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Choosing Inline Exhaust Fans: The Considerations

by staciseverns

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Building codes demand that all kitchens be equipped with a kitchen range hood. These devices are meant to remove fumes, odors, heat, and moisture from the kitchen while cooking. As a consumer, you have various options when it comes to kitchen range hoods, but it's important for you to know that they are mainly grouped into two general categories: exhaust fans that blow the air outdoors, and exhaust fans that don't.

The best kitchen range hoods are the ones that have inline exhaust fans venting outdoors. This exhaust fan type sucks the dirty air out of the kitchen, pushes it through the ductwork, and vents it through the roof or an exterior wall. In contrast, exhaust fans that don't vent outside will merely recirculate the dirty air around the kitchen. This, coupled with the fact that they are very noisy, is what makes non-venting fans disadvantageous to use.


An average kitchen range hood system that comes with an inline exhaust fan typically has six components: the hood, the fan, the ducts, a duct attenuator, a backdraft damper, and a termination device. Fans are inherently noisy, so they need to be as far from the hood as possible. That's why builders will often recommend that you have the fan installed in the attic.


When it comes to ducting for your exhaust fan, it's advisable that you use aluminum ducting that has the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Seal of Approval. This will tell you that the product has been tested for safety. Ensure that the duct run is as short and direct as possible because the longer and more complex the run is, the more restricted the airflow tends to get. Also ensure that all duct connections and seams are sealed with UL 181 rated foil tape and mastic to prevent leaks.


The exhaust fan assembly should always be kept clean. Aside from proper installation, keeping it clean is the best way to ensure that it constantly performs at its maximum potential. Make sure to clean the grease filter once a month. This will prevent grease and grime from clogging the filter or entering the ductwork.

Inline ventilation exhaust fans are reliable, economical, and efficient. For sure, they're one of the best ways to ensure the cleanliness of your kitchen, that's why building codes require them. For more tips on exhaust fan maintenance, visit

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