Are we required to have one in a standard kitchen with a gas range in a residential home? The big question is not how many CFM or ducted or not, just whether there is a requirement in the building codes. I live in New Jersey, US.

  • 1
    New Jersey is too localized, per our faq, so I've edited your question to be more broadly applicable. You'll want to check your local building codes if you think there's a reason you can skip this vent.
    – BMitch
    Commented Nov 19, 2012 at 13:09
  • This question, specifically this answer might be helpful.
    – Tester101
    Commented Nov 19, 2012 at 14:24

5 Answers 5


Yes, and not only do you need a fan but it must exhaust outside and not just recirculate the air through a carbon filter. You are burning fossil fuels which produces carbon monoxide (among other things). This can kill you if not properly vented.

Rather than repeat what is already on this site, per the comments, see this answer for the exact code requirements for exhaust hoods.

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    Since this is a code requirement type question, could you please site (and possibly quote) your source?
    – Tester101
    Commented Nov 19, 2012 at 14:40
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    It seems to me that if the issue were CO danger rather than cooking smoke, then there would be a requirement to make the exhaust system automatic, not controlled by the user. We have an outside exhaust, but only use it when frying, etc. But I can see where it would be against code to have it exhaust into the attic, where it would eventually be a fire hazard. Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 18:00
  • The difference is smoke you can see and smell. People see smoke and they open windows, find the source, call the fire dept, etc. CO on the other hand is colorless and odorless - as a human you have no way of naturally detecting it. And automatically operated exhaust systems are unlikely to be a realistic requirement in home environments. From a code POV, you have the required systems - its up to you to use them.
    – Steven
    Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 18:39
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    @Steven The codes in the linked answer do not say that an exhaust fan is required. They say that if one is installed, it must vent outside (aside from the exceptions).
    – Tester101
    Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 19:54

I am sorry but I disagree with the other answers. While I would always put an exhaust over a gas range, it is not code where I am at.

Some cities require a window to be in the room if no exhaust (and room is loosely interpreted). For instance the kitchen is in the same room as dining room as long as there is no door separating the two rooms according to local inspectors.

Some allow a ceiling fan - go figure. Just saying it isn't required in most places.

Should you? Yes.

Must you? Ask building inspector.


All gas-fired appliances require venting of the products of combustion! Even new appliances produce CO in quantities that can accumulate in the blood stream and cause injury or death. Get the products of combustion out of your house!


No, it is not required but is a potential hazard to not have one.

Carbon monoxide detectors ARE required in most places now and should alert you in the event your gas stove is generating a measurable amount. Using the vent whenever burning syngas, natural gas, propane, butane, liquefied petroleum gas or other flammable gas is the smart decision.


Traditionally, it has been assumed that gas stoves and ovens don't run very long and burn relatively clean, and the hazards have been glossed over in favor of convenience. Ditto gas fireplaces. However, all of these have long carried warnings that attempting to use them continuously risks build-up of combustion products, including carbon monoxide, and is not safe.

As houses have become better sealed, and less air replacement is occurring, this has become a progressively more serious concern. CO detectors can alert you to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, if installed and maintained properly, but there is some science showing that other risks may exist too, roughly similar to "second-hand smoke".

So a kitchen vent, preferably a heat-retaining vent independent of the "vent hood" over the stove (which all too often does not actually vent to outside), is worth considering if you cook with gas. Whether it is needed depends on local code or, if code doesn't say, on how much risk you believe is involved, at least until more conclusive studies are done and regulations are updated.

For what it's worth, induction cooktops are still expensive but are a darned good compromise between the behavior of a gas range and the efficiency (and reduced indoor pollution) of an electric. I hate the traditional coil or IR-lamp based electrics; I've been quite content with my inductive. It can even do some things that no other stove can, like letting you put paper between the cooktop and pot to catch splashes (assuming the pot stays below 450 degrees, which it does in normal cooking). Biggest downside other than cost of the cooktop is that you need magnetic-steel pots, so you may have to replace some cookware. Hopefully induction will stop being a luxury option some time soon.

  • I wouldn't call induction a "compromise" -- induction is superior to gas in the amount of control one gets, as well as providing even more power to the pot Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 22:32
  • Compromise only in that it is still more expensive and requires changing some cooking habits (though less so than when going from gas to older electrics). Some folks would be happier if it was a nearer-to-equal swap with gas. I don't want to oversell it, just remind folks that it is a way to get most of what they like about gas cooking plus some new capabilities while getting rid of gas itself. ("Now you're cooking with... oops, never mind.")
    – keshlam
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 23:23

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