When Is Makeup Air Required for A Range Hood – The Experts Weigh In

Indoor air quality is crucial for the health and comfort of a home’s occupants. Range hoods are important in ensuring that the air inside stays fresh by exhausting cooking odors, steam, and smoke. However, range hoods are capable of exhausting more than 400 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air.

When it crosses 400 CFM, it can create negative pressure inside the house which affects heating and cooling systems. This is where makeup air systems come in to provide incoming air to balance out what’s being exhausted. In this article, we’ll explore when makeup air systems are required for range hoods to ensure optimal indoor air quality.

The role of the makeup air system in maintaining proper kitchen ventilation

The role of the makeup air system in maintaining proper kitchen ventilation

Makeup air plays a crucial role in maintaining proper ventilation. When exhaust air is being expelled from a building, it creates negative pressure that can hinder airflow and cause ventilation problems. Makeup air is fresh outside air that replaces the air, helping to balance the airflow and maintain optimal ventilation conditions.

In addition to balancing airflow, makeup air also helps to prevent backdrafts and other hazardous situations that can occur when exhaust systems are not working properly. A lack of makeup air can create negative pressure within a building, which can lead to problems. Such as backdrafting of combustion appliances or increased infiltration of pollutants from outside sources.

Overall, ensuring proper makeup air is an essential part of any effective ventilation system. By replacing exhausted air with fresh outdoor air, it helps to maintain healthy indoor environments while preventing dangerous situations from occurring due to imbalanced air pressure.

When do you need make up air for the range hood?

When installing a range hood in your kitchen, it’s important to consider building codes and regulations. One of the most crucial aspects of this is understanding when makeup air is required for your exhaust hood.

According to building codes, when an exhaust hood with a fan capacity greater than 400 cubic feet per minute (CFM) is installed above a kitchen range, makeup air shall be provided.

While some homeowners may overlook the need for makeup air. It’s essential to follow building codes to ensure safety and efficiency in your home. Additionally, failing to provide adequate makeup air can cause your exhaust fan to work harder than necessary. Which leads to increased energy usage and potentially higher utility bills.

Here are more reasons I can talk about why do you need a makeup air system:

Type of cooking appliances and their ventilation requirements

Type of cooking appliances and their ventilation requirements

Makeup air is necessary for commercial kitchens to maintain proper ventilation and ensure the safety of kitchen staff. The need for makeup air depends on the type of cooking appliances in use and their ventilation requirements.

When using a high-capacity cooking appliance, such as a deep fryer or charbroiler, makeup air is essential to keep exhaust hoods functioning correctly.

Additionally, ovens with an input rating greater than 5,000 BTUs per hour also require makeup air.

However, smaller appliances like griddles or steamers may not require additional ventilation measures.

Therefore it’s crucial to assess each piece of equipment individually and understand its specific requirements before installation.

Kitchen size and layout considerations

Kitchen size and layout considerations

The size of the kitchen plays a significant role in determining the need for makeup air.

Larger kitchens with a higher volume of air to be exhausted, a makeup air unit might be necessary to bring fresh air into the space. This helps to balance the air pressure and prevent negative effects such as back-drafting and inadequate ventilation.

Additionally, the layout of the kitchen can impact the need for makeup air. If the kitchen is designed in an open concept or connected to other living spaces, the range hood’s exhaust may create a negative pressure that pulls air from other areas. Which makes makeup air crucial to maintain a healthy environment.

Proper consideration of kitchen size and layout is vital when determining the requirement for makeup air in order to ensure efficient air circulation and the removal of contaminants from the air in your kitchen.

Must Read: We have created an article that explains what size range hood should be used with different sizes of ranges. The article touches on all needed topics.

Must Read: We have created an article that explains what size range hood should be used with different sizes of ranges. The article touches on all needed topics.

Expert Opinions and Perspectives

There is a consensus on the importance of proper kitchen ventilation.

Experts emphasize the need to consider the amount of air being exhausted by kitchen range hoods. They suggest that as the ventilation capacity increases, so does the need for makeup air.

Many experts recommend installing makeup air systems alongside range hoods to ensure adequate airflow and prevent negative pressure issues. These systems help to balance the air pressure by bringing in fresh air from outside.

Experts believe that installing makeup air is especially crucial in tightly sealed homes to prevent potential risks, such as backdrafting of combustion gases. Overall, expert opinions stress the significance of considering makeup air for range hoods to maintain healthy and well-ventilated kitchen environments.

What happens if you don’t have makeup air?

Without makeup air, your HVAC system will struggle to move air through your home efficiently. That’s because as exhaust fans extract stale and moistened indoor air from your kitchen or bathroom, they create a vacuum effect. This effect sucks in unconditioned outdoor air into your living space through any available gaps such as window frames or door seals.

But if you provide makeup air, it balances this suction effect. It does so by introducing fresh outdoor air into your home directly while exhausting indoor contaminants precisely where needed.

What is the code for makeup air requirement?

The code for makeup air requirement varies depending on local building regulations and standards.

These codes are put in place to ensure the safety and efficiency of ventilation systems in residential and commercial buildings. They outline the guidelines for when makeup air is necessary to maintain proper airflow and prevent negative pressure issues.

The specific requirements may differ based on factors such as the size of the kitchen, the type of cooking appliances, and the overall design of the building. It is essential to consult the relevant local building codes and standards to determine the specific makeup air requirements for your area.


Makeup air is an effective component of any home’s ventilation system when it comes to installing a range hood. It helps to maintain the proper balance of airflow and prevents negative pressure in your home. That can lead to several issues such as backdrafting and increased energy bills. If you’re planning on upgrading your kitchen ventilation, don’t forget to consider the need for makeup air and consult with a professional installer to ensure you have everything set up properly.

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