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Why is Cold Air Coming Down My Range Hood Vent? (Answer)

If your range hood is bringing in cold air from the outside of your home. There might be something wrong with your HVAC system. Let's see if we can fix it.

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When you use a range hood, you expected to expel air from your kitchen. But should it ever be bringing cold air inside your home? If you’re experiencing this, there might be a problem with your HVAC system. So, if you’re experiencing cold air coming down from your range hood vent this is the post for you.

In this post, we will discuss the backdrop damper, how it is installed, how it can stop cold air from coming into your house, and what to do if your kitchen vent brings in cold air, so you can keep the air in your home comfortably warm.

Image of a beautiful clean kitchen. Source: pexels, pixabay
Image of a beautiful clean kitchen. Source: Pexels, Pixabay

If you are experiencing cold air sneaking into your kitchen from your range hood ventilation system, it’s likely that you do not have a backdraft damper installed or the backdraft emperor is damaged.

What is a backdraft damper

Backdraft dampers sometimes called “gravity dampers,” are devices that let air flow in one direction while keeping air from coming in from the other side. This keeps a backdraft from happening. Backdraft dampers are put in HVAC systems to control how much air goes in and out. A backdraft damper keeps the pressure in a building stable, which cuts down on wasted energy.

How is the backdraft damper installed

A backdraft damper may be put in a horizontal or vertical orientation. However, the kind of damper required for the installation changes depending on the orientation. For example, depending on the situation, a contractor might mount a motorized backdraft damper horizontally or vertically.

As a result, the contractor has more freedom in how the room is laid out. In contrast, if the damper is operated by gravity, the contractor will need to mount it vertically so that its flaps may be opened and closed by the force of gravity.

How can a damper stop cold air from coming into your house

Two dampers should be used when installing a range hood to prevent air from the outside from entering the kitchen. The first is at the duct’s entry point at the top of the hood, and the second is at the duct’s exit point at the wall or roof cap. These metal flaps are so thin that they must open while the hood fan is on low speed. However, they should keep cold or hot drafts from entering your home through the hood.

What to do if your kitchen vent brings in cold air

There are three solutions to the problem of chilly air leaking into your house.

Inspect the outside backdraft damper

The ductwork from a range hood or oven may be sent outside via the ceiling or a wall. A backdraft damper is located at the duct’s outlet near its terminal section. This part acts as a one-way check valve to prevent impurities from reentering your stove. This gadget lets smoke, grease, and fumes out, but they can’t get back in. The backdraft damper opens only when pressure is put on it from the inside, and the range fan blows the mess outside.

The chilly outside air will enter your house if the backdraft damper is not closed completely or is locked in the open position. Also, the toxins you’re trying to eliminate by venting may find their way back inside. Some backdraft dampers may be repaired by applying oil or lubrication; replacement is necessary if that doesn’t work.

Inspect the range-side backdraft damper

It might be a surprise, but the second backdraft damper is not far from the screen; it is situated just over the oven. If the damper on the range side isn’t properly shutting, cold air from within the ducting may still leak into your house, even if the outside backdraft damper is functioning correctly. To inspect the damper, you will need to take off the screen and maybe the light bulb sitting in front of it.

Look for symptoms of blockage or restriction in the damper. If, after eliminating these obstacles, the damper still won’t fully shut, it’s time to get a new one. Before using your stove again after repairs or replacements, make sure the screen and light are back in the right place.

Image of a kitchen with a gray countertop on the right side, and above is the range hood. Source: pixabay
Image of a kitchen with a gray countertop on the right side, and above is the range hood. Source: pixabay

Inspect the ductwork

Have you ever thought about where the vent for your stove or oven goes? Unfortunately, air cannot “settle” if the vent duct is vertically aligned. Roof-exiting range vents are especially likely to have this problem because the backdraft dampers on the outside may not be easy to check. One option is to change the ductwork to include a curve that gives cold air a natural place to settle.

However, remember that heavy, frigid air will naturally seek the lowest possible settling location. This is why there are times when a range vent that goes straight to the floor is the best option.

Some people might think that making changes to ductwork is extra maintenance, but the long-term benefits of lower energy bills might make up for the initial costs. If you are unsure of what you are doing, it is best to call in the pros before attempting this repair yourself.

If you want even more tips and insights, watch this video called “All About Make Up Air | This Old House” from the This Old House YouTube Channel.

This video called “All About Make Up Air | This Old House” from the This Old House YouTube Channel.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Do you still have questions? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about why cold air is coming down your range hood vent.

What is a range hood?

A mechanical fan is housed inside a device called a kitchen hood, extractor hood, range hood, or exhaust hood, and it is hung over a stove or cooktop. Air extraction and filtration eliminate grease, fumes, smoke, heat, and steam.

What does ductwork mean?

Regarding HVAC, ducts are the means through which air is transported and exhausted. The required airflows are supply air, return air, and exhaust air. Also, ventilation air is often brought in through ducts as part of the air supply.

What is HVAC?

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning is the abbreviation for these systems. The term “HVAC” stands for “heating, ventilation, and air conditioning,” all of which are methods of controlling the temperature inside a building. These systems keep you warm, comfortable, cool, and refreshed in the summer. These systems also filter and clean the air in your home to ensure your health and comfort.

Conclusion

Well, that’s it for today. We covered everything about your vent hood vent and its role in keeping the air fresh and clean. These tips will help you sort out your issues. If you’re still unsure about what to do next, consult a professional HVAC specialist who will help you diagnose the problem thoroughly.

This article covered the backdrop damper, how it is installed, and how it stops cold air from coming into your house. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • Backdraft dampers sometimes called “gravity dampers,” are devices that let air flow in one direction while keeping air from coming in from the other side.
  • A backdraft damper may be put in a horizontal or vertical orientation.
  • Two dampers should be used when installing a range hood to prevent air from the outside from entering the kitchen.
  • Closing air-borne vents are something that must be done regularly.

So, are you using a backdrop damper? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below (I read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, check out my full blog for more tips and tricks in your kitchen. Thanks for reading, and stay safe.

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Author avatar - Roger Harris
Written By Roger Harris
Hey there! My name is Roger, and I've been selling range hoods for over six years. I now run this blog all about range hoods and kitchen ventilation! If you're looking for a new range hood for your kitchen, this is the place for you.

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