Some Range Hood IAQ Thoughts

This article was written by my good friend Neil Comparetto, a contractor and industry influencer who is helping shape IAQ for the HVAC industry in the US for the better. Thanks, Neil!


Indoor air quality (IAQ) monitors can tell you a lot about the air you are breathing. We find that the information is valuable for both contractors and clients. (Most monitors record temperature, humidity, CO2, volatile organic compounds (VOC), and particulate matter (PM). Carbon monoxide (CO) and radon can also be monitored, but we typically monitor them in separate devices.) This graph shows PM 2.5 levels and the differences between a poorly installed microwave range hood and a new properly installed range hood. This is what the EPA has to say about PM:

“The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems, because they can get deep into your lungs, and some may even get into your bloodstream. Exposure to such particles can affect both your lungs and your heart. Numerous scientific studies have linked particle pollution exposure to a variety of problems, including:

  • premature death in people with heart or lung disease
  • nonfatal heart attacks
  • irregular heartbeat
  • aggravated asthma
  • decreased lung function
  • increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing.

People with heart or lung diseases, children, and older adults are the most likely to be affected by particle pollution exposure.”

As shown in the graph, proper ventilation while cooking can drastically reduce PM2.5 levels. It’s recommended to use the range hood during all cooking tasks, from boiling water to using the toaster oven. One of the main issues with range hoods is that they’re loud, making them a nuisance to use. There are several factors involved in making them loud: quality of the model, how much air they are moving, and most importantly, how they are ducted. Even a normally quiet, high-quality range hood that is poorly ducted will be loud. If you’re curious about your home’s IAQ, I encourage you to get an IAQ monitor. (FYI, the one we install in our client’s homes is the IQAir AirVisual Pro.)

—Neil Comparetto,
Co-owner of Comparetto Comfort Solutions in Virginia

P.S. – You can read everything the EPA has to say about particulate matter HERE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Tech Tips

Don't Use Barometric Pressure For Calibration
Take a look at the screenshots above. The one on the left is for Death Valley at 282′ below sea level, and the one on the right is Denver, CO, at 5,280′ above sea level. Notice the barometric pressure values; they are almost the same. That means that barometric pressure is corrected or “normalized” to […]
Read more
TD of Refrigeration Evaporators
We have discussed DTD (design temperature difference) quite a bit for air conditioning applications, but what about refrigeration? Let's start by defining our terms again. Suction Saturation Temperature The saturation temperature is the temperature at which the refrigerant will be at a given pressure if it is currently changing state. This change of state would […]
Read more
Refrigerant Cycles Without Compressors
Many HVAC/R technicians (including me) describe the compressor as the heart of the refrigeration cycle. It prepares the refrigerant for the condensing process, which is crucial for heat rejection.  However, some refrigeration methods don’t require a compressor. In this article, we’ll look at those methods and their applications.   Gas movement without compressors As you […]
Read more
loading

To continue you need to agree to our terms.

The HVAC School site, podcast and daily tech tips
Made possible by Generous support from