Published at Sunday, 03 February 2019. Kitchen Window and Ventilation Hood. By Osvald Henriksen.
If you've ever forgotten to turn on the fan while trying to get a nice crust on a pan full of fish fillets, you're familiar with the importance of good ventilation. In addition to whisking away unwanted odors, vent hoods remove moisture and grease, as well as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and other pollutants that cooking can release into the air.
Armed with the limited recommendations provided by GE’s installation instructions, I sought more information by placing two calls to the GE Answer Center (800-626-2000), asking, “Does GE have any recommendations on providing makeup air for a 1,200-cfm GE range hood installed in a residential kitchen?” The first GE expert responded, “What is makeup air?” An explanation was provided. She responded, “Do you mean you want to know the cfm of the fan?” After further discussion, I was put on hold. A few minutes later, the expert returned to the phone to report, “That information is not something we would have here.”
ASHRAE’s residential ventilation standard, ASHRAE 62.2, limits exhaust fans to a maximum of 15 cfm per 100 square feet of occupiable space, unless a backdrafting test is performed. According to this standard, the smallest home in which a 1,200-cfm range hood could be installed without verifying makeup air needs would be one measuring 8,000 square feet — a very large McMansion indeed.
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