GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Kitchen Remodel in Seattle WA – allowing for make up air with 600 CFM downdraft

ntremodel | Posted in Building Code Questions on

I have done much reading and questioning about the code compliance of allowing for make up air and am not clear on viable options in a remodeling situation. The kitchen has attic and crawl space. What might be the most common way to identify the best, economical solution to meeting the 2009 energy code in a remodeling situation?

I’ve contacted the City as well as the appliance dealer, both of which are not very helpful. The HVAC contractors I’ve asked do not have an answer and the architect I’ve worked with was vague as well. At the end of the day, I’m working at addressing this properly before going under construction and am not getting the information I need to make a decision on how to handle this.

I am working with a client in Mercer Island, WA in their 1968 home. The house is aprox 2800 sq ft.

We are remodeling the kitchen and including a new island with a 600 CFM downdraft for the 5 burner gas cooktop. There are windows all across one exterior wall and a full bank of cabinets on the other exterior wall.


GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Have you read this article?

    If you don't want to read the whole article, I suggest that you read (at least) the bullet points at the very end.

  2. ntremodel | | #2

    Thank you. I did read it in full and looked up the Broan damper unit. I will check with my supplier to see if this might work. There is just so much information out there that I have trouble knowing which way is the best.

  3. davidmeiland | | #3

    April, a good source of info for issues like this is the WSU Extension Energy program, down in Olympia. They have contact info on their website. I would ask for Gary, Luke, or Emily. They have answered many code and application questions for me.

  4. ntremodel | | #4

    Thank you David! I will call tomorrow - great resource

  5. Expert Member
    ARMANDO COBO | | #5

    Besides Broan motorized dampers, CCB Innovations,, also make the same dampers, but they make a 10” as well. One of the issues I have with those dampers is when they recommend to install the MUA duct to the HVAC system plenum, increasing the size of the AC unit by 1-2 tons; or when it comes directly to the kitchen, then it would be bringing 1000-1200 cfm of unfiltered and unconditioned air into the house. In a hot/humid climate is bad and same if you are in a cold climate.
    As a wanna-be chef, I can tell you that downdrafts are as worthless as a three dollar bill. I’ll never install or specify them ever again. You are better off to use a cooktop with a chimney hood. Best of all are induction stoves or cooktops.

  6. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #6

    Armando is right. A 600-cfm exhaust fan with a makeup air system is not a good solution.

    It's much better to simply choose a smaller exhaust fan.

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |