I know this edges pretty close to a shopping recommendation, but I hope that I'll manage to stay on the good side. If not, please tell me and I'll delete the question myself.

My situation: I live in an (older) apartment block have a kitchen without a range hood. I also have no holes in the walls to put the duct into (technically a hole could be drilled, but for various reasons the proper paperwork is nearly impossible to do). There is a ventilation hole, but the local fire safety regulations forbid blocking it (since I have a gas stove/oven), explicitly mentioning that range hoods may not be connected to it. However I could put a fan in it, since that does not block it.

I've looked at various recirculating hoods, but they all seem to just filter out some odors and grease (which is nice), but not water vapor (which is not nice). The water vapor actually is a problem occasionally when we do some heavier cooking. I've had my kitchen walls slick with moisture on more than one occasion. What I'm surprised about is that I cannot find any hoods with a built-in dehumidifier. Sure, the device would get much heavier and bulkier, and need a connection to the plumbing, but so what? It'd work for me. :P Does anyone know if this exists, and if it does, what keywords I should look for?

Barring that, what other options do I have? What kind of device (or combination of devices) would provide the best kitchen exhaust solution while not requiring a dedicated hole in the wall?

  • Where on earth are you? Is that "ventilation hole" intended for intake (makeup) air, exhaust air, or just as a natural vent? Jan 3, 2020 at 4:43
  • A "natural vent", I think. I'm in Latvia and this is a Soviet-era apartment block. They are...special. This day and age they probably wouldn't pass half of all the building codes, but most of the nation lives in them, so we have to make do the best we can. The hole in particular leads to a vertical shaft which terminates above the roof. The idea is that this is a "natural vent" (I think that's the term). The hole is near the ceiling, and in case of a gas leak the idea would be that the gas raises up (it's lighter than air) and vents through there.
    – Vilx-
    Jan 3, 2020 at 11:47
  • @ThreePhaseEel - The nonblocking regulation is actually fairly new. It went into effect on 1st of January, 2019.
    – Vilx-
    Jan 3, 2020 at 11:49
  • 1
    @JPhi1618 - Does it really? I don't think that's how it works, although I'm not quite sure about the physics there. But the heat isn't "cancelled" with an equivalent amount of energy, it's just moved, and then not completely. In addition, by the time the steam reaches the hood, it's not even close 100 degrees Celsius anymore. In fact, you can easily hold your hand a little above a boiling kettle. It'll be hot, but not scalding.
    – Vilx-
    Jan 3, 2020 at 17:32
  • 1
    How big is that ventilation hole of yours? If it is big enough, you could perhaps get a little creative with the "no connecting hoods to it" regulation and mount the duct just a few centimeters in front of the hole, blowing into it. No blocking, and the jet of air coming from the duct could be made strong enough to prevent any recirculation back into the room.
    – TooTea
    Oct 5, 2020 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


One solution is a window extractor fan.

Cutting a hole in the wall is pretty permanent, but you can always replace the glass in a window if you need to restore it. Actually cutting a hole in the glass is a job for a professional, but it's pretty quick and doesn't make much mess.

Any room with a gas burner (like a cooker) needs a vent to allow fresh air in, otherwise you'll use up most of the oxygen and it'll start producing poisonous carbon monoxide. If you add a fan to suck air out of a room, it's even more important to have a vent to allow fresh air in.

  • Both of my window panes are openable, and instead of plain glass they are special double-glass packets filled with argon (I think) for better heat insulation, but maybe there's something to this idea... I'll think about it.
    – Vilx-
    Jan 3, 2020 at 17:55
  • Opening isn't necessarily a problem, if they don't move very far you can have a flexible cable, or a plug to disconnect the cable from the wall. Double glazing companies can make panels with holes for about $50. Jan 4, 2020 at 18:11

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