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I live in an apartment without adequate kitchen ventilation. I like doing a lot of wok cooking, which tends to result in enormous amounts of smoke - tripping smoke alarms and getting into all of my stuff. As a solution, I installed a window exhaust fan this summer.

However, it's now wintertime and my place gets very chilly because outside air flows through the fan. I don't want to remove the fan because I don't want to stop using my wok, but I don't want my place to be freezing. I'm looking for some kind of temporary insulation that can be put on and taken off easily.

Does anyone know what I could use for that? I've put a link to the fan below, each side of the housing (that includes the fan opening) is 18 inches and it's 2.5 inches deep. I've looked into a/c insulation products, but they simply aren't the right size. (link also below).

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002AGZUMA/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B082ZLWB4M/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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  • You might try something like "Double Faced Quilted Fiberglass Panel", amazon.com/Double-Faced-Quilted-Fiberglass-Length/dp/B07GFRJWNV, and use hook-and-loop (e.g., Velcro) tape to hold it. That said, I see a few issues: 1. Is the insulation fire-safe to use in a kitchen? 2. Will it provide sufficient insulation and block drafts? 3. What would happen if the fan were switched on while the batting is in place -- wilt the fan overheat? Dec 19, 2021 at 23:27
  • Thanks, that's a great idea. To answer your questions - (1) I'll look into that for whatever material I choose. (2) I have to imagine that it would do a far better job than what I have now. (3) The fan will be disconnected from power while it's covered. Dec 20, 2021 at 2:42
  • Are you aware of any smaller versions of this? I'm looking for things that are about 20x20 but the smallest things I've been able to find are 24 x 82. These insulating quilts don't exactly seem like they should be cut. Dec 20, 2021 at 3:10

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I have no idea of where you are, but in the US starting in April 2006, building regulations state that extract ventilation must be fitted in a kitchen which has been built from that date onwards. Note A recirculation, hood fan in the kitchen does not fulfill these requirements. Not sure that this will help but you could change your existing exhaust fan to one with a damper (manual or automatic) that will close when not in use. This could be built into a insulated insert that fits into the window. That should work similar to a properly installed one but cooking residue etc normally rises, it appears it will have to go sideways in your kitchen so expect some deposits over time as you are now experiencing. Have you tried talking to the landlord, maybe you can work something out with them to save some money and come up with a workable solution.

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  • I live in a NYC apartment building and really doubt my landlord would be responsive. That also wouldn't solve my short-term problem (of either being really cold or not able to cook at home), sadly. It's definitely something I'm looking into for my next place. Dec 20, 2021 at 2:41

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