Thread Number: 78464  /  Tag: Ranges, Stoves, Ovens
Did most ovens have a vent?
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Post# 1024820   2/16/2019 at 17:03 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

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I know my oven has a vent and any did that I paid any attention to. But I remember hearing about a Sunray that didn't, and the water would come out the front when the door was opened when baking.

I think I heard of a Whirlpool that didn't either. But I don't see how baking would work properly without it, or the food might be soggy from the steam building up.

Post# 1024829 , Reply# 1   2/16/2019 at 18:49 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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Every oven I knew of, electric or gas has a vent somewhere. Many electrics had the vent under the right rear burner. Every gas one had either a vent in the rear, under the back splash or in the top of the oven door. I have seen those that actually vented to a chimney. Some of the bottom models may have eliminated them but I never saw any with no vent.

Post# 1024830 , Reply# 2   2/16/2019 at 18:54 by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

Having decided that 'all' ovens have a vent, why do you have to open the door when broiling in an electric oven?

Post# 1024832 , Reply# 3   2/16/2019 at 19:10 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
RE WhirlpoolII

I bought a early 60s RCA Whirlpool that indeed did not have a vent, I never tried to use it even though it looked good, I stripped it and hauled it off.

Post# 1024833 , Reply# 4   2/16/2019 at 19:11 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Oven Vents

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All gas ovens have to have a vent so the burner will keep burning, LOL


95% of electric ovens have vents, but some cheap ones like electric Brown Stove Works ranges did not.


Electric ovens without vents had moisture problems when baking items with  lot of water in them [ it would sometimes condense on the inside of the oven door and leak on the floor ] and they often did not bake as well due to a lack of air circulation in the oven.


Electric ranges often had you leave the door ajar so the broiler would stay on and not cycle for better broiling, it was also so you could keep a better eye on what you were broiling and so it did not catch fire without you seeing lots of smoke first.


John L.

Post# 1024835 , Reply# 5   2/16/2019 at 19:13 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Yes John,

If im not mistaken 1950s Hotpoints cut off if you close the door while broiling.

Post# 1024838 , Reply# 6   2/16/2019 at 19:32 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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My GE electric range manual instructs the user to keep the oven door closed while broiling, which keeps the smoke and odor from getting into the house. The element does indeed cycle off briefly at times while broliing, but doesn’t seem to effect the quality of the broiled meats.

I’ve never noticed any fires breaking out when I broil meat. And the oven doesn’t seem to get any dirtier from use of the broiler. It seems like the intense heat of the broiler burns off the grease before it can deposit on the oven surface.I wouldn’t want an oven again that required leaving the door open while broiling.


This post was last edited 02/17/2019 at 05:01
Post# 1024861 , Reply# 7   2/17/2019 at 02:58 by Superocd (PNW)        

I wish there were ovens on the market today that vented to a chimney (or, rather, outside). I'd buy one! I think that the best oven would be so effective at aroma/odor control that a burglar could break in to your home, roast a turkey or something and you'd never know it until you saw the timer counting down or opened the oven door.

Post# 1024880 , Reply# 8   2/17/2019 at 07:54 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Ovens That Vent Outside

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All Self-Cleaning Thermador Wall ovens vented outside till the late 80s and then they could be installed either way. I can run a SC cycle on my TD oven when it is a filthy crusty mess and never smell it unless you are outside the house.


And any range will vent close to 100%  of cooking smells if you have a proper range hood that vents outside and you have a properly designed kitchen without stupid things like a ceiling fan in the kitchen.


John L.

Post# 1024888 , Reply# 9   2/17/2019 at 09:30 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

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My aunt's 70s Thermadors vented out with a blower like a dryer vent.

But unfortunately many houses built these days only have a microhood that recirculates odors back to the kitchen. There is not duct outside for many and a weak ventilation fan.

Post# 1024900 , Reply# 10   2/17/2019 at 11:37 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

This post has been removed by the member who posted it.

Post# 1024935 , Reply# 11   2/17/2019 at 15:09 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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There's an ad in the Vintage Appliance Advertisements: Part Thirteen thread for a 1961 Suburban wall oven with "Exclusive Fan-Vent."

Post# 1024949 , Reply# 12   2/17/2019 at 18:18 by henene4 (Germany)        
EU situation

Now, as you know, in the EU, everything is aimed towards efficency.
And so are ovens.

An oven has to have at least some way to vent at least a certain percentage of air over time.

First of, air expands when heated.

At 200C (about 390-400F) it is only about 60% the density compared to 20C/68F.
All that expanding air has to go somewhere.

Further, for the most part, you want some moisture to excape the cavity as most baking requires at least some drying to take place.

And - as stupid as it sounds - most want the kitchen to smell somewhat tasty. Not much, just a little, and a completly sealed oven wouldn't smell at all.

BUT you wouldn't want to much air to escape as well to reduce the heating of the room as well as to reduce the energy used and to keep oven temperatures as consitant as possible.

So, the most standard setup is just a small vent section in the top of the oven with a door seal that is pretty much air tight.

On ovens with entirely passive cooling, that is ususally designed to just vent by convetion through a slit over the door in the front.

Most ovens over here however have an active cooling fan by now though.
Those are - mostly - setup with a cooling fan and an airstream divider.
The fan pulls air through the doors which at this point basicly all have at least 2 pains, keeping the front of the door cool enough so you don't burn your hand off completly.
That air is then blown along the bottom of the controls to cool them.
then its passed through the blower and out the front.
On the way out, it passes over a divider under which the oven vent is shielded from the direct air stream.
Thus, the air stream dosen't cause much active air exchange within the cavity and the hot, smelly air gets diluted before exiting the oven.

On earlier generations of self clean ovens, the insulation was often significantly more substantial then on the non self clean versions.
But by now, basicly any oven uses the same thick insulation to cut energy usage, which had the nice side effect of makeing self cleaning ovens more affordable.

Now on to the special cases:

First, ever since the energy label for ovens was introduced, most ovens added some kind of Eco heating settings.

On normal ovens, these heat with greater temperature swings, dimm displays, switch off cvity lights etc.

On some ovens, they are called "Eco" or "Moist" settings. Thus I suppose they somehow alter the venting behaviour as well.

As multi function ovens with full steamers built in became more popular (and mostly cheaper), venting has become more and more of a question.

For example, I know Miele uses a closeable vent on their steam combi ovens.
That opens and closes to keep the moisture in the cavity constant during steam operations, but I bet they close it on any efficency testing as well.

However, I don't see such an item on BSH's exploded views of devices with either steam addition or full steam functionality.

I know that Fisher and Paykel advertised their TOL ovens with a variable vent on launch.
They advertised it for their moist baking settings, but I suppose they use it on self clean modes as well.

Now, self cleaning oven's arent as much of the norm here as they are in the US, but they gain market share damaticly.

They by nature have to seal in more heat while dealing with more heat expansion and even worse smells.

In the early days I am pretty certain catalytic converters on the vents of such ovens were more the norm then anything, both for the US and the EU.

By now, they are somewhat rare.

BSH had that as an option you could retrofit on many if not all self clean ovens of last gen. Only the TOL came with it pre-installed; it was 25€ 4 part thing, two steal mesh sponges, one covered with the catalytic material, in a 2 part holder that would be screwed into the vent divit at the top of the oven IIRC.
It appears incompatible with all current ovens however and even back then basicly nobody used to buy one.

Miele of course takes that to a whole new level.
EVERY pyrolytic oven by Miele does have an AirClean catalytic converter, NONE of the models avaible without self clean does have one. These basic ones are heated by the waste heat of the oven, thus, like on most designs (the old BSH design included) they only get really active during self clean mode.
The highest end ones have a seperatley heated catalytic converter. Thus, any air leaving the oven will always be smell free basicly. The oven control here allows you to choose how much of the cooking smell is supposed to escape the oven in 7 levels.

I have not found any info on the Electrolux side.

I do however think that some TOL brands do have these converters as well - like Gaggenau for example.

For the future, Miele has something interesting coming up.

They are about to launch new ovens with a feature designed to quickly drop the temperature of the cavity if a timed cooking function is selected.
Idea is to quickly drop the temperature to a "keep warm" level so that even if you have a timed function set but walk away, your meal can't overcook.

I could imagine that incorporates a variable vent as well.

Post# 1024966 , Reply# 13   2/17/2019 at 22:56 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
True Self-Cleaning Ovens

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In the US at least always have a catalytic converter otherwise the smoke would be horrific, the only exception I have ever seen are the Thermador built in wall ovens that had to be vented outdoors.


Ovens do not need vents because the air expands when the oven is heated, even if the air expanded 100% it is only a few cubic feet of air that needs to escape, no home oven is that tightly built that expanding air is a design consideration.


Newer ovens in the US generally use much more energy than older ovens that were built 20 or more years ago, this is largely because they are much bigger inside, the windows are much larger [ many oven doors have 0 insulation in them ] To make up for the larger sizes and lack of insulation many ovens have added cooling fans to keep outside temperatures down to safe levels.


Even the much smaller ovens that are popular in Europe newer ones use about the same amount of energy they did decades ago, again this is because of all glass doors, thin walls and because very few are SCing so they are not built to operate at 900F.

Post# 1025249 , Reply# 14   2/20/2019 at 22:35 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        
Newer ovens using more energy

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That's interesting. I would have thought new ovens would have used roughly the same amount of energy as old ones, although I didn't think about newer ovens being larger and having less insulation was something I didn't realize. I would have thought that getting a new range or oven would be one of those things where unlike refrigerators or air conditioners, there really is not a big energy savings over older models. But it actually seems in this case that older ovens not only don't use any more energy than newer models, they may actually be more efficient.

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