Monthly Archives: March 2014

What is Range Hood Capture Area?

People are usually confident in what they want in terms of the looks and style for their kitchen range hood. The harder part in buying a range hood forming an understanding of all the different components and how they work together to provide the best air ventilation possible. The factors you have to consider are many, including the amount of cooking you do, the space you have, the type of range you have and where the range hood will be mounted in the kitchen. You will also have to determine the size of the range hood you need and the capture area.

The size of your range hood will not be the only determining factor in the air ventilation you get with your unit. The size of the range hood works together with the fan, the vent size, the speed levels, the CFM and the range hood height to trap air and ventilate it to the outside of the house. However, there are some simple rules of thumb you can follow while choosing the size of your range hood, which will affect the capture area. The range hood has to be large enough to capture the grease, smoke and smells that travel upward during cooking.

First, the range hood should always be as wide as the cooking surface with an additional three inches on each side if possible. Secondly, you want the range hood to be as deep as the cooking surface. The range hood should cover at least the back burners on the cooking surface and half of the front burners. This is especially true when purchasing island range hoods, which have to work harder to compete with cross currents of air because they are not mounted against a wall. Island range hoods are mounted from the ceiling and hang over the cooking surface on a kitchen island.  Island range hood also require larger capture areas for this reason.

Additionally, the further away the range hood is from the range, you will need more power and more capture area to compensate for the distance from the cooking surface. The distance between the range hood and the cooking surface is known as range hood height; manufacturers include recommended range hood heights for particular mounting styles and designs. If you choose to mount the range hood higher than these recommended heights, you may need a model with more power and capture area to ensure good ventilation.

Sometimes a larger range hood is recommended in kitchens in which a lot of cooking and a lot of cooking at high temperatures is done on a regular basis. Also, professional range hoods, which usually perform at higher CFM, may need to be larger because they are moving larger amounts of air. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute and describes the volume of air the range hood is capable of moving.

If you have more questions about range hood capture area, range hood height or CFM, call us at 1-800-914-9775. Our experienced staff can answer your questions about purchasing and installing a kitchen range hood. You can also browse range hoods at RangeHoodsInc.com.

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How to Degrease the Kitchen

In a perfect world, kitchens would be greaseless. Unfortunately, the more we cook in the kitchen, the more we need to clean it up. There are some tips and tricks for keeping the kitchen cleaner and for making it easier to clean. Always remember to cook with the range hood on as well to reduce the amount of grease that builds up in the kitchen, on the stove, on the cabinets and on the walls.

The first step to degreasing your kitchen is to have the right degreaser on your side. You can purchase degreasers at your local hardware store or you can create your own degreaser out of natural materials. If you find the natural materials aren’t cutting it, you may want to invest in a bottle of store-bought degreaser. Alternatively, some people like to remove the range hood exterior and wash it at a car wash because auto degreaser is effective on stainless steel.

There are auto degreasers, kitchen degreasers and green degreasers on the market. Make sure to read the bottle and follow the instructions. Whatever you use has to be non-abrasive and you have to use a non-abrasive cleaning material, like a sponge or soft cloth. You never want to end up scratching your stainless steel appliance or wood cabinets, so make sure the cleaner you purchase is safe for the surface you’ll be using it on.

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Depending on the instructions that come with your degreaser, you may need to let the cleaning solution soak on the appliance and then wipe it off. Always wear gloves when using a degreaser and be careful with your clothes.

You can use natural degreasers, including vinegar, baking soda and vegetable oil. You can create a mixture of baking soda and water or a mixture of vinegar and water. Also, a mixture of vegetable oil and baking soda makes a great cleaner for dirty cabinets. Always test your cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area to make sure it won’t damage your appliances or cabinets. You can fill a spray bottle with vinegar and water for easy use.

Turning the range hood on each time you cook will help decrease the amount of grease that builds up in the kitchen. The range hood ventilates air in the kitchen, freeing it of grease, smoke and smells. To degrease your range hood, first turn off the unit. Then, use a degreaser to wipe the exterior. You can also use baking soda and hot water or dishwashing liquid and hot water. Remove the cleaner with hot water and a non-abrasive sponge or cloth. Next, run the aluminum grease filters or stainless steel baffle filters through the dishwasher. Let them dry before putting them back in the range hood.

If you have a ductless range hood and charcoal grease filters, be sure to replace the charcoal filters once they are saturated with grease. These cannot be cleaned.

If you have more questions about cleaning or purchasing a kitchen range hood, browse RangeHoodsInc.com. We are happy to assist you in creating the perfect kitchen.

Kitchen Cleaning Tips

Keeping the kitchen clean can be one of the most time consuming and least fun chores to do around the house. Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks for creating faster cleaning routines and for making some difficult spots in the kitchen easier to clean. Perhaps there are some tips out there that you never thought to ask about.

First of all, a messy kitchen is never going to get better if you don’t set aside time every day or every other day to do some of the common maintenance. This includes sweeping, mopping, wiping down counters and doing the dishes. It sounds like a lot, but once you commit a few minutes a day to one of these tasks, your kitchen will stay a lot cleaner for a longer time.

Once you get the big tasks like those done, you can start to focus on smaller areas.

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Ovens. You can use good old water and baking soda inside of the oven to wipe it clean. A neat trick for getting to the area in-between the glass on the oven door is to use a torx screw to remove the backing of the door.

Range Hoods. Turn off range hoods before cleaning them. Use a non-abrasive cleaner and sponge or cloth to avoid scratching your stainless steel. You may need to use a degreaser to wipe off built up grease. Wipe off the cleaner with water. Do not spray into the interior of range hoods. Instead, spray cleaner on a rag, then wipe the interior. Wipe fan blades and take out the grease filters. Run the filters through the dishwasher and let them dry before putting them back in the range hood.

Sinks. Wipe down your sink with baking soda and scrub with a toothbrush.

Garbage Disposals. Run lemon slices down the garbage disposal to get rid of smells. Even better, have an ice cube tray full of lemon slices, vinegar and water and run these ice cubes down the disposal.

Microwaves. Microwave a bowl of vinegar and water for a few minutes and then wipe it down.

Dishwasher. Put two cups of white vinegar in a dishwasher safe container. Run the dishwasher with only this container inside.

Coffee pot. Run your coffee pot with water and vinegar.

Blender. After use, fill the blender with water and a few drops of dish soap. Run it for 30 seconds and rinse it. Let it dry and put it away.

Cabinets. Clean tough spots on your cabinets with vegetable oil and baking soda.

Another helpful piece of advice is to always clean as you cook. That way you avoid having to tackle one big mess later. If you have any questions about cleaning or purchasing range hoods, call us today at 1-800-914-9775, and our staff will be happy to assist you.

Kitchen range hoods ventilate the grease, air and smells that occur while cooking. It’s critical to keep your range hood clean and in good condition so you can cook in peace and in clean air.

Are Microwaves Bad for Food?

We all know the famous story of the engineer who discovered microwave technology when a chocolate bar in his pocket melted as he was working with radar after World War II. There’s no arguing against the fact that microwaves are extremely convenient and vastly reduce cooking times. However, there is some controversy and disagreement to whether or not microwaves are safe for cooking food.

Who knows if Percy Spencer ever suspected there would be so much conflict over his accidental invention of the microwave oven. A microwave uses radiation, or short waves, to cook food inside a small metal structure. This is electromagnetic radiation and is created from electricity. Food is heated when the waves cause the molecules in water and the food to shake.

It’s argued by many researchers that the use of a microwave, despite its speed and convenience, may denature food and reduce the quality of the vitamins. Scientists have hypothesized that microwave cooking is harmful to antioxidants, vitamin B-12, enzymes, breast milk and nutrients. The affects of microwave cooking on breast milk has been studied, and it was shown that microwave cooking increases the spread of bacteria in the milk and reduces lysozyme.

Furthermore, it has been theorized that microwave cooking causes foods to absorb carcinogens when microwaved in plastic containers. This exposes food to BPA, xylene, polyethylene terpthalate, benzene, etc. It’s also been claimed that eating microwaved food has negative effects on human blood. Researchers have argued that consumption of microwaved food leads to increased production of white blood cells and decreased production of red blood cells. It is also believed that microwave cooking, due to its nature, changes the physical structure of food. In fact, the Soviet Union banned microwaves in the 1970’s.

On the other hand, some researchers have stated that microwaving vegetables is actually one of the healthiest options. This is due to the fact that microwave cooking uses less water and is faster than cooking vegetables on the stove. Cooking vegetables in water for too long causes the food’s nutrients to exit into the water. Those in favor of microwaves recommend always microwaving food in appropriate containers, microwaving for shorter amounts of time and microwaving with less water.

The microwave, which exists in 90% of American households, is often used to heat processed foods as we attempt to save time in our busy lifestyles. Try to cook fresh food on your stove top with your kitchen range hood turned on. You can look for simple meals that do not take a lot of time. Or, you can use a crock pot so the food is ready when you’re hungry and you won’t be tempted to zap something.

Less processed food is always a healthier choice. Make sure you run your range hood while cooking food so grease, smoke and smells are ventilated from your kitchen. This will keep your kitchen cleaner, smelling better and make it more convenient to cook. Also, the range hood will ventilate your kitchen of gases that are bad for your respiration. Good luck in your time management and with finding time to cook in the kitchen.

What CFM Do I Need in My Range Hood?

A kitchen range hood plays a crucial role of ventilating the air in the kitchen. To choose the range hood that best suits your needs, you will want to examine the specifications of the different range hoods you shop for. While style and aesthetics are important, they won’t be the only characteristics that influence your buying decisions. Before purchasing a range hood, you decide how much CFM you need in your unit.

CFM stands for cubic feet per minute; this unit is used to describe how much airflow the range hood can move. This is known as the power of the range hood and is the volume of air that is moved when the unit is on its highest setting.

The following factors will help you determine the best amount of CFM for you and your needs.

Cooking style. The amount of CFM you require in your range hood will depend upon how much cooking you do at home. Also, it will depend upon the type of cooking you do. If you do a lot of frying, you will want a powerful range hood to ventilate the smoke, grease and smell. If you cook quite often, you may want to consider professional range hoods, which come with more CFM and stainless steel baffle filters. If you do a lot of cooking, you will need at least 350 CFM.

Kitchen Volume. The power you will need out of your range hood will also depend upon the size of your kitchen. Calculate the volume of your kitchen to determine how much CFM you need. Take the square feet of your kitchen floor and multiple it by the ceiling height. This equals the volume in cubic feet of the kitchen. Divide this number by four and the result is how much CFM you need. (You divide by four because the range hood should ventilate the entire kitchen at least once every four minutes.)

Range or Cooking Surface. Before buying a range hood or professional range hoods, it’s good to know how much heat your range gives off. This will affect the amount of CFM you need. The Home Ventilating Institute Recommends at least 1 CFM for every 100 BTU. BTU stands for British Thermal Units. It is also recommended to have at least 100 CFM for every foot of width on the range for wall mount range hoods and 150 CFM for every foot of width on the range for island range hoods. Therefore, a 24 inch range on a kitchen island requires at least 300 CFM.

Range Hood Height. You should read the recommended installation height for the specific range hood you are looking at. The manufacturer should provide a distance for how far away from the cooking surface the range hood should be installed. You will need more CFM if you install the range hood higher than the recommended distance. Additionally, if your duct work is long and has turns, you will need more CFM to compensate.

Noise level. If noise level is very important to you, you may want to purchase a range hood with a higher CFM rating than you need. That way, you can run the range hood at a lower speed setting and still get a high level of CFM. The noise level of a range hood is measured in a unit called sones.

Examine each factor and do the math. Then, go with the highest number you determined for CFM. Remember, this decision will help you eliminate smoke, grease and smells in your kitchen so you can cook in peace and breathe easily.

Range Hood Height

Installing a new kitchen range hood can be an exciting experience. Cooking at home is about to become a lot easier. Remember to install your new range hood at the proper height to ensure the best kitchen ventilation possible with your unit. This article will go over some basic information on the height at which range hoods should be mounted in the kitchen.

Make sure to check the instructions or the manual that came with your range hood. The height at which the range hood should be mounted will depend upon specific factors. These include the type of range hood, the specifications of the range hood and the type of cooking surface. The instructions should tell you exactly how many inches the range hood should be away from the cooking surface.

In general, most range hoods are mounted between 26 inches and 36 inches from the cooking surface in an interior kitchen. Some range hoods are mounted as low as 18 inches from the cooking surface. Outdoor range hoods are mounted 36 inches above the barbeque or outdoor cooking surface. Range hoods vary in how they are mounted in the home, including wall mount range hoods, under cabinet range hoods and island range hoods.

Wall mount range hoods are generally mounted 30 inches above the cooking surface. Under cabinet range hoods are mounted a little lower at 21 inches to 27 inches, depending upon the size of the range hood. Thus, range hood height may be determined in part by which type of range hood you have. Island range hoods need to be more powerful and wider to collect smoke, grease and smells.

If you choose to mount you range hood lower than the recommended distance from the cooking surface, you may end up damaging the unit because of excessive heat. On the other hand, if you install the range hood too far away from the cooking surface, it will not be able to properly ventilate the kitchen air. If you choose to mount your range hood farther than the recommended distance, then you will need to purchase a more powerful range hood and a larger range hood.

More powerful range hood models have higher CFM. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute, which describes how much air the range hood can move. The minimum CFM you need in your kitchen may depend upon the range hood height, the stove top width or the BTU of the stove top. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, which describe how much heat the stove top creates.

You will also want to consider convenience while planning the distance from the stove top to the range hood. This means that your height may determine where you want the range hood to sit. This will affect how you interact with the appliance, including using the stove top lighting and using the control panel.

Always check the manual that came with your range hood, or call us at 1-800-914-9775 if you have questions about a range hood from Range Hoods Inc.

Cooking Basics Part Six: Cooking Substitutions

In our Cooking Basics series, we’ve covered Getting Started, Herbs and Spices, Oils, Kitchen Safety and Frying. Today, we’re covering a topic that will extremely useful to you when putting together recipes spontaneously. This topic is Cooking Substitutions.

As you become more comfortable with cooking, you’ll realize that unless you plan out an entire week’s meals, it can be difficult to have everything at hand that you need for a recipe you want to try.  Let’s say you found a recipe you really want to try on your Pinterest, but you just used your last egg, or you’re completely out of butter.

Cooking substitutions can’t always save you, but they can make life a little easier and may save you some trips to the local grocery store. Here’s a simple example: let’s say you have a recipe that calls for beer, but you don’t have any beer and it isn’t usually on your shopping list. You can substitute one cup of beer with one cup of chicken broth in this case.

Here are some more examples of some common substitutions in cooking:

Brown Sugar. You’re ready to bake but you never bought brown sugar. If you have white sugar and molasses you can mix it, decrease the liquid in the recipe and use it in place of the brown sugar.

Butter. Butter is used so often that it isn’t uncommon to run out of it when you really need it. If you have one cup of shortening on hand you can use it to replace one cup of butter.

Egg. In a pinch, three tablespoons of mayonnaise can replace one egg. For a healthier choice, use half a banana and ½ teaspoon of baking powder.

Fresh Herbs. Sometimes buying a whole new batch of fresh herbs can be frustrating. It adds cost and you may not need to buy a whole bundle of one herb for one recipe. In this case, use one teaspoon of a dried herb to replace one tablespoon of its fresh counterpart.

Mayonnaise. If you’re out of mayonnaise, don’t fear. One cup of plain yogurt can be used in place of one cup of mayonnaise.

Stock. Replace one cup of fresh chicken or beef stock with one cup of water mixed with one bouillon cube.

Not only will substitutions empower you to finish the recipe you’ve been wanting to try without going to the store, but substitutions will also prevent you from spending money on a bottle of package of an ingredient you are only going to use for one recipe.

Have fun in your cooking adventures, and don’t forget to turn on your kitchen range hood while you are cooking on your stove top. Cooking activities, like frying, produce grease, smoke and smells that will stay in our kitchen and go into our lungs if it isn’t ventilated. The range hood takes care of this for us, but you have to remember to turn it on. Browse RangeHoodsInc.com for wall mount range hoods, under cabinet range hoods, island range hoods and more.

Should I Install a Range Hood & Microwave Combination?

A common question about range hoods, which comes up during remodeling homes and kitchens, is whether or not the homeowner wants to install a stand-alone range hood or a microwave and range hood combination. In the end, only you know for certain what will best fit your needs. That being said, knowing your options and the pros and cons of each decision will empower you to choose the right appliance for your lifestyle.

Microwave and range hood combinations include a microwave unit that is mounted above the cooking surface. They are constructed of under cabinet range hoods mounted underneath microwaves. Stand-alone range hoods vary in mounting style, decorative style and size. In both cases, you need a unit that will cover your entire cooking surface.

The microwave and range hood combination is often used as a space saver because it combines two appliances into one. It also means that you are freeing up the counter space taken up by a microwave. However, gaining counter space in this instance also means sacrificing range hood power. Microwave and range hood combinations often include a ductless range hood, which is not as effective at ventilating the air in the kitchen. This means more grease, smoke and smells will build up while you’re cooking.

If stand-alone range hoods are what you’re looking for, you can purchase under cabinet range hoods, which mount underneath a cabinet above the cooking surface. Alternatively, you can choose a wall mount range hood, which mounts onto the wall above the cooking surface. Lastly, you can buy an island range hood if you have a cooking surface on a kitchen island. These hang from the ceiling and the duct work runs through the ceiling.

The amount of kitchen ventilation you can live with will depend upon your lifestyle and how much you cook. It will also depend upon the type of cooking surface you own, which may determine how many CFMs you need your range hood to have. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute and describes how much airflow the range hood is capable of moving.

If you cook every day, you may want a more powerful range hood to exhaust grease, smoke and smells. On the other hand, if you live in a small apartment, you may want to save space, and you may not have the ability to install duct work in your space. (Ducted stand-alone range hoods suck up air and ventilate it to the outside of the home through a flue and duct work, which runs through the wall or the ceiling.)

Additionally, remember that when it comes time to replace your range hood and microwave combination, you will have to replace both appliances. For example, in the case of a kitchen fire or a fire on the cooking surface in the kitchen, you may have to replace both your range hood and your microwave.

If you decide a stand-alone range hood is the best option for your home, Range Hoods Inc carries wall mount range hoods, island range hoods, professional series range hoods and under cabinet range hoods, which you may browse on RangeHoodsInc.com.  We offer high inventory levels to offer you convenience during your shopping experience.

Berkeley Study Sheds Light on Kitchen Range Hoods

A study conducted by research scientists at Berkeley examined the amount of indoor air pollution in homes in Southern California caused by cooking in the kitchen. The scientists discovered that half of these homes contained serious indoor air pollution levels, rivaling levels of outdoor air pollution. Specifically, these homes had high levels of nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide. To battle indoor air pollution, homeowners should turn on the range hoods in their kitchens while they are cooking.

The Lawrence Berkeley National Lab scientists are developing a test for rating the efficiency of range hoods manufactured for use in residential kitchens. This will be an international test that will create a standard and rating system. The scientists created a test lab, in which they prepare the same meals again and again, and test the different speed levels of consumer range hoods. Jennifer Logue, Woody Delp and Brett Singer worked on the research. The scientists determined that the indoor air pollution produced by cooking contains some of the same elements as smog.

The also scientists found that not every range hood was as efficient as it could have been. Some of the range hoods only ventilated fifteen percent of the indoor air pollution caused during cooking; others ventilated half of it. A standard rating system will help consumers make decisions about which range hoods to purchase. Kitchen ventilation is extremely important in preventing the harmful effects of nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide on human health. These gases can contribute to respiratory and cardiovascular problems.

It’s essential to turn on the range hood every time you cook, especially in this day and age, in which people keep their homes air-tight to save on AC and heating. Unfortunately, there is no government authority overseeing the levels of indoor air pollution in our country. The researchers concluded that consumers should always use their range hoods, should use the back burners on their cooking surface when possible and should use the range hood at the strongest setting.

The researchers also recommended that range hoods be designed to turn on and off by themselves without the user having to remember to turn it on with each use. There are range hoods on Range Hoods Inc, such as the Cavaliere-Euro AP238-PS29-30 30” Wall Mount Range Hood, that include Heat Sensitive Auto Speed (HSAS) technology. These range hoods turn on by themselves when 115 to 158 degrees of heat is detected.

Remember while shopping for range hoods to look at four factors: the dimensions, the CFM, the sones and the duct work. The range hood needs to cover the entire cooking surface, so know the dimensions of your range before buying a kitchen vent. Also, look at cubic feet per minute, which will tell you how much air the range hood can move. The noise level may influence your decision; the noise level of a range hood is measured in sones. Lastly, make sure the duct work you install is not too long and does not contain too many bends, which will decrease the efficiency of ventilation.

Three Recipes to Try with your New Range Hood

If you’ve just installed your kitchen range hood, you should be excited to try all of the food you can make now that you have the ability to ventilate the air in the kitchen. Try these fun, delicious recipes with your ability to let the range hood suck up the smoke, grease and smells. If you don’t have a range hood, or if you need to replace an older unit, maybe this blog will inspire you to tackle indoor air pollution in your kitchen.

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili from Two Peas & Their Pod by Maria and Josh (via www.twopeasandtheirpod.com) is a vegan, gluten-free chili recipe packed with colorful vegetables and delicious spices. You can add green onions, avocado, cheese and/or bread at the end. It tastes like meat chili, but instead of meat it contains quinoa. Cook the quinoa with water while you cook the vegetables (onion, carrots, zucchini, bell peppers, celery and jalapeno). You then throw in the black beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, chili powder, quinoa and cumin and simmer the entire pot. Make sure you turn on the range hood while you are cooking the quinoa and the vegetables in oil; these steps will produce a lot of smoke.

Beer-Braised Chicken from Chasing Delicious (via chasingdelicious.com) is created by Russell van Kraayenburg. This chicken recipe would make a great belated St. Patrick’s Day treat. It includes salt pork and dark ale to create a unique experience. It is cooked in a cast iron dutch oven. First, cook the pork in the dutch oven until it’s crispy. Next, sear the chicken. You will then cook the vegetables and simmer the entire concoction in beer. Lastly, braise the food in the oven.

Easy Chicken Stir-Fry from Chow (via www.chow.com), a food website based in San Francisco, is an excellent introduction to stir-fry if you’ve never attempted it before. You will need oyster sauce for this recipe, which is a staple in Asian cooking. Vegetarian options for oyster sauce do exist. You will also need rice wine and a wok for cooking. Without a wok, you can use a large frying pan. You will be cooking the vegetables and the chicken on high heat. You can eat this with rice, as suggested in the recipe, or with noodles.

Cooking and frying on the stove, especially in recipes like stir-fry, create a lot of smoke and grease. The kitchen range hood is designed to tackle these unwanted byproducts of cooking that contaminate the air in your home kitchen. Otherwise, you will inhale gases like carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. Furthermore, grease and smoke will damage your kitchen décor, your cabinetry and make your kitchen messier and harder to clean.

If you are in need of a kitchen range hood, you will want to consider the many options, including ducted range hoods, ductless range hoods and consider which specifications best suit your needs. We wish you the best of luck in your cooking adventures. If you have any questions about range hoods, call our staff at 1-800-914-9775.