What You Need to Know About Vent Hoods

Vent hoods can make your space more enjoyable

To get a hood or to not get a hood … that is the question!  At least the question a lot of homeowners face when installing a built-in grill under a covered structure.  From a legal standpoint, the issue is supposed to be addressed by the local municipality where the grill is being installed.  Some municipalities will may actually adopt specific standards regulating when a vent hood is necessary, while others will refer you back to the grill manufacturers specified recommendations, while others simply don’t address the question at all.  Most, if not all, grill manufacturers will address the issue out of liability concerns.  Whereas, the local governments usually don’t have the time, the resources or the money to properly research the issue … hence the referral back to the grill manufacturer, i.e. when all else fails, blame the manufacturer!

Assuming there are no regulations requiring you to get a a vent hood, there are definitely some practical consideration.  From a practical standpoint, if you are installing a built-in grill under a covered structure you have to look at the potential damage and risk of not having a hood.  Good grills can put out a lot of heat, and depending what you are cooking, they can put out a lot of smoke ladened with grease.  Depending on the ventilation in the area, that smoke can fill the covered structure.  This can cause a real damper on an outdoor party, irritating eyes and causing guests to walk away smelling like the food you’re cooking.  The grease from the smoke can end up coating the walls and ceilings causing them to be blackened and greasy, and difficult to clean … if it can be cleaned at all!  That grease also then becomes a fire hazard that can easily be ignited from a spark or flare up on the grill.

Hoods are like insurance, you're glad to have them when you need them

Hoods are like insurance, you’re glad to have them when you need them

If you are choosing to put a built-in grill under a covered structure, it’s a wise idea to spend the money on a good vent hood to avoid the risk and damage that can come from not having a hood.  They are costly, but not nearly as expensive as damage that can occur from not having one.  If you are simply against a vent hood, then think about locating your grill someplace else!

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