Noise from domestic ventilation systems is currently a little understood problem in the UK. Other European countries that have a longer history of using mechanical domestic ventilation systems have introduced noise limits for these systems. Without mandatory limits for noise in UK, noise is not a factor that is often considered during the design. However, noise can be a significant constraint to the use of ventilation systems. Research is reviewed from across Europe and North America that indicates residents turn off ventilation equipment with objectionable noise. Without adequate ventilation in modern airtight dwellings, poor air quality can have a significantly adverse effect on the health of the occupants. There is a lack of evidence in the literature and performance standards for appropriate noise metrics and values that occupants find acceptable: this research is urgently required, and the steps to realise this are outlined. Causes of excessive noise are found to originate due to problems during the design, procurement, installation, commissioning and operation of ventilation systems. A suitable metric is required along with regulatory control to ensure that residents are not forced to choose between intolerable noise or inadequate air quality.