Wall Oven Venting

rjulianoNovember 6, 2012

I'm building out a new kitchen, including building the cabinets myself. I've done a lot of Google searching and while people seem bothered that modern wall ovens don't have exterior venting provisions built in, no one seems to have a good solution/workaround.

My thought right now is to install a 30" downdraft range vent horizontally over the wall ovens. Instead of moving up/down, popping the downdraft "up" would bring it out over the ovens. Broan has models that can be hooked up to an external blower for 600+ cfm. Thoughts?

I haven't been able to find posting or pictures of anyone else doing this, so I'm wondering if I'm missing something obvious on why this wouldn't work or would be a bad idea?



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Why do you think it is necessary in the first place? Do you think that the oven manufacturers are somehow in the wrong?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 12:41AM
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I doubt that the device would move properly in the horizontal direction without binding.

You might think about putting an exhaust unit in the ceiling (like a large bathroom fan) above the ovens.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 4:57PM
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You can get quiet ceiling fans that are rated for use in kitchens (more fire resistant than bathroom fans). Just place one above the front of the ovens. Cheap. Easy.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 5:05PM
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I have a pair of wall ovens (Wolf) over which there are a pair of 14 x 20 inch registers in the ceiling. Above the registers are furnace filters (I use the 3M ones as they have much better filtering). These assemblies are ducted through dampers to a roof fan that is a nominal 1000 cfm upblast unit I bought years ago from NuTone.

The Wolf ovens specify broiling with the doors closed. While the ceiling vents are helpful in airing out the kitchen, opening an oven filled with hot greasy effluent from broiling will fill the kitchen with smoke, grease and odor much faster than any reasonable ceiling unit can remove the air.

Commercial kitchens use "eyebrow" hoods over ovens (mostly used for baking), but I would guess that capture and containment was marginal in most cases. Broiling would normally be on a grill with a much closer vent hood.

Ovens could be better vented with ducting right to the oven. But the oven would have to be very powerful to keep the interior temperature where it was set while cold air was being pulled in to replace the air pulled out.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 7:21PM
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Sushipup, a few reasons:

1. To capture as much "smell" as possible. Having the entire house smell for a couple of days of whatever was cooked that night gets tiresome.
2. Self-cleaning stinks and is toxic.
3. To capture the dragon-burp of smoke that comes out of the oven when you open the door while broiling or doing high-temp proteins.

Weedmeister, the binding sounds very possible. Maybe I can find a cheap Craigslist unit with which to test.

PeterH2 & kaseki, I thought about a bathroom ceiling fan but write it off since most of ones I've seen max out around 120-150 cfm. The idea of a large return-air type of vent with a filter, damper, and powerful external blower are intriguing. How often do you end up changing that filter? Mind sharing your brands/sources for parts?



    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 2:55AM
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A couple more questions:

Would you do it again or do you feel that the performance you're getting isn't worth the effort?

Do you use a self-cleaning function and does your setup help much with the odors from a self-cleaning cycle?



    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 2:58AM
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You didn't ask me, but I get no odor from using the self-cleaning cycle. And no lingering odor from what I cook in the oven except for delicious aromas. If I bake cookies, I don't smell them for days afterwards.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 10:39AM
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We don't often do heavy emission broiling inside so the periods between self cleaning are very long. There is some odor. The ceiling register uptake, combined with the even larger flow rate available from the nearby cooktop ventilation can attenuate self-clean odor in an hour or so.

I change the filters when I notice that they are turning grayish. This takes about six months, I would guess, and the filter loading is now primarily lint, not grease. If you have one or more cats the loading rate would probably double and be primarily cat fur. (I should add that this exhaust path is often used for general air refreshment so it can run at low speed for several hours at times.)

The two register housings were made at a local HVAC supplier. They use Hart and Cooley registers of the type that open like a door -- hinged on one side, lever locked on the other. The housings' 8-inch (IIRC) duct interfaces mate to two damper assemblies I ordered from Fantech. (The reason for two was that I already had one, and because a larger single unit would have required yet more complexity in the kitchen ceiling joist layout.)

The damper outputs connect to a Y-type housing (I think in this case it was shaped more like a lambda) and the combined 8-inch duct then extends to the roofline.

I haven't recently found any of my paperwork on the roof fan, but if NuTone (now part of Broan) doesn't still make them, similar units certainly can be ordered from Greenheck or HVAC distributors.

Last, let me remind that this configuration has minimal capture due to height and lack of capture volume, so it won't do what a 4 x 8 foot commercial ceiling hood with maybe 2500 cfm could achieve. On the other hand, a cooktop vent hood has a low aperture so its ability to remove distributed warm effluent is poor as the effluent will tend to rise to the ceiling.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 12:00PM
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Broan makes a reasonably quiet 400 cfm ceiling fan rated for kitchen use. You can use a variable-speed control to quieten it down when doing self-clean (doesn't need as much air flow as broiling).

Not having a hood to capture the "dragon burp" will limit the effectiveness of any solution, but a ceiling fan will catch up over time if you can keep the effluent in the vicinity. This is one of the (many) reasons why I think "open concept" is a Bad Idea. Our kitchen is hideously unfashionable, but very practical - it has doors that can be closed so no significant odours escape to the rest of the house

Here is a link that might be useful: Broan L400K

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 7:31PM
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I wish we had done this with our double ovens, which are not near the well-vented Culinarian cooktop.

Several times we have set off the smoke alarms during parties when broiling hors d'oeuvres. The burp of smoke from cooking or anything dropping on the floor of the oven will do it...


    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 5:58PM
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This is an interesting thread...we broil in our wall ovens several times a week and I run the self-clean regularly and I haven't had smoke or odors escape from the oven much at all...if I did I can see why I would want venting!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 9:51PM
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What brand of oven do you have? Is it convection,electric and how old is it? This is the first oven that I have read about that doesn't "fry" the electronics when the self clean is used.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 1:43AM
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Susanlave-I answered this in another thread, but my Fisher & Paykel DID fry something the first time I ran the self-clean, but I was prepared for that. There was some improved part or something available and it was fixed under warranty and I have been able to broil and run the self-clean regularly since then.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 12:00AM
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