Wall ovens and venting

eleenaMarch 22, 2012

So, people are installing all these great powerful hood over their ranges and cooktops. Forgive my ingorance, but what about the wall ovens?

Some of the oven listings specify vent fans (e.g., 300 CFM Vent Fan for Advantium).

But where do the smoke and smells go? They don't require any ducting as far a I can tell. Do they just recirculate air back to the room?

My house smells for hours after baking and, for my future remodel, I am wondering if there is a way to avoid it.

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Wall ovens used to vent to the outside, but not anymore. Now they vent into the room & a quiet to semi-quiet fan runs inside to help the heat dissipate after the oven has been turned off. A couple brands/levels within brands of wall ovens have a filter on their vent to help with food smells entering the room--the top of the line Kenmore Elite wall oven does & Fisher Paykel does. Other than those two, I am not sure on other brands. To help ensure you avoid the food smells, I would make sure you get a wall oven with a vent filter. Keep in mind, though, that once you open the oven door, food smells will escape.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 9:25PM
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Thank you, mydreamhouse!

I posted a follow-up question on the Kitchens forum.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 12:27PM
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To be honest, I don't think I've ever seen a wall oven that did not vent into the room. I've heard of rare exceptions, but that's it.

Today's ovens have fans to keep the electronics cool, but that's not the same thing.

Some folks will put a flush-mounted exhaust fan in the ceiling above where the ovens are located. Something like a bathroom fan but a bit stronger (200-300cfm). This can deal with some of the effluent escaping from the oven (assuming it vents out the front).

I can tell you that over the years, my parent's double oven Thermador darkened the cabinet doors above as well as the ceiling above the oven pair. A vent would have helped the ceiling but not the doors.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 4:22PM
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The '60s kitchen that I just tore out had a built-in vent directly above the ovens (in the cabinet). The ovens were side by side, total width of about 42 inches. The vent was full width, and the fan came on when you pulled the bottom of the vent cover to angle it out.

I have looked for similar vents, but found nothing on the market.

You can see the vent (closed position) in the link. It is the black strip with "Frigidaire" and the stainless strip above it (black is surface trim on the stainless) I loved those oven doors that opened by shifting upwards.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 6:06PM
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When we first did our kitchen 25 years ago our we installed a built in vent over the double wall ovens - just like the one attofarad described.

When we replaced appliances 5 years ago and installed a new Dacor double wall oven we kept the vent. It has been helpful on those few occasions when someone has burned the garlic bread. Now that we broil with the door closed it's harder to keep an eye on those things.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 8:49AM
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That Frigidaire range is their Flair model and is considered a collectible. Similar/same unit was in the Bewitched TV show. Other brands had the same style for a while. The lower handle, of course, is a pull-out cooktop. The exhaust is just as much or moreso for the cook top as for the ovens.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 9:29AM
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It sounds like if I install this hood (see link) over the oven and vent it outside, it would solve the problem?

Here is a link that might be useful: Undercabinet range hood

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 11:03AM
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The exhaust is just as much or moreso for the cook top as for the ovens.

That is true, but it's also true that in the 1960's they sold vents for ovens. My mother has one. :) I think it's a Nu-Tone.

If they still made them, I'd have one! My big oven has very fancy air filters, but I can still smell what's cooking, and the smells do get into the rest of the house. If I put my overpowered range hood on, which is a few feet away to the side, parallel to the air being vented from the oven, it will suck most of the smell out, but I don't usually bother. Then again, when I'm not also cooking on the stove with the hood on, I'm not usually making anything all that big and smelly. :)

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 3:11PM
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This is a difficult to fix need that is an interest of mine. I have a Wolf double wall oven with cabinet above. At the ceiling are a pair of registers (with furnace filters) connected to dampers and thence to an '80s NuTone roof fan rated at (I vaguely recall) 1000 cfm, so maybe it pulls 600 through the filters. This setup is inadequate, although helpful.

It may be worth pointing out that the Wolf ovens circulate air around them pulling from the electronics at the top and exhausting at the bottom. None of the oven interior cooking air is entrained in this. The convection air is only recirculated within the oven cavity.

The problem is that the odors (which spill out of an oven when its door is opened) fill the room much too quickly for any reasonable venting to accommodate. In commercial operations, an "eyebrow" hood may be used over an oven. These provide somewhat improved capture and containment, but still are not going to handle door opening spillage. And an eyebrow hood won't work well with a cabinet above.

The only (impractical for the home) solution that I see is to build the kitchen with a ceiling 2 feet higher than will be seen. Install perforated ceiling panels (probably stainless steel) at the desired height. Make the cavity above a plenum from which the air is exhausted with relatively high cfm. Use a lot of UV in the plenum to break up grease particles into less obnoxious carbon compounds. Commercial versions of this concept may be found on the Internet.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 11:52AM
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attofarad,I have to comment on that great looking matching SS bottom freezer Frigidaire by General Motors fridge-wow-foot pedal operated door opener,swivel out shelves, porcelain crispers and interior.Friends have coppertone model at their cottage, hmm, 1960s-2012 still going strong 40 plus years. Gee GM, you sure built some durable,innovative appliances back then. Does the appliance industry still refer to them as DURABLE GOODS?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 3:14PM
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My mother's oven vent is sort of like an eyebrow hood. It has an apron which pulls out and covers the opening. It does a remarkably good job for a '60's thing.

Unfortunately, appliance design nowadays is about uniformity, production, inventory management, sell through, and energy/efficiency stats. It is not about making really good appliances that do a really good job and in a way the cook wants them to, except at the ultra high end.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 4:24PM
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The GE Advantium has to have it's own exhaust / fan installed???????????

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 10:01AM
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I need advise on the size of the exhaust fan. I have a downdraft for the electric cooktop that is on an island, but want to install an exhaust fan above the electric double wall oven. Is 300 cfm and 6" ductwork sufficient or do I have to go to 8" ductwork and a fan rated at 500 cfm? I will probably use an inline fan.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 2:01AM
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The more air exhausted the better for removing effluent from an opened oven before it coats all the walls and distributes itself through the house, but the more air pulled, the more make-up air needed, and in some locales this may mean a lot of complexity or cost.

In is unlikely that anything one can feasibly do will be adequate to immediately capture and contain oven effluent. We need ovens to be built with exhaust ports that can be hooked to ventilation systems in a way that allows the filters to be cleaned. And then the ovens would need more power because they would have to reheat their internal air at a higher rate.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 12:11PM
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I wonder if something like the pull out hoods from Miele , Gaggenau or Fabre would work? You will lose space on top of your oven stack by it could work.

Here is a link that might be useful: Faber pull out hood

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 8:40AM
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From the past waiting to be resurrected.

I hate microwave cooking smells. I wanted something like this, and thought to MacGyver one until I realized all my efforts would be wasted because the microwavers would not turn it on.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 9:12AM
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I would expect that the minimum thickness (height) for good flow would have to be three to four inches, as illustrated above, unless a blower were used that (unlike most kitchen vent hood blowers), was capable of sufficient flow with significant pressure loss.

The distance it would have to pull out from the cabinet would have to equal the oven door height to have a hope of collecting what spills out when the door is opened. The image above is of a design that might be helpful when broiling with the door cracked open an inch or two. Wolf, for example and for good reason as their electronics are just above the door, requires broiling with the door closed, so when the door is opened to remove or turn the food, there is massive spillage of greasy smoke.

One would also like a pull out hood to be wider than the door. And it could only be tolerated if above the cook's head, so a wall oven would be necessary.

A very large commercial type hood at ceiling height would seem to be the only solution if the oven is not internally vented, but I await with anticipation a great idea from someone.

If ovens are only used for baking, and broiling is done on the cooktop or on a salamander above the cooktop, then the "quality" of released oven effluent won't be so bad.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 9:48AM
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I did some light holiday cooking, no roasts or turkeys in the oven, just bacon, potatoes, a casserole or two. We recently moved into an older home and will eventually remodel this kitchen but for now I have a whirlpool gold electric range (smooth top) that was very clean inside and out - no built up residue. Also has a Braun hood.

When we were looking at this house, we noticed it had a overall odor like something you would expect in a tightly closed house that did a lot of cooking (frying). Prior to move in, we had every wall and ceiling repainted and replaced carpet in the two bedrooms that were not hardwoods all in an effort to remove the smell

Now, 6 mos later it seems the smell is returning and I think it is due to the oven. We don't cook much, but when we do, smoke billows out of the back of the oven up along the wall (and I repeat, it is clean) and the fan does not seem to be able to remove it. We must open windows and doors to clear the smoke/odor out.

So my questions are: is this just an old inefficient oven with no insulation and no proper way to direct the smoke OR does it sound more like an inefficient hood that is incapable of removing normal food smells.

I could replace one or the other if needed ahead of the full remodel but would prefer not to do both if avoidable.

Do all range ovens smoke? I don't recall this in previous homes.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 9:43AM
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No, they don't generate smoke normally.

I'm thinkin' there is grease and gook where it can't be seen that is burning up. It would have to be a whopping amount of stuff though to have leaked through the oven cavity and still be burning off 6 months later. Possibly, it is a part of the house or cabinets being toasted.

You can pull the range forward and look around. You might call a repair person to look into the oven further, but ask about their fees first. I'd either get it looked at or replaced by the cheapest thing I could find that fit.

If the fan is older than about 10 years, it's likely to have really small cfms - might even be on the order of 125 cfm. It may not be vented to the outside. I'd get rid of the smoke from the range first.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 12:37PM
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