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We moved into a new (to us) house, and neither we nor the inspector can figure out where the range hood vents! The stove and hood are against an exterior (brick) wall. There is a cabinet above the hood, so it does not vent directly up. We thought that meant it probably recycles the air, but our inspector could not find anywhere where air is getting blown back into the kitchen -- it is only getting sucked up. Looking up into the hood, the blower is attached to the wall, and there may or may not be a hole there behind the blower. Since no air is coming back into the kitchen, we assume air is getting sucked horizontally into the wall. But on the exterior of the house, there is NO hole or vent directly where the range is. There is a possible vent about 15 feet to the side, but nothing appears to come out of it (we used a fogger to try to track the path) -- and it would require the air vent immediately turn 90 degrees after going into the wall, and then turn 90 degrees again to go back out. Is it possible it vents up to the roof three stories up, after going horizonally into the wall? (It would be very challenging to get up to the roof to look.) Is it possible the people who renovated the kitchen just vented it into the wall without any escape? Is there a reasonably easy way to figure this out without destroying anything?

If it helps, it is a 140 year old brick house, and the kitchen was renovated about 6 years ago (2 owners ago). I looked up the brand/model of hood and it says it can be set to recirculate or vent outside, either horizonally or vertically.

Thanks so much for your help! We are inexperienced and would really appreciate your insights!

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    Seems like you need to run an endoscope/camera up the hood to look through the fan and see if there is an opening there and where it goes. I'm surprised your inspector didn't suggest this.
    – Armand
    Jun 26 at 21:40
  • I do not think we had a very good inspector. But with the market so crazy we did not have time for another one. Never use the inspector your agent recommends!
    – Ac3
    Jun 26 at 22:04
  • it is quite possible that it does not vent anywhere
    – jsotola
    Jun 26 at 23:22
  • @jsotola but air is getting sucked in, so it has to be released somewhere, right? ... that is the mystery, as it doesn't seem to be coming back into the kitchen, as far as we can tell..
    – Ac3
    Jun 27 at 13:31

2 Answers 2

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Try getting a plumber to light a smoke rocket in a pot on the stove, then suck the smoke up the hood. Walk around the house (also the basement & attic) to find where the smoke is coming out. (If it isn't coming out anywhere, then the hood isn't vented outside.)

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  • But if the air isn't coming back into the kitchen either... where is it going? It has to go somewhere, right?
    – Ac3
    Jun 27 at 13:25
  • True, it has to go somewhere. The smoke should identify the exit point. Jun 27 at 14:32
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You might have dual brick wall and the vent only goes in the space in between the two bricks wall.

The space is usually 2 inch for venting and better insulation.

Someone might have take a short cut and just venting your exhaust in the space between.

How to find out if you have dual brick wall.

Look at the thickness of the window/door frames.

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  • It is possible it actually vents in the attic. Mine did until I remodeled and have it now venting outside. If possible it may be easily removed so you could check. Is there a possibility it is dead headesdon the wall?
    – Gil
    Jun 26 at 23:14
  • I am pretty sure it is a solid brick wall, three brickes deep.
    – Ac3
    Jul 1 at 20:26

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