Vent hoods that don't have to be vented outside? do they exist?

ejbrymomMarch 7, 2010

I currently have OTR microwave with a recycling fan. Because the wall the range is on is a support wall for the upstairs it may be too thick to install a duct to vent outside unless we want to dry wall area of uppercabinets and lose storage space/height (that is what contractor said a few years back). I would love to add taller cabinets instead of dry wall to enclose duct work.

Do we have options to add a vent without installing ductwork to the outside? I would love to have a beautiful cabinet like range hood.

Our previous configuration was an island cooktop that did vent to the outside under the flooring/along basement ceiling. I hated having an island cooktop. Took up so much workspace.

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A vent hood that does not vent to the outside is a recirculating hood, which is basically what you have now with your OTR microwave. I am not sure they make wood hood models that recirculate. A downdraft is always an option though, and it doesn't have to be used only on an island. Downdrafts don't work quite as well as a normal hood, but it will work far better than a recirculating hood. you could fake it though. use a downdraft for your actual venting purposes and have a fake wooden hood made (probably have to line it with a non combustible material), complete with lights. You'd get the look you want and still have some better venting than a recirc would give you.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 9:32AM
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I know Broan makes hoods that can be vented 3 ways-horizontal, vertical, and non ducted with special filters. We just bought one of these because DH has to wait until the weather gets better to do the outside ducting. However, it is stainless, not wood.

I would google stove hoods and then check things out. That's what I did. Looked at Kobe, Vent a Hood, Nutone-there's lots of brands out there. Good luck!!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 10:24AM
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It sounds like the range location is on an interior wall that is loadbearing and below a second floor, so that ducting would run along that wall to the exterior wall?

If you simply want the look of a vent hood, then that is easy enough. Install a vent hood minus fan, motor, ductwork - or have built a facsimile of a vent hood. Use downdraft for venting, or nothing.

If you want the function of an overhead vent hood, you could:
- run ducting through topmost portion of upper cabinets. It could run above the cabinet boxes and be concealed by an extended face frame or tall crown trim. Or directly through the boxes above the topmost shelf. The topmost shelf is not a very accessible storage spot anyway.
- enclose ducting in a dry wall soffit. That sounds like what your contractor mentioned.
- go through the wall, then run to the exterior along the other side of the wall. Don't know what room that is, but if it is a less ''important'' space that the kitchen, you might prefer the ducting and perhaps enclosing soffit to run there. This is what I plan - on the other side of my range wall is the stairwell down to the basement, so exposed duct and blowers can live there.
- have ducting turn 180 deg and go down to basement, then exit similar to your old downdraft system. This is going to be least effective (longer path for ducting hence more resistance to airflow), and may require range and adjacent cabinets to be pulled out from the wall (to make room for the duct).

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 10:25AM
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> I am not sure they make wood hood models that recirculate.

Yes, you can get recirculating liners for wood hoods, but you need to find a spot to put the grille for the airflow. Hoffco recommends putting it at the front top of the hood, for theirs:

Here is a link that might be useful: hoffco hoods

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 10:25AM
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yes you are correct loadbaring interior wall below a 2nd floor bathroom.

I know we can do a soffit or install duct work through cabinetry but Ugh I want more storage or atleast display area for my pottery. But I do cook 5-6 nights a week in most cases so a real working vent would probably be best.

How flexible are the ducts? Will they take up a lot of room?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 1:49PM
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Are you happy with your OTC recirculating hood now?

With my new kitchen that is one thing I was not going to compromise, even if it meant running it through the highest portion of the cabinetry. (Thankfully we didn't have to do that).

But if you are happy with recirculating and want it in a hood insert that goes inside a wood hood (which is what I have - vented), I would call around to 5 or 6 appliance stores that carry hood inserts and ask if they make recirculating hood inserts. Sometimes even people in the industry don't know, which is why I would call more than one or two stores.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 2:45PM
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the size of the duct depends on the size and requirements of the hood, but usually 6" to 8" with 8" being more prevelent. If your cabinets are 12" deep, that leaves 6"-4" of space.

When the guys installed my MOm's Ventahood, they used rectangular duct (3x10). This left more room in the cabinet for storage.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 3:46PM
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Our stainless wall hood is ductless. I use replacable charcoal filters. I've been looking at the simple construction and I bet a good carpenter could deconstruct it and build a wood frame.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 4:23PM
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Are you willing to reduce your kitchen width by 6" or so? You could build in a wall approx 6" to accommodate venting.

We had a similar situation (and other issues) and to solve that particular issue we first built in a wall 6" (so our kitchen went from 11' wide to 10'6" wide), installed a conversion elbow (at 45 degrees, I think (or 135 degrees, depending on how you measure the angle)) that converted the 8" round duct to a 6"x8.5" rectangular duct and ran it up inside the new wall space, and across the kitchen to the outside wall.

This way, you can still have full cabinetry on the wall, a good vent, and your desired wood hood...everything you want!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 5:25PM
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The problem with ventless hoods is that they are ventless. Even good quality ones that move a lot of air away from your cooking surface just end up putting that moisture and odor laden hot air back into your room. (No, the charcoal filters don't work that well.) If you are mainly a "open can and dump" or microwave reheating type of cook, then recirculating can work OK for you as you don't produce much steam or heat. However, if you saute veggies, or meats, or boil big pots of water for pasta, or pan or deep fry, you're really not going to be happy with the performance of a recirculating hood. Your new cabinets won't be happy either.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 6:42PM
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Good to know. We could vent up top if we needed. We just cannot go through the wall given it is load bearing.

I have 30" cabinets now. Could go to 36" + crown and then add the duct would on top of that. Or I could have the duct work go through the upper decorative cabinets. We only have 8 ft ceilings.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 7:12PM
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cant go through the wall? If all you need to do is cut a hole in it, why can't you go through it?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 1:23AM
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Agree w/ Weed. I don't see why you can't route the exhaust thru the load-bearing wall.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 6:43AM
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Even in a load bearing wall, the studs are 16" on center. There is no reason in the world that a 10" duct can't pass between one of the stud bays. You won't even need a header for support since it's between the studs unless the range is in one of the "wrong" locations. You just go straight out the back between the studs. If you have to do a header, a single stud header is the simplest possible. It isn't even as big as a header for a window or door. VERY easy to do.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 7:30AM
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Not if the depth of the wall is 6" or less...that was our dilemma. 8" would not fit inside the wall or the ceiling. So we had to convert to the rectangular duct but you can't do it in a small space, you need room for not only the conversion piece but the elbow to go up the wall to the ceiling as well (our hood vented out the back & needed an elbow to go up).

We ended up w/the conversion piece, and 4 elbows...long story, but suffice it to say I would never recommend the people who did our kitchen to anyone! Their problem solving skills were almost nonexistent and they were very resistant to doing anything they didn't do "all the time on other jobs".

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 7:57AM
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Your situation regarding a vent hood mirrors exactly what we had to deal with. Load bearing wall, finished upstairs bathroom, all the plumbing for the bathroom was exactly where we thought we could run the duct work for the vent hood and 8' ceilings.

What we did was run 3X10 duct work above the 36" cabinets, vented horizontally to the outside and then covered up the duct work with moldings. We did have to drop the vent hood from 30" above the stove to 27". I was worried about having the vent hood 27" above the stove, but we were in the parameters of what the installation instructions required.

The only thing I would have changed was to have a 9" vent hood instead of an 18" vent hood, then I could have had the vent hood 30" above the range, but you know what, it works like a champ. My vent hood is extremely quiet on low and medium low, but does get louder on med high and high.

Whatever you choose to do, good luck. I always tell my DH, if they can put a man on the moon, then something is always doable, with some thought, and a woman!!!!

Here is a picture of our install.

Here is a picture of the finished product.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 11:49AM
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kitchen commander - THANK YOU for posting those pics. That is EXACTLY the same location of our stove - exactly! We have the same granite and a window in basically the same place. :)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 6:56AM
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Where does the grease wind up going with a downdraft range? Is it suitable for a small apt. kitchen? Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 7:15AM
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Kitchen Commander - what range do you have? it is beautiful!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 10:57AM
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My range and hood are both GE Cafe. The stove is a dual fuel and my hood is a 600 CFM. I have had absolutely no problems with either one of these appliances. My hood is only 21" deep and I have never had a problem with the capture area and believe me, I sear steak on high heat with a Lodge Logic grill. No more setting off the smoke alarm and no more calls from ADT. YEA.

Here is the before pic. I had the OTR microwave that was totally useless, and besides, it was broken. Can I say how much I love having a hood that vents to the outside!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 11:17AM
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