Published at Sunday, 03 February 2019. Kitchen Window and Ventilation Hood. By Osvald Henriksen.
General Electric was marketing its 1,200-cfm range hoods to residential customers. In fact, a GE Monogram press release bragged that the appliance could be installed anywhere: “The ventilation system operates at maximum venting capacity of 1,200 cubic feet per minute to keep the kitchen free of fumes and odors. Beautifully finished on all sides, the new Monogram island hood lends elegance to any kitchen.”
Buy a range hood with a small exhaust fan; for most homes, 150 cfm to 250 cfm is plenty. In a tight house, a stronger exhaust fan can cause problems with backdrafting. Most building codes (for example, Section M1507 of the 2006 IRC) require that kitchen range hoods have a minimum rating of 100 cfm. Broan makes a simple range hood (the 40000 series) rated at 160 cfm; you can find it in stainless steel for only $80 on the Web.
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.”
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