A closet can be a great way to free up space in your room, and let you store belongings out of sight. It can also be a great place to fold clothes and store shoes, but using a closet for these purposes takes an effort.
If it’s not properly equipped or designed, it can also feel like a refrigerator in the dead of winter: uncomfortable, and, well, just plain cold.
Why is my closet so cold? Well, there are a number of reasons, from poor air ventilation and little light to lack of insulation and closed closet doors.
Overall, it is always best to make sure that the temperature in your closet remains above freezing.
If you’re not careful, a closet can quickly become a food-storage center—and a refrigerator for all of your shoes.
Reasons why it feels so cold inside the closet
Most experts agree that the ideal closet temperature is between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
But why does that matter?
When the temperature is too cold, your clothes can get damaged.
The cold could cause your fabrics to shrink, or even become wrinkled.
Also, a cold closet could cause your clothes to smell musty.
On the other hand, when the closet is too hot, the clothes stored can attract bugs.
It is therefore important to maintain a moderate temperature within the closet.
Here are a few clues as to why your closet is not getting that needed warm temperature:
- Minimal air ventilation
- Little light
- Floors and walls aren’t insulated
- Supply air ducts missing
- Closed closet door
1. Minimal air ventilation
In the winter, it can be hard to keep your home warm and comfortable without cranking up the heat to dangerously high levels.
But, if the temperature in your closet is any indication, you might not need to.
What is the culprit behind the chill you feel when you open up your closet in the morning?
You guessed it: cold air.
Minimal air ventilation in the room, like that found in a closet, keeps cold air from escaping.
This cold air accumulates and, when you open up your closet, it rushes out and makes it feel like a wind tunnel just blew through your room.
2. Little light
We all know light is important for creating a cheery feeling in a room, but did you know it is also an important factor in keeping your home warm?
The first detail that will make your closets feel warmer is lighting.
Light will make your space feel brighter and more inviting.
Whether you’ve got a small closet space in your bedroom or a large walk-in closet in your master suite, the design of your lighting can have a big impact on how warm and inviting a space feels.
Accentuate one wall with a light fixture or install multiple fixtures to create a starburst pattern on the walls.
Use a combination of task, accent and ambient lighting.
Overhead lights can be used for tasks such as putting on makeup, but other lighting options are better for general closet use.
3. Floors and walls aren’t insulated
When homeowners are trying to save energy and money, they often take steps to insulate their homes.
While insulating one’s home is an effective way to reduce energy costs, it is important to remember that insulation must be used in the right way and places in order to be most effectively.
Where your insulation is placed is just as important as how much of it you use.
You probably have experienced a closet that feels freezing cold, even if you have warm temperature for the entire room.
Part of the reason closets can feel so cold is that they often lack insulation.
In most cases, closets are not insulated because they tend to be small, and the homeowner doesn’t want to pay extra for the added expense of insulation.
4. Supply air ducts missing
The closet space is usually the worst in the house for temperature control.
It is not uncommon for the closet to be cold, especially when you don’t have any supply air ducts.
The lack of supply air ducts in the closet makes the space feel so cold because it is an enclosed area that can’t easily dissipate heat.
Even if you had an HVAC system in the house, the heat won’t be able to reach the closet because there is no air circulation.
It is significantly worse than an uninsulated crawl space.
5. Closed closet door
Having a closed closet door makes a closet feel cold.
Many people choose a closed closet door because it is much easier to clean.
It can also save some space in your room, and it can be more secure for your valuables.
On the other hand, having a closed closet door makes your closet feel colder than the ones that have an open door.
Why does a closet with a closed door feel colder than a room with an open closet door?
It’s a question that has confounded many homeowners, so I’ve done some research to find the answer.
The reason is that when you close the closet door, it cuts off the air circulation that would normally occur when the door was open; without the constant movement of air, the room can’t help but feel colder.
The good news is that you can avoid this problem by adding small louvered doors to your closet, which will allow air to circulate around the room but still keep your clothing safe from prying eyes.
Consequences of a cold closet
A cold closet is a closet that has been improperly insulated.
Most closets are just holes in the wall that you can throw clothing into.
These are the sort of closets that are the most susceptible to get cold.
A cold closet can be a serious problem in the winter months.
The purpose of this section is to enlighten people on some of the problems that you can experience with a cold closet.
- Wood warps
- Screws can rust
- Mold can form
- Beads can tarnish
- Wrinkled clothes
1. Wood warps
It is well known that temperature and humidity levels can cause wood to warp.
However, many people are unaware that a cold closet can have the same effect.
But like any space that is closed off and airtight, you should take precautions to prevent the wood of the wall and door from becoming warped and damaged.
Wood is a natural material, and it is subject to natural conditions.
A cold closet will cause wood to contract and become more rigid, which will lead to warping.
Even though a walk-in closet is typically not exposed to extreme temperature changes, you can still find the wood warps as it absorbs humidity.
2. Screws can rust
The temperature inside your house doesn’t just affect your mood — it can also affect your closet screws.
If your closet is kept at a cold temperature, it can cause screws to rust, and if they do, they may not be able to hold your closet doors in place.
Metal parts like screws and nuts are very susceptible to rust.
When exposed to cold temperatures, the water molecules in these items contract and draw themselves closer together, and sometimes they even form cracks. T
his makes it easier for oxygen and other molecules, such as iron oxide, to invade the metal and start the rusting process.
If your closet doors are one of the many items of wardrobe that you store there, there is a chance that this could cause a safety hazard.
Most people don’t think twice about storing their winter clothes in a closet during the spring and summer months.
After all, it’s the perfect place to protect your clothes from moths and dust.
A closet is also a great place to store off-season clothing, as it’s available all year long.
Sadly, cold closets are not always the most convenient place to store off-season clothing.
When the temperature is considerably low for a long time, mold and fungus will start to grow in the room.
Many homeowners do not realize that humidity is a problem until they wake up one day to discover that mold has formed in their closets.
This can cause allergies or asthma to the people who spend a lot of time in these rooms.
If you are having a cold closet in your house, then you should take immediate steps to prevent this mold formation.
4. Beads can tarnish
Cold temperature causes all sorts of problems in our homes, from bursting pipes to frozen water pipes.
While those problems are certainly bad, they are not the only ones that cold weather can cause.
As with all things that are metal, having them exposed to cold temperatures can cause the metal to become corroded and this can cause the metal to get covered in rust.
This is why having a cold closet is very bad for your clothing and beauty accessories.
Cold temperatures can also cause the color of your jewelry to fade and become dull.
Bracelets, rings, necklaces and earrings may fade in color, becoming discolored or developing a different hue.
5. Wrinkled clothes
Clothes that have been improperly stored in cold, damp areas tend to develop wrinkles.
The main reason for this is that when clothes are stored in such damp areas, the fibers tend to become brittle and then shrink.
The result is that the clothes will tend to wrinkle easily.
The clothes in your closet will suffer from wrinkles if you place them in there when they are still warm (from being recently worn).
The wrinkles will also be caused by the natural change in temperatures between the outside weather and the closet.
To avoid this from happening, it is a good idea to hang or lay your clothes out to air dry for a few hours before putting them in the closet.
This will help to prevent them from getting wrinkled.