hood over stove necessary?

mjher1August 3, 2012

I have been talking to several people who are telling me that it is not necessary to have an exhaust hood over the stove. Is there anyone who has had experience with this? I am considering this but don't want to make a mistake.

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Sophie Wheeler

Well, there is "necessary" and "necessary". While from a codes standpoint, if you have a small consumer grade cooktop, an open window may suffice for legal ventilation. However, if you have more robust pro style cooking equipment, the local codes enforcement will want you to follow the manufacturers requirements for ventilation, and possibly makeup air.

Even if you aren't "required" to have ducted power ventilation, it is still a necessity if you want to keep your home clean of odors and grease. All of that kitchen dirt and grease will float around your home and attach to walls and furniture otherwise making cleaning more difficult and making your home odoriferous.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 9:52PM
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It depends on your cooking style.
If you prepare a lot of meals on a regular basis and you don't mind the scent of last nights fish dinner permeating the rest of your home and you don't mind cleaning the grease deposits that will inevitabley collect on your ceiling, then no, you won't need a hood.
For me and most people I know, a hood is well worth its cost.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 10:03PM
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thanks for the input.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 10:07PM
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    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 12:02AM
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Depends on your cooking. If you cook lots of greasy type stuff on the stovetop, yes, I'd recommend a hood. I *have* one, but haven't used it but a few times in 15 years. My house isn't greasy nor odiferous. I rarely cook greasy stuff on the stove though...I might brown some hamburger from time to time but that's about it.

When we remodeled, I seriously thought about going without. We decided to put a microwave above our Bosch range to save some space and it comes with a circulating fan/filter thing....good enough for me (because I doubt that I'll use it much if at all!)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 12:07AM
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you absolutely need ventilation - and not just a nearby window! otherwise your house will have odors, grease and moisture from cooking. and think about the future buyer of your home - i would not consider a house without propoer kitchen ventilation. i would wonder what else was done wrong. this is not optional and if you read biggest kitchen design mistakes lists this one is right up there on the list.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 2:25AM
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I know that with our previous Maytag range I didn't turn mine on that much. But when I did use our crappy over the range recirculating vent I hated it because it didn't vent outside. So I could smell certain things for an entire day after. It drove me nuts.

Now that I have a stronger range (Thermador), I couldn't go without a hood. Right after we moved in I forgot to turn the hood on and was cooking something greasy and set the smoke alarm off! Visually nothing looked odd but it needed to be on. I also notice nothing smells up the house after we cook. It's so so nice!!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 11:51AM
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Please put one in, even if you may not use it much, especially if you resell someday.

My main driver for my kitchen reno is that there is NO venting for my range!!! That's crazy!
My house smells like bacon, or fish, or the Lobster and ginger/scallions from Wednesday, all the time because I cook a lot.
And the grease and the moist air (from boiling pasta) is everywhere!


    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 12:29PM
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Thanks everyone. I guess I better put one in. I'm glad I asked.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 9:51PM
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Just to reinforce your decision to install a hood:
I had a recirculating hood in my old kitchen which I seldom/never used. Horrible dusty grease built up everywhere on high surfaces. Scrubbing never seemed to get things clean. I guess I thought that was normal.

Now I always turn the vent on when I am cooking. On low it is hardly noticeable. Sometimes I am irritated at the amount of grease on the vanes. Then I realize they come out, go in the DW, and all that grease, a LOT of it, is NOT on cabinets and ceilings.

There is still dust, of course, but it's a breeze to clean without the grease to stick to.

And then there are the lingering odors that no longer linger and the heat that just disappears.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:43AM
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I understand the desire to have a hood but I'll say that in my last house I didn't have one and I only wished I did a few times. I don't cook much fish though. When I have cooked fish, I wished that I had one. I do cook bacon a few times a week and have never found that the grease built up on my ceiling, although my ceilings were over 10 feet tall. I am considering going without one in my new kitchen as well. Haven't decided yet.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:42PM
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Not just grease but steam. Did you ever boil water for pasta and have all your kitchen windows steam up? Not good for the cabinets. No matter how little you use your stove top or the oven there is stuff going into the air. I can't wait to have a range hood that exhausts to the outside. In fact I will not use the stove in the new kitchen for ANYTHING until it is installed.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 1:09PM
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It definitely helps! I also had that greasy buildup on my old ceiling, the upper cabinets, not just on the outside of my cabinet doors either. I discovered the seldom used "good china" cups" had a thick layer of goo when I took them down. Yuck!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 5:35PM
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