California kitchen range exhaust requirements

I inspected a home 50 plus year old home last night here in southern California that was remodeled in the past few years and the exhaust hood over the range was removed entirely from the kitchen. There was an operable window opposite the stove and a kitchen door with an operable window. Can someone please provide some guidance on if a hood range is required? Reading on this topic is all over the place.

You can always recommend one, especially for a gas range, even if one is not required in new construction. You can also check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the unit.

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Thank you Simon, I was going to recommend one be installed somehow.

Jeff, as you probably understand, windows don’t replace a properly installed hood that exhausts to the outside. I don’t care how many windows a house has got, cooking without an exhaust stinks up the place and makes things dangerous if it’s a gas range. You should explain to the buyers why one is recommended… it will, otherwise, be overlooked. Let them figure out how to do it, if they decide to install one. It’s not your problem or fault the remodelers took a shortcut and omitted the hood.

BTW, the same goes for a bath exhaust… if there is a window, one is not required, but should always be recommended. Nobody is opening the windows in the winter and in the summer, when it’s humid outside, it just does not work right without an exhaust.

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I totally agree.

California Municipal Codes

While the state of California does have a building code for range hoods, this is superseded by the town you live in. This means that if you live in a California municipality that has more strict building codes than the state, you must follow the city’s codes rather than the state code. Santa Monica, for example, makes no differential for combustible and noncombustible range hoods; all range hoods are to be installed at 30 inches above the surface of the stove top. If you are being inspected by the city you live in, check with your city hall to get your local building codes.

Won’t get much of a microwave over the range with those numbers. Don’t believe I’ve ever seen 2 feet between the stove top and the microwave.

I agree but then again it’s California so when it’s illogical it makes perfect sense here.


There is little to nothing in building codes that require a vent hood, save a few random municipalities.

But I once had a client who begged me to put something in the report about the lack of a vent.

I found the California Air Quality Management Board recommends a vent when possible due to indoor air quality issues. So I will defer to them in a comment if there is no vent.

I know Bob, I swear, I don’t know where they get their numbers. Just like that 30" they recommend in most microwave installation manuals to top of the microwave. That puts the bottom at about 13" above the range. Don’t make sense.

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From what I read here Residential Building Systems. California has title 24 referencing ANSI/ ASHRAE ventilation standard though the requirements don’t seem to fit this 50 year old house.
It says windows cannot not be used for ventilation anymore.

Just something for you to read if you would like.
See what you can make out of it.

Thank you Charles, this was one of the things I read prior to posting on the forum.

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Welcome to our forum, Jeff!..Enjoy! :smile:

Clearly, the best advice is leave California and never look back.


I couldn’t agree with you more, I’m working on it.

California the test bed for standards :sleeping:

Don’t you mean, “…the test bed for socialism.”?


There are so many people that are so tired of keeping up with California Codes…that they are simply moving to Utah or so it seams of late.

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What do you mean testing for Socialism, It’s Here!

As a home inspector / code inspector most municipal codes and national code do not require a hood

A state or local municipality may require it.

So UNLESS your municipality requires one, FORGET code and simply make your own recommendation.

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