Before you seal it shut, consider that code typically
requires a bathroom to have either a fan or window.
So, if you don;'t have a window that can open, it
may very well be a code violation. As well as, IMO,
The exhaust vents I have seen have some kind of flapper installed to keep
out wind, insects, rodents, etc. The flapper is normally closed until the
airflow from the exhaust fan blows it open. You could certainly remove
the flapper, but then you would probably have other issues with drafts,
I have had similar issues with wall vents in the past. When the wind
blows it creates a suction that pulls air through the vent and causes the
flapper to "flap" in the wind, thus making noise in the process. My
current wall vents do not have that problem, so I don't know if the
springs are stronger or if it's just a matter of being located out of the
I suppose you could install a screened vent instead of a flappered vent,
but I would be concerned this would eventually clog up with dust and
other debris. This would also leave an opening for drafts to come into
I am assuming the old vents did not make noise, so I would look at the
differences between the old and new vents. Maybe the old vents used a
different design, or maybe they were just oriented differently so they
didn't catch the wind.
You should always run the bathroom fan when showering and let it run for
several minutes afterwards to remove the moisture from the bathroom. It
may not matter as much in an old drafty house, but in modern sealed
houses you're just asking for mold problems if you don't use the fan.
If you don't use the bathroom often, you should still leave it functional
in case you need to remove "odors". Not to mention, many folks have
"bashful bladders" and appreciate the noise of an exhaust fan to mask the
sounds of nature, so to speak.
However, there are really quiet bathroom fans. I installed Panasonic fans
in our house and you can't even hear them running unless you get really
quiet and purposely listen for them.
I don't use ours as often as I should, but the kitchen fan matters most
when you're boiling water (lots of steam to remove) or if you burn
something on the stove (lots of smoke to remove).
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