New standard helps rate efficacy of range hoods by exhaust
ASTM International recently announced a new standard that will help measure how effectively wall-mounted kitchen range hoods remove indoor air pollutants. The standard helps with selecting range hoods based on how well they capture pollutants and exhaust them outside the home, instead of relying on airflow specifications that aren’t always good indicators of pollutant removal.
The new standard (soon to be published as E3087) was developed by the subcommittee on air leakage and ventilation performance, part of ASTM International’s Committee on Performance of Buildings.
“Cooking has been identified as a major source of indoor air pollutants in homes,” says ASTM International member Iain Walker, a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “The new standard allows us to rate how well a range hood works by determining how much of a cooking contaminant from a cooktop is directly exhausted to outside,” Walker said in a statement. “The ratings can then be used to specify better performing products and to set minimum acceptable performance limits.”
Building codes and ventilation standards address the airflow requirements of range hoods, but there is still wide variance in the ability of hoods to remove pollutants, according to Walker. He notes that manufacturers could use the standard to develop and market products that better capture pollutants, and that the subcommittee would eventually like to adapt the test procedures for island and downdraft systems. Regulatory bodies could specify minimum performance requirements.