Electric convection ovens have been around since the 1960s and are popular alternatives to conventional gas or electric ovens. That’s because they have fans that make the cooking process more efficient. But can you use an electric convection oven by itself, or do you need a range hood above it?
No, you do not need to use a range hood alongside an electric convection oven unless your local building code requires it. Electric convection ovens don’t burn gas and produce no harmful emissions like carbon monoxide. Still, a range hood works exceptionally well with a convection oven. It increases ventilation, keeping your kitchen air safe and clean while keeping the space at a comfortable temperature.
This guide will help start by helping you to understand how electric convection ovens work. Then, you’ll see how a range hood could add value to that oven and whether or not you might require one where you live.
Does A Convection Oven Require A Range Hood?
No, you do not need a range hood to use an electric convection oven safely and efficiently.
Remember: these ovens do not burn any gas, so they don’t release any harmful gasses that might hurt you in a closed environment.
However, that answer can change depending on two factors related to where you live and where you use that oven, namely:
- Whether you’re a residential user or a commercial user
- Your state and the local building codes you must follow
Simply put, you can enjoy using an electric convection oven without a hood unless you’re in a commercial kitchen and if your local building code says you must have one.
Let’s clarify things by exploring a few crucial topics. Namely, how is an electric convection oven different from a conventional one, how important is a range hood, and why might local building codes require a range hood for your oven.
Convection vs Conventional Ovens: What’s the Difference?
A conventional electric oven generates heat using two heating elements. The first heating element is at the bottom, known as the ‘bake’ heating element. A lot of ovens also have a second element at the top, called the ‘broil’ element.
Turning on the oven will cause both of those elements to radiate heat. Then, a few moments later, that heat rises to the top of the oven naturally. Unfortunately, that means the heat does not distribute evenly throughout the oven’s compartment.
A convection oven generates heat in the same way. However, it also has one or more fans that force the hot air to circulate evenly throughout the oven compartment.
In doing so, convection ovens maximize airflow inside and cook food much more efficiently.
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How Important Is A Range Hood?
So, why does a range hood matter when it comes to ovens?
They matter because conventional and convection gas ovens generate emissions like grease, carbon monoxide and smoke when you use them.
A range hood is crucial to extract all those emissions and send them out of the building. By increasing ventilation in your kitchen, the range hood keeps the kitchen air clean, safe to breathe, and also prevents the oven from heating up the kitchen.
However, range hoods aren’t as crucial for electric convection ovens. That’s especially true if you’re using one at home instead of a commercial kitchen.
Simply put, an electric convection oven doesn’t burn any gas. As a result, they produce no harmful emissions like carbon monoxide that might affect your breathing or that of anyone else at home.
Is A Range Hood Required By Code?
The honest answer is, ‘it depends’.
Typically, you wouldn’t need a range hood for an electric convection oven you’re using at home. Instead, you’ll likely need one in commercial kitchens like those in restaurants and cafes.
However, all residential and commercial kitchens must still follow local building codes. Those codes differ depending on where you live, so your state or town might require you to have a range hood for your oven.
The best thing for you to do is to check your local building code and consult qualified experts. For example, you can speak to local sellers before buying your stove or call a stove repair technician to get their input.
Does A Range Hood Add Value?
Whether or not local building codes require you to install one, a range hood will complement your electric convection oven exceptionally well.
Here are 4 ways that a hood will add value to your oven and the kitchen overall:
- Better ventilation: The most important value of a range hood is the added ventilation it provides. Range hoods have fans that extract air from above your oven and force it outside your building. That prevents smoke or any other emission from accumulating in your kitchen.
- Fewer false alarms: The extra ventilation also prevents false alarms. Kitchen smoke alarms are lifesavers, but you can often trigger them by accident if your kitchen isn’t well-ventilated. A range hood keeps the air flowing and prevents that from happening.
- More comfortable temperature: People often forget that ovens radiate heat into the kitchen, even if only a little. A range hood and the ventilation it provides will drive hot air out of the kitchen, allowing the space to stay cool as you continue cooking.
- Extra lighting: Range hoods typically come with built-in lights. Even though your convection oven has lights on the inside, the ones on the range hood will illuminate the oven’s top and make it easier to work on or around it.
As you can see, it’s clear that a range hood will add plenty of value to your experience of using an electric convection oven. That’s true even if owning one is not compulsory where you live.
So, it’s a worthwhile investment that you should still consider.
What Is In The Building Code For Range Hoods?
Let’s suppose your local building codes require you to use a range hood with your electric convection oven.
Before you buy a range hood to accompany your electric convection oven, you must first know what your local code will specify.
Here are the 7 specifications that the code will determine:
- Whether or not the hood must ventilate air outside of the building
- The materials that you can use for the range hood’s ducting
- Whether or not you need a makeup air system to replace the air that the range hood removed from your kitchen
- Minimum and maximum lengths for the range hood’s duct
- Requirements for the range hood’s exterior cover
- How fast the hood should remove air (also known as the ‘exhaust rate’ or ‘CFM’)
- How the range hood is powered, whether on an individual or dedicated circuit
Buying and installing a hood for your electric convection oven can be costly, especially if you buy the wrong one or install it incorrectly.
So, if your local building code requires you to have one, be sure to study the code very carefully. That way, you can buy the correct range hood and set it up correctly the first time around.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are a few questions and answers to help you understand this issue better:
Do Ovens Need Hoods?
Yes, some ovens need hoods. Gas ovens, in particular, produce harmful emissions that can cause breathing problems for anyone indoors. A hood will remove all those emissions and force them outside, keeping the indoor air clean. On the other hand, an electric oven doesn’t necessarily need a hood, though it can still benefit from having one above it.
Do Convection Ovens Need A Vent?
No, you can use an electric convection oven safely and efficiently even without a vent. The only exception is if your local building code requires you to install a vent above an electric convection oven.
Do Convection Ovens Heat The Kitchen?
Yes. A convection oven will contain most of the heat inside the compartment. However, heat will radiate from the oven’s exterior panels and heat your kitchen slightly. That’s especially true if you open the oven door and allow hot air to escape.
Do Convection Ovens Smoke?
Yes, electric convection ovens can create smoke just like any other kind of oven. Smoke will come from food residue and grease burning inside the oven while you use the appliance.
Do Convection Ovens Cause Fires?
Yes, electric convection ovens can cause fires. Generally, oven fires happen when excess grease inside the compartment catches fire. However, placing flammable items on top or nearby the oven could also lead to fires if you’re not careful.