Seal exhaust fans

Last updated: 15 December 2021

Exhaust and rangehood fans are designed to remove excess moisture and heat. If your fan is not self-closing, however, heated air can escape, even when the fan isn't being used. This can be a problem, especially in winter when we want to retain heat in our homes.

What to do

Step 1: Safety first

  • Special care needs to be taken in houses with certain types of internal gas appliances, as they require fixed ventilation to expel the products of combustion from the home and operate safely.
  • Exhaust fan covers should be installed strictly in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions
  • Special care should be taken where an exhaust fan incorporates lights and heat lamps
  • Adequate safety clearances must be observed
  • An electrician may need to re-wire the exhaust fan so that the fan always operates when the lights or heat lamps are switched on
  • While relatively easy to install, the installer needs to enter the ceiling space to fit the cover over the top of the exhaust fan
  • If in doubt, arrange for a professional to install your fan or cover.

Step 2: Buying a damper or cover

While many exhaust fans have louvres that shut when the fan is turned off, if your fan doesn't self-close you have two options:

1. Purchase a cover to place over your fan

You might like to take a picture of the existing fan to your retail outlet, to ensure that the cover you purchase is suitable.

2. Purchase a self-closing fan

It is possible to install an exhaust fan cover with a self-closing damper over your existing ceiling exhaust fan. The air pressure created by the fan opens the damper when the exhaust fan is operating, the damper closes when the exhaust fan is switched off.

Stop unwanted draughts with automatic shutters or dampers.
Stop unwanted draughts with self-closing dampers.


Install insulation in your ceiling, walls and floors to create a sealed envelope which acts like a thermos in winter and an esky in summer.

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