One of the hurdles in designing a minimalist kitchen layout is always the ventilation above the range. If you have the budget you can have options like beautiful steel and glass hoods or flush vents that pop up from the countertop only when in use. There are even really fancy, slim new vents that mount under upper cabinets, but will run you over $1,200.
Those of us on a budget have limited options and often have to resort to tacking a fan under their cabinets or buying one of the unsightly US designed Microwave/Range Hoods.
In the 100K project we eliminated the range hood altogether by mounting a fan on the roof that was connected to a simple $50 flush mounted ceiling vent. This works great, but it’s also not the cheapest option and it can throw off the air pressure balance in a tight home real quick.
In the Passive Project our consultants advised us not to vent the kitchen exhaust outside directly, so we were looking at re-circulating fans. The kitchen layout also was simplified by putting the cooktop in the main stretch of the kitchen cabinets to free up the island for more flexibility. We didn’t want to interfere with the nice clean lines of the horizontal upper cabinets on the ply wall, so we needed to find a new solution for our kitchen ventilation.
After much research and one incorrect order, we installed the custom ventilation configuration you see below.
This simple setup comprises one range hood liner that is designed to be used in custom range hoods, a charcoal filter and one stretch of 8″ round ductwork. We used the Broan PM250 Power Pack for $127 as it fits easily within our upper IKEA cabinets. The toal cost was only $150 and is hidden completely in our small IKEA upper cabinets. The kit even comes with lights, where we installed some small CFL candelabras.
We use a recirculating fan in our kitchens and let our ERV handle the ventilation of the kitchen space, but we’ll talk more about that in an upcoming post. You can still vent this setup directly outside if your kitchen is located on an exterior wall or you are mounting in a tall cabinet that connects flush with your ceiling and allows for easier running or you ductwork in your ceiling.
There you have it. If you don’t mind taking up one upper cabinet (which would be eliminated anyway by normal hoods or microwaves) and you have $150 in your range hood budget, this could work for you too.
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