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My stove is smack dab next to the back door (which is easy to open and close). Do I have to have a functioning exhaust fan? Or can I just close it off to solve a draft problem I am having?

And same question for the bathroom.

These fans were but in by a DIY enthusiast before we bought the house. They do a lousy job of venting when they're turned on, and they're giving me horrible drafts.

  • I know that exhaust fans in bathrooms and certain other rooms with no windows are required, but not sure about the vent hood. Is it a gas stove? That might make a difference. Also, what is the location? – JPhi1618 Dec 5 '19 at 16:54
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    Electric stove. Upstate NY. – aparente001 Dec 5 '19 at 16:57
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    You don't have to have one, usually, but you should want one; it keeps your whole house cleaner by sucking out greasy fumes before they settle on cabinets, counters, baseboards, even ceilings. This not only makes your place cleaner, it reduces the grease surface area which when large, attracts insects and rodents. Inside-only fans use an ineffective grease filter that doesn't help nearly as much as pumping it all outside would. Cover the openings with lids made from styrofoam insulation to avoid drafts, but don't shoot yourself in the foot by removing a very good thing. – dandavis Dec 5 '19 at 18:17
  • @dandavis - Opening the back door would not give as good a result, I take it. // Can you tell me more about your styrofoam idea? – aparente001 Dec 5 '19 at 18:18
  • you just trace out a template of the vent opening with AL foil, then transfer to a sheet of pink house insulation or whatever. You can embed magnets into the foam if your duct grill is steel, or velcro if not. You just pop it on when you're not cooking, take it off when you are or all fall/spring as needed. Wall/Contact paper can dress it up for cheap. You can use weather stripping along the peremiter to get a good tight seal if needed. You can also buy pre-made ones, but that's not DIY. – dandavis Dec 5 '19 at 19:10
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Yes, the Code requires an exhaust vent capable of a minimum for 150 cfm. (See M1507.3 and Table M1507.3)

The duct shall be metal and extend to the exterior.

If the exhaust fan exceed 400 cfm, then makeup air is required. (See IMC Chapter 5)

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