Published at Tuesday, January 15th 2019. by Ulf Madsen in Kitchen Window and Ventilation Hood.
Venting the polluted air out of your house is always preferable to recirculating it. Recirculating fans use charcoal filters to clean the air and release it back into the house when ducting to the outside is impossible, as in many apartment buildings. When it's the only option, a recirculating hood is better than no ventilation at all, but this type should never be used with pro-style appliances.
Eyesore no more! In recent years, kitchen range hoods have evolved from grimy eyesores to works of art. And why shouldn't an appliance of such large size also make a big (stylish) statement? Today, kitchen vent hoods are available in all shapes, sizes, and materials (hello, copper!) that can either draw the eye or blend right in with the surroundings.
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.
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.
Some Passivhaus builders are experimenting with range-hood fans that don’t exhaust air to the exterior. Instead, they pull air from above the stove and pass it through a charcoal filter before returning the air to the kitchen. On the ceiling of the kitchen, in a location as far from the stove as possible, they also install a grille connected to the exhaust system of the home’s HRV.
Since most residential kitchens are adequately served by a 150-cfm or 250-cfm range hood, it comes as no surprise that a 1,200-cfm range hood can cause depressurization and backdrafting problems. However, the homeowner’s claim that GE had never heard of such problems needed to be verified, so I set out to discover whether GE’s experts are really as clueless as Morris alleged.
Build a custom decorative box to cover your old range hood. Reorganize your kitchen, so you don’t need the extra space of an overhead cabinet and then cover the front and sides with wood that you can stain or paint as shown here. You’ll still have access to the vent controls by reaching underneath. And, the front ledge works as a spot for small fun or functional objects.
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