Delicious aromas may be an enticing part of good cooking, but moisture, grease, odors, and heat from stove-top food preparation will damage the surrounding areas.
Steam from cooking condenses on windows and walls, and carbon monoxide from gas-range combustion can build up.
Mechanical ventilation from a range hood or vent -- which removes stale, odorous steamy air through ducts -- eliminates or lessens these problems.
Choose from basic ductless wall-mount units or more-versatile systems with multiple lights, timers, and easy-clean surfaces.
Some slim hood designs hide under over-stove cabinets, then slide out for use; others serve as shelves for microwaves with venting fans beneath. Elaborate vent systems integrate a wall-mount microwave conveniently set over the range.
Because a vent functions by capturing air and steam, its hood or canopy should be as wide as the range top. Decorative hoods or canopies are used to dress up a range or cooktop hood in stainless steel, tile, or paneling that matches the cabinetry. Hoods can be semi-custom or custom.
Range hood fans with ductwork:
- A hollow sump area under the hood holds stale air until a fan moves it outdoors through ducts; the deeper the sump, the more it holds.
- The fan plays a crucial role; a powerful unit keeps the air fresher. Axial fans have blades similar to ordinary fans. Centrifugal fans resemble a wheel and move more air for longer ducts.
- Filters trap grease and particles, preventing entry into ductwork and potential clogs that can be a fire hazard. Filters should fit snugly yet remove easily for cleaning or replacement.
Do your homework. Browse Web sites and magazines that compare current models and features. Consumer Reports is an excellent source for unbiased information and recommendations. Visit: www.consumerreports.org/
Continued on page 2: CFM and Downdraft Systems