This month we caught up with Specialty Appliance, a retailer and kitchen appliance store with locations in Louisville, Greenwood Village, and Fort Collins. They've teamed up with a local appliance expert, Zephyr representative Daniel Fitzgerald, to explain some basics on ventilation for the home.
CGBG: Can you explain the very basics of ventilation in the home, and why it’s important to consider?
SA: Proper ventilation provides good indoor air quality for good health. The objective is mainly to remove carbon monoxide, grease, odors, and heat from the air, especially the kitchen where so much of these originate. An average family of four emits 1 gallon of grease per year. Venting that space also helps to remove moisture and mildew, and this is particularly helpful in humid climates.
CGBG: Could you identify some basic installation guidelines, including dos and don’ts?
SA: Always use rigid duct work and never use the flexible tubing. Also try to have a straight run as much as possible to prevent static pressure and quieter operation.
Never install a hood with a 90 degree elbow right on top of the hood; it will cause so much static pressure that it will not work. It will also be very noisy.
When using any transitions, start 24” from the outlet at a minimum.
CGBG: What is Make-Up air, and why is it needed?
SA: Make up is needed for any hood above 400 CFMs, and when homes are built more tightly for energy efficiency. Homes with a tighter build prevent air from escaping, which causes a negative pressure within the home. This is dangerous because gases like carbon monoxide, a silent and odorless killer, can build up and be pulled back into the home from the water heater, stove, and fireplaces.
When the hood vent is on, all the air inside will start be pulled to the kitchen and create negative pressure or a vacuum. Make up air kits work when the hood is turned on and the damper opens up. The negative pressure being caused by the hood draws outside air back into the home to equalize the negative pressure being generated. With the negative pressure being eliminated the carbon monoxide is eliminated by the water heater and fireplace. Typical make up kits are installed to the cold air intake on the furnace so the outside air can be conditioned if it’s hot or cold air coming into the home. This eliminates a draft of cold or hot air being dumped into a certain part of the home.
CGBG: Can you explain how much Make up air is needed in a home overall?
SA: With the technology advances that have resulted in more energy efficient homes, the amount of makeup air needed will depend on the size and age of the home and on the size of the blower being used for the hood extracting air out of the home. So a hood up to 600 CFMs will need a 6” make up air kit, 601 to 999 CFMs will need an 8” kit, and a hood 1000 to 1200 CFMs will need a 10” damper.
CGBG: What’s new in the industry? And how has technology changed?
SA: With the induction range and cooktop technology getting more affordable, we have seen an ongoing trend to incorporate the use of this technology to replace gas cooking. While gas is still a very strong and affordable category of cooking technology, induction is making a lot of progress. In particular, in Colorado where gas must have special high-altitude adjustments, in many locations induction works without any special changes.
New blower motors using D/C motors instead of a typical A/C motor are quieter, more durable, and use 70% less energy. Other blower types are in development to make hoods quieter. New styles of hoods have entered the market, like the Lux from Zephyr which is built into the ceiling to replace the typical island hood and creates and an open atmosphere.
Ventilation has become more efficient compared to years past due to new blower designs. Also the way air is drawn in has changed with Perimeter Aspiration. More hoods will start using this newer technology going forward, which eliminates the site of mesh and baffle filters.
Lighting has gone to LED in some models and brands--which is more energy efficient, longer lasting, and cool to the touch. The color of LED lighting has now become a warm color instead of the typical gray blue color of a few years back. Last, remote controls are now available to make hoods ADA compliant where in years past this was not available and you needed wall switches to activate them.
Specialty Appliance just celebrated their 15th year in business, and has been a long-time member and supporter of GCBG. Check out their showrooms and multiple live kitchens where clients can experience the latest products in a more interactive way.
Specialty Appliance will be hosting our October In-Depth and Member Happy Hour in Louisville.
305 McCaslin Blvd #1