Kitchen Ventilation?

Anybody have a code section specifically addressing ventilation requirements for residential kitchens? I inspected a 1950’s vintage single story home yesterday with a remodeled kitchen. The original range hood had been removed. The original electric cook top had been replaced with a gas fired unit. An open able kitchen window was present within about 5’. Buyer is a contractor who states a range hood exhaust fan system must be present. I believe the window will satisfy the requirements. I can’t find anything in the UBC, UMC or IRC that addresses same.

Come on guys! Aren’t there any current or retired HVAC Contractors on the board. No ideas or thoughts on weather or not a kitchen window is acceptable ventilation for a gas fire cook top or is a range hood exhaust fan system required?


Not many states require it as a “code” issue. Here is the ASHRAE standard on home air quality that my be helpful.

I did a $400k house today that had a microwave/vent hood over the range. It was not ducted externally even though it was on an outside wall. The home did have an air to air heat recovery/air exchanger system however for moisture control in the home.

Thanks Michael,

That’s exactly what I was looking for.

We’re all here to help each other. Well, most of us are.:roll:

There’s a good thread over at concerning this topic.

Apparently there is no code requiring kitchen ventilation, but if one installs kitchen ventilation, then there are codes concerning the installation.

I’ll go find the thread for you.

Here you go:

Thanks Russell…

There is also a school of thought that you have paid a lot of money to Condition the air in your home why would you want to suck all that conditioned air out of your house? Get a charcol filter.

If you need to suck the air out of you house turn the dryer on.:wink:

As far as model code requirements go, the issue of range hoods was a hot topic at one of the code training seminars I attended a while back when my state was adopting ICC based codes.

IRC M1502 on Range Hoods has provisions for exhausting range hoods to the exterior, unless there is adequate kitchen ventilation and ranges are listed for recirculating type hoods. However, those provisions only apply to the installation when a hood is required by the range manufacturer (as per IRC M1307 and M1901.2). That is consistent with IMC Section 505 & 507 which only requires exhaust hoods for commercial cooking.

The end result was that it is just considered good practice to install residential range hoods, particularly for gas type ranges where the manufacturer may require outside exhausting anyway (or at least usually recommend that … particularly for the heavier duty ones like Viking ranges/cooktops). Note that open top broilers (like an indoor grille) are required to have an exhaust hood per IRC M1504.

Your mileage may vary depending on local codes, and if you really want to know if it’s a legal code requirement then the range installation instructions need to be checked and the local building department contacted.

JMO & 2-nickels … :wink:

The City of Costa Mesa building department, where the subject property is located, states:

NO range/cook top exhaust fan system of any type is required as long as there is an openable window within the same area.

I also agree, for air quality purposes, an exhaust fan or filtered recirculating fan system is adviseable for gas fired units. It does appear however, there is NO specific requirement for installation of same.

Thanks again for all the input…

Many consider it not good practice to suck all of the conditioned air ($$$$) out of the house. And as for open top broilers (like indoor grille) I believe downdraft exhaust is also acceptable. :slight_smile:

I’ll raise you nickel.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The American Lung Association and the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that all gas fired appliance vent exhaust to the outside of the home to reduce and/or eliminate combustion pollutants including carbon monoxide.

This includes gas stoves/ranges/ ect.

You are 100% correct James. My original question however was, “is there a relevent model code which requires the installation of an exhaust fan system in a residential kitchen”. I believe the answer is “No”…

I agree the answer in “No” it’s not a code requirement (using model codes as a guide) … but it is indeed recommended (even by the range manufacturer’s).

I’m not sure who is recommending range exhausts could be poor practice, but I would seriously question that source. Actually from the design/installation end I know kitchens, and range cooking in particular, have very significant heat loads.

By not operating a range exhaust to the outside during cooking (they shouldn’t run constantly) you are actually increasing the heat load for the house significantly … and decreasing the effectiveness of the cooling system … particularly for the kitchen and adjacent rooms. In addition, it is considered good practice for indoor air quality to exhaust some hotter indoor air to force some fresh exterior make-up air to be drawn into the house. It’s a win-win situation.

And for open-top broilers I’m not sure what you mean by a downdraft exhaust, but model codes require an exhaust type range hood or similar built in exhaust system that needs a duct to the exterior … not the ductless re-circulating range hoods sometimes installed at stoves … and they are also not “exhaust” systems.

I see your nickel, and raise ya a quarter … :wink:

Will , I also have not found code relevant to this issue. I just note it.
Of course, you could always have a range hood that vents to the underside of a cabinet like I did last week on a 400,000 dollar home. It didnt vent to the outside or recirculate. Just wrong.

Most building codes require a hood equipped with an exhaust fan over a kitchen stove. Make sure that your local building inspector approves of your plan before proceeding. Don’t forget to include a grease filter; the filter must be located in an accessible location for regular cleaning.

really…where are You from? such requirements here…

Spam he is selling hoods:(

Thank you for this information. Can I buy this directly from you? Can you install it for me?