Published at Sunday, 03 February 2019. Kitchen Window and Ventilation Hood. By Osvald Henriksen.
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.
Moreover, in a house with an atmospherically vented water heater, a 1,200-cfm GE Monogram range hood may cause backdrafting of flue gases, even if the water heater was originally installed in compliance with NFPA and ASHRAE standards. So complying with these standards for water-heater installation won’t keep you out of trouble.
If you have a huge family, and you indulge in commercial-scale cooking that requires a powerful exhaust fan, you’ll need to install a powered makeup air unit like those manufactured by Electro Industries of Monticello, Minnesota or Fantech. These units move a lot of air; in winter, the incoming air is cold, but it can be heated with 10,000-watt electric resistance elements if you want. Be prepared to suffer a huge energy penalty. The model EM-WH1025K from Electro Industries will supply 632 cfm at a 50 F° temperature rise. If you want a 1,200-cfm range hood, you’ll need two of these makeup air units; they cost about $1,800 each.
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