Vent fan over cooktop

boone_2009September 20, 2012

Hi everyone!

We currently have a vent fan over our cooktop that is built into the ceiling and vents outside; we'd like to replace it with a new model when we renovate. I see hoods galore in kitchen pics but I don't want a hood, I want a similar fan.

We'll be keeping the arched cooktop area with its brick outer surround but will remove all the current ( dirty :-)) white tile and put in a new backsplash on walls and ceiling. We will also be replacing the current fluorescent tube which you can just see in th epicture. There is a built-in Jenn-Air cooktop below ( also will be replaced)

Any suggestions for a powerful stainless steel vent fan?


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Oops. picture here!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 12:08PM
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Here is a picture of the brick arched cooktop area.( All those cabinets are going, drawers!!!)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 12:13PM
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Till you said "white", I was having a deja vu, LOL

I have the same problem as you do, only worse as my duct opening is not even centered and the cove is only half as deep as the cooktop. I have posted the question a few times here and the short answer was "cannot substitute CFM for capture area".

As I understand it, you really need to bring the hood down, closer to the cooking area. If you don't want to use a hood, you can get an external blower and a liner (commercial or custom).


    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 12:32PM
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You need to rip out the tile under the brick and put in a liner, then put an external fan on the roof. Your current setup doesn't have any method for cleaning all of the grease captured and is a pretty big fire hazard even with the tile. The duct itself could actually catch fire because of the coating of grease it has internally.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 12:38PM
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Thanks,eleena and live_wire_oak.
I don't evenknow what "CFM' or "capture area" is, sigh. Will Google now.
The fan has been working well for the last 22 years ever since the house was built ( by a very reputable builder in the area whose work is impeccable). There is an external fan on the roof but I'll have to double-check with OH on that.
Could any of you possibly post some links or pics of the kind of fan/hood I should look for?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 2:21PM
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Aaah...Cubic Feet per minute?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 2:24PM
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Ditto lwo.

Ideally, as eleena says, you want a full hood that is lower and closer to the cooktop(s). It might also extend out a few inches. But tucking a liner into the top and hooking it up to a serious fan will pull a lot more smoke and grease out of the kitchen than are getting pulled out now, even though some will still escape out the front. Those side walls are of some help in containment.

Ceiling fans still exist, but they're just sold for bathrooms and laundries, for the the reasons of safety and effectiveness lwo points to.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 2:45PM
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One of the reasons, if not the biggest reason, the white tile is dirty is because you do not have a proper hood over the cooktop & grill. All the grease, smoke, steam, fumes, etc. that you aren't capturing b/c the fan is much too high and too small are settling on the white tile.

Then, once you have the "sticky" or moist film resulting from the grease and steam, dust, pet hair & dander, dirt, etc. land on that film and stick to it...forming a layer of "gunk". The fan you have may have helped a bit and is probably better than no fan, but it's just not up to the job you're asking it to do!

If you don't want a repeat of the cleaning issue you have now, then I strongly recommend you get a true vent/range hood.

Do you use the grill?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 3:00PM
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Thank you, Colin3 and Buehl.

Colin3: Do you have any pics ( or links to sites ) of what you'd consider a serious fan? I'd really appreciate some recommendations.

Yes, we've used the grill a lot but not lately - it has a separate downward vent. Thanks for your advice re. a 'true vent/range hood." I'm really ignorant about what is a 'true vent', though :-(. Please enlighten moi?

Also, LWO and Colin3 - what kind of liner?

I'm grateful to everyone who posted - thank you for your kindness.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 4:46PM
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That's pretty good for an old school fan. One of my childhood kitchens has that fan just stuck in the wall behind the cooktop. I would imagine yours functions better because it does have the recessed capture area before the fan sucks it out. It looks like you might have enough room in the top to stick a whole liner unit in there that exhausts out the existing duct space. Measure your space and then go someplace online and look as the spec measurements for "liners." AJ Madison is an online vendor that lists the specs.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 9:23PM
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Thank you very much, onedogedie.
I'll check out AJM.
Not a DIY-er ( at least, not in recent years), so I'll have to research liner units...but I sure am learning a *lot* from this forum! :-)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 9:29PM
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True vent/range hood meaning an appliance that's specifically designed to vent grease, smoke, steam, etc. out of your kitchen and to the outside. The good ones have a fairly deep capture area that holds the effluent in a self-contained space and is able to collect the grease either in a cup or filter of some sort.

Venting outside is really a already have that, I said the current fan vents outside.

Vent hoods can be liners that fit inside a decorative hood (wood, plaster, etc.), they can be models that install under a cabinet, or they can be "stand-alone".

Stay away from the flat or shallow hoods if at all possible as they don't have a particularly good capture area.

Downdrafts really don't work that well at I recommend staying away from them as well.

Ditto over-the-range (OTR) MW/Hoods.


Chimney style:


Decorative Hood with a liner inside:

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 11:51PM
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If you poke around the Broan site, they will have PDF's that show a blow-out schematic of the parts needed to create a ventilation system. It might be the Installation PDF?

Be aware that they call their liners "Power Packs". The blower can be in one of three places. "Internal" as a part of the baffle unit, "Inline" in the ducting run, or "External" on the roof or wall. If your ducting run is long enough you can have an external blower and put a 3 foot section of what is called a silencer. Fantech is another company to look at, that sells the blowers and silencer. I think they have liners too but maybe they aren't as "nice" as others. You can mix and match, but some high-falutin companies will say their warranty is voided if you use components that aren't all theirs.

I don't think the brick needs to come down more.

Here is a link that might be useful: Broan Power Packs

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 9:22AM
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Buehl and Onedogedie: You have both gone above and beyond! Thank you *so very much* for your detailed explanations/comments/suggestions and for all the useful links which I have bookmarked.

I don't know what I'd do without this site and its helpful members.
Thanks, all!!!!!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 7:32AM
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Oh, sorry, I forgot about this thread.

An appliance manager told me that Broan Power Packs are not all that good. IDK if I believe that. My bathroom fans are all Broan and I read good reviews about many of their products. Kitchen hoods might be different though.

He told me that Dacor was better than Broan and Tradewind better than Dacor.

It would be interesting to get opinions here.

Also, mazy123 posted a kitchen reveal yesterday and said she was very happy with her hood insert from this website:

These are made by Z-line. They sound like a good option but I know nothing about their quality.

Does anyone know?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 9:01PM
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In addition to the data above, blowers are made by

Fantech (FKD series -- these are "inline")

Abbaka (external)

You don't need to get the blower and the liner from the same manufacturer.

There will be more in the archives if you search on "blower."

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 3:50AM
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Not to hijack this thread but to hopefully expand it: The pic that the OP shows with the vent 4 or 5 feet above the cooktop, well... that's what I'm exploring. Like the look of no visible fan or mantle hood at all.

Can exhausting be accomplished effectively with an inline blower, such as the one in the link above? I thought fans should be about 30" above the range top? How much bigger and louder does a fan have to be to pull stuff from 5 feet up instead of from 2 1/2 feet up?

This fan stuff with all the CFM's and whatnot is confusing, as commented on already by the OP, so the help on here is appreciated!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 4:36AM
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My mid-mod house has a broan fan over the cook top like yours. I also have a downdraft. They are not vey satisfactory, but i need something to fill the hole in the tongue and groove ceiling, so i just put in a new fan. The prvious owner had no vent because they had covered the original fan opening with a light box. The fans are so cheap that you could just replace it every couple of years in lieu of cleaning.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 8:44AM
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