Evaluating the Performance of Island Kitchen Range Hoods
A key aspect of achieving acceptable indoor air quality is source control. Cooking has been recognized as a significant source of pollutants for health impacts (e.g., PM2.5 and NO2) as well as moisture and odour. A common method of controlling this pollutant source is by using a range (or cooker) hood that vents to outside. However, field and laboratory experiments have shown highly variable performance for these devices. We use the capture efficiency metric (the fraction of the pollutants that are exhausted to outside at steady state) to characterize the range hood performance. To address this issue and provide useful information for builders, contractors, designers and home occupants, a laboratory rating method for range hood capture efficiency has recently been developed by LBNL and ASTM. The test method uses standardized emitters to create a heated plume and seed it with tracer gas. The tracer gas measurements in the room, the range hood exhaust and in the ambient air are used to estimate capture efficiency. However, this test method only applies to wall-mounted range hoods. Some range hoods are not wall-mounted: island range hoods are designed to operate over a cooktop in the middle of a room rather than against a wall and downdraft hoods draw air from near the cooktop rather than overhead. This paper discusses the development of a new test apparatus for island and downdraft hoods and presents measured capture efficiency data from example hoods. The results of this work will be used in future revisions to the ASTM standard.