Venting experts - can you vent through the roof?

ginny20March 26, 2013

My friend bought a house that needs a lot of work before she moves in. She's not doing the whole kitchen, but the OTR microwave doesn't work, so she's going to put in a recirculating hood with a charcoal filter. When I looked askance at that, she said she doesn't cook much at all, mainly pasta or stir fried vegs (she's vegetarian). She had a gas line run so she could replace the electric radiant range with gas - not commercial, just a regular gas stove.(I suggested she might like induction, which no one had ever mentioned to her. If she doesn't cook much, why did she need a gas stove instead of the electric anyway?) Her GC assured her that it would be fine for the cooking she does. So first, will it be fine? With a recirculating hood, would she be better off with induction than gas, or does it not really matter?

Someday, she might be able to move the range to the outside wall and have a real hood, although the outside wall also has a lot of windows. But when I suggested that they could also take the vent up through the high, cathedralish ceiling - the kitchen is on the top floor - her GC said that you shouldn't do that because you should avoid making openings in the roof.

I thought I'd read on here about people venting straight up. So, is it OK to go through the roof or not?

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First of all, a recirculating hood will be just as useless with an induction range as with any other kind. And secondly, her GC is either smoking something strange, or hasn't a clue about his business. Vents are cut in roofs all the time, in all types of climates. It's not rocket science, but it does require the basic knowledge of how to seal the hole to prevent leaks. In his biz, he should have that basic knowledge.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 9:26PM
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Thanks, cooknsews, that's what I thought.

She said this GC also talked her into track lighting because he said "you can't put recessed lights in slanted ceilings," and then the electrician told her about the recessed lights made for cathedral ceilings. (heck, even I've heard of those) So I do wonder if the GC knows his stuff. Clearly, he doesn't visit GW.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 9:44PM
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DH and I installed a vent in our upstairs bathroom, venting through the roof. Did it ourselves - no leaks. We have cold, snowy winters and stormy summers - no leaks.

My Mom's house was built in 1977, range hood vented though the roof. This is nothing new.

What does your friend's GC do, exactly?

I have a vaulted ceiling, and the only issue I can see with venting the range hood is enclosing the vent line so it looks halfway decent. I've see photos of them (standard range hood, with cabinets above) cased in with drywall, bricks, and wood. Again, not rocket surgery.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 11:25PM
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Yikes. We just remodeled. One of the big flaws in the old kitchen was a downdraft vent. I had it replaced it with a vent through the roof. It was a pretty minor change.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 12:30AM
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Thanks for responding, annkh and jxbrown. You all are confirming my fears about this guy's ability. Yikes indeed.

How sad is it that someone taking money as a GC knows less about the options for recessed lighting and hoods - and who knows what else - than a housewife who happens to read GW?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 12:52PM
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Ginny, we put our Kobe vent pipe through the brand new roof. I was nervous about doing this, but the roofer said it was no problem. We installed recessed lighting in our previous home which had cathedral ceilings in two rooms. Also not a problem. I'd fire this GC and hire someone knowledgeable.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 2:04PM
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If she sells, having a real vent with the gas stove will be a selling point.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 4:32PM
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I am going straight up into the attic above and then out the roof above with an 8" Modern Aire insert.

My GC said this is no problem. He even recommended it. I asked about it before we even had framing completed.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 8:37PM
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This guy sounds like someone with limited experience who likes to do one thing only. Induction is and should be her best option. It will just plug right in. The ventitalion required will be less than gas because of the lack of waste heat.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 8:19AM
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"The ventitalion required will be less than gas because of the lack of waste heat."

While it is true that less heat is thrown into the kitchen with induction, it mostly depends on how and what you cook. If you like to sear meat or otherwise cook greasy foods on high heat, you will need every single max CFM you can afford, regardless of heat source.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 1:56PM
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