Monthly Archives: February 2014

Kitchen Safety: Grease Fires

A grease fire is no joking matter. It’s important to be prepared and know how to proceed if a grease fire occurs in your kitchen. One of the best ways to fight grease fires in the home is to prevent fires so they don’t start in the first place. However, no situation is perfect, and it’s good to have emergency procedures in place. Also, remember to turn on the range hood in your kitchen whenever you’re cooking for proper ventilation.

Grease fires happen when a large amount of grease in a pan, or built up grease on kitchen equipment, gets too hot and ignites. These can be scary because they reach high temperatures. Also, grease fires cannot be put out in the same ways as normal fires. For example, you never use water to put out a grease fire. Grease fires can also spread very quickly.

One of the best methods of preventing a grease fire is being present. Don’t set something to fry and walk away; frying is one of the biggest causes of home kitchen fires. The biggest cause of home kitchen fires is unattended cooking. Stay near the cooking surface and have a lid on hand for covering a grease fire (don’t use a glass lid because it could shatter with the heat). Signs indicating a grease fire may occur including smoke and a weird smell. What should you do if you see smoke coming from cooking oil? Immediately turn off the burner and move the pan/pot containing the cooking oil off of that burner.

Using water to put out a grease fire will have catastrophic effects. This will cause the grease to splash and you could be seriously injured. It’s possible to stop a small grease fire by covering it with a lid for pots/pans or using baking soda. Do not use flour. A fire extinguisher may work, but it should be a class B dry chemical fire extinguisher.

Recognize that you may not be able to put out the fire. The reality is that these fires can grow and get out of control very quickly. You may think you’re in control but it can get worse fast. Know when to stop fighting and call 911. Evacuate the entire home; make sure no one stays inside or goes back inside. Wait for emergency personnel to arrive. If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop and roll before you get seriously injured.

In general, keep the range hood on during cooking at all times for air ventilation. More than half of fires started with cooking start on the range. Keep your cooking surface clean, be careful when cooking with oil and use a thermometer.  The range hood will remove smoke, smells and grease from the air. This also keeps grease off of your appliances and your cabinetry. If you don’t have a kitchen range hood, browse Range Hoods Inc. We carry all types of range hoods and are here to help you create your personal kitchen.

Kitchen Appliances: The Range Hood

A kitchen cannot be complete without specific appliances, unless you never cook at home. Most kitchens have the standard set up, including a refrigerator, oven and cooking surface (such as a stove top above the oven). Other features include the kitchen sink, built-in cutting boards and perhaps a built-in microwave. As long as you’re cooking, or if it’s possible you’ll ever use that cooking surface, you’re going to need a range hood. It may also be defined by the code in the area in which you live. The range hood ventilates the air in the kitchen, making it possible to cook safely inside the home.

Other than the oven, refrigerator and range, you also have smaller appliances in the kitchen. These may include the blender, juicer, the microwave, a toaster, etc. These are usually electrical and are simple to use. You simply plug into the wall and go. Bigger appliances that use gas or electricity are more complicated because cooking on a range produces the byproducts of combustion. You do not want these byproducts staying inside of the house. In fact, medieval kitchens had holes in the ceilings for proper kitchen ventilation. In older times, kitchens were separate rooms from the rest of the home.

Today, we can cook safely and easily in kitchens attached to the rest of the home. However, these enclosed kitchens are made possible by the use of the kitchen range hood. That’s why it’s important to install the range hood as one of the general appliances in the kitchen and to turn it on every time you cook on your range. The range hood ventilates grease, smoke, odors, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide outside of the home. Ductless range hoods filter the air during cooking and re-circulate it back into the kitchen.

How will you know which range hood to purchase? Range hoods are comparable by looking at the specifications. You will want to consider these specifications while you shop for a range hood. You also need to consider your own personal needs. Your needs will be defined by how often you cook and by the size available in the kitchen for the range hood.

CFM – Cubic feet per minute is the measurement of how powerful a range hood is. It describes the airflow capabilities of the appliance.

Sones – Sones describe the noise level of the range hood during use.

Size – Range hoods must be as wide as the cooking surface and should be deep enough to cover the burners. Size will also depend upon where they are being mounted. There are wall mount range hoods, island range hoods and under cabinet range hoods.

Height – The height refers to where the range hood is mounted in relation to the cooking surface. Most range hoods are installed 28 to 31 inches above the cooking surface. The height will depend upon the type of range, the CFM of the range hood and the mounting type of the range hood.

We hope this new knowledge is helpful to you if you are shopping for a range hood, or we hope it has inspired you to always turn on your current range hood.

Insights into Professional Range Hoods

When you hear the word “professional” you may think this isn’t an option for your residential home. On the contrary, professional range hoods on RangeHoodsInc.com are meant for use in residential homes in which a substantial amount of cooking is done. Range hoods ventilate the grease, smells, heat and smoke out of the kitchen that result from cooking and put it outside through duct work. This is essential for a working kitchen, in which people can breathe and safely work.

Professional range hoods offer more power and the use of baffle filters to homeowners who will be using it for a large amount of cooking. Perhaps you need a range hood with a high airflow capacity because you do a lot of frying and messy cooking. You’re not the only one with this need. On the other hand, some people are in the opposite situation and don’t require a range hood with more power. Models with less power would better fit their needs.

Professorial range hoods with more power have the power for more airflow, which is measured in cubic feet per minute. This is abbreviated as CFM and describes the range hood’s power. When higher amounts of cooking are done, especially cooking involving frying, more smoke, grease and odors are produced in the kitchen. This is when a range hood with higher CFMs is needed. Also check how much CFM is needed with the range you are using. This may be determined by the specifications of your range.

Additionally, professional range hoods come with baffle filters. These filters are used with ducted range hoods, which ventilate air outside of the home through duct work. Baffle filters sold on RangeHoodsInc.com are constructed of high quality stainless steel. They work by trapping grease, therefore, they need to be periodically cleaned. They can be run through a dishwasher, rinsed, and after they are dry, replaced in the range hood.

The professional range hoods from Range Hoods Inc are constructed of stainless steel, which is durable, has a long life, is easy to clean and is aesthetically pleasing. They are available in different mounting styles, including wall mount range hoods and under cabinet range hoods. For example, the Cavaliere-Euro AP238-PS85-42 42” Under Cabinet Range Hood (in the professional range hood series) comes with 1000 CFM and baffle filters. It is available in 30”, 36” and 42” (which refers to width), it has four speed levels and it has a touch sensitive keypad with blue LED lighting. The Cavaliere-Euro AP238-PS31-36 36” Wall Mount Range Hood (also in the professional range hood series) comes with 900 CFM, baffle filters and a remote control. It also has a heat sensor and a telescopic chimney for varying ceiling heights.

If you have any questions about professional range hoods, or if you aren’t sure which type of range hood you require, feel free to call us seven days a week at 1-800-914-9775. Our knowledgeable staff is on hand to help you pick out the perfect range hood for your needs and your individual kitchen.

Exploring Under Cabinet Range Hoods

Under cabinet range hoods differ from wall mount range hoods and island range hoods in the way they are constructed and how they are mounted in the kitchen. They are still described with the same specifications, including CFM, sones, speed levels and duct work, and many are constructed of stainless steel. Under cabinet range hoods make it possible to mount a kitchen range hood under a cabinet above the cooking surface without having to remove the cabinet.

The power of an under cabinet range hood is measured in CFM, or cubic feet per minute. The noise level of all range hoods is measured using sones. The more sones listed, the louder the range hood will be. The sones emitted will depend upon the speed setting the range hood is working on. Additionally, like wall mount range hoods and island range hoods, under cabinet range hoods may be ducted or ductless. A ducted version will require the installation of duct work from the wall the range hood is mounted on. A ductless version will use charcoal grease filters and a re-circulating kit.

One cool version of under cabinet range hoods you may not have known about is a flush under cabinet range hood. The fronts of these models are flat so that they are flush with the cabinet above the cooking surface. Some of these models also pop out when you are ready to cook. When you are done cooking, you can push the range hood back to its compact form. This makes the under cabinet range hood less noticeable and more subtle. In this way, the model is partially hidden from view. Wall mount range hoods and island range hoods are often the focal point of the kitchen; this is not the case with under cabinet range hoods.

Note that under cabinet range hoods are still different from insert liner range hoods. Insert liner range hoods are completely hidden and have the controls on the bottom of the unit so they cannot be seen. These models are usually covered by a range hood exterior or used within custom cabinetry.

Under cabinet range hoods do not have chimneys and/or chimney extensions. Chimneys usually hide duct work on other types of range hoods but they are not necessary with under cabinet models. Also, these models are not for installation above a kitchen island. They are usually mounted beneath a cabinet. Sometimes, the duct work is run through the cabinet and out the kitchen wall.

An under cabinet range hood may be just what you need to provide ventilation in your kitchen. (Check the codes in your local area to see if it is required to install a range hood in residential kitchens.) Range hoods remove grease, smoke and odors from the kitchen, which makes the kitchen cleaner and makes breathing easier for people in the kitchen. If you have any questions about choosing a range hood, visit RangeHoodsInc.com and call our knowledgeable staff at 1-800-914-9775. We carry various models in different dimensions, colors and styles.

Controlling Grease with Range Hoods

We all know it is not fun to battle grease in the kitchen. It’s messy, it’s gross and it’s hard to get off of surfaces. That’s why it’s important to keep the range hood on in the kitchen when you’re cooking. Range hoods ventilate the kitchen air to fight grease, smoke and odors and to keep them at bay.

Grease is oily and full of animal fat. It gets on stove tops and the appliances and cabinetry surrounding them. Not only is this unpleasing to the eye, it can also damage wood and other kitchen décor. Investing in a good kitchen range hood can be another line of defense against grease that will protect the rest of your kitchen as well as your lungs and your nose.

Additionally, using kitchen range hoods to control grease will make your kitchen easier to clean in the long run. Without kitchen range hoods running, grease will build up around the cooking surface. The kitchen vent helps minimize this. However, it’s also important to remember to keep the filters in the range hood clean as well. Ducted range hoods use aluminum or baffle filters to trap and capture grease out of the air above the cooking surface. Re-circulating range hoods use charcoal filters. Be sure to run your aluminum filters and baffle filters through the dishwasher from time to time. On the other hand, you will need to replace your charcoal filters with new ones when they become full of grease.

Built-up grease in a kitchen can also cause a fire. Grease fires are extremely dangerous. Never try to put out a grease fire with water; this will only cause it to splash. There are fire extinguishers created to fight kitchen and grease fires. Also, sometimes the grease fire can be put out by turning off the burners on the cooking surface and placing a lid on top of the pot or pan containing the fire. (A glass lid could break and explode.) However, if you cannot contain the fire immediately, it’s recommended to call 911 and evacuate everyone from the home before someone is seriously injured.

To clean the exterior of your range hood of grease and grim, you can use a kitchen degreaser. Some people choose to use green degreasers or auto degreasers for the job. Make sure whatever you use is non-abrasive and won’t damage the stainless steel or whatever material your range hood is made of. Some people recommend the use of baking soda and lemon.

Having a working, clean kitchen range hood will help free your kitchen and your cooking of grease. Simply turn it on every time you cook to save yourself more time later while cooking the kitchen. The range hood will keep cabinets, cooking surfaces and more cleaner. Range hoods also clear the kitchen of smoke and unwanted smells. There are more reasons to install a kitchen range hood than reasons not to install one. Also, you can install a re-circulating (or ductless) range hood if installation of duct work is not possible in the kitchen space. You can browse wall mount range hoods, island range hoods, under cabinet range hoods and more on RangeHoodsInc.com.

Carbon Monoxide & Range Hoods

Carbon monoxide, known as CO, is a gas that occurs during the combustion. Carbon monoxide is produced by kitchen stoves, kitchen ranges, engines, the burning of natural gas, fuels and oil, etc. Carbon monoxide becomes dangerous when it begins to collect in an enclosed area. Therefore, homeowners need to take the proper safety precautions against carbon monoxide poisoning in the home. One step to protect yourself and your family from carbon monoxide is the use of a range hood in your kitchen.

Range hoods are composed of a hood, blower, fan and filters, and sometimes duct work, which are used in combination to ventilate the air inside an indoor or outdoor kitchen. Range hoods on RangeHoodsInc.com are constructed of stainless steel, which makes them durable and pleasing to the eye. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends having ventilation for every gas appliance.

Without ventilation, carbon monoxide may build up in a home and cause sickness and/or carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning is extremely serious and can be fatal. A person who is exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide may exhibit unusual symptoms, including nausea, confusion, headache, fatigue and more. Someone who is exposed to too much carbon monoxide may pass out. Also, people with breathing problems and heart problems are more at risk when exposed to carbon monoxide. Sadly, 400 people lose their lives in the United States every year, and 40,000 have to go to the hospital, because of carbon monoxide.

A range hood, which is installed above the cooking surface in the kitchen, uses baffle, charcoal, or aluminum filters to filter the air in the kitchen. When you cook in your kitchen, the air in your kitchen becomes contaminated with the byproducts of cooking, including smoke, grease and heat. The range hood will make the air cleaner and easier to breath. This is especially helpful if someone in your home has a breathing issue. The range hood will also help contain grease, which can build up on kitchen décor and cabinetry.

Unfortunately, carbon monoxide is not recognizable by a color or a smell. Therefore, it is important to have measures in place to protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning. Besides installing a kitchen range hood, you should consider installing a carbon monoxide detector. If you are inside your home when the detector goes on, do not stay in the house. Evacuate everyone in the home and do not go back inside until the home is checked by emergency services.

Other precautions to take include never using an outdoor cooking device inside the home and never leaving the car running in the garage. Additionally, never use a kitchen appliance, such as an oven, to heat the home.

In addition to providing kitchen safety, range hoods play a large role in the design of a kitchen. They can give personality to a kitchen and some range hoods have creative designs that stand out, making the appliance a focal point of the kitchen.

Where to Mount a Range Hood

Where you mount the kitchen range hood depends upon the type of range hood you are purchasing and the type of range hood needed in your kitchen. Wall mount range hoods are mounted on a wall above a range that sits against a wall in the kitchen. On the other hand, some range hoods are mounted under the cabinet above the range (under cabinet range hoods) and other range hoods are mounted above a range on a kitchen island (island range hoods).

Wall mount range hoods are generally mounted 18 to 31 inches above the cooking surface. They frequently have a chimney to hide the duct work as well. The same is true for island range hoods, which are mounted from the ceiling and hang over the kitchen island. Under cabinet range hoods are mounted 21 to 27 inches above the cooking surface, depending upon the model’s specifications.

Look at the installation manual and specifications diagrams for the range hood units you are considering; also check the height of the chimney in comparison with the ceiling in your kitchen. If the chimney is too short, you can purchase a chimney extension for your wall mount range hood or island range hood.

Remember that the farther away from the range you mount the range hood, the more powerful it should be to compensate so that it still ventilates the air properly. CFMs are the units that measure the power of the range hood; CFM stands for cubic feet for minute and describes how much air the range hood is able to move.

However you mount the hood, be sure that the hood’s width covers the entire cooking surface with additional space on each side. Also be sure that the range hood covers all of the burners on the cooking surface. This will ensure that the range hood is able to ventilate air coming up from the cooking surface.

Choosing the duct work may also play a role in how you choose to mount the range hood. All types of range hoods ventilate air to the outside of the home through duct work, unless you are installing a ductless range hood. Wall mount range hoods have duct work leading from the hood, through the wall or ceiling and to the outside of the home. Under cabinet range hoods work in the same manner. Sometimes this duct work is hidden in a cabinet, instead of with a telescopic chimney. Longer duct work may be needed with an island range hood.

You may choose to install a ductless range hood with a re-circulating kit. These range hoods will re-circulate filtered air back into your kitchen. People sometimes choose this option to avoid installing duct work or because they cannot install duct work where they live. (Note that ductless range hoods are better than no range hood but are not as efficient as ducted range hoods.) These range hoods are mounted in the same fashion but do not use duct work.

Cooking Basics Part Four: Kitchen Safety

Eating is one of the most basic activities we do as human beings. In today’s age, many people may not cook very often, but some people really enjoy cooking. If you’re new to cooking, there are some common safety rules you should be aware of before you start off on your adventures with food.

Before starting, it’s important to take kitchen safety seriously. Remember that you are cooking with intense temperatures on gas and/or electric stoves. Also remember that most fires in personal homes start in the kitchen. Additionally, recognize the power and danger of fire. Lastly, remember that when you’re cooking you are affecting the safety of everyone in the home.

First of all, let’s talk about the stove top. When cooking on the stove top, ensure that you turn all the handles to pans and pots towards the inside of the counters and away from the edge of the stove top. This will help prevent people walking into the handles and spilling boiling water and/or oils. This will also prevent children from reaching for hot pots and pans. Additionally, when you transport a pan or pot, such as from the stove top to the kitchen sink, make sure to hold the pot or pan with the steam and hot food pointed away from your body. Always check that you have turned off all of the stove top burners when you’re meal is complete; always check that the oven is off after baking anything.

We’ve touched on the subject of children. Note that kitchen safety is critical when there are children in the house. Be sure to teach children to stay away from the cooking surface. You can also purchase devices to childproof drawers, cabinets and the oven. You do not want children being able to reach knives, medicines or a hot oven.

One of the most common kitchen injuries are burns. Burns occur from touching hot surfaces and/or hot water or food. When you’re boiling water and/or oils, and especially when you are dropping food into them be extremely careful. Splashes of oil can cause severe burns. You can wear oven mitts to protect your skin. Always be aware of your clothing and hair while cooking. You don’t want a long sleeve on your shirt or a lock of hair to burn and/or catch fire.

In regards to fire safety, never try to put out a grease fire with water. Always keep a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Replace broken kitchen appliances and regularly check appliances for broken cords. In case of a kitchen fire, have a plan and an evacuation plan for everyone in the home. Lastly, always use the range hood while you’re cooking. Not only does the range hood extract annoying smoke, grease and smells, it will also remove heat from the stove top. Additionally, range hoods ventilate the air in the kitchen. This removes harmful gases from the kitchen and makes it easier to work and breathe in the kitchen.

Kitchen safety includes food safety. Never let raw meats, chicken, fish, etc. come in contact with other foods and surfaces. Always clean the surfaces and utensils these raw foods come in contact with. Also, keep the kitchen floor clean of spills and unnecessary items to avoid falls and tripping. Have fun cooking and remember to keep it safe.

What is an Updraft Range Hood?

An updraft range hood is another name for a range hood that mounts above the cooking surface. On the other hand, a downdraft range hood is installed at or slightly above the cooking surface. Both serve the function of ventilating the air in the kitchen. An updraft range hood is usually more effective because the duct work used is less complex and an updraft range hood will collect air that travels upwards towards the kitchen ceiling.

The element that most differs an updraft range hood from a downdraft range hood is the hood, or the “canopy.” A downdraft model does not have a hood and pulls air at a horizontal angle away from cooking food. An updraft range hood is constructed of a fan, blower, duct work (unless it is ductless) and a hood.

Updraft range hoods can be mounted on the wall above a stove top, under or inside of a cabinet above the stove top or they can hang from the ceiling and over an island with a cooking surface. Another type of updraft range hood includes the insert liner range hoods, which work just like a wall mount range hood but without the built-in hood. Insert liner range hoods are instead installed into decorative exteriors that hide the kitchen ventilation. Updraft range hoods are also built into certain microwave models, which are mounted on the wall above the stove top.

The range hood should cover the entire stove top, including the front and back burners. The width should include an extra three inches on each side of the stove top if possible for maximum ventilation. The updraft range hood should also be mounted about 18 to 30 inches above the cooking surface for proper ventilation. This also means that the hood of an updraft range hood may create a frame for a unique kitchen backsplash. Range hoods with flat hoods can also be used for storage or to accent shelves on the wall above the cooking surface.

Why would someone install a downdraft system in place of an updraft range hood? Sometimes a homeowner or someone living in an apartment may not be able to install ductwork leading out of the ceiling or out of a wall. In these cases, they may consider a downdraft system. Also, some people may not want a range hood extending from the ceiling and over the kitchen island. This is why people sometimes install a downdraft range hood on their kitchen island. These systems may not be visible depending upon how they are installed and how the model is built.

Updraft range hoods may also include lights that illuminate the cooking surface. Additionally, they use baffle, aluminum or charcoal filters. Baffle and aluminum filters can be washed in the dishwasher, are constructed of stainless steel and can be put back into the range hood. On the other hand, charcoal filters are used with ductless range hoods and need to be periodically replaced.

If you have any questions about purchasing a range hood, you can call 1-800-914-9775 seven days a week. Our staff is on hand to answer your questions and help you pick out the range hood that fits your needs.

What is a Downdraft Range Hood?

A downdraft range hood functions differently than the traditional updraft range hoods we may be used to using in our kitchens. A downdraft hood sits right above the cooking surface, perhaps ten inches above the burners on the stove top. These systems still work with a blower and duct work. They are sometimes included in the purchase of a range.

Downdraft hoods collect air from the cooking surface from a horizontal angle. These hoods are not as effective as range hoods that are mounted above the cooking surface. First of all, downdraft range hoods will not be able to ventilate air that escapes above the cooking surface. On the other hand, wall mount range hoods are situated directly above the stove top and are perfect for capturing air that travels upwards towards the ceiling.

Downdraft hoods usually cannot be seen because they can be pushed in and popped back out when it is needed for use. These models are sometimes used with a cooking surface located on an island in a kitchen to avoid having to mount an island range hood above it. However, this also means that duct work has to be placed from the downdraft hood on the island to the outside of the house. This work can be costly.

The duct work used with downdraft hoods can be long and may need to take various turns. This makes the duct work more expensive to install and also means that the hood has to be more powerful to push air through the extra duct work. As a result, downdraft hoods usually use more powerful blowers, which also create more sound in the home.

Which system, updraft or downdraft, is best for you will depend upon various factors. It depends upon whether or not you have the space and the right type of ceiling for mounting an updraft range hood, such as a wall mount range hood. It also depends on what type of cooking you do and how frequently you cook. If you cook very frequently, you may want to consider an updraft range hood system because they are more effective.

Kitchen ventilation is crucial for removing the byproducts of cooking on an electric or gas stove top in your kitchen. Without ventilation, grease, smoke, smells and unwanted chemicals can build up in the kitchen and on the kitchen décor. If you have put a lot of money into decorating and/or remodeling your kitchen, then you will want to install a range hood with the sufficient power to protect your kitchen from grease and heat. Furthermore, kitchen ventilation is important for ridding the home of gases, such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. These gases are known to create respiratory problems, especially in children, and to make it harder for people to breathe.

Other options for those shopping for range hoods include island range hoods, under cabinet range hoods, insert liner range hoods and more. Chimney extensions are also available for those who wish to mount a range hood that does not fit higher ceilings. There is something out there for everyone when it comes to kitchen ventilation.