Characteristics of Range Hoods in California Homes — Data Collected from a Real Estate Web Site
Venting range hoods are important residential ventilation components that remove pollutants generated by cooking activities and natural gas cooking burners. To address the lack of data on range hood installations in California, we conducted a survey by examining photographs of homes for sale or rent listed on a popular real estate web site. The survey was conducted in November 2010 and April–May 2011. Posted photos of the homes were reviewed to determine if a hood was installed, the type of hood, and two installation details that can impact performance, namely the height above the cooktop and the degree to which the hood covers the cooktop burners. We additionally collected information about the homes, including asking price for purchase or rent, type of building (e.g. detached house, townhouse or apartment), building age, floor area, and cooktop fuel type. Listings were first sampled to focus on homes built since 2005, then randomly sampled to include varied prices and locations around the state. Data were obtained for 1002 homes built between 1865 and 2011 (median year built 1989). Homes for sale varied in asking price from $16,000 to $16,500,000 (median $353,000) and homes for rent varied from $500 to $25,000 (median $2125) per month. Approximately 74% of the sample had natural gas cooktops. In this sample, natural gas cooktops were more prevalent in more expensive homes than in less expensive homes. Across the entire sample, 7.4 % appeared to have no hood installed, 33% had a short hood, 13% had a deep hood and 47% had a microwave over the range. The percentage of these hoods that vent to the outdoors could not be determined. Hood type was related to coverage of the cooktop. For deep hoods, 76% appeared to cover most or all of the cooktop burners. For short hoods, 70% covered about three quarters of the cooktop. And for microwaves the vast majority (96%) covered the back burners but not the front burners. Hood type was also correlated with asking price or monthly rent, with deep hoods most common in the most expensive homes. Hood type was also correlated with home age, with microwave hoods more common in newer homes. Installation height was related to device type with microwaves installed lower (closer) to the cooktop (median 18 inches), and short hoods (median 28 inches) and deep hoods (median 30 inches) installed higher. Deep range hoods are more common with natural gas cooktops than with electric cooktops, and slightly fewer homes with natural gas cooktops lack a range hood (7%) than homes with electric cooktops (9%). This study provides limited but useful information about the characteristics of range hoods in California homes and demonstrates the potential value of non-traditional forms of data collection.