Is a Range Hood Required by Code in Florida

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Open-top broiler units are the only ranges in Florida that are required by local and international building codes to have range hoods installed. The characteristics of these mandatory range hoods as well as any voluntarily installed range hood is regulated by the building codes.

When designing your kitchen, it is important to research your state’s local residential codes before proceeding. Many states, including Florida, have specific guidelines when it comes to appliances in your kitchen.

This article was written with the intention of providing you with an overview of the criteria that your kitchen range hood must meet to abide by code in the state of Florida.

Does the IRC Require Kitchens to Have Range Hoods?

The IRC, which stands for International Residential Code, provides regulations pertaining to the construction and designing of residential homes. This code serves to benefit the public by enforcing criteria that every home needs to meet to be safely occupied by homeowners.

In addition to benefiting the safety of the public, the IRC also benefits the welfare and health of homeowners.

Although Section M1503 of the IRC specifies criteria that must be met by your range hood, it does not state that range hoods are a required appliance in the kitchen unless you have an open-top broiler (Section M1503.2.1).

Here are 5 reasons why it’s important to have a range hood, even though it’s not required by code.

While the IRC is applicable in all fifty states as well as other parts of the world, each area adopts local codes. In the states, these are often simply amendments of the IRC, with the occasional addition or subtraction. Regardless of how much is altered, they supersede the IRC, so you have to look at your local codes as well.  

Local Florida Code: Overhead Exhaust Hoods

Florida does not make any major alterations to the IRC when it comes to range hoods (unlike California, where there are significant changes). Thus, only open-top broilers are required to have a range hood. You can see this confirmed in Section M1505.1 of the FBC – Residential.

The FBC – Residential also adopts the IRC criteria that must be met by your range hood in the state of Florida if you have to or if you choose to install one in your kitchen.

Below is a list of several different requirements that must be met by your range hood to comply with IRC guidelines.

Range Hood Requirements:

  • Must be metal.
  • Needs to have a minimum thickness of 0.0157″.
  • Must have a minimum clearance of ¼” between hood and underside of cabinets.
  • Must have minimum clearance of 24″ between cooking surface and cabinets.
  • Cannot have a width less than that of the broiler unit and needs to cover the entire broiler unit.
  • Discharges to the outdoors.
  • Must be equipped with backdraft damper or other method to control filtering when the appliance is not in operation.

Broiler units that contain an integral exhaust unit and are properly identified as appliances that can be used without a hood do not require homeowners to install a range hood to use them.

Florida’s Mechanical Ventilation Exhaust Rate

Section M1507.4 of the FBC – Residential states that range hoods in Florida are required to meet a minimum exhaust rate to ensure that the kitchen is ventilated properly and in accordance with state codes.

An intermittent exhaust system must operate at 100 CFM, and a continuous exhaust system must operate at 25 CFM. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute.

This term refers to how many feet of air your range hood can push per minute. An intermittent exhaust system can be turned on and off by homeowners as needed, and a continuous exhaust system operates consistently throughout the day without having to be turned on or off. 


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