photo of a stainless gas range

Proper Ventilation for a Gas Range

Many people prefer gas stoves because you get immediate heat when the flame is turned on, providing an efficient cooking surface. When it comes to choosing the right kitchen range for you, the cost is also important.

Electricity is more expensive than gas, making gas attractive to those looking to cut costs.

If you have decided on a new gas stove, you should consider proper ventilation for your gas range. There are many reasons to ventilate your gas range including:

Removing harmful contaminants

There are many harmful contaminants when food is cooked. These contaminants can come off food, such as eggs, cooking tools including pots and pans, and the flame itself, which emits carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide.

Ventilation grabs these fumes and carries them outside, making the air in the home much safer for your family.

Reducing grease buildup and food odors

You may not realize it, but when you cook, food particles come off the food you are cooking, and they are carried onto your belongings. Food particles land on the cupboards, sofas, drapes, appliances and more.

Over time, this results in a residue buildup that can ruin the look of the home and deteriorate the quality of your belongings.

However, proper ventilation prevents this by pulling the food particles into the range hood and brings them outside before they can land around your home.

Cooling the indoor environment

Cooking a lot of food at once can really heat up the place and can make the environment smoky. In some cases, it will even set off the fire alarm.

Proper ventilation for a gas range will prevent this by circulating the air and pulling smoke away from the indoor environment. This makes the kitchen much cooler and more comfortable to cook in and prevents smoke buildup that makes it hard to breathe.

If you have been cooking without ventilation you will notice the difference immediately.

With gas ranges, you should always vent to the outside. Many electric ranges offer the option of recirculating range hoods.

This means the air is pulled up into the range and filtered through a charcoal, mesh, or baffle filter before being re-released into the indoor environment.

This is not as ideal because the filters need to be cleaned weekly or replaced frequently, and the air is never fresh, it is just filtered and cleaned. The efficiency of this can vary and oftentimes the fan is loud but not much air circulates.

With gas ranges, there are reasons to always vent to the outside, including safety concerns such as the gas flame releasing more carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide.

So proper ventilation for a gas range should be of utmost importance.

Types of Ventilation Systems

The most common types of ventilation systems are updraft and downdraft:

Updraft Ventilation

Updraft ventilation is the most popular and effective. There are different types of updraft ventilation.

Wall mount range hoods are installed on the wall and vented out the wall it is connected to or the ceiling.

These are most common for gas ranges and can also be attractive, as it opens the space more than electric range hoods that are placed under the cabinets, or are connected to a microwave.

The only disadvantage to the wall mount is that you may have to remove cupboards and get duct work installed to be able to vent outside.

Island/Peninsula mount range hoods are another type of updraft ventilation. This style pairs with a stove located in an open concept design on an island or peninsula in the middle of the kitchen.

This type of ventilation is completely vertical and vents out of the ceiling. The benefit is that it is considered the most attractive type of range hood, and many homeowners make it the focal point of their kitchen.

You can also make the range hoods custom out of several materials and be made quite ornate. The downside is again, the ductwork installation, and that the decorative range hoods for this style can become costly.

Downdraft Ventilation

Downdraft Ventilation

Downdraft is less common and is more used in situations where space is a serious concern and there is no room to place a range hood on the wall or ceiling.

The downdraft range hood works by being installed on the range and popping open when it is turned on. The fumes get sucked into the stovetop range hood and are then pulled down or even sideways and taken outside through the wall.

The disadvantage to this style is it is considered less effective than updraft because fumes tend to rise and this makes it easier for a range hood located above the range to capture the smoke rather than lower than the fumes.

Due to this, downdraft ventilation requires a lot more air to do its job.

Choosing the size of fan

You need to measure your range and select a fan size that is slightly larger than the range. The range hood needs to be carefully selected because if it is too small it will be ineffective but too large will waste energy, and it could even be a safety issue.

The ventilation fan depressurizes and creates a slight vacuum in the home. Outside air is sucked through the cracks of walls and windows to balance the difference.

This is called infiltration. This makes the system work much harder and wastes energy, and in the worst-case scenario, it can also prevent a gas range hood from ventilating properly.

It causes back drafting and dangerous combustion gases. The biggest risk is with downdraft ventilation because it requires more airflow to work properly.

It is important to take the extra steps required to do the job properly so that the ventilation system works safely.

Gas ranges require more consideration when it comes to proper ventilation because they do create more dangerous fumes.

Ventilation in general is necessary for the kitchen to get rid of harmful contaminants, to reduce grime and grease buildup, and to cool the indoor environment.

Whatever ventilation type for your gas range you choose, ask a professional for advice, and remember to ensure that the ductwork is working at its optimal capacity for the health and safety of you and your family.

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