Vent for stove necessary in rental home?

16 Replies

I'm getting ready to rent out a propery I rennovated. It has no vent/ hood over the stove. Is a hood necessarry? 

It doesnt have a exhaust fan in the bathroom either.  I 'm at the property as I post this to figure out what I need to do to add the exhaust fan in the bathroom to keep from dealing with mold issues. Is it the same type of thing in the kitchen?

@Cameron Price check with your local code enforcement office/buillding department. Laws vary state to state and even city to city. The hood above the stove is not typically required but without it you will have a mess on the ceiling above from the grease and oils. Look at Home Depot. They make units that don't require external venting. They have a filter  that collects the grease and just exhaust the clean air back into the apartment. They usually cost less than $100. As far as the bathroom, in my area if you have a window in the bathroom an exhaust fan is not required but I always try and install one if possible to cut down on mold and mildew. Do you have an attic above or is there a second floor. An attic above would make it easy to run the vent hose in the attic and cut a hole in the side of the house to exhaust the air. I've also used a drop ceiling to lower the ceiling and then run the vent hose out the side of the house above the drop ceiling. Good luck. 

I agree with Rob Beland you should check local regulations. But even if not required both vents are worth your while to install. There are a bunch of DYI videos online as well but once again check local regulations because you may be required to have licensed installer do the work since it is a rental property.

Without knowing what your kitchen looks like it's hard to suggest but I generally prefer to install an over the range microwave instead of a vent hood. It clear counter space and makes the kitchen look bigger. If you have a cabinet over your stove it can usually be raised up to allow room for the microwave and that also makes the cabinets look better to not be all one height.

Grease on the ceiling will cost you more than a vent hood or microwave!

For the bathroom...just do the vent. That's a no brainier unless you have other issues to contend with.

@Cameron Price

Experience taught me that tenants never replace the filter of a non vented range hood. You might as well not have one. On the other hand, if you have a gas stove, you will need a vented hood. I would be surprised if there is any jurisdiction that doesn't mandate that. I am also pro hood in the bathroom. Don't count on tenants opening a window.

heres the kitchen... there's an attic above and the stove is electric.  And yeah, that fridge is ugly and nasty inside. I'm replacing it before I rent it.

I'll check codes, but I'll probably install one regardless after thinking about grease all over the ceiling. Lol.

yeah, probably not room for a microwave...vent hood time.  renters won't replace the filter but it's easier to scrub a vent hood than it is to scrub the ceiling.

as a side note...i don't put fridges in my rentals, the renters bring one or rent one from RAC or other rental place.  They are cheap on CL so they can buy on from there if they need to IMO.

Originally posted by @John Lindemann :

yeah, probably not room for a microwave...vent hood time.  renters won't replace the filter but it's easier to scrub a vent hood than it is to scrub the ceiling.

as a side note...i don't put fridges in my rentals, the renters bring one or rent one from RAC or other rental place.  They are cheap on CL so they can buy on from there if they need to IMO.

True, true. I'm looking into the vented hoods now. Saw them at lowes  today for around $100. Seems well worth it to save the ceilings. 

Whats the logic on not providing a fridge? Do you provide a stove? If so why a stove, but not a fridge? It seems that either both are provided, or neither are provided around here, but thats just my limited observaton.

Regarding the bathroom vent, where I live, the bathroom has to either have a window that can be opened or a vent fan.  Who opens the window in the winter in Iowa when showering?  No one.  It's best to have the fan wired to the light switch so that it comes on automatically when they turn on the light.

@Cameron Price to be honest I don't know why about the fridge thing. Some do provide it bust most don't in SFH's. Apartments do tho. I just followed suit and most haven't had a problem with it.

Fridges are just another maintenance issue and I would get cheap ones without ice and water in the door so I think most tenants would prefer to bring their own nicer one. I won't let a good tenant get away because I didn't have a fridge tho...all things are negotiable, maybe raise the rent a bit to cover the fridge or something. 

If you supply a fridge and stove...why not a washer and dryer?  ;)

@Cameron Price

Cameron, the real expense in a vented hood does not come from the hood itself, although you can spend quite a lot of money there as well, but it comes from the installation. You either create a big hole in the wall or you do it in the cabinet above the stove, the ceiling, and the roof.

Hi @Cameron Price ,

I highly recommend both vents.  They will prevent more costly repairs from moisture damage.  

It looks like your upper kitchen cabinets go all the way to the ceiling.  I would definitely install a hood over the range and probably vent it through one side of the cabinet above.  Does that side of the kitchen face an exterior wall?  If so, you may be able to vent it out the side of the house at the gable end, instead of going through the roof (the fewer penetrations in the roof, the better).  

When you install external vents in a kitchen or bathroom, remember to use insulated duct in the attic, and make sure the ducts are sealed.  You don't want to be venting warm, moist air into your attic.  

Also, bigger is not always better in terms of fan capacity or CFM.  The more air you draw from the conditioned space, the more air you will be drawing into the house from outside.  

Here is a good link from the Home Ventilation Institute on properly sizing your vents:

No one uses electric ranges here and I've never heard of a hood requirement. Where possible I install a microwave with the biggest fan available, 300 cfm that requires a 6" duct. And I've been putting fans in baths even with windows. Tenants never open the window in winter, I've seen some nasty mildew. In one I just installed a light switch with an adjustable fan timer to turn it off a set time after the light is turned off.  There's also humidity sensors, but this seemed more foolproof and effective against, um, odors.

Thanks for all the input. I took all of your advise and installed both. The fan part was simple. The duct was a PAIN! We ran the duct to the soffit... hopefully i wont get grease stains on the soffit from the vent in the kitchen.  The bathroom should be fine.  The attic space goes to zero at the soffit, so we didnt have room to work.

I still have to go back and do a little caulking/ touch up painting from the installs, but I'm glad it's done. Thanks again for steering me in the right direction.

Not much to add here besides pointing out the indoor air quality (IAQ) makes a HUGE difference in quality of life. It's not too hard to install vents in bathrooms - as long as they are next to exterior walls.

I like to put my exhaust fans on timers, but in the new rental I'm building, all rooms will have continuous exhaust features and the fresh air feature will be highlighted in my marketing.

I'd suggest the combo vent/light in the bathrooms.  No additional switch and no moisture problems.   Lowes has one for $28 from Broan.  Vent it into the attic.  It will save you in the long run scraping moldy caulk.

I bought a house that had the bathroom fan vent into the attic, and the inspector said that it had to be re-routed outdoors somehow.  It wasn't too difficult to do.  Perhaps in summer it may not matter, but in colder times, that steam moisture can cause problems in the attic, same as if it didn't get vented in the bathroom at all.  I'm not sure what the building codes say about that though.

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