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I have this vent into a bedroom in a flat I am renovating. This room can get quite drafty, especially in winter and I'd like it to comfortably be a bedroom. Is there any way I can seal it up or put in some kind of insulation so that room doesn't get quite so cold?

I am also interested to know if there are regulation in the UK (Scotland) that would prevent me from doing this either to my own home or a home I may rent out at some point. And, if so, what can be done then?

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  • It appears that the wall in the picture is an exterior wall and that there is exterior ventilation directly opposite the vent opening on the interior side. Is that correct? If so: A) The exterior venting is unusual (for the US), usually that's in the attic, not the walls. B) I can imagine that beyond drafty, it could get quite cold in the winter! C) I'd suggest that the external side be sealed and that replacement ventilation be created elsewhere as appropriate, or D) the interior vent be sealed and that the HVAC system escape into the room elsewhere.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 12 at 14:58
  • I imagine that room does get drafty in winter, what with a hole in the wall. What's the purpose of that vent? It's very strange to my mind, especially with a window right there.
    – isherwood
    Aug 12 at 18:54
  • I agree. I think it is a remnant of a time gone by when opening windows weren't as common. Now that window opens easily to let in a little air or a lot if you want. So I think I will go with blocking it off somehow. Aug 13 at 15:25
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This page covers the relevant regulations for ventilation in domestic premises in Scotland. From my lay reading (i.e. I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice), you should have plenty of lee-way to fix this:

  • "Ventilation should not adversely affect comfort"
  • "A permanent ventilator is not recommended since occupants like control over their environment and uncontrollable ventilators are usually permanently sealed up to prevent draughts."

There's a lot more detail on that page, most of it is not relevant to your situation, but I suggest reading through some of it yourself and coming to your own conclusion. I can't say for sure that just bricking the hole up is fine, but at the very least, it's definitely fine (and actually encouraged by the regulations) to replace the ventilation grill with something you can toggle open or closed.

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Take a black plastic bag and stuff it full of other plastic bags, or fiberglass insulation, or rags, or foam peanuts, or.... Stuff the whole thing into the hole and reinstall the vent louver (with the slats oriented upward for best appearance).

This will block airflow, provide insulation, and be visually inconspicuous with the added benefit of being almost free.

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