Addressing Kitchen Contaminants for Healthy, Low-Energy Homes
Cooking and cooking burners emit pollutants that can adversely affect indoor air quality in residences and significantly impact occupant health. Effective kitchen exhaust ventilation can reduce exposure to cooking-related air pollutants as an enabling step to healthier, low-energy homes. This report identifies barriers to the widespread adoption of kitchen exhaust ventilation technologies and practice and proposes a suite of strategies to overcome these barriers. The recommendations have been vetted by a group of industry, regulatory, health, and research experts and stakeholders who convened for two web-based meetings and provided input and feedback to early drafts of this document. The most fundamental barriers are (1) the common misconception, based on a sensory perception of risk, that kitchen exhaust when cooking is unnecessary and (2) the lack of a code requirement for kitchen ventilation in most US locations. Highest priority objectives include the following: (1) Raise awareness among the public and the building industry of the need to install and routinely use kitchen ventilation; (2) Incorporate kitchen exhaust ventilation as a requirement of building codes and improve the mechanisms for code enforcement; (3) Provide best practice product and use-behavior guidance to ventilation equipment purchasers and installers, and; (4) Develop test methods and performance targets to advance development of high performance products. A specific, urgent need is the development of an over-the-range microwave that meets the airflow and sound requirements of ASHRAE Standard 62.2.