Having a range hood in your kitchen is an extremely beneficial purchase in terms of the air quality in your kitchen – however, installing a range hood in your kitchen is not all there is to having cleaner kitchen air. 

Owing to how a range hood works, it must be brought into consideration that the ventilation in your kitchen might be affected quite a bit if you decide to get a range hood to get rid of the fumes in your kitchen. 

There is a way for the ventilation of your kitchen to be regulated even with the presence of a powerful range hood with a high CFM, and that’s installing a make up air kit. Here, you’ll find a thorough guide to whether you need a make up air kit in your kitchen and what the benefits of installing one are. 

What Is Make Up Air For Range Hood? 

What Is Make Up Air For Range hood? Do You Need It?

If you’ve just begun to renovate your home, especially your kitchen, you may be considering a variety of range hoods that may fit the needs of your kitchen space and your cooking. However, one facet of owning a range hood that many seem to neglect is the fact that make up air for range hood might be required to allow for sufficient ventilation. 

Make up air essentially refers to the system of ventilation that can help you get fresh air in your kitchen despite the range hood controlling and taking in all the surrounding air in order to purify it – and make up air replaces the air that is lost due to the working of the range hood. This, of course, only applies to ducted range hoods that vent air outside your home and not the recirculating types that releases the air back in your kitchen. Refer our guide on recirculating vs vented range hoods for more on this.

What Is A Make Up Air Kit? 

A make up air kit, also referred to as a make up air system, comprises two main components that are responsible for replacing the air that is lost from your kitchen due to how the range hood functions. 

The make up air kit’s range hood damper is attached to the ducting of the range hood, and is also equipped with a sensor that tests air pressure. Once the switch of the pressure sensor is activated, the range hood damper opens up in order to let outside air into your kitchen to replace the air lost by the range hood.

How Does Make Up Air Work? 

What Is Make Up Air For Range hood? Do You Need It?

The process for how make up air is allowed to enter your kitchen is actually extremely simple. However, it needs consideration in terms of venting because to function optimally, the exterior kitchen wall will need to have a hole that allows the installation of ductwork. 

In this vent that is connected to the outside air, the aforementioned range hood damper will need to be installed. The range hood damper is connected to the switch of the range hood itself – effectively meaning that whenever the range hood is activated, the damper releases, and air from the outside is allowed to enter the kitchen in the form of make up air.

Why Is Make Up Air Important In A Kitchen? 

Not only are kitchen range hoods extremely important in terms of removing cooking odors and grease buildup from your kitchen, but they also work wonders in terms of removing harmful kitchen fumes that may be detrimental to one’s respiratory health in the long run. 

Since the presence of a range hood is so imperative, or at least, an alternative venting apparatus, it is necessary to have a replacement for all of the lost air pressure inside the kitchen once the range hood removes all of the fumes. 

Additionally, new building codes require households to mandatorily have make up air for kitchen hoods once their range hood capacities exceed 400 CFM, or even past 4 burners on your stove. If make up air systems are not installed with range hoods exceeding 400 CFM, the balance of the air pressure inside the kitchen might be skewed as well as an increase in carbon monoxide levels might be observed. 

Reasons Why Your Kitchen Might Need Make Up Air

1. You Have A Small Kitchen 

Kitchens with smaller surface areas may run out of air fairly quickly, especially if you’re thinking of installing a particularly powerful range hood for your culinary needs. This would mean that the air pressure in your kitchen would be quite low if a range hood of 1600 CFM was working at optimal efficiency. 

To prevent this from happening, it is highly recommended you install make up air for kitchen range hoods in your kitchen to preserve the air pressure even with a powerful range hood – and take additional measures to replace the lost air by investing in a range hood functioning at a lower CFM or installing additional exhaust fans to ensure proper ventilation.

2. Your Kitchen Isn’t Appropriately Ventilated 

If your kitchen does not have appropriate ventilation, then it is doubly important that you purchase a make up air system in order to ventilate your kitchen so as to not lose copious amounts of air due to the working of your range hood. 

If your kitchen is on the smaller side and has virtually no source for air to enter it at any point, you can let your make up air kit do the job for you and ventilate your kitchen. 

How this works is that your range hood works to trap all of the impurities, grease, and other toxins in the air to vent them outside – and if you have a make up air system installed, you can replace the air that the range hood removes from your kitchen with fresh air from the outside so as to ensure that your kitchen remains constantly ventilated and free of impure air.

3. Your Range Hood Sucks Out A Lot Of Air 

If your range hood is a particularly powerful one at a high CFM, then it is possible that it sucks a lot of air out of your kitchen at a time. Additionally, if you let your range hood run for a long period of time, no matter its CFM capacity, you’re ensuring that your kitchen runs out of ventilation fairly quickly – since if the range hood is constantly taking in air, it does not leave enough time for the replacement air to enter your kitchen. 

If you let your range hood run for a long time while also functioning at a high CFM, it can be disastrous.

4. The Region You Live In Requires Using A Make Up Air System By Code 

If you’re planning to reside in a smaller apartment, you may notice that the building code mandatorily requires you to have a make up air kit installed above a certain CFM

For instance, some building codes may ask you to install make up air for residential kitchen hoods if your range hood exceeds 600 CFM or further. You also need to keep in mind that present-day construction often requires you to have tighter kitchen spaces with lesser spaces for ventilation and more outlets for air to escape, meaning that it becomes almost imperative to install a make up air system.

Closing Thoughts 

While having a range hood in your kitchen is certainly a tempting purchase that can bring you a myriad of benefits in terms of ventilation and keeping your kitchen spotless from grease and grime buildup, it is necessary to consider other factors as well – particularly in terms of how powerful you need your range hood to be and how you’re going to replace the air that it vents out of the kitchen. 

For this purpose, it is strongly recommended to invest in a make up air system to get the most out of your range hood while also ensuring that the air pressure in your kitchen does not become stagnant after continued usage of your range hood.

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