Published at Sunday, 03 February 2019. Kitchen Window and Ventilation Hood. By Osvald Henriksen.
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.
While these by-products may simply sound like nuisances, studies have shown that cooking without proper ventilation is one cause of poor indoor air quality that can negatively affect your health. That's why the International Residential Code and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency strongly advise homeowners to install a vent hood to capture, filter, and then expel the fumes outside through a vent in an exterior wall or on the roof.
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.
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