Published at Thursday, 31 January 2019. Kitchen Window and Ventilation Hood. By Osvald Henriksen.
Every time an exhaust fan removes air from your house, an equal volume of air must enter. The air that enters cracks in a home’s envelope to replace air that is exhausted is called “makeup air.” Two trends affecting makeup air are causing increasing problems for homeowners: homes are getting tighter, and range-hood fans are getting more powerful.
Armed with the limited recommendations provided by GE’s installation instructions, I sought more information by placing two calls to the GE Answer Center (800-626-2000), asking, “Does GE have any recommendations on providing makeup air for a 1,200-cfm GE range hood installed in a residential kitchen?” The first GE expert responded, “What is makeup air?” An explanation was provided. She responded, “Do you mean you want to know the cfm of the fan?” After further discussion, I was put on hold. A few minutes later, the expert returned to the phone to report, “That information is not something we would have here.”
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.
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