My 1950s ranch had a loud, ineffective kitchen fan that I decided to fix up this weekend. Turns out that when a previous owner had vinyl siding added, they simply put the vinyl over the vent.

I suspect this greatly lowered airflow and contributed to the lack of venting. But looking at modern options, I can't find any replacements for the 3 1/4"x10" ducting that was run out to under the eaves, only round ones. Will simply drilling more venting holes in the vinyl sheeting help?

fully covered, where does the air go? Partially covered with siding removed attic interior with venting opened rough hole with grille removed

1 Answer 1


Chances are good that there was still enough airflow happening with the vented soffit panel in place. I'd try it out with the new fan and see how well it works before cutting the soffit up.

Since the vinyl soffit was applied directly over the plywood soffit, you could install J-channel around the vent and cut the soffit to fit.

You could also replace the solid panel covering part of the vent with a vented panel.

  • 2
    Technically, it's not vented "to the exterior", it's vented to a space that's vented to the exterior. However, I agree with Isherwood, before you start cutting into the Soffit material, I'd install the new exhaust and test it. I bet it'd be fine. If there isn't enough "free area" with the existing Soffit vents, it will "whistle" (make a hissing/whistling sound, because it's trying to push so much air through the available "free area", (holes.)). By the way, you'll want an exhaust fan with a back-draft damper (flapper) to keep the wind from blowing through the holes and down the duct into
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 21:20
  • 1
    your house. Also, be sure to put an insect screen over that opening where it terminates at your house...
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 21:21
  • @Lee-Sam, there is a screen on the vent already, it's just hard to see in the picture. I'd wanted to replace the whole assembly with one newer than the Eisenhower administration, but I can't find any rectangular outside exhaust vents--seemingly only rectangle intake, or round exhaust. I think though I can unscrew the cover and replace the mesh, at least. Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 14:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.