ADA Compliant Range Hoods

ADA Compliant Range Hoods

The Importance of a Range Hood article mentions that ventilation is very important and with kitchens being one of the main sources of poor indoor air quality it is important for everyone to be able to access their range hoods.

What Does ADA mean?
Within residential construction, builders should have the awareness of making components within the house accessible following these guidelines. Most range hoods are operable via controls located at the front or underneath the range hood. However, for everyone to be able to operate their range hood, controls must be more accessible, and some manufacturers have ADA compliant solutions.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. For appliances, the ADA compliance is met when individuals with disabilities can fully access and use the appliance.
What Makes a Range Hood ADA Compliant?
Within residential construction, builders should have the awareness of making components within the house accessible following the ADA guidelines. This requires full access to the button panel controls and be able to operate all functions on the range hood.
To comply, The Department of Justice ADA standards section 309 states the range hood control must be placed within reach and shall be operable with one hand and shall not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist Also, range hoods are typically installed 24-30” above a cooktop or 60-66” above the floor. According to the ADA section 308 guidelines, user controls must be located no higher than 48” above the floor when the high forward reach is unobstructed.
What is the ADA compliant solution for range hoods?
As the controls must be installed separately from the actual hood to be compliant there are a few solutions. The range hood may be wired to operate from a dedicated, standard electrical wall switch or a handheld remote can be utilized to allow for remote operation.
Which compliant solution works for you?
The first step in determining what the perfect ADA solution is for you is to determine what type of hood you have. Does the range hood have mechanical or electronic controls?

1. Mechanical controls:

Independent wall mount control (1 switch -1 for the light & fan)
Provide a remote master AC power switch connected to the incoming AC line to the range hood. With this remote master power switch the hood fan and lights can be turned on/off simultaneously. In other words, a user will only be able to turn on and off the hood fan and lights at the same time and at pre-determined settings.
Independent wall control switch (2 switches – 1 for the light & 1 for the fan)
This can provide greater control by allowing the fan to be switched on and off independently at the pre-set levels for fan and light. So, the user can switch on the fan and light at different times. It is possible to wire the hood so that it has independent on/off switching of the fan and light. To do so the user will need to mount and rewire the hood internally to two remote AC switches. However, it is important to review the range hood manufacturer’s installation instructions to make sure this change is UL compliant. Rewiring a hood could invalidate the warranty unless the manufacturer has provisions for this option.

2. Electronic Controls:

Remote Control
If the hood has electronic controls, it may offer the options of either a wall mounted or handheld control that meets ADA’s grasp and force requirements. A handheld control can ease the operation for homeowners, especially wireless devices such as RF controls and provide greater function of the range hood. This offers users with great flexibility and movement around their kitchen while still being able to operate the full fan and light functions of their range hood.
As it is important to have a healthy home, and with the kitchen being the number one source of pollution in the home, it is very important that homeowners can use their range hood.
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