How to optimize kitchen air and water | Constru-Guía al día
How to optimize kitchen air and water 2

How to optimize kitchen air and water

How to optimize kitchen air and water

This pump timer allows users to recirculate the water until a time when it is more convenient to use, saving energy and money.

Today’s homes are larger and feature more-powerful appliances, but those trends have resulted in some unintended consequences.

Here are two with the recommended fixes to optimize kitchen air and water.

Problem: The average home in this country has about 125 feet of ¾-inch pipe, and 125 feet of pipe holds about 3 gallons of water.

When water in the hot water line cools, you have to flush that out through the faucet and down the drain before you get hot water.


Installing a hot water recirculating pump provides nearly instant hot water at every faucet or shower and can save thousands of gallons of water per household per year.

There are many options, but one of the simplest to install and most efficient to operate is the Watts Instant Hot Water Recirculating System. A pump is installed on the hot water line coming from the water heater. A sensor valve, installed on the water lines under the kitchen sink, opens when the water on the hot water side cools and pushes it back to the water heater.

When the water in the hot water line hits 98 degrees, the valve closes. The 24-hour programmable timer on the pump allows users to have the pump activate only when needed (30 minutes before a morning shower, for instance).

Begin installation by cutting all power/gas and water to the water heater and draining the hot water line. Install the pump on the water heater discharge with a ¾-inch female fitting so the unit is pumping away from the water heater (a flow arrow is clearly imprinted on the unit).

Then connect the hot water line to the ¾-inch NPT discharge of the pump. Reopen the supply valve to the hot water heater and allow water to run until all air has been purged from the system. Close the faucet and plug in the pump.

Install the sensor at the fixture by closing both the hot and cold supply valves and disconnecting the lines. Connect the appropriate lines to the “hot water in” and “cold water in” ports on the sensor valve. Mount the sensor valve to the wall with supplied screws.

Problem: Every time an exhaust fan removes air from your house, an equal volume of air must enter.

In many homes, this “make-up air” can enter through cracks in a home’s envelope – around windows, doors and mudsills, for example.

But with today’s tighter homes and more powerful range hoods, that make-up air is often pulled backward through water-heater flues or down wood-burning chimneys – a phenomenon called backdrafting.

This can prevent atmospherically vented combustion appliances from operating correctly and can pull harmful pollutants and gases into the home.


If replacing a huge range hood with a smaller unit is not an option, install a powered makeup air unit or a passive make-up air duct with a motorized damper that comes on only when range hood fan is turned on.

Broan sells motorized dampers for passive makeup air that are synchronized to open only during fan or range hood operation and won’t let unwanted air into the home during heating or cooling calls.

This is the first and so far only such product to meet the International Residential Code (IRC) provision regarding make-up air and comes with one caveat – it only works in conjunction with Broan or Broan Best range hoods.

The Broan Automatic Make-Up Air Damper comes in two different models, both with 6-and 8-inch duct size options. The LinkLogic model uses a home’s normal electrical wiring to send signals back and forth between the range hood and damper, operating both simultaneously.

The Direct-Wired model communicates with the range hood through an independent, hard-wired connection. Consult the Broan application guide to confirm which model is compatible with certain range hoods.

Installation varies, but you basically have two options: If the home has central ductwork and the return-air side is accessible, the make-up air damper can be connected there. If neither of those conditions exists, the damper can be ducted directly to a ceiling, floor or wall register. Broan supplies a complete and detailed set of installation instructions with the vents.

—By Rob Fanjoy

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