Published at Wednesday, 30 January 2019. Kitchen Window and Ventilation Hood. By Osvald Henriksen.
ASHRAE’s residential ventilation standard, ASHRAE 62.2, limits exhaust fans to a maximum of 15 cfm per 100 square feet of occupiable space, unless a backdrafting test is performed. According to this standard, the smallest home in which a 1,200-cfm range hood could be installed without verifying makeup air needs would be one measuring 8,000 square feet — a very large McMansion indeed.
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.
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