Grill Vent Hoods: Internal vs External Motor Vent Hoods
When buying different kinds of outdoor kitchen appliances, a lot of people don’t give enough attention to outdoor venting hoods as much as they probably should. If your outdoor kitchen is under a roof, an outdoor vent hood is essential.
An outdoor vent hood has a mechanical fan that hangs above the gas grill, kamado, or range in your outdoor kitchen. The hood’s main purpose is to capture airborne grease, gas, smoke, heat, etc from the air by ventilating the air. Outdoor vent hood manufacturers have created several types of vent hoods with different functionalities and designs. Most outdoor hoods are only designed to be wall mounted but some can be ceiling mounted, depending on location. These hoods can use either an internal or external blower, referring to the location of the motor for the vent hood. What these hoods both have in common is the motor strength rated in CFM’s (or cubic feet per minute), how much air the hood will move per minute.
Benefits of having a vent hood in your outdoor kitchen:
- Beneficial to your health because it prevents any exposure to harmful fumes, smoke etc that your grill puts out.
- Provides comfort in your outdoor kitchen without any worry of smoking out your guests.
- Prevents any stucco/siding repairs (the grease and smoke from the grill will turn the wall and ceiling black)
- Improves outdoor kitchen lighting thanks to the halogen lights that are featured at the bottom of the hoods.
- Eliminates any overabundance of heat from your outdoor kitchen.
An Outdoor Hood with an Internal Blower
The internal blower hoods are typically less expensive than the external blower hoods. They provide excellent performance and bearable sound levels for how powerful these blowers are. It is usually vented through the roof or wall, with the objective of using the least amount of ductwork possible. They are located in the hood itself, so only one electrical connection is needed. The hood, blower motor, filters, fan controls, and lighting will all come in one box. The internal blower is the most cost-effective option for a hood and usually makes the most sense. They are conveniently accessible if you ever need to service them and are very simple to install. If you ever need to install a replacement hood, you most likely will still be able to use the ductwork from the previous hood. The internal blows can be relatively loud but are still very effective and provide excellent performance for years.
Our most popular and affordable internal blower outdoor hoods are the Zephyr Power Cypress Series, Trade Wind Hoods, and Heat Versa Series. The Zephyr Power Cypress Series and Trade Wind Hoods have an elegant, sleek design with bright halogen lighting accents. The stainless steel bottoms and dishwasher-safe baffle filters make cleaning easy. The Heat Versa Series offers the same high performance but has a more, modern, contemporary look. These outdoor hoods are aesthetically pleasing and offer the convenience to accommodate any outdoor kitchen. Feel free to take a look at these three brands we recommend that use 1200 CFM motors (Heat Versa – 1250 CFM’s). These hoods capture smoke quickly and efficiently. In addition, they are constructed of 304 stainless steel which is essential to durability and longevity in the outdoor elements.
Venting properly is about knowing the correct hood, duct, and blower to use. The hood should be 4-8” larger than your grill to work correctly. As for the ductwork, the vent outlets on most hoods usually call for an 8 or 10” pipe. When venting, try and use completely straight runs of pipe. If necessary, use as few elbows in the venting as possible, with no more than 3 90-degree elbows. Every elbow in the ducting reduces airflow and the vent hoods efficiency (there should be at least 24” of straight vent between any elbows). The majority of hood brands also offer
extensions with their hoods for 10-12’ ceilings to cover the pipe. The blower should be no less than 1200 CFM’s (anything less is not outdoor rated and will not capture the smoke adequately). We recommend going with an internal blower because they come standard in most outdoor hoods and are more cost effective. They are also a lot easier to maintain, service, or replace down the road if need be.