How to Reroute a Kitchen Exhaust Fan
LESLIE: Downloading our popular Money Pit podcast, we’ve got Thomas in Ohio. How can we help you today?
THOMAS: Yes, I have a home built in 1939; we recently purchased. And I have a brand new refrigerator that will not fit under the cabinet area where the old refrigerator was. And I need to know, I want to put the new refrigerator in my stove area. And – but the – I know the fan that circulates the air is up plumb through the roof. Can I go with a recirculating stove fan and put the refrigerator in the stove area?
TOM: You probably could do that but it’s not nearly as efficient. Yep.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) It’s not going to be nearly as efficient as one that vents outside. When you’re dealing with a recirculating fan that comes back into the same room as it’s pulling the food odors and the moisture, you’re just redepositing that moisture and the food odor; even though it goes through a filtration system. Plus, then you’re dealing with the air sort of becoming coated with oil which could potentially be, at times, a fire hazard.
TOM: Is it possible to reroute the ducting for this fan in a different place, Tom, so that you could actually move it through some other part of the house?
THOMAS: I don’t know without extensive work. I’m not sure. Is that possible to go back through a wall?
TOM: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s – you know, it’s done all the time. And the way it would be done is with hard metal ducting; the same kind of ducting that perhaps you would have your HVAC system be running through. It could actually be custom made. So if you could get access to that space so that you can get into the wall cavity and go up through that to the roof or even, you know, simply come to the exterior wall, then that’s probably a good way to solve this. You know, the bottom line is that a recirculator will work but it’s not nearly as efficient as having one that dumps that air outside.
LESLIE: Well, you are listening to The Money Pit and maybe your dilemma for your do-it-yourself projects are that you just can’t figure out how to create that yard of your dreams. Well, that is why Tom and me, Leslie, are here for you. Call in your home repair or your home improvement question 24 hours a day, seven days a week at that magic number; 1-888-MONEY-PIT.