Proper air circulation means you can keep your home air comfortable, prevents the build-up of mold, and simply makes breathing and relaxing easier for everyone.

But keeping good ventilation without windows is a real challenge.

Thankfully, there are ways to help. As someone who used to cook in a small windowless kitchen, I know the struggle of battling against the heat, steam, and unventilated air.

To improve ventilation in a windowless kitchen, you need to open doors and turn on any fans well before cooking, open windows in nearby rooms, replace your range filters, add a tabletop fan blowing out of the door, and include a few air-purifying plants to help you out!

That’s the short answer, but it’s worth covering each of those points in detail.

If you’re looking to improve ventilation in a windowless kitchen, then let’s get started.

Working with What You Have

The main suggestions in this list focus on different types of fans and other tools you can use. But first, let’s focus on improving circulation without any additional cost.

First, make sure to ‘prep’ the air before you use the kitchen. Open the door(s), and switch on any range hoods or fans for a few minutes before you start. This will start to cycle air in and out of the kitchen, meaning things are already flowing by the time you’re in there.

The worst way to handle an enclosed kitchen is to put the fans on after it gets too hot/steamy. It’s works much better to encourage the airflow before the air gets messy.

Next, open up any nearby windows. Your kitchen may be windowless, but I’m sure you’re home isn’t! Aside from external fans, your main source of fresh air is from the rest of your home. So let’s make sure to keep that as fresh as possible, too.

Finally, direct any small fans out of your kitchen. If you have any small countertop fans (these definitely help), make sure to point them across the kitchen towards the door. This encourages the hot air to flow out, rather than just circle around your space.

Ceiling Fan

Your kitchen may not have windows, but if you are lucky to have a high ceiling, then consider installing a ceiling fan.

Doing so helps improve air circulation in any windowless room. What the ceiling fan does is that it pushes the hot air around so it will not settle.

If this is something that you can do for your house, then look for ceiling fans that are within your budget. There are even ceiling fans that are compact enough so it can fit in a small apartment kitchen.

Extractor Fan

Meanwhile, if your ceiling is not high enough, then you will need to install something compact like an extractor fan. This is ideal if you have a small, windowless kitchen.

What an extractor fan does is that it captures and distributes steam that you make while you are cooking. Doing so prevents moisture to build up in the ceiling, which can cause the ceiling paint to peel.

Mind you, this is a home maintenance hassle that you would not want to encounter.

Range Hoods

If you are bothered with the left-over cooking odor in your kitchen, aside from the fact that it is windowless, then you will need to install a range hood.

Doing so helps improve the air circulation in your windowless kitchen, as well as mitigate the odor and trap the particulates from burnt cooking and grease.

However, you need to make sure to turn on your range hood before you start cooking. And make sure you properly maintain it ‒ including regularly changing your hood’s filter.

A professionally home cleaning expert, Jacky from Maid Sailors Home Cleaning Services NYC, recommends that you conduct range hood maintenance at least once a year. It could be more if you cook almost every day.

Range Hood Filters

A kitchen can become super greasy and grubby without a good filter above your range. Make sure to keep these filters clean – especially in a kitchen without windows! They can make all the difference, particularly if your range hood doesn’t actually vent outside but solely through the filters and up to the ceiling.

Air Purifying Plants

Other than aesthetic value, an indoor plant can also help purity the air in your house. It is just a matter of choosing the right plant.

Plant on window shelf
Fresh looks, cleaner air, and great scents. You can’t beat a bit of nature.

According to Samantha Prattey, here are the ten indoor plants that can help purify the air in your home:

  1. Barberton Daisy: Helps cleanse toxins like formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene that are present in household materials like paint and synthetic fibers.
  2. Chrysanthemum: This pretty bloom does not only beautify your space, but it also filters a lot of toxins like ammonia and benzene.
  3. Aloe Vera: What makes this plant ideal to be placed in the kitchen is the fact than it can help soothe kitchen burns. Plus, it helps purify the air from formaldehyde and benzene.
  4. English Ivy: This is good for reducing airborne fecal particles. Meaning, you can also place this plant in your bathroom.
  5. Snake Plant: This yellow-tipped succulent releases oxygen at night, helping you breathe better when you are asleep. Hence, it is also ideal to have this in your bedroom.
  6. Spider Plant: This resilient house plant is ideal for plant newbies, as well as pet owners. Not to mention that it battles toxins like monoxide and xylene.
  7. Dragon Tree: Aside from adding color to your space, this indoor plant can help fight pollutants like trichloroethylene and xylene.
  8. Weeping Fig: A popular indoor plant since the Victorian era, Weeping Figs fight formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene in the air.
  9. Chinese Evergreen: This shade-loving indoor plant cleanses formaldehyde and benzene in the air. And other than your kitchen, you can place a pot of Chinese Evergreen in your bathroom.
  10. Broad Lady Palm: This plant can help reduce the level of ammonia in your home. The only caveat is that the Broad Lady Palm can be expensive.

Keep in mind, though, that there are varying ways to take care of any indoor plants. Hence, it is best to do some Googling before you purchase one.

Benefits of Clean Air

I know some of these improvements can take work – so it’s important to keep in mind the rewards you’ll get. Here’s all the benefits you can unlock by improving your air circulation:

  1. Prevents Mold Build-Up: Condensation at home occurs due to indoor temperature, air, and water vapor. If left unattended, it can lead to mold growth that causes a musty smell, damage to your walls, and even health problems. Adequate ventilation can help improve stale and stagnant atmosphere and turn it into a healthy and condensation-free environment.
  2. Reduces the Risk of an Asthma Attack: Poor air ventilation leads to high indoor humidity, which is the perfect breeding ground for dust mites. This can lead to airborne detritus, that when comes into skin contact or inhaled, causes allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
  3. Alleviates Symptoms of Hayfever: Hayfever can cause people to suffer, especially in summer. It’s important to have proper air ventilation to filter and prevent large particles ‒ such as pollen ‒ from entering your home.
  4. Lessens the Impact of VOCs: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are invisible gasses that can lead to many health problems. Meanwhile, an effective ventilation system can help protect you and your family from these harmful indoor gasses.
  5. Reduces the Effects of Radon Gas: Radon is a colorless and odorless gas that is formed from the decay of a small amount of uranium that naturally occurs in rocks and soils. In relation to this, the World Health Organization links Radon exposure to 3% – 14% of lung cancer cases. Luckily, you can reduce the amount of Radon exposure in your home to safe levels by conducting a test and installing a Positive Input Ventilation system.


As mentioned earlier, proper air ventilation is important to keep you and your family healthy. Not to mention that it helps maintain the quality of your house. And just because your kitchen does not have any window does not mean there isn’t anything you can do about it. The tips listed above only shows that there are ways you can do to help improve the air circulation in your windowless kitchen.