The task of figuring out exactly what we are going to do for kitchen ventilation has been on the back burner for some time. As ground breaking is getting closer, this needs to be nailed down. Here are our criteria for the kitchen or cooktop ventilation:
- Exhaust flow rate that accomplishes 5 kitchen air changes per hour (LEED req) or 400-500 cfm.
- Energy efficient operation
- Quiet operation
- Slim/modern design
- Cost effective
Meeting all of these criteria on a budget is no easy task since most decent looking stainless steel range hoods range from $500 – $1,000 and tend to be ineffective and noisy. If we didn’t have the quiet criteria things would be a lot easier, but quiet has been on the list for some time in my head for a couple of reasons. For starters, a quiet range hood is perceived as a higher-end feature in a kitchen that the majority of developers ignore altogether. Secondly, I have observed many not using their range hoods at all. When asked why, they say that it is too loud and drowns out conversation during cooking or bothers others in a nearby room. What good is adequate ventilation built to LEED standards if people don’t use it due to the noise?
OK, back to our research. At first seach it was not clear what the alternatives were to the traditional designer range hood that would fit our modern aesthetic. Luckily I found an HVAC site with a thorough description of kitchen ventilation systems and all of the components that go into a quietly operating system.
After reviewing the site above it is clear that the components we need to meet all of our criteria are as follows:
- A built-in hood liner with washable grilles and sometimes lights
- An inline or roof mounted fan
- A backdraft damper to keep outside air leaking through the ductwork when not in operation
- A silencer to quiet the metal ductwork
This sounds like a complex and expensive system at first glance but it appears that if the components are chosen carefully, the total cost will run about $500. While not cheap, the quality and effectiveness will far surpass the standard range hoods on the market.
One of the options I liked most at HVACquick.com were their Dayus Filter Grilles that could be mounted flush with the ceiling above an island cooktop like we have. This would maintain an open ground floor with unobstructed views from the living room to the back doors for less than $60. This is a bargain compared to some of the hood liners that start at $500 and would be a prominent fixture on the ground floor.
Next time I’ll try to spec out the exact components and prices of each to be used in the 100K House.
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