Residential cooking can be a significant indoor source of odour, pollutants and particulate matter. Conventionally, range hoods expel the air into the ambient. A number of studies have investigated their contaminant capture performance. However, for highly energy efficient houses the installation of extracting range hoods can pose certain challenges, e.g. high ventilation losses, additional thermal bridges and potential air leakage sites. Therefore, the use of recirculation range hoods has become standard for highly energy efficient housing with mechanical ventilation with heat recovery in Central Europe.
Open questions remain regarding their capture and filtration efficiency as a function of filter age, especially for particles and odours. But also, the actual energy savings potential when using recirculating instead of extracting devices in a highly energy efficient housing had not been documented yet. This paper addresses these questions with a literature review and an energetic comparison.
The review identified a good number of studies which have investigated the capture performance of extracting range hoods with a focus on pollutants resulting from gas combustion and/or the cooking generated particles. These studies show that capture efficiency, in particular for front burner use, can vary drastically for different designs and that particle capture does not necessarily match capture efficiency for gaseous contaminants. No scientific study investigating the performance of recirculating range hoods was found. Tests for consumer magazines as well as surveys indicate notably lower performance compared to extracting hoods. In summary one can say that performance tests are urgently needed to quantify the capture and filter efficiency for particles and (odorous) organic compounds as a function of filter age.