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Gas Range without exterior exhaust?

Can anyone tell me if I can install a pro-style range without exterior exhaust? I've been in the market for a range ever since I melted a large plastic lid in my 18yr old kenmore gas range (i won't go into the oven-fire details!) and haven't used it since. I don't want to burn off the plastic in my house, and don't feel like disconnecting the propane and trying to rig it up the range outside to burn it off out there, and besides, two of the burners were shot.

I really like the pro style ranges like Bertazonni or American because i don't like all the electronic crap that most cheaper ranges have now. I definitely want continuous grates on the top, and because I hate to clean, probably closed burners. I've been doing extensive baking for years with great results in a regular old gas oven, without convection, so I can take that or leave it.

The problem lies in the fact that I have no exterior exhaust. My current set up has a microwave/fan over the range. The range is on an inside wall of an old brick farmhouse with no easy way to ventilate. Also, the range is exposed on one side. This creates an aesthetic problem with ranges such as the GE Cafe and Monogram, which--can you believe it!-actually are not stainless on the sides! The sides are black according to my local GE dealer. (and they don't come in all white, which i could live with.) For the price of the monogram that is outrageous! And though it's not as offensive as some others... they've got that electronic clock and touchpad that i don't care for.

So, the question is, could I install something like the American Range Pro Style 30" or Bertanzoni without exhaust? Does anyone have any other suggestions? My family wants to know when I'm going to bake again! Thanks!

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  1. I hate to tell you that gas code regulations in the U.S. are such that *all* gas appliances must ventilate to the outside. This covers residential as well as commercial regulations.

    The newer codes are also far less tolerant of ambient carbon monoxide levels. We were having trouble with a water heater and when the plumber came down to check it out, he had to shut it off and seal the closed gas valve with a wire and a label. This was because the baffles had all but rusted away, and the thing was leaking CO into the furnace room. The leak was very, very small. I replaced the old water heater with one of the new on-demand (tankless) models. Nonetheless, we were rather upset that we had to go without hot water for a few days because the plumber was *bound by law* to *seal-off the gas* in cases of even a tiny bit of CO leakage. Hey, the new codes are tough, but they're for our own good!

    Can you cut a hole in the brick wall? The hole size is not as large as you might think, especially with the high-powered devices they have on the market now.

    3 Replies
    1. re: shaogo

      Can you reference a source for this?

        1. re: DGresh

          I didn't think so - that's why I asked for a source reference.

      1. Shaogo is incorrect. Gas ranges (and other cooking appliances) DO NOT REQUIRE exterior ventilation. Remember, an exhaust fan is meant to remove cooking odors from the kitchen, not to remove the byproducts of combustion.

        However, if one *CHOOSES* to install an exhaust hood in the kitchen, then one *must* comply with the code requirements: "Exhaust hood vents shall discharge to the outdoors and shall be equipped with a back draft damper."

        If in doubt about anything I've just said, you can confirm it with your city Building & Safety Department.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Joe Blowe

          Joe, I live in a rural area, I don't even know who has oversight over the code enforcement around here! I've had 2 different propane suppliers to for different stove issues in the past, and no one ever told me I HAD to ventilate, so I think you are correct. And now that I think about it, there are 'ventless' propane fueled fireplaces....

        2. My current kicthen has a gas stove with no exhaust. We are in the early process of remodeling and want to add exhaust, we thought or only option was the down draft system as we have a crawl space, but saw another type of exhaust fan in a store. Sadly I can't remember the brand but I've visited the website for the company. I will post the link once I get a chance this weekend. They have some exhaust fans that mount to the wall without having to drill through the wall. Hopefully I will run across the magazine I saw the ad in.

            1. re: roro1831

              From what I can tell, most of those hood appear to be nothing more than fancy recirculating vents (the type that comes with over-the-range microwave units). They do not actually exhaust anything from the kitchen, but I suppose it's better than nothing...

              IMO, you and the OP should find HVAC specialists in your areas -- there are many different methods of installing a proper ventilation hood in *any* kitchen and disguising the associated duct work (e.g. flat ducts behind cabinets, "faux" beams, etc.).

              1. re: Joe Blowe

                We will most likely be going with the down draft system or a telescopic system, but the reviews I have seen on those aren't that great, as we have crawl space to utilize. As the range is on an island, a hood could be installed but the costs would be such that it would not be worth it. We basically have a galley kitchen and the cost is currently at $22,000 and we haven't even picked out counter tops yet. So the added cost of the hood and running the duct, as there will be no fake beams installed, would not be worth it.

              2. re: roro1831

                Thanks for the link! Also, here's a link for a home-inspector's web site that discusses the functionality of the recirculating ventilation option... very interesting.


              3. Honestly, pletty? If you're going to do it, an exterior exhaust on a pro range is the best way to go. You can look at the pop up exhaust vents if remodeling to move the location is not an option, but they're not as effective as direct venting via an exterior wall because the vent ducts have to go a circuitous route through the interior walls.

                But I wouldn't recommend skipping SOME sort of venting to the outside. "Pro" burners (range, rangetop or cooktop) generate a lot of heat and I find a lot of splattering when one pan-fries, sautes, etc. JMO. Since you mentioned you hate to clean...I can tell you that sometimes, I simply forget to put the vent on. The grease splattering is much worse when I cook without the exhaust fan on. The direct, exterior vent minimizes the mess, when I remember to use the fan.

                And I agree with those who say the codes are determined on a local (and on some items, state) basis. That's what I found when we built our house four years ago. I'm not aware that the federal government has gotten involved in this.

                1. Oh, crap. I was wrong. I was quoting from regulations for gas heating devices, *not* stoves -- I found this out after I asked the same plumber from whom I garnered my information. He claimed that he said nothing about stoves to me, and I believe him.

                  Please prepare a very large crow -- feathers and all. I'm ready to eat!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: shaogo

                    LOL, shaogo. Yick. I'm sure crow must be a delicacy *somewhere* in the world, but...feathers? JMO, but I don't think you have to go THAT far. We all make mistakes, and the nice thing is, you're able to admit yours.

                    I think you deserve a pardon. Or at the least a commuted sentence.


                  2. I owned and ran a restaurant for quite awhile and got to know my restaurant equipment guy pretty well. I had asked him his thoughts on installing a commercial 6 burner stove in my household kitchen.
                    I wanted something like a Vulcan 6 burner range

                    While sitting in my kitchen and looking around, he told me (BTW this was about 5 years ago and in Canada) that if we went commercial, code required exhaust.
                    It seems that stove/ovens made for household use do not require exhaust, whereas commercial appliances do.

                    I'm not saying this applies to you or your case specifically.
                    I think the American Range PRO is actually part of their "Residential Series". As such, my equipment guy's comments would make sense (if they have separate residential and commercial lines).

                    I think speaking to the American Range rep would answer your questions with authority.

                    1. pletty, it all depends on how you really USE your range. Sounds like baking is your biggest concern. And well, if it is, the "pro-style" ranges offer no better performance at all than a good 30" consumer range. And if you aren't doing tons of high-output cooking on the burners, I can't imagine it'd be all the different from your current setup, frankly.

                      You should be aware that I don't think there's any range on the market at any price point with sides designed to be as aesthetically pleasing as the top and front. If you like white, go with that. From a pure design standpoint, stainless is no longer fashion-forward in late 2009.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: dmd_kc

                        okay... I CONFESS... aside from the continuous grates and a burner that would boil water in a reasonable amount of time... my concern is-- aesthetic. American comes in yellow! How can a person not have their mood lifted just looking at a yellow range everyday? on the other hand, one of those ugly kenmores in white with gray grates that raise 3 inches above the cooktop and look like a cage to catch a rat, and a bunch of gaudy electronics, or faux-pro with a little stainless and alot of ugly black parts that are dust attractors.... that's enough to make me depressed! Should I just get over myself and buy the first thing I see when I walk into Lowe's?

                        1. re: pletty

                          Aesthetics are a perfectly valid part of your purchase.

                          All I'm saying is that the best professional chef I've ever known uses an extremely run-of-the-mill Whirlpool gas range at home and turns out food to make you weep. A "pro-style" range will not make an Escoffier out of any of us, and they are no longer fashionable from a pure design standpoint.

                          How about you hire a cabinet maker to build you a little enclosure to match your other cabinetry on the exposed side of that American you like? Maybe even put some narrow shelves or something in it to make it practical.

                          1. re: dmd_kc

                            dmd_kc, I know you are right!
                            Read this article from the NYTimes
                            I have a friend, who, whenever she comes here exclaims,"with all the cooking you do I cannot believe you still haven't re-done your kitchen!" Well!
                            When at some point we do some work, I do not want it to scream 'remodeled in 2010' with wall to wall stainless and granite....especially since I live in an old home and feel a sort of responsibility -not to make it historically accurate, but to consider the character of the house when remodeling. That's why I'm not interested in doing alot of major structural changes although there are many challenges structurally! Besides two windows, there are 5 doors into my kitchen! One of them is next to the stove and hence no room for cabinetry there.

                            1. re: pletty

                              Holy moly, I don't know how I missed this bit of Bittman when it was first published, but it's my new bible! LOVE IT! Thank you, pletty!

                              I would never in a million years talk down to anyone who really loves his or her 40" $12k range, 1,000 cfm hood and granite counter tops. Those items are very important to a lot of people. But as my hero Mr. Bittman points out, they're hardly necessities to making incredible food. I couple of weeks ago I had a meal as fine as I've ever enjoyed in any restaurant -- in a place that has a kitchen that would look paltry compared the one Bittman posted on his blog.

                              Maybe I'm justifying my own modest budget in my current kitchen remodel. But I also know I've never **really** found myself unable to execute a meal because I didn't have that extra six inches of cooktop space or an exhaust hood that'll strip the hair off the cat.

                              BTW, I LOVE those weird old houses with things like kitchens that have five doors. I lived in one for many years, and I have nothing but happy memories about it (well, except for the heating bills and the fact that my teeny-tiny car would fit into the basement drive-in garage only with the assistance of a shoehorn and the careful application of Vaseline.)

                      2. AFAIK, Exterior venting for a "commercial style" range is necessary to exhaust the heat generated by the high output burners. You may also have to shore up the floor under the range due to the increased weight of a commercial grade range.

                        1. Just don't buy a Heartland stove! I thought a hood was required for all ranges and we didn't want a hood in our vintage kitchen so we sprung for a Heartland stove which, due to the design made to look like a stove from 1924, has a built in vent/fan which can recirculate back into the room. Would have been a great solution but this $5200.00 stove is in the process of being returned. It has been one problem after another and the company is very unresponsive. The exhaust fan is so ear-splittingly loud that I would never use it. That is just one of the problems with the stove. Most disappointing!