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Ventilation for Gas Fired Stovetop

Ventilation for Gas Fired Stovetop

New postby jcarr04 on Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:06 pm

We rent a small second floor apartment unit in a 40 plus year old apartment building in Miami, FL 33143. There is a 4 burner natural gas-fired stovetop in the kitchen and no ventilation whatsover. This seems extremely dangerous but the owner says it is not a code violation. What is the building code ventilation requirement for this stove building? Jim in South Florida
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Re: Ventilation for Gas Fired Stovetop

New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:34 pm

jcarr04 wrote:What is the building code ventilation requirement for this stove building?


Unlike, say a gas heater which will run automatically for as long as needed (I lived in South Florida for 20 years, so, yes, I know, you do not need heat down there), the gas stove has to be turned on manually and is only used for cooking, which is typically considered an 'attended' activity in that the person using the gas stove is there using the stove or very nearby.

Yes, gas stoves can produce a lot of CO, however, it is the appliance users responsibility to use the appliance correctly, which means not to use it for heating (i.e., not to turn it on and leave it on). People in colder climates die from doing that, but using a gas stove for heating IS NOT ALLOWED - the codes cannot regulate stupidity, the codes only address "minimum" level of safety.

A recommendation would be to install a CO detector in the kitchen area.

Now, if you are referring to simple ventilation for cooking odors and moisture created from cooking activities, there is still no requirement for ventilation for a stove, gas or electric.

If you were in a larger living space the odors and moisture would dissipate into the living space and to the outdoors better. Given you are in a small apartment, you notice everything like that much more. Keep in mind that if you were to install an exhaust fan for the stove that you would need to install make up air for fresh outdoor air to be brought in to replace it, meaning that your conditioned air would be sucked outside by the exhaust fan, hot humid air would be drawn back, and you would need to condition that air.

Again, keep in mind that all actions like the above are much more noticeable in a small apartment. You could open a window and install a small window fan exhausting to the outdoors, but then you would get into the problem with losing your air conditioning air to the outdoors and having to cool the new hot humid air drawn in to replace it.
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