Published at Tuesday, January 15th 2019. by Ulf Madsen in Kitchen Window and Ventilation Hood.
Every time an exhaust fan removes air from your house, an equal volume of air must enter. The air that enters cracks in a home’s envelope to replace air that is exhausted is called “makeup air.” Two trends affecting makeup air are causing increasing problems for homeowners: homes are getting tighter, and range-hood fans are getting more powerful.
Range hoods have at least one thing in common with combustion appliances: they also require makeup air, although the GE instructions fail to note that fact. So why do the instructions refer to the need for providing makeup air for furnaces and water heaters — but fail to inform installers that range-hood fans also need a source of makeup air?
As a stop-gap measure, a homeowner with backdrafting problems can open a window near the kitchen every time the range-hood fan is turned on. Although this solution works, it won’t satisfy most homeowners, and builders who suggest this remedy may still be legally liable for future backdrafting problems.
Since most residential kitchens are adequately served by a 150-cfm or 250-cfm range hood, it comes as no surprise that a 1,200-cfm range hood can cause depressurization and backdrafting problems. However, the homeowner’s claim that GE had never heard of such problems needed to be verified, so I set out to discover whether GE’s experts are really as clueless as Morris alleged.
If your heart is set on a stainless hood, and feel a custom wood range hood would be mutually exclusive, consider the solution shown above! The stainless range hood is complemented by the enclosure overhead, which encases the duct work, resulting in a harmonious and fitting combination.
The good news is that while range hoods are a practical necessity, the variety of available looks has never been better; whether you prefer front-and-center utilitarian stainless steel, an insert completely camouflaged behind cabinetry, an artisan-made copper chimney, or a modernist glass unit, there's a style that will work for you.
As houses have become better insulated, and with high-BTU commercial-style ranges ever more popular, proper ventilation has become an increasingly important issue. Picking the right hood requires you to take into account the power of your range and the way you use it, but it's also a huge style decision for your kitchen.
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