LESLIE: Mary in Wisconsin is joining us on The Money Pit to talk about venting in the kitchen. How can we help you today?
MARY: I remodeled my kitchen three, four years ago …
MARY: … and every winter it gets very cold here and so the – if I open that microwave above the stove – and there’s also the fan –
TOM: Mm-hmm, the exhaust fan to the outside. Yeah, uh-huh.
MARY: OK, I open the door; it’s like if I open the door to the outside.
MARY: It is so cold in there.
TOM: There’s supposed to be a damper on the outside of the exhaust vent door that seals shut.
MARY: Damper. OK.
TOM: Yes. And it almost has like a weatherstripping kind of thing on it and if it’s not sealed right or if it’s stuck in the open position, it will feel like you’ve opened the door to the outside because you have opened the door to the outside.
MARY: (overlapping voices) That’s what I’m doing. (chuckles) Yeah, OK. So there should …
TOM: So I would take a look outside the house, Mary. You know maybe you can get somebody to turn the fan on and off, go outside the house and see if you can see that damper opening and closing and sealing tightly. Sometimes the springs get weak and they just sort of get lazy and sort of flop open.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and not close completely.
MARY: Well, it’s vented into the ceiling. I mean this is the side with the garage on it.
TOM: Well, but it has to exhaust somewhere and wherever it’s exhausting is where I think that you may be getting the cold air in.
TOM: OK? So find out where it’s exhausting and take a look there.
MARY: Thank you, yeah.
TOM: You’re welcome, Mary. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.