A working Orlando Outdoor Kitchen ventilation system is one of the most important requirements in local building codes. Mechanical ventilation systems that can reach minimum ventilation rates are a key component in making a home healthy and livable, no matter what the season or climate; after all, open windows can only do so much. Thanks to modern technology, there are many ways you can ventilate your home, depending on your needs, its design, its existing duct systems or lack thereof, and other factors.
While every part of your home needs good ventilation for excellent indoor air quality, outdoor kitchens are often neglected even though they’re one of the places that need air circulation the most. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of a property’s ventilation system and how it applies to Orlando Outdoor Kitchen.
How Does it Work?
The barebone function of a ventilation system is to remove stale indoor air from the property and replace it with fresh air from outside. While it’s different from an HVAC system, they have overlaps that cause confusion among many homeowners. These include temperature and humidity controls.
Before, most people would just open their operable windows and doors to bring the fresh air in. However, this practice is unpredictable; it doesn’t guarantee that every room in the house gets quality air from outside. When central cooling and heating systems became the norm, natural ventilation became an impractical and wasteful practice.
However, one thing that an HVAC system doesn’t do is bring fresh air into the house. It simply recycles the air already inside the home. A ventilation system is a system that brings fresh air inside while pushing stale air outside, making it particularly desirable for settings like school classrooms.
With this in mind, a compromise was sought between natural and mechanical ventilation so that homeowners could enjoy a number of advantages in addition to the increased amount of outdoor air in their home. Now, mechanical or active ventilation systems have become the best compromise. They work by either reducing or increasing the pressure inside a home. While that may seem complicated, all it really takes is a few air ducts, exhaust fans or supply fans, and a power source to make the mechanical system work.
Types of Outdoor-Air Ventilation Systems
In this list, we’ll be discussing active ventilation systems. These are some systems that use ventilation fans, ducts, and electricity to provide adequate ventilation.
1. Exhaust Ventilation Systems
At its most basic level, an exhaust-only ventilation system works by sucking out air from the home via exhaust fans. When the air comes out, pressure drops. This forces air outside to come in from various sources, refreshing the indoor air quality of the property. This process is cheap and only needs exhaust vents, ducts, and fans. However, there are several drawbacks to this system.
The most obvious one is the lack of certainty about where the air is coming from. In an ideal setup, the flowing air should be from a place free from contaminants and far from nasty locations like septic tanks. However, since an exhaust ventilation system doesn’t have a predetermined source, there’s a higher risk of bringing in low-quality air from your home’s surroundings. Air infiltration can happen in any part of the house, including holes where mildew has grown, so this system could spread harmful organisms throughout interiors in the past.
There’s also the concern of combustion appliances, especially for those with Orlando Outdoor Kitchen. While smoke is forced out of the house with an exhaust ventilation system, it can come back via nearby holes and gaps. This is called back drafting, and there’s no way to prevent it since exhaust-only systems don’t have any filtration capabilities.
2. Supply-Only Ventilation Systems
A supply-only ventilation system works as a reverse of an exhaust-only system. Instead of taking air away from indoor spaces, these supply it from a known source. This creates a high-pressure area inside the home, forcing out the stale air through holes and other openings.
The biggest advantage of this setup is the predetermined source of air. Finding the best source is done before installation, and it’s usually a spot away from the ground and exhaust sources to prevent back drafting. This supply-only setup allows for filtration since the source is known. It’s easier to set up filters that remove dust particles, microorganisms, and other pollutants before they even enter the property.
While these benefits make supply-only ventilation systems superior to exhaust-only setups, there are still some major drawbacks. For one, it’s difficult to determine where the air is coming out of, which is a major concern if you’re living in a place with cold climates. As the humid indoor air flows towards the openings, it can condense due to the low temperature, resulting in moisture problems that lead to mildew or deteriorating walls.
When you’re using a supply-only ventilation system, it’s good practice to routinely check your property for any signs of water damage or fungi colonies. It’s extra work, but it will help you save quite a few dollars in repairs while maintaining good indoor air quality.
3. Balanced Systems
The perfect combination of exhaust-only and supply-only ventilation systems is a balanced system. It contains all the elements of both: an exhaust fan that takes away stale air and a supply that brings in fresh air from the outside. Thanks to this design, the property owner knows where the air comes from and where it escapes from the house.
One of the biggest benefits of a balanced system is energy recovery. This system is very efficient at transferring heat from warm inside exhaust air to the fresh air from outside, all thanks to the principles of convection and good system design.
Do I Need Ventilation for My Outdoor Kitchen?
It may seem unnecessary to have ventilation in your Orlando Outdoor Kitchen. After all, it’s outdoors, so the air can circulate on its own and wind can blow out any smoke or smells during cooking, right?
Well, not really. While the exposed parts of your outdoor kitchen can help with air circulation, ventilation is still a necessity.
It all boils down to the design of your outdoor kitchen and fluid dynamics. Remember that hot air rises to the top and dense air goes to the bottom. If both can’t circulate because of a sealed roof or a lack of vents, they’ll stay inside your Orlando Outdoor Kitchen, no matter what you do.
The most obvious scenario where this matters is when you’re smoking meats. Smoke rises, and if it can’t escape from the roof, then it will linger in your outdoor kitchen and create a breathing hazard. Since it lingers, it will also impart strong smells onto whatever it touches. Working in a smoke-filled kitchen is also a nightmare, and you don’t want to be near an open flame with blurry vision.
Then there’s the matter of gasses. These flammable substances are invisible, and a lack of ventilation will allow them to build up in certain corners without you noticing. Under the right conditions, these can ignite and cause serious injuries and damage to your property.
So, really, ventilation is an important safety measure to avoid these scenarios.
A Basic Guide to Ventilating Outdoor Kitchens
Since outdoor kitchens have large openings that expose them to the open air, the aforementioned ventilation systems become impractical. However, they can still be configured to remove unwanted smells and smoke via exhaust vents and duct systems. There are also ways to create dedicated exhaust-only systems for your Orlando Outdoor Kitchen.
Here are the most common methods for maintaining fresh air in your outdoor kitchen:
Ventilation panels are extensions of an exhaust ventilation system, regardless of whether it’s a balanced or exhaust-only setup. They have openings that allow the exhaust fans to suck out gasses from your outdoor kitchen, into the ducts, and out of the exhaust fan.
The most important consideration for these panels is their placement. The fuels we use for cooking have varying densities, so they can either float to the ceiling or stay near the floor. In particular, propane is heavier than air, so the panels should be lower. Natural gas, on the other hand, is less dense, so panels should be near the ceiling in this system.
The gasses’ varying densities can also cause build-ups, so one panel is usually not enough, especially if your outdoor kitchen has lots of corners. Try to install at least one panel per every four to six feet.
It goes without saying, but make sure that the panels remain unobstructed by furniture or appliances. Any blockage will render them essentially useless. You can still put something in front of them, but give a few inches of allowance to ensure maximum airflow.
Have you ever wondered about the purpose of the mushroom-looking metal things on people’s roofs? Those are called turbine vents, roof-mounted fans, or whirlybirds. They work by spinning independently, sucking out hot air stuck in attics with the power of convection.
Since they don’t need electricity, they’re a cheap way to improve ventilation in your outdoor kitchens. Because of their design, turbine vents are quite effective at dispersing the smoke and stale air from your spaces. They’re essentially exhaust-only ventilation systems that don’t need power or complicated ducts and fans to work.
There are still a few drawbacks. For one, it’s a passive system. Turbine vents will need a small gust of wind to start spinning, making them impractical in places that experience little to no wind flow. If you’re looking for something more active, then a roof-mounted fan powered by electricity is a much better option.
There’s also a matter of maintenance due to the moving and exposed parts of the system. Since it’s designed to catch the wind, a turbine vent is more vulnerable to storms and strong drafts. You may need to routinely check if it’s still fastened securely and make sure that the moving parts are well-oiled.
Kitchen or outdoor vent hoods are essential appliances in kitchens. Using a powerful fan, a unit can remove smoke, odors, grease, and even heat from your oven, grill, or smoker. This prevents cooking smoke from spreading all over your kitchen and bothering occupants or guests. It also stops odors from clinging to surfaces or collecting on your outdoor furniture.
Having a reliable range hood is a great way to protect the integrity of your outdoor kitchen. It’s one thing to have furnishings or appliances resistant to the elements, but the corrosive effect of grease is another matter altogether. Thankfully, a range hood can remove most of the floating grease during cooking.
Kitchen hoods are included during the construction of an outdoor kitchen because they’re required by building codes throughout the United States. If your outdoor kitchen doesn’t have one, there are many brands offering premium-quality vent hoods.
With so many options to choose from, here are a few considerations you need to think about when choosing one:
Buying Guide for Range Hoods
Vent hoods for Orlando Outdoor Kitchen are an investment, so before you open your wallet, make sure that you know how to select the best unit. Here are the most basic considerations you need to know.
1. CFM: Cubic feet per minute, or CFM, is the measurement of the airflow velocity of your appliance. The higher the CFM, the more powerful the motor. On average, most kitchen hoods clock in below 900 CFM. When you’re choosing one, a good rule of thumb is 100 CFM per 10,000 BTUs of your stovetop or grill. Some newer models can crank it up all the way to 2,000 CFM, but that much power is only necessary for heavy-duty cooking.
2. Size: In general, your kitchen hood should be as large as your kitchen range. Many come in predetermined sizes ranging from 24” to 36” in width. However, there are ones that reach 60”. If you have the budget, you can order a customized hood with the perfect size for your cooking station.
3. Material: Stainless steel is often the go-to material for kitchen hoods, but there are also ones made from heat-resistant plastics, other metals, and even wood. When choosing one, remember that this appliance will need frequent cleaning because of grease and oil build-up. Aside from being heat-resistant, the material should be able to handle repeated exposure to detergent.
Kitchen Hood Brands to Try
Trade-Wind is an established manufacturer of ventilation products, with a focus on blending beauty and functionality. They’re mostly known for their quiet appliances that don’t compromise on power.
The company has an extensive selection of the best range hoods and BBQ hoods. These are made from high-grade materials and come in many configurations for maximum customization. With their seamless and sleek design, these products will surely add to the aesthetics of your outdoor kitchen.
2. Zephyr Hoods
Over the years, Zephyr has made a name for manufacturing kitchen and ventilation appliances with smart designs. They continually innovate to create some of the most beautiful coolers and range hoods available in the market.
Currently, they have a large assortment of range hoods for outdoor kitchens. These are divided into their Pro, Designer, and Core collections, each one made for specific kitchen needs. Some have the most basic functions with incredible power, while others have digital controls that allow for multiple blower functions.
Hauslane is one of the go-to brands for more affordable range hoods without compromising durability, but they’re also known for their wide range of appliances that reach the more luxurious side.
Their selection of kitchen hoods includes wall-mounted, under-cabinet, and built-in setups, so you have plenty of choices depending on the design of your outdoor kitchen. With the lifetime motor warranty on all their products, Hauslane gives customers the confidence that their investment is worth it.
Having good ventilation for your Orlando Outdoor Kitchen is a necessity, even though there are plenty of open sides. If you’re considering integrating new ventilation appliances into the one in your home, then use the information we’ve gathered here to get started.
We hope this article has helped you take the first step towards cleaner air for your home.