A guide to residential kitchen ventilation...

Kitchen fans are an essential part of every kitchen, vital for collecting the smells and moisture in the air created from the cooking process. Also to help prevent cooking unpleasant odours and smells from spreading to the rest of the house. Excess humidity is a problem in the home, especially in the winter when the house is more closed. The bathroom and kitchen generate more moisture in the air from showering and cooking. A few types of ventilation systems are available for the kitchen. This guide will highlight the need for good ventilation and provide an insight to what you can do to ensure you have the best equipment and meet building regulations.

Choosing the right Fan….

There are three main options you have to correctly ventilate a kitchen or utility room:

HVR 150 Fan   HV Fan   M1 100 / 120 Fan   WX 150-300 Fans
 HVR 150
   HV 200 / 250
   M1 100/120
   WX 150-300

R 90 KE/FES Fan   HVR 150/FES Fan   GX 225 Fan
   HVR 150/FES
  GX 150 - 300

 Chimney Cooker Hood Cooker Hoods are a common first step for kitchen ventilation. Often placed above the cooker they remove the majority of cooking steam. They have filters to remove the grease that can usually be replaced or even washed and reused. This can be the ideal solution if you cannot reach an external wall with ducting and do not have a Kitchen window. The downside to cooker hoods is that the noise they make can be often intrusive when used. They also require a lot of space. They are impractical for utility rooms. Ideally they are best used in conjuntion with a wall or window fan for maximum effect.There are two main options for cooker hoods - the flat panel style or the larger Chimney style. Our recommendation for the best source of quality cooker hoods at the best value can be found here.
 Flat Cooker Hood

Without good ventilation in the kitchen & utility rooms common problems that can occur are:  

Stale Air - Can be caused by cooking smells, smoking, odours remaining in the bathroom, a general lack of ventilation around the house as well as a damp atmosphere. All these problems cause an avoidable level of discomfort as well as the risk of respiratory illness and general poor health.

Condensation - Problems occur when steam from the kitchen or bathroom finds cooler surfaces around the house on which to condense. Attempts to conserve heat by sealing windows - and therefore reducing natural ventilation - makes this problem even worse. Condensation can cause considerable problems from peeling wallpaper and mould growth to severe structural damage such as wood rot and damp.

When these problems are ignored or left untreated further more serious problems such as damp, mould and potential respiratory illness can develop.


When the residential kitchen is a new build or an extension etc that is subject to the building regulations then the ventilation rate is specified in Document F. The ventilation rate specified in Document F of the building regulations is for continuous ventilation is13 litres per second (l/s) and for intermittent ventilation is 30 l/s adjacent to the cooker or 60 l/s anywhere else in the kitchen.

Utility rooms need to have a ventilation rate of 9 l/s for continuous ventilation and 30 l/s for intermittent ventilation.

Sitting the Fan Correctly:
 A fan should always be sited in the furthest window or wall from the main source of air replacement to avoid short-circuiting the airflow. It should be located as high as possible in the window or wall nearest to smells or steam, but not directly above eye-level grills or cooker hoods.

If the room contains a fuel burning device (such as a gas boiler) with a non-balanced flue, it is essential that there is enough replacement air to prevent fumes being drawn down the flue when the fan is extracting to its utmost capacity.
Kitchen Fan Placement