Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Addressing Kitchen Contaminants for Healthy, Low-Energy Homes
- Author(s): Stratton, J. Chris
- et al.
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.