What size range hood can you use?

hodie21January 2, 2009

I am remodeling my kitchen and my island range is a 48" GE Monogram Dual Fuel range. I want to use a vent hood but want to have 36" from range top to bottom of hood. I am using a wood range hood and to use a 48 inch range hood it would only leave me 30" to the bottom of the hood. I want to be able to see to the other side of my kitchen without having to duck my head. So the main question is. Can I use a 36" hood with a 3 speed 1200 cfm blower and be o.k. Thanks.

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The range hood should cover most of the range surface; many designers specify an overhang of up to three inches on both sides. By those measures, you're six-nine inches short on both sides.

The usual height from top of the range to the bottom of the hood is 30", but up to 33". To calculate whether you can go up to 36" and still have sufficient suction (which also depends on how many turns you have to the exterior) you should consult the range and/or hood manufacturer.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 9:09PM
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Different hoods specify different clearences. My Independent is a massive 1400cfm [enough to hold a cloth dish towel up, if you place about half of it against the baffles], and specifies a clearance above the range of 30 to 36 inches. My builder hung it a little high-- 37 inches-- but it works just fine.

This is against the wall, though: an island hood is different because the air can enter from either side of the hood enclosure, and are a little less efficient for that reason.

I do agree that a somewhat larger enclosure is more effective than a smaller one: I have a 56 inch over a 48 bluestar, and wouldn't have minded if it were a little larger yet. With the van on high, I can grill a steak on the built in and barely smell it from 5 feet away.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 9:51PM
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barely smell it from 5 feet away

But can you HEAR anything?

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 10:10PM
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I can't imagine why anyone would really want such a big vent fan. Isn't 150 cfm the average stove vent fan?

At least in commercial where these large vent fans are needed there is a make up air for just the vent fan.
Sadly residential does not have such specifics.
Over the summer quite a few calls came in about houses that couldn't be cooled when stove vent was on..and the problems with the voc's that entered these negative pressured homes.

What blows my mind is that one ton of a/c is 400 cfm.
1,200 cfm of air being mechanically driven out of the building envelope is equal to 3 tons of a/c.

Guess 'bigger is better' isn't limited to hvac sizes!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 11:58AM
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We rarely use our 600 cfm Best at anything other than low speed. At full blast, it's 12 SONEs. Even Best's maximum power unit is "only" 1,200 cfm.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 12:30PM
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I have a remote, roof mounted blower that's loud but not awful. You only need high speed if you are grilling, and that's a fast enough process that conversation isn't difficult. At low speed [Independents are 3 speeds, not variables] you know it's there, but it doesn't make you raise your voice.

A 150 cfm fan 'standard'? Even those horrible little OTR micros blow more than that, and they are completely ineffective. There's formulas for figureing how many CFM you need over on the Appliance and Kitchen forums based on the BTUs your range can throw. Since such formulas assume you are going to be using every burner on full at the same time, they are pretty much overkill, but since I have [and use] the built in grill which flames up from time to time and have a hard to clean beadboard and beam ceiling, I chose to go with the biggest residential hood I could find.

At less than maximum speed with 4 steaks on the grill, you can see the smoke swirling inside the hood enclosure, which to my mind means some of it is escaping. At high speed, it's instantly gone.

A vent for makeup air directly under the stove creates a column of moving air that also helps contain the smoke.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 1:29PM
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For a 48" range, (especially considering a 36 height above burners) a 54" wide hood is called for. You will need at least 1400 CFM fan. A hood narrower than the range is absolute nuts.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 1:49PM
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If you want to be able to see across the island you should use a downdraft exhaust or raise a standard overhead hood and live with the results or add a larger fan to a standard hood and wear earplugs. It's a matter of preference. If you really want to capture as much of the cooking odors, smoke, etc. as required a commercial kitchen, the hood would have to extend 18" beyond the range so you would essentially be standing under it and the fan would be located outside probably on the roof.

There is a price to be paid for putting cooking equipment in a home that emulates professional cooking equipment. Of course, a real hotel/restaurant range would quickly drive you out of the kitchen; I know, I owned one once.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 7:28PM
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A 36" wide hood is totally inadequate over a 48" range, especially on an island. In terms of height off the range, you need to check the hood manufacturer's specs. My hood is only 2" higher than the specs (2" higher than the highest recommended, but 4" wider than the range) and I believe it affects performance. I set it that high because DH is tall. Dumb on my part.

Don't forget to plan how it will vent out.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 9:18PM
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"I can't imagine why anyone would really want such a big vent fan. Isn't 150 cfm the average stove vent fan?"

A 'commercial style' gas stove will often have burners rated at a minimum of 15,000 BTU/hr each.
A 30 inch stove has four, a 36 inch can have 6.
If you do any pan searing or other high smoke cooking a decent size hood is required unless you want a house full of smoke and grease.

Only the newest houses are sealed well enough to matter.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 9:29PM
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A rule of thumb for sizing exhaust fans for gas ranges is 1 CFM for every 100 BTU's of output.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 10:00PM
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