Published at Sunday, 03 February 2019. Kitchen Window and Ventilation Hood. By Osvald Henriksen.
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.
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.
I got a copy of the GE Monogram installation instructions, and discovered that they were remarkably unhelpful. Astonishingly, the instructions make no mention of the range hood’s requirement for makeup air. The issue was deflected by a confusing reminder that combustion appliances require adequate combustion air: “Sufficient air is needed for proper combustion and exhausting of gases through the flue (chimney) of fuelburning equipment to prevent backdrafting.”
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