Should I install fan or vent in master closet? Skylight?

bickybeeJuly 17, 2010

What do people do about ventilation in a walk in clothes closet? Is it common to install vents or fans in them?

I'm also thinking I might install a skylight to get natural light as I might actually get dressed in there. Should I install a skylight that opens?

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macv

What is the HVAC system and climate? How large is the closet?

Direct sunlight is not a good idea in a closet and you would never open it.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 8:16PM
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bickybee

We are in Los Angeles, about a mile from the ocean. Before our remodel, one of the problems was dampness in the house mostly because of poor ventilation and the damp air of our location. With improved airflow in the house and insulation (no insulation in the original house and a damp crawlspace underneath) this should be less of a problem.

Still, I notice the air in the closet of our temporary home seems stale and with shoes and all, sometimes has off smells.

I think some natural light would be nice, hence the skylight. For ventilation would I install a fan like in a bathroom or just a vent of some sort?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 8:26PM
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macv

size, HVAC?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 9:21PM
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bickybee

No air conditioning. Don't need it here.

Closet is about 8' X 8'

There are lots of windows and doors to the outside in all the rooms of the house

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 10:02PM
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suero

Ventilation: yes. Skylight, no. You don't want your clothes to fade.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 11:00PM
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bickybee

Suero, what kind of vent would you suggest? If I put in a skylight, I would have it frosted. Do you think that's still a problem with fading?

Boy, when I do a google search on closet ventilation guess what I come up with? Tons of people and their "grow closets". It's whole nuther world out there.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 11:34PM
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energy_rater_la

I'm curious to see what ventilation strategy for
a home with no a/c,
Sorry I can't be of help, we put a supply grill for
a/c in closets & baths here.

as far as the skylight goes there are good ones out
there Vellux (I believe) has low e coatings which
will filter out uv and heat and add light.

the negative is that you are cutting a hole in your
roof so proper install and flashing are a must.
the install is the biggest problem I encounter with
my clients and the installer of the skylight.
even with a top notch install, it only delays
the not if it will leak, but when.
I would give this some thought...

for less cost/worry than the skylight you could install
more lights.There are qiute a few options that are energy
efficient and will work well.

although I'm not a fan of recessed lights..if you look
at that as an option make sure that you get ICAT
cans insulation contact air tight instead of the standard
IC light. IC will allow hot air from attic and reduce the
value of the insulation surrounding it in the attic.
Buy ICAT and put cfl's if you go that route,

best of luck.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 10:06AM
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chiefneil

I lived in the Bay Area for a while so I understand not using hvac for most of the year.

How about a exhaust fan with a light? That way you'll get some air exchange every time you go in there. I understand some fans like the panasonics are so quiet you can hardly hear them operating.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 12:39PM
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bickybee

energy rater la, it never occurred to me to get AC in my home. We are installing plenty of windows, positioned to take advantage of air currents.

I can't stand being in a building with all the windows closed in the summer. I'm sure there are parts of the country where that's really uncomfortable, but it's not an issue for us here.

I do notice that all the new builds in my neighborhood get AC installed. Why, I don't know. Seems like such a waste of energy.

We are putting recessed lights in the closets. I'm not sure what kind they are but the ceilings are vaulted so there's no attic.

cheifneil, I'll look into exhaust fans and see what I find.

I'm just surprised that venting a closet doesn't seem to be a standard practice. Is it because most houses have AC?
What did they do in "the olden days"? Oh yeah, they had those teeny little closets (if that) and were lucky to get one new piece of clothing every few years :-)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 2:38AM
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worthy

Yikes! Just googled current weather. It's hotter and muggier here in TO (Toronto) than sunny LA. And we do tend to get a bit more snow.

No skylights in a closet. It justs fades your clothes and builds up heat. I always have HVAC vents in walk-in closets. Running the fan year round circulates air at a minimal cost.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 10:09AM
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chisue

Maybe an exhaust fan? Our master closets have HVAC supplies. Clothes hanging in the closets get *dusty*. The rest of the house does not. The blowers have have Aprilaire 5" thick air filtration systems and flow-through humidifiers.

Are there filters I could place directly on the closet supplies? Cheesecloth DIY? These are floor supply vents. No returns in the closets.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 10:30AM
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Apolonia3

We have a fixed obscure transom. We have enough light, but not too much to fade clothes. You could have an operable one for ventilation if your closet has an exterior wall?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 12:12PM
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david_cary

Well if most houses have a/c in your area, then there is the answer. Install a/c. A/C is not really that much of a waste when you don't need a lot of it. I personally think for humidity control, it might not be a bad thing.

I'm trying to remember the weather and air quality. I lived in the Marina for awhile and it seemed pretty humid sometimes. Inland of course, a/c is a must.

Why not a window in the closet? A small one with good coverage so that it won't get sun. Seems like the cheapest option.

The reason you are having a time with this of course is that most people have a/c. Since you are trying to avoid that, a window or exhaust fan are your reasonable options. A skylight (even low e) is a bad idea.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 3:25PM
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