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10 Ways To Circulate Air in a Room With One Window

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Air in your home contains pollutants, moisture, odor, and allergens, and we breathe that contaminated air. The fans in your house may blow a cool breeze, but the fan is also blowing that contaminated air around. A home free of those contaminants needs clean air.

A room with two windows

Getting fresh air requires removing or cleansing stale air through air circulation. Two windows are best as one window removes stagnant air, and the other brings in fresh outdoor air. However, you can still circulate air in a room with one window. It requires extra work, but the results are worth it. 

Ways To Circulate Air in a Room With One Window

Use the Window

By itself, an open window invites an outdoor breeze indoors. A fan sitting on the windowsill or inside the window brings that breeze indoors rapidly. All you need is a box fan or window fan.

On its backside, the fan takes indoor air outdoors. When a breeze comes, reverse the fan. The fan and window combined bring fresh air indoors. Some automatic fans have buttons to do the task without you needing to turn the fan around. 

Mesh screen for windows

Before opening the window, install a mesh screen cover on the outside. That brings the air in without bringing in animals, tree debris, and trash. Additionally, move or adjust barriers preventing the air from entering the window. Examples are curtains, plants, bookshelves, chairs, a chest of drawers, and a headboard.

Open Windows in Adjacent Rooms

If you lack two windows in one room, use two windows in two separate rooms. One window can bring outdoor air in, and the other can pull indoor air out. Adding a box fan or window fan in each window pulls outdoor air indoors and pushes indoor air out faster. 

Two adjacent rooms with an open window in each that allows fresh air to circulate in the space

Be sure to keep the doors open in both rooms for effective results. Also, remove barriers blocking the window in the adjacent rooms as well.

Open the Door

A bedroom with the entry door open

A common-sense idea that works for air circulation is cracking the door open. An open door brings the home’s air into the room and takes the room’s air out. It balances out the home temperature if one room is extremely hot or cold. Eligible doors to open are the room entry door, closet door, patio door, and window door.

Add Fans in Strategic Locations

Portable fans in strategic locations spread air toward less reachable room areas. In return, every inch of the area feels cooler. Portable fans also direct air out of the room. 

A white electric fan in a living room

An example of placement is placing a fan across from the entry door. A second example is placing a fan near the window fan and aiming it at the back area. 

Use Fan Mode on Air Conditioners

A remote control pointed at a split-type air conditioner

The air conditioner vent is perfect for fresh air as long as the air conditioner is in fan mode. Fan mode brings a continuous blast of air through the vents from other areas in the home or outside. Widen the air vents to receive fresh air in the room.

Add a Door Vent or Jump Duct

A door vent at the bottom of the door removes air from the room or brings fresh air in without opening the door. The U-shaped jump duct leads air out of the room and back into the air conditioner. This aids in the air conditioner blowing the air back into the room for continuous airflow. Both need expert installation, so try this method when the other methods are not working.

Install Whole-house Fans

Attic fan

Also known as attic fans, whole-house fans pull unwanted air from the entire house into the attic. Inside the attic is a vent connected to the outdoors for the air to go through. Like door vents and jump ducts, whole-house fans need expert installation. While the price is affordable, choose this when door vents and jump ducts are not working.

Ways to Cross-Ventilate Air in an Apartment Room With One Window

Apartments differ from houses. You cannot alter the room without the landlord or property owner’s permission. Still, you can get the stuffy, sticky, and wet air out and fresh air in by using a creative strategy. 

Turn the Ceiling Fan On

Bedroom with one window and a ceiling fan

There may be a ceiling fan in the room with one window. Use the ceiling fan to circulate the air. It pulls stale air toward the ceiling and pushes clean air downward. Adjust the fan blades to spin counterclockwise in the summer and clockwise in the winter.

Use the Kitchen Range Hood

The exhaust fan on the kitchen range hood usually sucks up smells, smoke, and heat in the kitchen. When not in use, the fan can suck up stale air in the house. That leaves room for the air conditioner to circulate fresh air into the home. The same is true for the bathroom exhaust fan.

Try a Fan and a Bucket of Ice

Ice and electric fan

A bucket or pail of ice placed in a strategic spot with a fan behind it is brilliant. This combination brings instant cool air to any room desired. To catch the melted ice water, only fill the bucket or pail with ice halfway or three-fourths way.

When it comes to circulating air, these are the main things to keep in mind:

  • Open the entry door and closet door to refresh the stuffy room air.
  • Use fans in strategic locations to blow fresh air throughout the room.
  • If the window has a mesh screen, open the window at night. Place a fan on the windowsill or in the window. The front side of the fan should face the room to invite fresh air indoors.
  • Open windows in adjacent rooms if the windows in those rooms have a mesh screen.


Whether you have a home or an apartment, you can cool a room with one window. While the window is a critical part of air circulation, you can circulate the air without an open window. The ten suggestions above should provide the best solution for your situation.

Share what you learned about air circulation in homes and apartments in the comment box. Can you circulate air in a room with one window? Yes, you can. All it requires is creative know-how and extra effort on your end.

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