Bedrooms should be the safest place in our homes and must be designed appropriately according to the local building codes.
But the question is, do bedrooms have to have windows? This article will explain why bedrooms need windows, the building codes of different states, and how to make a windowless room liveable.
Do bedrooms have to have windows?
Bedrooms must have at least one window according to the international building code. Every bedroom should have two ways to egress. One of them should be a window on the exterior side. That window can be used for escape or rescue while fire. It also provides light and air.
Windows are one of the essential parts of a bedroom. Every room needs a window for better airflow and light, but it’s crucial for bedrooms.
According to the international building code, a windowless room can not be a bedroom. And there are some solid reasons for that. However, different states of the United States may have different building codes for bedroom windows.
Even not any type of window will make a room bedroom. There are special requirements for the windows. The requirements are,
- The window should be higher than 44 inches above the ground.
- The window should be at least 5.7 square feet.
- 20 inches is the minimum width of the window, and 24 inches is the minimum height.
So, those are the requirements of a bedroom window according to the International Residential Building Code.
Different state building codes have similar codes for a bedroom and windows. We will discuss the building codes of different states later in the article. Now let’s find out why bedrooms have to have a window.
Natural light makes a room safe for living. As we get natural light without effort, we can not understand the importance of light. Sunlight makes a room look bright and protects the space from mold or mildew infestation.
Mold and mildew like dark and damp places. Sunlight takes care of them both, making the room suitable for living.
It is another important fact when it comes to the bedroom. The bedroom needs a good air source that replaces the room’s old air. In a windowless room, the air gets trapped inside the room.
Without proper ventilation, living in a windowless room is unhealthy. In the later part of the article, we will explain how to make a bedroom without any windows.
Building codes prioritize a window for the emergency exits. The code says you need at least two emergency exits in your bedroom. The International Residential Building Code also has the requirement of a window in a bedroom.
The window can be used as an emergency exit if a fire or similar emergency occurs.
Obviously, you can not escape from the window without the help of the fire service. The firefighters can also use water to extinguish the fire from the window.
You may not understand at first, but a windowless room may make you feel like you are in a closed coffin if you do not prepare the space well. You may feel more lonely, demotivated, and maybe sad when you start living in a windowless room.
However, it’s not the same for everyone, but a closed place indeed makes us feel down, while a place with proper light and air makes us happy and uplifted.
A bedroom without a window and proper ventilation can badly affect your physical health. A closed room is more likely to become damp and infested with mold, which can be highly harmful for anyone who sleeps in the room.
Building code requirements for bedroom windows in different states:
Building codes can differ from the international standard in some states, although most follow similar regulations. Here are the building codes for different states of the US.
Bedrooms must have a window equal to at least 8% of the total area of the bedroom. The window must be at least 20 inches wide and 24 inches in height.
Michigan building code says a bedroom must have a window, which should be at least 5.7 squire feet in size.
The window should not be higher than 44 inches from the ground. It’s similar to the international building code. Building code fixes the window size, making it easier to rescue in an emergency.
According to the Georgia building code, bedrooms must have two exit ways from a bedroom. Usually, that is one door and one window. The window opening should be at least 5.7 squire feet and a minimum of 20 inches wide and 24 inches high.
Taxes do not have their own rule for the bedrooms. But the International Residential Building code is widely followed. That means the windows should be 5.7 squire feet and at least 8% of the area of the bedroom.
In Florida, bedrooms require a window. The net opening of the window should be at least 5.7 squire feet. Florida also follows international standards. The window should be easy to open in the case of an emergency.
Virginia building code says bedrooms need a window. The window should be at least 20 inches in width and 24 inches in height.
In Ohio, bedrooms require a window towards the exterior of the house. The window should be at least 8% of the bedroom size. The window should not have any locking system inside.
Is it OK to sleep in a bedroom without windows?
It is okay to sleep in a windowless bedroom, but there are some essential things to ensure while sleeping in a windowless bedroom.
First, make sure the room has good ventilation. A ventilator fan will do. If there is no ventilator fan, keep the door open when you sleep in the room.
Make sure the room does not smell like earth. It is an indication of mold infestation in the room. To permanently stay in a room, there are more things you need to ensure. We will talk about them in the later part.
How to make your room comfortable with no windows?
A room without any window can be risky for both mind and health if you do not plan it well. Don’t worry; with proper planning and decoration, you can fix every risk factor of a windowless room.
When planning to design a windowless room, your goal should be to make it as wide-looking as possible and implement all the things that a room with a window has. Check the following points to make a room comfortable without windows.
A faux window:
A faux window is like a picture of a window that makes you feel like there is a window in the room. It is more of a psychological thing. In a closed room, you feel stuck and helpless in your subconscious mind. That can make you feel down sometimes.
But when you add a Faux window, it will change the free of the room. It works pretty well, even though you know the window is fake.
You can choose the different designs of faux windows with different scenarios. Drapes are another alternative to the faux window.
A ventilator fan:
A ventilator fan is essential for a closed bedroom without a window. In a closed room, air can not flow easily, which makes the room unhealthy and smell bad.
Also, excess carbon dioxide in your blood can cause hypercapnia if a bedroom has a poor ventilating system.
Choose a ventilator fan that can replace the whole air of the room 8 times in an hour. Be careful of the humidity and mold infestation in the room.
Humidity attracts molds which can be very harmful to human health. A ventilator removes the moisture from the air, but check for mold signs when you stay out of the room for a long time.
Lighting is one of the essential parts of a windowless room. Set up warm and bright enough light to make all room parts equally visible.
It’s better to set up multiple sources of light for better results. You can also use skylights during the day to get day-like light in your room.
Wall Paint Color:
Paint the walls with light color. As a windowless room have a light issue, the darker wall will make the room look smaller. Light wall paints make a room look more prominent and create a neutral vibe.
White is the best color to choose for a windowless room. The floor and ceiling should also have light colors for the best results.
Bedrooms must have windows. You may decorate the room in a way that fulfills the necessity of windows. But windows work as a rescue path or exit when an emergency appears. If the ventilation is sound, there are no health issues with sleeping in a room without a window.