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Unvented range hood-any fix?
Old 02-22-2011, 09:48 PM   #1
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Unvented range hood-any fix?

I looked at a great condo- nice view, quality building, large enough, price reasonable for this area, easy walk to downtown (First Hill for locals)- but the range hood is one of those phoney re-circulating types. This building was built in 1980, so I am surprised that passed code, but there it is.

I cook at least daily, and I don't want my smoke alarms going off every time I put a steak in hot butter. I would even consider running something to the window across the room if it might work, but I can 't really visualize that.

Can you more experienced people think of anything that might work?

Ha
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:12 PM   #2
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Unplug the smoke alarm.

But seriously, I don't think I've ever lived in place that had a vented range hood (that was actually vented outside). I do a lot of cookin' too and on a rare occasion or two have smoked things up a bit. I just open a window.

I suppose if the kitchen gets downright foggy, you could put a fan near an open window and that might help.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:20 PM   #3
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I'm not sure if there is code for venting the kitchen. I have a bathroom ventless fan that uses a heavier carbon filter, but I decided not to install it.

Is this range hood mounted to an exterior wall? If so, you can break a hole in the wall and put in a vented range hood. You need to check to see if there's anything in the space behind the range hood before you start demolition. I've done this myself and it takes a few hours since I had to go thru two layers of brick, but if you don't have any handyman type skills, you should hire someone. If it's not backed to an exterior wall, then make sure you have space to run some duct behind some space above/thru the cabinets to get to an exterior wall.

I've also seen separate fans run thru a window unit (like glass block where one block is knocked out). I think these look pretty tacky.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:40 PM   #4
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We have a microwave above the cook top which serves as the vent. It recirculates the air and actually does a good job, although I'd rather have it exhaust outside.
Which reminds me, I need to check the filter.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:11 PM   #5
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The condo association might not let you break through an exterior wall, even if that was a possibility. We had a "recirculating" range hood many years ago and to me it just made a lot of noise. Today that would be a deal breaker for us.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:11 PM   #6
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We have a microwave above the cook top which serves as the vent. It recirculates the air and actually does a good job, although I'd rather have it exhaust outside.
Which reminds me, I need to check the filter.
This seems to be what this place has. I have never had one that didn't go outside, or to the roof, so I just assumed that this type couldn't work very well. Maybe it will, since yours seems to. When I had a house I created one that vented outside. I had to run a duct across the celing from the range hood on an inside wall. There was none at all prior to this.

Ha
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:17 PM   #7
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If you can't install a conventional hood with ducting up and out (through the roof, or cheat and have it go up to an existing hat vent), then the two other options are a downdraft stove (Jen-aire type--expensive and still not as effective as a real hood) and a vent that goes through the back of the wall. If you go through the back of the wall you can take the vent pipe through the stud bay either up or down and eventually out through the roof or exterior wall.

Basically, if you've got another condo above you and the stove isn't on an exterior wall, it's going to be hard. Otherwise, it's probably not too difficult to get the smoke and moisture vented to the outside.

Remember that you may end up with moisture condensation inside the duct, especially if it is long, not insulated, and it goes through a cold place. In such a case, it is best that the duct slope down so any water can drip to the outside.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:01 AM   #8
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Well, ha, you could always try this:
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File Type: jpg ventfan.jpg (32.0 KB, 9 views)
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:33 AM   #9
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I'd go with a carbon filter and be ready to open a window at times.

Those steaks will kill ya, anyway.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:10 AM   #10
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If you like the place, make the hood vent to the exterior a condition of purchase. Let the seller sort it out with the condo folks.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:31 AM   #11
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Well, ha, you could always try this:
Ha, this is perfect. A Kentucky vent hood!
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:37 AM   #12
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Ha, this is perfect. A Kentucky vent hood!
Careful, HFWR, yer gonna get them innovatin' folks in Alabama Mississipi Tennnesse West Virgina all riled up...
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:50 AM   #13
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This seems to be what this place has. I have never had one that didn't go outside, or to the roof, so I just assumed that this type couldn't work very well. Maybe it will, since yours seems to. When I had a house I created one that vented outside. I had to run a duct across the celing from the range hood on an inside wall. There was none at all prior to this.

Ha
DW has a habit of resisting the use of the fan because of the noise (not that bad, but--well the kitchen TV) so when the smoke detector activates she turns it on and the mess is cleared up quite fast. It also seems to filter out the associated odor. I have a hyper sensitive sense of smell and I don't seem to notice anything coming from the vent.
This is a Kenmore micro above a JennAir cook top.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:59 AM   #14
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I'm not sure if there is code for venting the kitchen. I have a bathroom ventless fan that uses a heavier carbon filter, but I decided not to install it.

Is this range hood mounted to an exterior wall? If so, you can break a hole in the wall and put in a vented range hood.
Only if the condo association will let you! As you don't own the exterior walls they generally frown on changes to them unless you get permission.

But to answer your original question, Ha: I have gas throughout and do not have a vented range hood. I have not had a problem with stove top cooking setting off the alarms. My gas fireplace is not vented either, but then I only use it when we have a power outage which is infrequent.

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Old 02-23-2011, 11:04 AM   #15
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Careful, HFWR, yer gonna get them innovatin' folks in Alabama Mississipi Tennnesse West Virgina all riled up...
I'm from "Kentuckiana"...
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:25 PM   #16
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I agree that you must have a vent that goes to the outside -- especially with low-carb eating.

We were in this situation when we moved in to our current house. We took out the microwave/filter and put in a hood. The ducting goes up through the cabinets, and then along the top of the cabinets to the outside wall. I added a wood partition on top of the cabinets (oak-faced plywood).

So, if you can access an outer wall, there should be a solution. Get a very strong hood fan.







This post was useful to me, because in taking out that part that hides the duct, I found coffee filters and teas that had slipped down through the duct hole.
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:26 PM   #17
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There is a pretty comprehensive discussion here

Hoods You Can Trust | Ventilation | This Old House - 1
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:35 PM   #18
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There are some higher end vents on the market that you can choose to vent outside or inside.

We cook a lot too and just replaced our microwave/vent with a dedicated vent that vents back into the room after filtering out the smoke and grease. Got it at Lowe's for about $275 and it works wonderfully.
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:05 PM   #19
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Maybe you can call the guy who did this "awesome" electrical job:
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:09 PM   #20
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Maybe you can call the guy who did this "awesome" electrical job:
Looks Skookum to me! A real old world craftsman must have been in charge of that job.

Ha
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