Help me find a new hood please

BentleyMMay 4, 2012

I'm building a new house and my wife picked a 48" Thermador Pro Harmony for our range. Problem is that we're about $4000 over budget on appliances. Appliances are not something we'd like to change later on so I'm fine with the overage.

Now we need to find a hood to go with the range. I don't know what qualities make one hood better than any other hood. The primary concern for me is the cost. I'd like to keep the cost as low possible because we're pretty tight overall on the house. However, i don't want to go cheap today and regret it later. Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks.

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we are going through the exact same issue for our 48" Wolf. I will be following your thead closely.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 11:21AM
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The only succinct thing one can say about kitchen ventilation is that it has to capture and contain. One might add that the air removed has to be replaced.

The rest requires a lot of words, many of which can be found by searching this site for threads with words such as "hood", MUA, fan, blower, capture, etc.

For insight into the subject (with a commercial emphasis), the "Application & Design Guide" at Greenheck's web site will be useful.


Here is a link that might be useful: Design Guide

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:25AM
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A few questions:

Will the range be against a wall or on an island?

Is it constrained by upper cabinets? How high is the ceiling?

Have you planned the ducting to the outside? What diameter is it?

Have you talked to your contractor and/or HVAC person about makeup air, and checked local code on that?

Is noise in the kitchen a concern?

What kind of cooking do you do? If there's a lot of braising and wokery, you may want more cfm and capture area.

(Also, especially if you are using an all-gas unit, check that the contractor has factored a big enough gas pipe. Yes, you'd think they would know to do this, but ...)

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 5:26PM
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Hey Colin, thanks for the reply. I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can.

1) The range will be against a wall. May end up a being a Therm 48" range top now. My wife is torn between the two.

2) We're building a new house so cabinets can be built however they need to be built. I'm going to guess that a cabinet will be above though. Ceiling is 10' tall, but our architect has told us that we won't be running the duct all the way up for aesthetic reasons. Instead it will do a 90* turn into the master closet behind it and then another 90* up out of the house.

3) Not sure about ducting. Whatever is required I guess.

4) I have not talked about make-up air. That's a new concept to me.

5) Noise while the vent is on at full tilt is not a concern for me. It is what it is in that case. My wife does not agree and has often voiced her concern over the noise. Budget will win out here though.

6) We mostly do a lot of pan cooking and soups in large Le Creuset pots. Occasionally I'll make fried rice in a wok, but never blast the burner when cooking that meal.

7) My builder is pretty spot on, so I think we'd be covered on gas plumbing there but I'll be sure to mention it. As I said, my wife is not reconsidering the range and thinks that it would be best to have the ovens away from the range due to heat.

Thanks again for your reply. I hope I've provided enough information.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:18PM
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Thanks - Other folks know way more than I do, especially about different brands, but these were some of the common questions that come up in these discussions.

It's definitely worth getting out in front on the ducting -- there's a steady trickle of posts on this forum from people finding out too late that they don't have enough diameter.

As Kaseki has explained at length elsewhere, kitchen ventilation must solve two problems: (1) capturing the effluent (hot air, smoke, steam, airborne grease etc.) as it rises off the stove top (2) sucking it out.

(1) you solve with a canopy that overlaps the cooktop enough to trap the rising effluent column, and it's great news that your range is against a wall, 'cause island hoods have to deal with cross-drafts. Ideally you want the canopy to overlap the cooktop by at least four inches, so you are looking for 56-60" wide, and somewhere around 28" deep -- search on "bump out" for more on getting depth.

(2) you solve with a blower with enough cfm that the effluent doesn't spill back out of the canopy after rising into it. Although the Design Guide that Kaseki linked is aimed at pro gear, the basic issues are the same.

Once you've separated the functions into (1) and (2) you will notice that you can buy different things to address them. (1) is just a metal shell. You can often get bargains used -- I got a 54" hood for $400 from a building salvage store. Check out Craigslist. (2) is a blower, and it does not have to be in the hood -- you can use an "inline" blower anywhere in the ducting, or an external blower where the duct meets the great outdoors. I use an Abbaka blower. Moving the blower away from the hood cuts reduces noise.

MUA: Imagine an airtight box. Add a single hole and try to suck air out through it. Not much will happen, right? To draw a steady flow of air out you have to replace it from somewhere. The kitchens most of us grew up in had low-BTU stoves and small blowers, like 200 cfm. But 1000 cfm ... for a typical kitchen that's all the air in the room, every couple of minutes. Two things follow (a) without adequate MUA you won't get enough cfm through your hood and/or (b) if you are not getting the MUA harmlessly, the blower may pull air down your chimney while there's a fire burning, back-draft a gas hot-water heater, or other dangerous things. It's for this reason that a lot of localities now require MUA if your blower is rated over 400 cfm. The actual needs depend on how your place is built. If you live in the tropics and have windows open year-round, you don't need it. If you have one of those new energy-efficient houses so tightly sealed that not a molecule of gas gets in unbidden, you very definitely need MUA. In any case, this is why HVAC people make the big bucks.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 9:27PM
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I am selling a 48 inch Wolf liner and 1200cfm wolf internal blower. Brand new in box. I just picked up a 60 inch Wolf range instead of the 48 inch range I was intending to buy, and have to dump my 48 inch liner and blower. Interested?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:45AM
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    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:46AM
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    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:55AM
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Still available if anyone is interested

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 9:54AM
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