Published at Wednesday, 30 January 2019. Kitchen Window and Ventilation Hood. By Osvald Henriksen.
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.
So where does a powerful range-hood fan get its makeup air? If the house doesn’t have enough random air leaks around windows, doors, and mudsills, the makeup air is often pulled backwards through water-heater flues or down wood-burning chimneys — a phenomenon called backdrafting. Since the flue gases of some combustion appliances can include carbon monoxide, backdrafting is dangerous. In some cases, it can be life-threatening.
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.
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