Published at Wednesday, January 30th 2019. by Osvald Henriksen in Kitchen Window and Ventilation Hood.
Concerning the reference to NFPA standards, I tried to pin down what GE was hinting at. I contacted Allan Fraser, a senior building specialist with NFPA. After hearing me read the relevant paragraph from the GE instruction booklet, Fraser said, “That is a bad reference. As far as makeup air for range hoods is concerned, NFPA doesn’t cover it. Frankly, it is not an issue on our radar screen.”
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.”
Kitchen windows present a few challenges. The windows all may not match; maybe there are casements over the sink, large double-hungs in the eating area, and a glass door to the mudroom. Go with what’s practical in each case, tying the treatments together with material or color, or a common trim or stencil. Ann Wallace of Prairie Textiles suggests bottom-only café curtains over the sink, for example, with full-length curtains in the eating area, and a panel (held by rods at the top and bottom) for the window in the door.
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.
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.
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.
Ubiquitous roller shades can be rolled up, pulled down, or left in-between, providing the best light control and the most privacy. The old-fashioned spring-loaded ones eliminate cords. You don’t have to settle for white vinyl, or even plain fabric. Diane Hayes of Alameda Shade Shop suggests adding a special fringe or a scallop treatment at the bottom, or a stenciled decoration in paint
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