Does My Gas Range Need to Vent?

Many homeowners think of their stove range as nothing more than a loud fan, but it serves an important purpose. The gas stovetop range hood has many uses including the circulation of food particles, whisking away harmful contaminants, and reducing long-term food odors.

Circulation of food particles

When you cook, food particles come off the food and disperse around the home. If you are cooking greasy foods often, this will eventually become a problem as these food particles stick to household items and furniture. These particles create a grime all throughout the home that is comparable to the residue of cigarette smoke. This is why kitchen ventilation is so important for a cooking appliance like a cooktop stove or oven.

A venting system on the gas range circulates and removes these food particles significantly, which keeps your home and belongings in much better shape for longer.

Removes harmful contaminants

There are contaminants that come off from cooking apparatus, from non-stick coating, and other pan and fryer treatments. Not to mention the nitrogen dioxide from gas flames. These contaminants can be harmful to the health of your family members, including pets. The vent hood range takes these contaminants and vents them outside so chemicals and harmful particles are not trapped indoors.

Eliminates food odors

The smell of food cooking is wonderful but overtime these smells accumulate and stick to fabrics like sofas and drapes. If you cook a lot of fatty and greasy foods, these smells will become lasting, lingering odors may even become noticeable to guests. The range hood circulates with the fan and vents out these smells to keep the home smelling fresh, and not like the last thing you ate.

How powerful should the range hood be?photo of a kitchen vent

Selecting the gas range is an important step in ensuring that circulation and venting is as effective as possible for the appliance and home. Ranges are usually rated by how many cubic feet of air they can remove per minute. Electric stoves are easy; typically, 400 cubic feet per minute will get the job done. Gas ranges on the other hand have a bit more to consider.

For every 1000 BTUs of burner output, the gas range hood needs to remove 100 cubic feet per minute. Gas stoves are notorious for being designed with multiple outputs and they vary significantly from model to model, so you will have to investigate your manual or contact the manufacturer to be on the safe side. You will want a stronger range if you regularly fry grease heavy foods like bacon or a lot of stir frying.

What information you will need to buy your gas hood range

Go into the hardware store equipped with some essential information: the depth and width of the stove, the burner energy rating, and the BTU’s for your appliance model.

You can also be sure you are investing in an effective product by selecting a range that has been certified by a leading body of standardized performance excellence such as The Home Ventilating Institute. They have been in business since 1955 and certify products that meet safety and performance standards. This designation is a good indicator that the product is effective at circulating odors, food particles, and contaminants.

How to install a gas range to vent

Gas ranges are available at most home renovation and supply stores and can cost anywhere from $100-$250 depending on the model and technology. You should always pay to have a professional install the range to ensure that it is functioning at optimal capacity, to get the most out of your investment.

The range should be positioned about twenty-four to thirty inches above the stovetop. If you install the fan too high up, it will not be as effective. This is a common error, especially when people have an open concept kitchen design and install their stove in the middle of the room away from cupboards. Or with extremely decorative hoods, the cupboards help to keep the range low. When the design is open, the distancing between the stovetop and range needs to be more of a conscious decision.

The range should vent outside. This should not be a problem if the stove is located within twenty feet to a wall. This offers the homeowner quite a bit of flexibility on the placement of their appliance. The range can be vented out of either the closest wall, or the roof. It is important to have a professional install the product if there is going to be holes made in the roof or walls since the seal on the vent will need to be completely airtight.

What if my home cannot vent outdoors?

Although it is ideal to vent your gas stove outdoors, this is not always possible for people who live in apartments, or for those with home layouts that do not accommodate an outdoor venting model. In this scenario, all hope of keeping the home odor and contaminant free is not lost.

You will need a circulating range hood. The circulating range hood takes in the air and filters it through a grease or charcoal filter, and the cleaned air is re-introduced into the space.

The filter on the recirculating air filters do need to be replaced every few months and they typically cost about $40. The biggest flaw about this type of gas range is that people do not change their filter and then it gets to the point where the product is not really working properly at all anymore. It is important to change that filter about four times per year, especially if you use your stove daily.

The good news is regardless of whether the range vents outside or recirculates, it is effective. There are even ways to lessen the noise that prevents many people from turning it on in the first place, such as locating the fan farther up into the duct or below the oven.

It is best to consider your daily cooking habits, and what gas hood range will work for your layout and preferences to ensure they are turned on and maintained. This will guarantee a home free of contaminants and accumulated food odors and residue.

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