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Old 11-05-2011, 05:29 PM   #1
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Can I use an existing furnace vent for a propane grill?


We recently closed on our first house, and I might have come up with a creative solution to living in Michigan with a wife addicted to grilled food.

The garage used to have gas heating, as there is a thermostat, gas line, and roof venting for a furnace. The furnace is gone, but its supporting elements are still there.

What I would like to do is attach a ducted range hood to the vent pipe, by hanging it with chain and eye bolts, and wiring with an appliance pigtail to an existing three prong outlet. That way I could run my propane grill in the garage in winter.

Can this be done, and safely? Or am I just asking to burn my garage down? I could "man up" and grill in the snow, if need be.

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Old 11-05-2011, 06:02 PM   #2
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Can I use an existing furnace vent for a propane grill?


Yeah, sure, go right ahead. Just make sure that you have your beneficiaries named and the fire department knows where you live, along with the coroner.

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Old 11-05-2011, 06:34 PM   #3
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Can I use an existing furnace vent for a propane grill?


It's do-able. The exhaust hood should have an exhaust fan to draw air and make some air exchanges. The height of the hood above the grill surface is probably something to consider because it would have to have enough production to move all of the smoke and spent fuel gasses from the grill area. You could even draw off of the old heater gas line and run your grill off of that source. Assuming the heater operated on natural gas you have to also change the orifice(s) in your propane grill but that's easy to do. All propane gas grills have natural gas orifices available for just such a purpose.

Hell I know a couple of guys that use their charcoal and pellet grilles inside their garages in the winter. One guy has Big Green Egg and the other uses a Traeger.
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:54 PM   #4
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Can I use an existing furnace vent for a propane grill?


Quote:
Originally Posted by TravelingFreaks View Post
We recently closed on our first house, and I might have come up with a creative solution to living in Michigan with a wife addicted to grilled food.

The garage used to have gas heating, as there is a thermostat, gas line, and roof venting for a furnace. The furnace is gone, but its supporting elements are still there.

What I would like to do is attach a ducted range hood to the vent pipe, by hanging it with chain and eye bolts, and wiring with an appliance pigtail to an existing three prong outlet. That way I could run my propane grill in the garage in winter.

Can this be done, and safely? Or am I just asking to burn my garage down? I could "man up" and grill in the snow, if need be.
That sounds more like a Man Cave idea than a "my wife loves grilled food" idea!

Truth is, yes, this can be done. Whether or not you can do it safely is another question. IF you do this, make SURE that you have several fire extinguishers on hand. Seriously.

Also, a range hood might not actually be able to handle all the smoke that rolls out of a grill.

Finally, you might want to consider your Homeowners' Insurance. If an insurance company knew anything about this, you'd likely be dropped before you could even raise an argument.
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:18 AM   #5
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Can I use an existing furnace vent for a propane grill?


If you are going to cook with gas instead of wood or charcoal then a Jen Air grill right in the kitchen would probably cost less then rigging up a safe operation in the garage. You would need a commercial hood that introduces make up air along the front and back of the central exhaust. Fire suppression and regular cleaning would also be an issue. Going to that much trouble would be worth it for cooking with wood or charcoal but not for gas.
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:40 AM   #6
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Can I use an existing furnace vent for a propane grill?


To me it sounds like an ill advised idea. I would suggest you have 2 carbon monoxide detectors close by. One where you're cooking and one inside the door to the house. If there's a room above the garage, I'd also put one there.
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Old 11-06-2011, 11:17 AM   #7
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Can I use an existing furnace vent for a propane grill?


Go for it!
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:33 AM   #8
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Can I use an existing furnace vent for a propane grill?


*Laughs at Bud* :D

As Polecat mentioned you have some code and insurance issues to consider. If it is a half-way decent propane grill then it probably puts out enough BTU's that you would need to install a commercial hood and fire suppression system. And you would need to notify your insurance company and they would adjust your insurance premium accordingly. Up, that is, if they would even elect to cover you at all.

That is why gourmet cooks rarely put commercial stoves in their kitchens despite the fact that they put out twice the heat at half the cost of upscale "professional" stoves from Wolf, Viking, etc. The vents and fire suppression equipment that you need to install cost a bomb.

My advice: Invest the money in warmer clothes and man up
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:50 AM   #9
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Can I use an existing furnace vent for a propane grill?


I love grilling all year, even at -20F.

After years, I have settled on using a Weber Q300 "portable grill" that weighs about 90#, but has two wheels to move/maneuver it slightly. Since I am on a wood deck, it must be on natural gas or propane. Not a light "tin grill" because there is a lot of mass.

It puts out all the heat I need to sear too quickly and it is a learning process to understand the best way to open or close the lid and ventilate. I am approaching being able to do slow cooked ribs.

I also have a classic Weber charcoal grill on a lower patio that only is used when the weather is good and I have the time.

Dick

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