Published at Thursday, 31 January 2019. Kitchen Window and Ventilation Hood. By Osvald Henriksen.
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.
As a stop-gap measure, a homeowner with backdrafting problems can open a window near the kitchen every time the range-hood fan is turned on. Although this solution works, it won’t satisfy most homeowners, and builders who suggest this remedy may still be legally liable for future backdrafting problems.
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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