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I know there are units made which are supposed to be sized for use in a residential kitchen, as a more efficient replacement for the usual vent hood (bring air in to replace air blown out, but transfer heat between the two so you don't lose as much heating/cooling as you would with a normal just-blow-outward setup). I like the idea, but they ARE more expensive (of course; two fans and the heat exchanger and the internal ductwork to feed it) and I'm not sure how much maintenance they need... especially since in a kitchen setting you're going to get airborne grease and so on which may make keeping it working efficiently difficult.

So: If you've installed one of these, how did it work out and would you do it again?

  • Huh - due to the grease issue I've never seen or expected to see a kitchen one. I suppose with metal exchanger sections it could work. – Ecnerwal Nov 14 '14 at 20:44
  • I've installed HRV's on HVAC systems and they're kinda big... Link? can-an-hrv-replace-the-air-exhausted-by-a-range-hood, can-kitchen-downdraft-fan-be-connected-hrv -Also, was what you were looking at sized to fit in, or intended to be directly hooked to the exhaust? – Mazura Nov 14 '14 at 21:44
  • There are a few smaller ones, according to websearch for "residential kitchen heat recovery" -- though it's unclear how well they really would work in that environment. The ones I've seen are sized to fit in a wall opening rather than being hooked to an exhaust hood; they're aimed more at general air exchange than task collection. I suppose one could use a filtering hood which vents back into the room to catch most of the splatter, then let the HRV deal with exhausting fumes/moisture left over... but I'm not convinced either. Interested, though, if practical. – keshlam Nov 14 '14 at 21:59
  • My experience of the hood fans that blow back into the room is that the effect of whatever filters they have is miniscule, and I hate them. YMMV. – Ecnerwal Nov 14 '14 at 22:17
  • Absolutely agreed. But ideally I'd like to avoid losing heated/cooled air when I use an exhaust, so I'm looking for a miracle of some flavor. If I could run a hood into a heat exchanger, that'd do the job, but... – keshlam Nov 14 '14 at 22:41
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Due to the grease and other unwanted fumes being exhausted this is not a good idea for a range hood in the kitchen. You would be surprised at how easily grease builds.

  • That's what I was concerned about, certainly. A pity ... – keshlam Jan 8 '15 at 20:20
  • Hm. I have an idea for a simple "scrubber" which might solve that, if the hrv can handle high humidity ... – keshlam Jan 9 '15 at 22:31

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