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MysticCobra
Range vent problems

I live in Houston, TX in a two-story townhouse. Kitchen is in the middle of a shared wall. Range is a circa-1982 slide-in Jenn-Air electric downdraft model that needs to be replaced. I currently have an over-the-stove microwave with a fan built in, but there's no ducting for it to connect to so it recirculates into the kitchen.

The range's downdraft fan never performed great (the run is ~15 feet, and I think it's 7" ducting), but it was better than nothing. I'd hate to rely on just the microwave's recirculating fan!

Problem is, only Jenn-Air makes a 30" downdraft range anymore, and I can't find anyone who'll say anything good about the modern / current Jenn-Airs, so I'm reluctant to spend ~$2K on one.

I have some questions:

1) Per local Houston building code, can I install an electric range without a functional outdoor vent?

2) Would it be a huge mistake to install a range with no outside ventilation capability (if I went with a non-JennAir, thus non-downdraft model)?

3) Is there a reasonable and effective way to tie the microwave vent into the downdraft ducting?

4) How hard would it be to have an effective upward vent system retrofitted into my place? Range is against a common wall with my neighbors. Wall is a firewall and extends all the way to roof...would require a ~30' run straight up. (Does code even allow vents to run in common walls / firewalls?)

4A) My kitchen is very small and I need to keep the microwave over the range. If I added a new vent, I'm guessing it's impractical to expect the microwave's built-in fan to adequately drive a 30' vent. Should I expect to need an inline fan to supplement the microwave's fan?

5) If I choose to have a new vent run, who should I engage to do the work (i.e., general contractor, plumber, HVAC contractor, etc.?)

Thanks,
MC

MysticCobra
Re: Range vent problems

I'm still trying to figure out how to intelligently assess my options as enumerated above.

Could I walk into Home Depot or Lowe's and expect to get good answers to those questions from the folks in the home remodeling area?

Should I try to engage a general contractor for a ~30-min consultation? (Could I do that for ~$75ish or so?)

Is there some other method I should consider?

Thanks,
MC

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Range vent problems

Have you heard of island downdraft vents? May be worth a look, would probably cause the slide-in to stick out a bit. If you could go with a cooktop instead, that would be great. Do you have an alternative wall oven location?
Casey

MysticCobra
Re: Range vent problems
Sombreuil_mongrel wrote:

Have you heard of island downdraft vents? May be worth a look, would probably cause the slide-in to stick out a bit.

Yes, I have, but I've mostly heard that they have their own limitations. Might work okay for the back burners, but mostly useless for anything cooking up front, etc. Depth would definitely be an issue, as well. I think that would be a lot of expense for a mediocre solution.

Quote:

If you could go with a cooktop instead, that would be great. Do you have an alternative wall oven location?

No, I don't. It's a townhouse, and a small galley kitchen. Would take major remodeling and the sacrifice of some dining room space (which is already tiny, too) to add a cabinet for a built-in oven. A reasonable suggestion, but utterly impractical from both a financial and architectural perspective in my situation. I'm pretty much stuck with a range in the current location.

Re: Range vent problems

above outside vent. worth every penny

MysticCobra
Re: Range vent problems
Newton Carpenters LLC wrote:

above outside vent. worth every penny

Yes, I'd have one if I could. But since the flue would have to go some 35' straight up and consume a chunk of my already-small master closet, and probably cost a few thousand dollars, no, I don't think it'd be worth every penny.

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