Venting a Kitchen


Old 11-16-19, 08:59 AM
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Venting a Kitchen

Hi, folks. I need some help figuring out the best approach to vent my kitchen. Iíve installed a bathroom fan before, so know the basics, but I want to make sure I design this well.
My kitchen measures about 15x25. The stove and oven are on an island floating in the center of the kitchen (no wall or structure nearby). Currently, thereís no venting at all in the kitchen (just some windows I open if things get too smokey). A vent hood isnít an option - it would take up way too much space in the middle of the room.

As I see it, I have 2 options. 1 is a through-the-wall vent. I have a spot I could do it, but it would be really visible in the kitchen and outside. It would be a little hard to run power to. itís about 10 feet from the stove, so not well positioned. And I worry about the insulation considerations in a cold climate. I donít see a lot of options on the market with strong back flow prevention, so Iím worried this would spend most of its time wasting my heating/cooling.

The other option is through the ceiling/attic. My thinking is this would be like a bathroom fan flush mounted in the ceiling. This is better positioned (right over the stove), and easier to power (thereís a old lighting circuit run to a blanking plate right where Iíd want this). So thatís my preferred option.

But I have some concerns about that approach that Iím looking for advice on.

First, is it ok in general to install a bathroom- style dan in a kitchen? Or are there reasons that would be hazardous/a code issue (e.g. grease build up)

if I did go this route, what considerations should I have on the size/power/duct size? Do I need anything else other than a hole to run through (e.g. back flow preventer)?

Iíd have 3 options for where to exhaust to. One is directly onto my uninsulated attic (we have blown-in ceiling insulation, so attic is unheated). That seems bad - I assume Iíd get condensation on the roof sheathing, followed by mold/rot. So I want to run outside. I have 2 options there. One is straight up through the roof. The other is to run horizontally and out through the soffit (about a 10 foot run). All else equal, I like the soffit option - itís an easier install for me. Iím not super excited about making holes in the roof (sealing up would be a lot of work). But not sure if the soffit route would be problematic - again, not sure if the kind of air I get in a kitchen might be problematic with a long horizontal run.

Anything else Iím not thinking of?

Thanks for any help/suggestions.


Last edited by Mikey_D; 11-16-19 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 11-16-19, 09:51 AM
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A lot depends on the set up and how much you want to spend.
Have you looked at downdraft vents?
Also they make above stove vents/hoods that are close to being flush to the ceiling.

Do not vent into the attic.
Also the soffit is not a good idea if your soffits are the vented (aluminum) type unless you can drop the vent at least a foot below the soffit. Otherwise a lot of the vented air will end up in the attic.Even at a foot below some will end up there but should not be too much.
Old 11-16-19, 10:48 AM
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Thanks for the reply. My ideal would be to do this for something in the $500 US range if possible.
A full size hood, even flush to the ceiling, would mean redoing a significant amount of lighting. Possible but not ideal. Would like to use something physically smaller if possible.

Downdraft isnít a great option in my setup. There is crawl space under my kitchen in theory, but thereís no access to it without tearing up my kitchen floor or my deck to get at it from the outside.

Good thought on soffit venting winding up coming back into the attic.
Old 11-16-19, 11:42 AM
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I had a $1000 downdraft vent behind my cook top on a peninsula. It was near worthless. It was loud (even though the blower was in the basement) and almost totally ineffective. It would remove some cooking smoke and odors from the rear burners but did next to nothing for the front burners.

I would not buy another downdraft without personally seeing it in operation. In my case what sounded like a problem solving idea ended up as a waste of money.

Our new kitchen will have an "island" hood. If you google that you can get some ideas about what is available. The only drawbacks are ceiling height requirements and cost.
Old 11-16-19, 12:58 PM
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If you're trying to remove fumes from cooking in the island..... you will need some type of ceiling mounted vent fan. A random fan somewhere in the kitchen is not going to help much.

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