows

While it is ideal to have windows for every room, sometimes it is not possible. Typically, laundry rooms, understairs rooms, and bathrooms don’t get windows. So how do you ventilate such windowless rooms?

A closed room without windows can be ventilated by adding a fan, installing an exhaust vent, removing or partially opening the door, extending the HVAC system, using a transfer fan, using an air purifier, adding porous materials and air-purifying plants, and keeping the room at a cooler temperature.

A room without windows

Let’s see in detail how these different ventilation options work, and whether it is possible to implement an in your case;

1. Use a fan to increase air circulation

One of the common ways to ventilate a room, with or without windows, is using a fan. You can use any kind of fan, including ceiling fans, free-standing fans, room-to-room transfer fans, door fans, and so on. What matters is that air should flow through your room rather than standing still.

A ceiling fan circulates air around the room, catching any stale air, and helping to push it out of the room. Using a fan along with a window is more effective than without windows. However, even if your room doesn’t have a window you will have to rely on the room’s door instead. Keep the door open and run the ceiling fan so it can remove the stuffy air.

In some cases, the room may not have a provision to install a ceiling fan. If your room has a light fixture, see if its box is ceiling fan rated, and if so then you can install a ceiling fan with a light fixture there. This way, you will get the lighting as well as ventilation.

In case, there is no way you can install one, use a free-standing fan instead. you can use a pedestal fan or a tower fan, or any other free-standing fans. If you need a strong airflow floor blower fans are my favorite. Make sure to place the fan somewhere opposite and at an angle to your door so the air can be easily pushed out.

Just be mindful that when using a pedestal fan your floor may be a bit more crowded. This can be a drawback for those who are already struggling with a tighter space. To counterbalance this, you can use a doorway fan, which is installed on the door, to vent air outside the room.

2. Use an exhaust fan

This is actually a no-brainer. If you are looking to get some ventilation in an area like a bathroom or a kitchen, exhaust fans are a great option. For a bathroom, this would be a vent fan that is able to keep large amounts of condensation from accumulating on your walls and floors. With a kitchen, this would be a hooded vent fan that also is able to take up condensation as well as smoke and even horrible smells from those times when you way over-fried the bacon.

A wall exhaust fan
Image of an exhaust fan

Often, exhaust fans are mounted on the outer wall of the room. But in case, your room doesn’t have a wall to the outside, usually in the case of bathrooms, you can use a ceiling exhaust fan. These fans sit on the ceiling and vent the stale air outside through a duct that goes through the attic.

3. Use a transfer fan

A transfer fan is used to transfer conditioned air between rooms. Transfer fans are installed on the wall like exhaust fans but they are installed on interior walls of the house ie, a wall between two bedrooms.

A transfer fan
A transfer fan

You can use a transfer fan in combination with an exhaust fan. The transfer fan will bring fresh air into the room from the adjacent room while the exhaust fan vents the stale air outside. Using a single transfer fan will also do the trick; just make sure to keep the room’s door open once in a while to move the stale air out.

4. Use a central air conditioning system

If your house has an existing central HVAC system, add a duct to your windowless room. While a single, small air conditioner cannot ventilate a room, a central air conditioning system can. Adding an additional ducting to the room is not an easy task, and you may have to hire professionals to do that job. However, making your windowless room part of your HVAC system is the best option to ventilate it. However, this may not be practical in the case of some rooms like an understairs cupboard or a laundry room, but there are other methods to ventilate them.

5. Remove the door or keep it open

Now, removing a door may not work for those of you whose windowless room is your bedroom or bathroom, but for those of you that are working with something like a kitchen or living room, removing the door from the space can be a big help. If you find it hard to remember to keep the door open, simply remove it and more air will flow in and out of the space. 

This can make a major difference in temperature as well as long as you are willing to sacrifice privacy. Along with that, removing the door can allow you to have more space to place other types of ventilation pieces such as fans, porous materials, or air-purifying plants.

6. Use air bricks

An air brick
An air brick

Air bricks are perforated bricks that allow air to flow through them. They are usually placed on the lower and top ends of the outside wall to let air in through the bottom and vent the hot air through the top. This arrangement works on natural convection. However, this is not a good solution for those living in cold climates. As you guessed, these vents will let in cold air during winter, and even though they can be closed, the room will still need ventilation in the winter. However, depending on the kind of room, and the climate, you can use this method to ventilate a windowless room.

7. Add more porous materials

Adding more porous materials in your windowless room sounds completely contradictory after just telling you to minimize furniture, but hear me out. Adding porous materials such as various types of porous wood and even bricks or porous, decorative accent wall pieces allows air to move around in a very easy way. 

Instead of being a block to air, porous materials help to keep it flowing and work almost like a natural fan in your room. No, you are not going to feel gusts of wind coming from your brick wall, but you will be able to tell a difference in the state of your air. Choosing the right porous materials and placing them strategically through trial and error can help to ensure ventilation in your room without windows.

8. Keep Air-Purifying Plants Around

For those of you that are basically plant murderers, this may not be the solution for you. However, for those of you with more of a green thumb, keeping air-purifying plants around your space can be a big help when it comes to keeping fresh air. You can even look up something like “air-purifying plants that are hard to kill” to ensure success for your non-green thumbed self. 

This is not a dramatic solution, but it can be a wonderful addition to any of the other suggestions previously mentioned. The right varieties can make a big difference in the purity and ventilation of your air within days! Much more, adding plants can help to add a more positive, homey aesthetic appeal to your home within minutes.

9. Keep the Overall Temperature Low

If you are in a spot where you have one, or a few rooms, without a window, keeping the overall temperature of your home, apartment, or business low can make a huge difference in how the environment of those windowless rooms feels. Of course, you will have to keep the door open to the room, but a lower temperature set throughout the rest of your living or working space can keep the air fresher in a place that is prone to stuffiness. 

On this note, you might also want to lower the temperature considerably if you plan to host a social gathering. Of course, you do not want to freeze out your friends and family, but most people would rather acclimate to a cooler environment than have to wipe their brows and pat their necks to remove built-up sweat.

10. Use an air purifier

An air purifier doesn’t equal ventilation. But it does a better job than a standalone air conditioner because it helps to the stale purify air. There is a wide misconception that an air conditioner can work as an air purifier but that’s entirely wrong. An air purifier is better equipped in removing all those dust particles and what not in the air.

An air filter not only filters particles in the air but also sanitizes them. It uses a charcoal-activated filter to remove unwanted gases and particles from the room. Some models use ionization filters as well, which are more effective in purifying the air.

If none of the beforementioned ventilation methods work for your room, using an air purifier is the best bet.

Why Ventilation is Important in a Room Without Windows

Here are some reasons why ventilation is important;

  1. Keeps Impurities in Check
  2. Regulates the Air 
  3. Keeps Condensation at Bay 
  4. Levels Out Air Temperatures 

Let’s take a closer look.

Ventilation Keeps Impurities in Check

Air quality is a major point of focus for many reasons: if you have bad air, it can lead to major problems including issues with your health- much less your comfortability in your own home. If you are living in an area that has poor air quality, proper ventilation is especially important for you. Not only is the air outside in bad shape, but you are bringing in all those pollutants into your home. 

When this happens, some build-up occurs which means your air inside can actually be worse than what is outside. Hopefully, you live in a place where this is not an issue. However, if you live in any type of industrial setting or in a busier city, then you likely know exactly what I am talking about.

Having a good ventilation system helps to keep the build-up process from happening and gets rid of pollutants, bacteria, and even bad odors. A ventilation system helps to keep your air clean so that you are able to breathe without worry about the effects the air you are taking in may have on your body and mind. Impurities are one of the biggest reasons to have a proper ventilation system and can make a very big difference in your overall health- both physical and mental. 

Ventilation Regulates the Air

Air regulation may seem like an afterthought, but this is a major cause for good ventilation systems. I would bet that very few of you are living in a house that is a single room with no windows. This means that you are likely living in a place that has some type of ventilation in other areas and thus, natural air regulation. 

However, your small space without a window may not have as great of ventilation as those spots which can mean costly energy bills for you. A good ventilation system, no matter the method, will help to control the airflow in your house or building and then will manage the fresh airflow that can come in from other rooms.

I bet you never thought about how ventilation may affect your more closed-off areas, but, surprise! They are air suckers and will hold onto that stuff for dear life until you find a way to keep the air flowing in and out of your closed-off rooms. To perpetuate a more serene environment throughout your whole home, capitalize on the natural ventilation that other rooms (besides the room in your home without windows) have.  

Ventilation Keeps Condensation at Bay

Have you ever finished taking a shower and noticed that the walls are dripping with condensation? This is a big no-no for your walls as well as the paint or wallpaper that may be on them as well. This happened because there was no proper ventilation while you were showering. Unfortunately, bathrooms are not the only place that condensation can gather within your home.

Proper ventilation helps to keep air flowing which keeps condensation from building up. Condensation can lead to mold and even rotting within your home- not a great resale feature. To avoid this, get creative with your ventilation solutions.

Ventilation Levels Out Air Temperatures

I will never forget living in a tiny apartment that had no type of formal ventilation systems. It was pretty much every man for himself in the summertime, and it was brutal. Ventilation is a very necessary part of keeping your air at a comfortable level.

Whether that is a formal ventilation system, a fan, a small windowless air conditioning unit, or any others, ventilation is going to keep your room temperatures from absolutely burning you up. To avoid sweating through your clothes and extreme uncomfortableness, be sure to add ventilation creatively throughout your home.

Final Thoughts on Ventilation in a Room Without Windows

For years, I lived in an area where high-quality ventilation was not a thing. This sounds other-worldly really, but it was something that we had to figure out in the twenty-first century and was an issue that took time to find a really good balance while we lived in an area that experienced all four seasons. Really, the varying seasons are what threw a huge wrench into things when it came to keeping our rooms well ventilated and ultimately, livable. 

We did have large windows in two of our living spaces, which were great for getting old out and fresh air in, but for spots like our bathroom and entryway, we had to get a little more creative. Fans made a huge difference for us and we kept plenty of air-purifying plants throughout the house. By keeping doors open at all times, and even opening our entryway door, we were able to live in comfort without having to install anything major. 

There is a multitude of ways to ventilate rooms without windows and many can be implemented at a low cost to you but will make a major difference in your room’s environment. Not having windows can be a bit disappointing, but it does not mean that you have to suffer in silence. Implement any of these suggestions (or a conglomeration of them!) to get your air at its peak freshness without having to knock any holes into your walls. 

Charles John

Experienced HVAC technician with 8 years of experience in the industry. Capable of handling all sorts of heating and cooling equipment as well as proficient in operational management, construction-related techniques such as preventative maintenance, electrical troubleshooting and AutoCAD

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