Things are supposed to get easier the second time around. And so they did, after having installed the garden unit range hood about a year ago.
The installation of the 1st floor range hood is again one task on the long list of insulation preparations. The range hood will exhaust to the outside, which requires a wall penetration that I needed to take care of prior to the spray foam application.
Layout and installation
The kitchen wall against which we will place the stove with the range hood above it, has an old three flue chimney right in the middle.
To keep things simple, we opted for a kitchen layout that places the stove and range hood towards the south side of the chimney. I was in no mood to wrestle the range hood exhaust through various layers of bricks and the chimney flues…
Having learned a lesson or two from the garden unit, I felt comfortable to start the installation process without having purchased the actual range hood yet. What I did do, though, was to download and print the installation guide, which included all critical dimensions.
Well, another factor in the equation was that we already had purchased the kitchen cabinets and stove. Setting the cabinets and stove into place allowed me to mark the exact position for the range hood and the exhaust.
Time to take the hammer drill back out of the box and punch a hole through the wall.
Banking on bits
Here is another lesson learned: Most bricks are pretty easy to drill through, but some have an incredibly hard interior core that tends to wear out the masonry bits pretty quickly. Short drill bits are cheap, but the longer ones are not. And I needed to drill through 12 inches of masonry.
Rather than burning up an expensive 12 inch masonry bit, I started with a short bit that got me through the first layer of bricks, followed by a slightly longer (and slightly more expensive) bit. Only at the end did I have to use the expensive 12 inch bit, to get me through the third and outermost layer of bricks.
Our product selection was and is guided by the Energy Star program. This is an easy and convenient resource to research energy efficient products, such as range hoods.
The efficiency of a range hood is measured in how many cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air the unit moves with one watt of energy (CFM/W). When we researched and selected the range hood for the garden unit over a year ago, some of the best available ratings were 3.8 CFM/W.
The list with qualifying products had been updated since then. A new product made it onto the list. A simple 30 inch updraft range hood with an energy rating of 8.6 CFM/W. That is more than twice as efficient! The price also doubled, but is still within what we had budgeted.