Published at Saturday, February 02nd 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.”
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.
General Electric was marketing its 1,200-cfm range hoods to residential customers. In fact, a GE Monogram press release bragged that the appliance could be installed anywhere: “The ventilation system operates at maximum venting capacity of 1,200 cubic feet per minute to keep the kitchen free of fumes and odors. Beautifully finished on all sides, the new Monogram island hood lends elegance to any kitchen.”
Range hoods have at least one thing in common with combustion appliances: they also require makeup air, although the GE instructions fail to note that fact. So why do the instructions refer to the need for providing makeup air for furnaces and water heaters — but fail to inform installers that range-hood fans also need a source of makeup air?
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.
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Broan recommends installing an outdoor air duct connected to a grille mounted on the kitchen wall or connected directly to the return plenum of your furnace; the motorized damper is installed in the duct. One 8-inch-diameter duct works for a range hood rated up to 1,000 cfm. If your range hood is bigger than that, you’ll need two ducts.
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