So, it’s another windy day and you are finally fed up with the noisy range hood. Once and for all you decide to take action and fix it. Luckily I have the answer to bring peace and quiet back to your kitchen.
The Range hood is making noise when it’s windy because the backdraft damper is picked up by the wind and dropped down again. The noise can be described as knocking, rattling, or banging. Depending on the direction and intensity of the wind.
Often backdraft dampers are gravity operated and are easily picked up by the wind. Especially those that are mounted on the building’s facade.
They are mainly made out of thin sheet metal, and that only adds to the volume and intensity of the banging sound
Here is a video demonstrating where the noise comes from. (Turn down the volume the banging noise from the video is quite loud)
How to Stop Range Hood Making Noise When Windy?
Luckily we have listed multiple solutions for this problem, Some are easy fixes that can be done with a ladder and 5 minutes, and other more permanent solutions that require about an hour of your time and some tools.
Install a Spring Loaded Butterfly Damper
In my opinion, this is the best solution for most people. Although installing this can take time, it is well worth the effort.
Here is an helpful guide if you would like to learn more about ventilation dampers.
Most likely you can install it from your kitchen and you don’t have to climb to the attic. Place the butterfly damper between the duct and the range hood. Make sure you place it the correct way. (The butterfly needs to open to the outside).
When you have installed it on the duct double-check with your hand and try to push it in from the room side.
I recommend AC infinity dampers (Amazon link) because they use quality rubber seals to prevent noise and any air leaks. They have dampers from 4 to 8 inches to fit most applications.
A good seal on the backdraft damper will make your home more energy-efficient and can save you some money on the energy bill as well. A leaking damper can also cause your range hood to start dripping.
You still have to quiet down the external damper, but this is very easy to do and will be explained in the next step. Don’t completely remove the external vent hood since it is responsible for keeping birds and insects out of the ductwork.
Foam the External Backdraft Damper
This is more of a quick fix than a permanent solution. It will quiet down the range hood until you have time or resources for a permanent fix.
Use a 1-inch piece of weather stripping or some other kind of foam with an adhesive backing and stick it between the damper flap and the frame.
Related Article: 8 Reasons Why A Range Hood Is not Effective
Now, try to lift up the damper and see if it is still making a metallic banging noise. If it is quiet when you drop it down, then it will be quiet when the wind picks it up as-well.
While this method definitely works, it is not wise to leave your external damper like this for long. Since you will be placing a piece of foam between the damper, there will be a small gap.
This is the kind of foam I am talking about on amazon. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find small pieces for sale so you must buy an entire roll, but there are many uses for it around the house, so it won’t go to waste.
Weigh Down The Damper Flap
Since most damper flaps are made out of thin sheet metal or aluminium, they are extremely light and easy for wind to pick them up.
Range hoods are powerful enough to open the flap even when you weigh it down.
I have seen some people glue coins or washers on the damper flap in order to weight them down while this definitely works if you use the right kind of glue. I have a better solution!
Use wheel weights instead(Amazon link) Yes, you hear me right, wheel weights. The same small metal pieces that are used on car wheels to balance them.
The glue on them is extremely strong, so you don’t have to worry about them falling off. They have to be able to withstand thousands of miles in the rain and snow on the car wheels, so they will definitely stay on the flap.
You can always add more later if the range hood is still noisy when it is windy. Be careful not to weigh it down too much, as it will make it difficult for the fan to open the damper on the lowest setting.
Use a Wind Defender
I have not personally used this, but I have heard great things about it. There are 3 ways that a wind defender damper is different from a regular one.
- Spring loaded flap
- Weather Stripping under the damper (Under the entire damper)
- Wind guard flap on the underside
This is quite expensive compared to the previous options. It will cost anywhere between $80 and $124 depending on the dimension of the duct.
I would rather go with the inline spring loaded butterfly damper and foam combo. It will be cheaper, easier to install and you don’t have to strip the old damper from the wall.
Switch To A Ductless Range Hood
If you don’t do a lot of cooking and your current range hood has seen better days it might be worth looking at ductless range hoods.
Modern ductless range hoods are surprisingly effective at removing cooking odors and smoke.
With a ductless range hood you will save energy and will eliminate the annoying wind flapping for sure.
What Else Could Cause The Sound?
When the sound is present only when it is very windy outside, then it must be somehow related to the ductwork.
If it is not the external damper, then it could be the integrated damper on the range hood itself. They often have additional plastic dampers, but it is quite rare that they are the cause.
If you are certain that the integrated damper is to blame, you can either remove it, and replace it with a quality butterfly damper as we discussed above, or use foam just to quiet it down. (Be aware that there will be an air leak when you use foam)