Development of a Residential Smart Range Hood: U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)

Mike Moore, Sam Bowles, Joe Nebbia, James Lyons, Lena Burkett (NREL Technical Monitor)

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


'Whole-house' ventilation and source-capture of indoor pollutants are critical components of healthy, tight, and energy-efficient homes. Research has identified kitchens as the primary location where the most harmful pollutants are generated in the home, 'generating PM2.5 at concentrations four times greater than major haze events in Beijing' (Smith 2013) and increasing 'ultrafine particle concentrations in the kitchen by up to a factor of 550' (Zhang 2010; also see Logue 2012 and Wallace 2004). Studies have shown that residential kitchen range hoods are seldom used and can be ineffective when operated (Stratton 2014). Homeowner reasons for not operating kitchen range hoods include their belief that the equipment is 'not needed', 'too noisy', or that they simply 'don't think about it' (Mullen 2013). In other words, range hoods can fall woefully short of being operated as needed to address the greatest indoor air quality health risks in a home. In keeping with the U.S. Department of Energy's Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) roadmap (U.S. DOE 2015), this project's objective was to develop a Smart Range Hood (SRH) that would be responsive to key pollutants, consumer-friendly, quiet, effective, and efficient. Targeted performance metrics were established in the categories of rated noise, range hood capture efficiency, fan efficacy, and ability to sense and respond to pollutants. The project team consisted of Newport Partners and Broan-NuTone (Broan), the largest U.S. manufacturer of range hoods. Development of the SRH began with a literature search to identify the most appropriate cooking pollutants to sense and use as control inputs, and evaluations of low-cost sensor performance. The initial suite of sensors selected to control the SRH were dry bulb temperature, infrared temperature, humidity, and PM2.5. A logic model was drafted and then coded into a basic Arduino controller framework that allowed for rapid prototyping with off-the-shelf components, resulting in a proof of concept (POC) range hood. Testing in a domestic kitchen ensued, identifying good responsiveness to pollutant events, but challenges with the user experience, primarily due to rapid and frequent speed cycling. To address this issue, the POC's control algorithm was modified using techniques such as engaging the range hood only when a cooking event was detected at the cooktop, multi-step verification of cooking events, signal-smoothing, and establishing minimum cycle times.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages100
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5500-77058

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102020-5429


  • Building America
  • buildings
  • residential
  • smart range hood


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