Are Range Hoods Necessary?

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My current home is equipped with a electric stove and no range hood. I am partial to gas ranges for cooking and am considering switching over to a gas range. Do I need to install a range hood with venting to the outside of the home? I'd like to install a range hood for additional lighting and to help with my sometimes smoky cooking, but can I install hood than does not vent outside? I've lived in homes and apartments for many years that had no hood whatsoever for the gas ranges, but now I'm reading that it is important to have a vented hood with gas. Is this true? I was under the impression gas burnt clean enough not to require such ventilation.
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I've always had gas stoves and I've never had a range hood that vented outside. I'm not aware of any requirement for an outside vent and when the kitchen was remodeled, the inspector saw that the hood didn't vent outside and had no problem with it. If you are concerned, check with your local building department and see what they require.

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If you're switching over to a mega-btu, restaurant quality range you should vent the hood to the outside. If it's a basic gas range, outside venting is nice but not necessary.
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The hoods that vent inside...how shall we say....they don't vent. They move steam & smoke over your head and into the room. I guess that serves one purpose - getting the stuff out of your face. And, since they're usually mounted to a wooden cabinet, their presence (even if they're turned off) protects the wood to an extent. Other than that, they're useless if you tend to make lots of smoke when cooking. All it does is redirect it, and if it's greasy smoke....well never mind.
This doesn't address the issue of local requirements, obviously.
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I think most of htem have a metal screen that helps condense some of the grease.
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Just for grins, I thought, I read the responses to this post and was pleased to find correct answers. And a little surprised since the answer isn't obvious without a fairly thorough knowledge of the facts. Someone, in one of the posts, mentioned local regs, so, again, just for grins, I called our local CEO. Sorry, Code Enforcement officer (we only have one - rural village area). To my surprise, he said NO! He said he didn't have time to fiddle around with silly questions, just don't do it. Hmm, says I to self; that was rude! So I called a nearby city about 10 miles from here. He said no too, BUT he bothered to explain that in most union areas around here, the unions insist there be a ground for every hot for "continuity" of "facilities", I think he called it. I wasn't quick enough to ask him about 220, 240, etc. and so on, being rather surprised, but finding the answer usable. I thought about calling the local IBEW I think it is here, but thought better of it since I was starting to make a mountain out of a molehill. Only, the more I think about it ... oh well!
I guess the moral is: Check your local codes! They're likely to have no problems with it, but if you're perchance not to code, it leaves other liabilities; like fire insurance for one. Now's the time to find out.
Stupid stuff, but nobody promised us a rose garden, eh?
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It is not sufficient to check just the code, you must also check the installation instructions for the particular gas stove you're installing. High BTU gas ranges can burn so much gas that you have to provide venting, not because they produce toxic gas, but because they eat all the available oxygen, and raise the temperature in the kitchen to unacceptable levels.
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Only if you don't mind all the smoke going off into the rest of the house.
I'd like to install a range hood for additional lighting and to help

Only if you don't mind all the smoke going off into the rest of the house.
I've lived in homes and apartments for many years that had no hood

Where else does the smoke go? To the place where single socks are?
I was under the impression gas

Gas may burn clean enough, but, again, where does the smoke and odor go?
Hint: Through the rest of the house.
Steve
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Methinks that many in this thread need remedial cooking lessons, they seem to burn the food and create so much smoke.
As to odor, well, maybe again it's your cooking that leaves something to be desired. Little surpasses the odor of frying bacon and eggs on a weekend morning to urge you to rise and stumble salivating to the kitchen for cholesterol injection. Or, the smell of fresh-baking or -baked bread wafting gently into your home-office and drawing you to break it while still warm. Or, the down home earthy fragrance of a slow-cooking pot of pea and ham soup announcing that you should start your gastric juices aflowing. OTOH if your culinary skills are more in the nature of boiled cabbage maybe you do need a super-exhausting range hood <g>.
Grease is another matter. I have a large commercial range hood with 2" thick aluminum filters (as opposed to the 1/4" home version) which is vented (poorly) to the outside. Very little grease is deposited inside the range hood behind the filters. They, OTOH, require at least monthly dishwasher-ing, otherwise they begin to drip. IOW as long as there's sufficient air flow the filters will pick up almost all the grease regardless of where the venting is to.
As to smoke, like grease it too is particulates carried in the airstream but the filters seem to do nothing to remove it. I wonder if the activated charcoal type would do something here? Alternatively isn't there some form of electrostatic filter similar to what the coal generating power stations use to reduce their particulate emissions?
The problems with venting to the outside are that
- you're throwing out all that air you've paid to heat
- high level exhaust fans are very expensive
- there are regulations relating to proximity to windows, neighbors etc which result in the to-the-roof eyesores you see exiting restaurants
- you have to provide make-up air.
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Isn't there still a solution in between the extremes, like the old style through-the-wall fans with the flap that opens on the outside?
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They work fairly well if the range is on the outside wall. If on an interior wall they don't draw enough to very good clearing, but anything is better than nothing. Of course ducting a hood from an interior wall is not easy either.
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wrote in message

Never trusted that idea. I can't imagine what sort of crud collects in the ductwork.
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wrote in message

Yeah. Just have no vent, and all that goes into the furniture, clothes, carpet, walls, etc.
Steve
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wrote in message

By "that idea", I meant an interior wall fan with duct work. Naturally, that translates into the obvious conclusion: No range has any business being on an inside wall. Period.
This is the reason my ex and I argued about kitchen renovation for 10 years and ended up doing absolutely nothing. She wanted the range on an inside wall. I wanted it on the outside (as it already was), by a through-wall fan (which was already in place). One of the so-called kitchen designers we consulted had the balls to say (with a straight face) "You ought to listen to your wife. Through the wall fans simply do not work". I asked her what she meant. She said they don't exhaust the stuff you believe they do. I asked her if she thought I'd been hallucinating for many years when I (believed) I saw steam going out through the wall fan. She said "That's not a valid question".
"Heeeere's your sign!!!", as they say on the redneck comedy show. :-)
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On Thu, 28 Apr 2005 17:59:11 GMT, "Doug Kanter"

I think those are harder to find nowadays. Mine didn't work properly (it wouldn't shut off!) and I wanted to replace it. I tracked down the company that now owns the name (Air King) and the rep said they don't make them or supply parts.
So I bought a range hood and it was a 7-month procedure to get it installed and vented to the outside.
It was worth every second, every penny, for looks and operation.
Sue(tm) Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself!
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I had one of those that didn't vent to the outside. When we remodeled I replaced it with one that did. I don't see hardly any difference.
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<snip>
Maybe the hood is too small (in terms of ventillation power) for what you need. If you have a high BTU stove and do a lot of smoky cooking, you'll need a more powerful one. The ventillation will also be affected by how long of a duct run, if there are any turns, or size changes, etc. With the stove on an exterior wall, my hood vents right to the outside, about 12" straight run from the exit of the hood to the outside. There is a small loss in area due to a small offset to avoid a stud). The dampers should open freely both on the hood and on the wall cap (and should point in the right direction; during a test assembly, I put the hood damper on upside down!). Check the outside when the hood is running to make sure the damper on the wall cap swings open when the hood is running. Also, the hood has to cover the footprint of the cooktop (which I would imagine yours does, but thought I'd mention it anway :>)
If those all apply, I don't see how it would not make a difference! Unless, maybe your non-ventillating hood had a great charcoal filter?
Sue(tm) Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself!
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Unless you don't cook, that's impossible.
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Maybe by then, your lungs, eyes, and nose were so gummed up you just didn't notice any difference.
Steve
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On Thu, 28 Apr 2005 02:56:59 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@NotRealISP.edu wrote:

I've wondered about that too :>

Garlic, onion, broccoli, fish, preheating a pizza stone, stir fry, curry, self-cleaning ovens, and even steam from boiling water all benefit from being vented to the outside.
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