Is it illegal to have a room without windows

Is it illegal to have a room without windows

Hotel rooms are habitable rooms that adhere to building code regulations. The Department of Health (DOH) of each state sets its own rules for hotel windows. The goal of mandating windows in hotel rooms is to ensure the safety of guests in case of fire hazards.

A lot of guests show huge concern about hotel rooms that do not have windows. Hotel rooms without windows are very unusual. Buildings that do not follow the legal requirements might get in trouble with the law.

Hotels have building code regulations that they must follow. These regulations are mandated by law and vary from each state.

According to the 2014 NYC Building code, habitable rooms are bedrooms, study rooms, living rooms, recreation rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, and other similar building spaces. Indeed, hotel rooms fall into the category of habitable rooms.

Since hotel rooms are habitable rooms, they must follow similar requirements unless improvised otherwise by their state.

Habitable rooms windows must be able to open not less than 5% of the square footage. It must also be a total of 10% of the square footage of the room.

A room should have a means of egress. These are the criteria that make a window sufficient for humans to fit in in case of an emergency. According to the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH), egress windows must have an opening of 2.4 inches maximum height, 5.7 square feet minimum net clear, and 20 inches width.

Per International Residential Code (IRC), an egress window must have the following requirements:

  • The bottom of the window must not be higher than 44 inches from the ground.
  • The window must have a total opening of at least 5.7 square feet.
  • The height of the aperture must be at least 24 inches.
  • The width of the entrance must be at least 20 inches.
  • The window must have a glass area equivalent to at least 8% of the floor area to let the minimal quantity of natural light into the space.
  • The egress window must open to at least 4% of the floor area to provide the minimum ventilation necessary.

The requirements for hotel rooms may vary from state to state. For hotel owners, it is better to consult your local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).

If you are ever wondering why there are windowless hotel rooms, these are old buildings. These old buildings in the first place were warehouses or factories in the past then converted into hotels.

As each state has its own modified regulations for building codes, this irks concerns among guests who stay in windowless hotel rooms. Staying in windowless hotel rooms does not only concern safety but the overall experience of guests as well.

List of Contents

  • Why do hotels have windows that don’t open?
  • Is a room without a window bad?
  • What happens if you don’t open your windows?
  • How do you air out a room with no windows?

Why do hotels have windows that don’t open?

Hotels must abide by the regulations that windows are a must in guest rooms. However, not all hotels open their windows. Hotels do not open their windows primarily to avoid accidents and suicide that may get them into trouble.

No one wants a room without windows. No one wants a room with closed windows either. Guests are wondering why the hotel rooms did not have opening windows. A lot of guests are intrigued by this and would like to know the reasons behind it.

As a guest, you might be looking forward to a breath of fresh air as you enter your designated hotel room. After a long day flight, you want not to get stuck in an enclosed space with air-conditioning or a fan to help circulate air. You are excited to see the picturesque views that surround you.

A lot of hotels in the United States have been closing their guest rooms windows. Not all hotels have expressed their answers to this query. Some of the similar and most common reasons must be safety.

Incidents such as suicide and accidents happen every day. No one can stop it. Although death by fall from a hotel room window or suicide is
unlikely, hotels that had these incidents suffered a great deal.

In the past decades, hotels that had suicide and accident incidents faced a lot of issues. Hotels face fines that cost them thousands of dollars. Not only money issues but reputation as well. These issues lead to their ruin.

Below are the common reasons why hotels do not open their hotel room windows:

  • Accidents – are the most common reason for hotels that opt to close their hotel room windows. Accidents happen from consuming too much alcohol, mental disability, and disorientation.

    There are also records in the past that children fell from the windows due to extreme curiosity. Windows that were left open were one of the causes.

  • Suicides – hotels can be an ideal place for people who want to commit suicide. Falling from more than a three-story building will cause death or multiple injuries. Staying in a room that is a hundred feet above the ground can guarantee death.

    An open window can be very accessible for a person who wants to commit suicide by simply jumping from the window. Suicides can be one of the reasons why hotels put the bible on every desk of hotel rooms.

  • Costs – operating a hotel building is not easy and can be very costly. Windows must be maintained, cleaned, and operational. Hinges that are destroyed from opening and closing lead to added costs for repair and replacement.

    Opened windows, while the air-conditioning is on, will plummet the electricity bill.

  • Specks of dust – opening the window invites dust from the outside and impacts the cleaning practices of the hotel. Cleaning the hotel room will be more frequent and an increase in the cleaning budget.

    Hotels found a way to avoid the downs of opened hotel room windows. Hotels opt to find ways to prevent such incidents by installing window restrictors.

    Window restrictors prevent windows from being opened. It is a safety device used to restrict windows from being opened too far.

    Window restrictors are commonly used by hotels nowadays. The cause might be their choice or required by law. The local authority can impose regulations to maintain the purpose of providing a safe and healthy environment.

    Rather than facing the consequences of having the hotel room windows opened for guests to feel convenient, hotels use window constrictors to prevent further misfortune. Therefore, hotel rooms have windows but cannot be open unless with the permission of the hotel.

Is a room without a window bad?

Windowless hotel rooms are technically illegal. There are old buildings converted to hotels that are more likely to have guest rooms without windows. Rooms without windows are bad for your health. It can also be a threat to your safety in case of events such as fire.

A windowless room is not considered a bedroom. To be classified as a bedroom, it needs to have a window. The International Residential Code (IRC) has guidelines and criteria to identify a bedroom. An egress window is one of the criteria other than a minimum of 70 square feet of space.

The law requires hotels to install windows on their hotel rooms. Hotels that do not abide by the law can face fines. Other than this, there are a lot of reasons why windowless rooms are bad.

Safety is the main point why the regulatory agencies require hotel rooms to have windows. Other than safety, there are a variety of reasons why windowless rooms are bad.

You can check out the following reasons below as to why a room without a window is terrible:

  • Rooms without windows promote poor circulation. Poor circulation leads to a build-up of Carbon Dioxide in the air. The rooms will have low oxygen, and it will be hard for you to breathe.
  • There will be a shortage of fresh air as well. Air-conditioner does not emit fresh air. In a windowless room, the air will be harmful and unpleasant to breathe.
  • Mold will grow all over the place. The lack of airflow in the room can cause molds to grow. Windows help promote airflow in the room. Molds are a health hazard.
  • A windowless room means there is no natural right to enter the room. The body needs natural light to help you sleep well. Exposure to sunlight boosts our mental health and improves our mood.
  • Rooms with no windows make people feel claustrophobic. It makes you feel like you are in a tight space with no other place to go. A windowless room will make you feel uneasy since you cannot get a glimpse of the outside from your hotel room.
  • Hotel rooms with no windows make people automatically feel unsafe. In an event such as fire, the only place you can escape to is your door. The law requires at least two points of egress. A room without a window makes it illegal by law.

Overall, a room without a window is deemed unsafe and not good for your health.

What happens if you don’t open your windows?

Most hotel room windows cannot be easily opened by guests unless permitted by the hotel. Opening your windows helps air circulate inside your room. The window does not need to be entirely open. A slight opening can be enough for fresh air to come inside the room.

Luckily hotels are required to install rooms with windows. Unfortunately, hotel room windows are locked. Not being able to open the windows raises a lot of questions among guests.

Indeed, the hotels have several reasons they keep the hotel room windows locked: from safety concerns to costs. After long hours of traveling, guests want a breath of fresh air and indulge in the beauty of their surroundings.

Other guests even take the time to ask the reception to open their windows. Doing so may be due to personal concerns and awareness that opening windows have its benefits.

Not being able to open your windows makes you exposed to the chemicals and bacteria inside the room. Breathing in a vast amount of toxic cleaning products will give headaches and nausea.

Keeping your windows open at night and letting the night breeze in is soothing and will help improve your sleep. The stale air inside the room may continue to grow if you do not open your windows.

Breathing fresh air can help you relieve stress. Traveling for long hours can get you tensed and stressed. Opening your windows makes you breathe better and inhale enough oxygen needed.

Other than the benefits given by fresh air, opening your windows can help you relieve uneasiness. Being able to open your windows and indulge yourself in the lovely view will improve your mood.

You can contact reception to ask if you can have your window open. A lot of guests have done it in the past. They might permit you to do so as long as it is not a threat to your safety.

How do you air out a room with no windows?

Unfortunately, some hotels do not follow the regulations imposed. Guests with no choice tend to find ways to improve circulation in their rooms.

There are ideas you can try to improve air circulation in a room with no windows:

  1. Consider opening your door.
  2. Turn on the air-conditioner or fan.
  3. Call the reception for further assistance.

Even if it is just a one-night stay, a windowless room will make a guest uneasy. There are other hotels with windows that face the hallway of the building than the outside. This arrangement left guests wondering how to improve the air inside the room.

Below are some ideas for improving air circulation in rooms without windows:

  1. Consider opening your door.

    Opening your door might not be the best suggestion. You might want to consider opening your doors for 15 minutes before bedtime or during the daytime. Doing this will allow carbon dioxide to escape from the room.

  2. Turn on the air-conditioner or fan.

    Appliances that help promote airflow in the room are fans and an air-conditioner. Most likely, windowless rooms have an air-conditioner installed.

    Air-conditioner does not emit fresh air. On the good side, they collect the hot air in the room and emit cool air inside.

    Fans redistribute air in the room and remove the stale air.

  3. Call the reception for further assistance.

    Windowless rooms are cheaper. Most windowless rooms are old buildings converted into hotels. You can phone the receptionist and ask for further assistance.

    As a guest, it is your right to feel convenient based on the price you pay. The hotel can answer your inquiries and give you a better experience.

In general, windowless rooms are illegal. It is better to watch out for hotel rooms with no windows. Hotels with windowless rooms may be rare because of strict regulation. However, some hotels do not abide well by the law.

As a guest, it is better to check the hotel you will be staying in to help you have a better unforgettable experience.

Can I use a room without windows as a bedroom?

Answer: If the “bedroom” does not have a window, it cannot be considered a bedroom. Well, technically a bedroom should have at least two methods of egress, which means in addition to the interior door it must have either a properly-sized window or a second door to the exterior.

What is a room with no windows called?

A room in the basement can never have a window through which sunlight can directly pass through, so it can be called as a dark room.