I live in a typical studio apartment in US. It has an open kitchen with a range hood but the the range hood only sucks smoke from the stove to the ceiling, i.e., no outside air circulation. This is the layout of my studio:


The window and front door are the only two openings to outside. There are not windows or ventilation fans in the bathroom. I have put a window fan at the window, which points outwards.

When I cook, it creates a substantial amount of smoke. It takes a day for the odor to mostly disappear. I am afraid the window fan is not very helpful because it only allows the air between the window and the front door to circulate. The air of most part of my home, including the stove, is still dead. So, I would have to wait for the smoke to slowly diffuse to the area between the window and the front door and be removed.

What should I do to make the fresh air circulate through my whole home so that the odor could be removed quickly?

Thank you!

  • Does the range hood move any air outside? Or it just recirculates it inside?
    – virolino
    Aug 20, 2019 at 10:51
  • @virolino it only recirculates it inside. It is simply a fan with a filter.
    – qpalz
    Aug 21, 2019 at 2:20
  • You need a second fan inside that only circulates air within the room. Google "air circulator fan"
    – Bowen
    Aug 21, 2019 at 21:01

5 Answers 5


I see two solutions. To fix this properly, you should add a duct to move the flow from the stove to outside a window or some other way out of the apartment. Since that is probably outside your reasonable area of cost/benefit, you can use your current exhaust fan, but add another fan in the room that perturbs all the air. It will not be as efficient as direct extraction via the range hood, but it will probably clear the air in around an hour.

  • Thanks! The first solution may not be allowed by the landlord in a rented apartment. For the second solution, how should I set up the fan so that the air flows as expected (passes through the stove)?
    – qpalz
    Aug 21, 2019 at 2:32
  • @qpalz Making the air pass mainly in the way you want is a PhD level project! So I suggest you just go for even mixing. Point the fan in a way that it will interrupt the current flow, but also in a direction that it will pull air in from the rest of the room. I would put it on the floor between the bathroom and countertop, or on the edge of the countertop. It should face the wall between the door and window. Imagine you are blowing at a stream of incense smoke in a way that will best mix it up with the least breath. You could even try that!
    – piojo
    Aug 21, 2019 at 2:52
  • should I still have my window fan on if I put a fan at the position you suggested? If yes, should it face outwards (exhausting) or inwards (pulling in fresh air)? Thank you!
    – qpalz
    Aug 21, 2019 at 3:00
  • @qpalz Yes, you still need the exhaust fan. Should it blow out or in? I'm not actually clear on whether one way has an advantage, so I would let it blow out, since that is the conventional way. You will get more benefit if the fan fully fills the window (or the other parts are covered by wood/cardboard), so you reduce back-flow through the same window.
    – piojo
    Aug 21, 2019 at 3:05
  • Thank you. My exhaust fan itself has a adjustable plastic board to fill the window. It leaves some slits but I fill them up with plastic bags.
    – qpalz
    Aug 21, 2019 at 3:08

I think a ceiling fan might help.

ceiling fan


Another solution came to my mind. You did not mention any details of the room, so I cannot tell if it is doable in your case.

The solution suggested by @WeatherVane is good, IF you change the direction of the airflow, as you stated in a comment. However, there will still be a lot of smoke in the room.

My idea would be to use flexible (maybe even extensible) tubes. Connect one end to the output of the hood, and the other end will dangle near the window. When you want to cook, just place the dangling end outside - and no smoke will travel the room freely.

It will work best if you already have some tall furniture on the wall between the door and the window. Or if you can hang the tubes somehow from the ceiling (or the upper parts of the wall).

You can use some tall supports on the floor (even DIY), to hang the tubes near the ceiling. The idea is applied for the lamp below, to "suspend" the bulb:

Standard Floor lamp


I am not sure that the setup below is practically possible (depending on the items availability in the shops).

The basic idea would be to create a path to remove all "poluted" air outside.

  1. The kitchen hood pushes air through the first tube into a tube in the bathroom.
  2. The tube in the bathroom is thicker that the tube in the kitchen.
  3. There is a vent opening at the beginning of the tube in the bathroom.
  4. The tube from the kitchen goes "significantly" past this vent opening.
  5. After a "while", the bathroom vent tube may have a smaller diameter.
  6. At the exit from the room (to the outside world), there is an extracting ventilator.


  1. If only the hood ventilator is on, it will exhaust air outside, pulling some of the bathroom air also.
  2. If only the outside ventilator is ON, then it will extract air from both kitchen and bathroom.
  3. If both ventilators are ON, they both work together for the same thing.

This solution assumes that you are able / want to drill some thick holes for the ait tubes, one of them on the exterior wall.

NOTE: The room may actually have a venting tube already somewhere, in which case you only need to connect to that venting tube - at least one less drilling.


  • Thank you for your thought. This sounds like a huge modification and may not work for a rented apartment.
    – qpalz
    Aug 21, 2019 at 2:24

Obtain a free-standing folding screen to place between the door and the window.

layout with folding screen

This will divert the moving air past the cooker.

  • I am quite against this idea, to fill the entire building with the bad stink. Imagine what would happen if everybody did that!! Eventually sharing the bathroom stink with all neighbours also?
    – virolino
    Aug 20, 2019 at 10:50
  • @virolino it's not your apartment. OP wants to ventilate through the given ventilation: door and window. Anyway you posted your own answer: it's not PC to put down other answers. But as you started it, this site is life hacks, not "install a ventilation system". Aug 20, 2019 at 14:05
  • @virolino if I set the window fan to point outwards, I suck in air outside the door and dispatch the odor out from the window. I guess that would not affect my neighbours
    – qpalz
    Aug 21, 2019 at 2:28
  • Thanks! This sounds like a simple solution. The problem is how tall the screen should be so that it is effective?
    – qpalz
    Aug 21, 2019 at 2:29
  • Full height to prevent the air going over the top of the screen. When cooking is finished, fold it and stand aginst the wall out of the way. Perhaps you can make one cheaply if you are handy. Aug 21, 2019 at 8:58

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