Monthly Archives: February 2017

How To Buy An Exposed Chimney-Style Range Hood

Tues. 28

Modern homes sport all kinds of design elements that our parents and grandparents would never have thought of showing off in their own homes. Now, we can find exposed brick, concrete countertops, and chimney-style range hoods.

The chimney-style is exactly that. The ductwork is exposed as it climbs up toward the ceiling. Is this the right style for you?

Installing a chimney-style range hood means that your kitchen will be short at least one double cupboard. If you really need the storage, then you should probably look at other styles of range hoods. If the loss of extra storage isn’t a big deal, then you’ll find a whole variety of chimney-style range hoods. They come in different colors, metals, and glass, even combinations of those.

Here’s what you need to know:

Filters

There are a number of different kinds of filters available today. The one you end up with will depend on the range hood model you choose.

Tues.28-cassette filter

Cassette filter: The aluminum mesh allows air to flow through it, but will collect grease.

Tues. 28 baffle filter

Baffle filter: Air and grease is pulled through the opening. The air continues out through the ductwork while the grease settles on the plates.

Tues. 28 carbon filter

Carbon filter: Sometimes referred to as a charcoal filter, it absorbs odor and grease while exhausting air through the ductwork and out of the home.

Style

Chimney-style range hoods offer you a few different style options. Work with a designer to figure out which one would work best in your own home.

Wall mounted chimneys are popular in both modern and traditional kitchens:

Photo: KitchenSource.com

Island chimneys are perfect for open concept kitchens:

Photo: Kitchen Design Ideas Blog

Photo: Kitchen Design Ideas Blog

Corner chimney-style range hoods free you up to design your kitchen in any way you’d like:

Photo: GardenWeb

Photo: GardenWeb

Read more about chimney-style range hoods here.

 

 

 

3 Things Your Range Hood Is Trying To Tell You

Fri.24

What if I told you that your range hood could talk to you? Really. You just have to watch and listen. (And no, I’m not currently searching for those marbles I seem to have lost!)

Here at Range Hoods Inc, we spend a lot of time talking about why range hoods are vital to every kitchen. We’ve talked about how they improve indoor air quality and keep your kitchen just a little bit cleaner by collecting and exhausting grease and steam. But, here’s a question for you. Would you know if your range hood wasn’t working at its best?

That’s a really important question because, unless it stops working completely, you’d never know if it needs a tune-up or adjustment.

So, here are 3 signs to watch for. They will tell you more about how well your range hood is doing its job than you ever thought possible.

Getting smoky? If your eyes have started to water every time you stand over the hot stove, well… let’s just say that they’re not tears of joy over the fantastic meals you’ve been cooking up. It’s because your range hood fan isn’t sucking up and exhausting as much smoke, grease, and odors as it should. Do this:

  • Check your ducts. Once, I actually found that a bird had actually managed to build a nest where the ductwork met the outside wall!
  • Clean the tray and fan blades. Grease build-up can impair how well the motor works.

Too loud? You know your range hood. Has the sound of the motor suddenly become louder lately? Or maybe the sound level has increased gradually over a longer period of time. Do this:

  • Clean the motor.
  • Replace the motor if cleaning doesn’t help the situation.

Who turned out the lights? You push the buttons and nothing seems to light up or turn on. If the fan is still working, the problem could be the built-in circuit board. Do this:

  • Call in a professional. If your range hood is still under warranty, call the manufacturer. If not, contact a trusted appliance repair professional.

Winter Recipes – Spicy Avocado and Yogurt Dip

 

shutterstock_253710385I love this recipe for its simplicity and mouthwatering flavor. It’s perfect for any time of the year, really. Check out the array of munchies pictured above. Isn’t that the perfect presentation for a party? Vegetable appetizers are always a hit with both host and guest.

Give this recipe a try, and let us know if you customized it according to your own likes!

Spicy Avocado and Yogurt Dip

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixer bowl.
  2. Pulse until smooth.
  3. Spoon into a pretty bowl and serve with chips and assorted vegetables.

Variation:

*Omit the avocado. Sprinkle the cilantro over top once all remaining ingredients have been stirred together. Serve in individual cups.

shutterstock_554554207

Check us out here.

Q: How Much Should I Spend On A Range Hood?

Mon. 20

Sometimes the simplest questions are the most complex to answer. This question is like that.

Q. How much should I spend on a range hood.

A. No one wants to spend more than they have to. You’re probably already spending money on a kitchen upgrade which could involve anything from purchasing and installing a new appliance to knocking out walls and re-designing the entire kitchen. You’re absolutely right to ask for specifics.

The short answer is that a range hood could cost you anywhere from $30 to $1000 or more.

The long answer is that it all depends.

Say you have a small electric stove that you may use only a few times a week. When you do use it, you only cook on one burner, and that’s just to boil a little water. In that case, you can choose to buy the range hood advertised at the lowest price. The amount of noxious fumes, steam, grease, smoke, and odors produced daily is very little to none.

On the other extreme is the heavy user. This would be anyone who owns a professional style stove. You know the kind … at least 6 burners, a grill area, 2 high-powered ovens, built-in warmer, you name it. Let’s say that this person also uses most of those burners and the oven and a few of the stove’s other features every single day. The amount of noxious fumes, steam, grease, smoke, and odors produced daily is going to be a lot. This person must buy a heavy duty, super-powered range hood.

How hard the range hood has to work is only one consideration. You’ll also need to consider how much it will cost to install it. Will you need to hire a contractor to rip out some of your existing cabinetry to accommodate the ductwork? Will an electrician need to be hired to rewire your kitchen? Labor costs fluctuate from state to state and company to company. Take your time researching companies and reading reviews before you hire anyone. You absolutely want the best price, but not at the cost of workmanship or safety.

So, although I encourage you to find the best deal you can on a range hood. I want you to be aware that depending on your actual circumstances, you may need to pay more than you’d originally hoped.

You can learn more about how to determine which range hood is right for you here.

Monthly Pick – Get the Most From Your Range Hood

Thurs. 16

It should come as no surprise that I’m going to tell you that your kitchen needs a range hood fan. There are lots of great reasons why. Cleaner air, cleaner smell, cleaner kitchen surfaces … that’s not what I want to talk about today. You can read about all the benefits here, though.

This morning, I ran a damp cloth across the top of my range hood. It looked like the waters parting. Except that it wasn’t water parting, it was dust. Ok, it wasn’t a lot of dust. But, it was enough to make me realize that I’ve been neglecting my trusty range hood.

The range hood’s job is to provide light so you can see what you’re cooking, and exhaust grease, odors, and smoke so they don’t end up contaminating your kitchen. But, for a range hood to work well, it’s going to need a little TLC sometimes. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Clean it. Here’s where a degreaser comes in really handy. Spray some on a sponge and scrub (gently!) along the top and sides of the range hood. Check to see if your unit comes apart underneath. Sometimes, you can separate the fan and filter pieces. If so, take it all apart and wash each piece with soap and water. Dry well. Otherwise, your range hood will end up with water marks dotted all over it. Meanwhile, take that degreasing sponge and wipe all around the underside of the range hood.
  • Change it. The filter, that is. Some range hoods are equipped with a filter. Disconnect it. Soak it in warm soap and water. Rinse very well. You can put some filters in the dishwasher for an extra clean. But, check your range hood manual for clear instructions first. If you’re not sure, don’t try it. You could end up damaging the filter. Once washed, let the filter air dry completely. Hmmm, since you can’t run your range hood until the filter’s dry, why not go out for dinner?
  • Pay attention. Sure, I’ll admit it. Giving my range hood more than a moment of thought is not exactly high on my priorities list. But, it should be. Hear me out now. If you listen to your range hood, you’ll come to understand what it sounds like when it’s operating properly. That means that you’ll immediately notice when something’s not quite right. Don’t wait to act. That’s when you should call in the professionals to fix the problem. Waiting can end up costing you a lot more.

Sweet Valentine’s Day! You’ll Love These Choco-Nut Cookies

Photo: kraftcanada.com

Photo: kraftcanada.com

Happy Valentine’s Day! Full disclosure here: I did not wake up this morning with a plan of how to make this day super special for my family. So, if you’re like me (and I sincerely hope you’re more with it than I am this morning!), you might be wondering how you’re going to cover for your lack of Valentine’s Day foresight.

I’ve got your back on this one. Here’s my secret: just add chocolate. Make these cookies for your sweetheart and all will be forgiven!

Choco-Nut Cookies

First, let me say that this recipe is adapted from a Kraft recipe that you can find here. Second, as you might guess, I’m going to encourage you to turn on your stove’s exhaust fan. Yes, we’re all about range hoods here. And yes, turning on the exhaust fan helps purify your indoor air.

But, there’s actually another reason you should turn on that fan. That sweet cookie aroma is going to waft outside. It’s going to hit your favorite person right in the olfactory glands, and it will attract your sweetie’s attention like nothing else.

Cook these up and let me know how it all works out for you!

  • 225g  bittersweet chocolate chips, divided in half
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup nuts (walnuts, pecans, pistachios, peanuts – just choose your favorite), chopped
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place half of the chocolate chips in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave on medium 3 to 4 minutes until partially melted; stir until completely melted.
  3. Add butter to the melted chocolate; stir until well combined.
  4. Add eggs to chocolate mixture. Combine well.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, flour, nuts, remaining chocolate chips, and baking powder.
  6. Add dry ingredients to chocolate mixture; stir well.
  7. Drop dough by tablespoons onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  8. Bake about 12 minutes, or until cookies are soft to the touch.
  9. Let cool on wire racks.

Enjoy!

Why You Should Spend More Money On A Range Hood

Fri. 10

You’ve been dreaming of this kitchen renovation for a long time. You’ve even saved up a sizeable budget for it. Are you sure where you should be spending that money?

You know you want a beautiful granite countertop, and a brand new gas oven. You’ve already picked out the cabinets, and you can’t wait to use your new dishwasher! But, have you thought about what you’re going to do about that range hood?

Most people don’t give their range hood much in the way of thought. It’s there. It sucks up grease, odors, and smoke. That’s it, right? Well, if that really was all there is to it, you could head into any appliance store and purchase the least expensive model you can find.

The fact is, though, that range hoods are not all created equal.

Range hood fans come in a variety of power levels. Before you even go look at what’s available, you need to take a really good look through your stove’s manual. Find out how may BTUs each burner produces. You also need to keep in mind whether you have a gas or an electric stove. Range hood fan power is rated in CFMs. Each of those factors I mentioned will help you determine how many CFMs you’ll need.

Consider, too, that cheaper hoods may be simpler in design than you might prefer. But, perhaps more importantly, less expensive fans may be much louder than you prefer. You should have the range hood fan running while you cook. So, think about whether a loud fan will interrupt conversations with the people who are in the kitchen with you.

Cheap oven hoods also have limited options when it comes to lighting. If you want to use halogen or other energy-saving bulbs, you might not be able to with lower cost range hoods.

Ultimately, make sure you keep these factors and personal preferences in mind as you shop. You might be lucky enough to be able to opt for a cheaper oven fan. But, if not, remember that keeping your air quality high and making sure you enjoy your kitchen time is very important.

Do you have any questions about how to choose the best range hood for your oven? Call our experts!

Stylish Kitchens – Chimney-Style Range Hoods

Wed. 8

Have you ever wondered whether a chimney-style range hood is right for your kitchen? Or even if you’re wondering if they’re the best option. I thought I’d take a closer look at this style of range hood to help you answer any questions you might have about it.

We’ve all seen chimney-style range hoods in those glossy magazine images of beautiful kitchens. And these hoods are nothing if not beautiful. They hang gracefully from the ceiling and add function and design to any kitchen with almost no effort. Chimney-style hoods are minimal in style. So, they look great in modern kitchens. But, because they’re not flashy, they fit nicely into traditional kitchen design, too.

The fact is that chimney-style kitchens don’t need to have their chimneys exposed. You can put cabinets around the chimney if you want. You can even mount the chimney-style range hood against the wall. They draw the eye and create a break between cabinets when mounted that way. So, this style looks great even in small kitchens. Remember that the size of your kitchen really doesn’t factor into the kind of range hood you choose. Otherwise, they’re most commonly seen suspended over an island cooktop.

Chimney-style range hoods are perfect for condos or any home that features tall ceilings. Say your ceilings are 15 or 20 feet high. I can’t think of anyone who would want to stare at standard ductwork shooting all the way up from the range hood to the ceiling. Cabinets can’t cover that much ductwork, so what’s the solution? The answer is to choose a chimney-style range hood that fits with the design of your kitchen. Something sleek and with clean lines looks great in any kitchen.

Chimney-style  range hoods work just as well as any other kind of range hood. The difference really comes down to personal preference and your kitchen design style.

Still not sure which type of range hood is best for you? Give us a call today!

What kind of range hood do you have in your kitchen?

3 Tips On Choosing The Right Range Hood For Your Gas Stove

Feb. 6

Gas ranges have been all the rage over the last decade or so. We seem to have all tossed out those old electric stoves, so popular over the 1970s and 1980s. Now, our newly renovated kitchens sport gas ranges equipped with anything from four to six burners.

What everyone says about gas is really true. You don’t have to worry about overcooking food because the response is immediate. Turn off the gas and the heat immediately stops. Gas ovens create more humid heat than electric. It more closely replicates the conditions found in a wood burning oven … and we all know how delicious bread, pizza, and cakes taste when they’ve been baked over (or near) an open fire!

Since so many more of us have bought into gas, there are some gas cooker hood regulations that we have to keep in mind.

  1. Electric cooktops use coils that heat up. They come into direct contact with the pot or pan, and transfer the heat to that metal surface area. Electric cookers do not emit fumes or any other types of potentially toxic chemicals. You can choose a smaller and less powerful range hood to exhaust any cooking odors and grease. Look for range hoods with an output between 150 CFM and 300 CFM. (Wondering what CFMs are all about? Find out here!)
  2. Gas cooktops, however, use gas (or propane) to spark a flame. That flame, while coming into direct contact with the cookware, also gives off fumes. Those fumes must be vented to the outdoors along with any grease and cooking odors. You’ll need to look for a larger and more powerful range hood. Make sure that the range hood you choose is equal to the dimensions of your gas stove. Next, read your owner’s manual to determine how many BTUs each burner on your stove uses. Add up each one, then divide by 100 (ex. a 20,000 BTU cooktop needs a 300 CFM range hood fan). If your stove has an output of 80,000 BTUs or higher, you’ll need to buy a very powerful range hood of at least 800 CFM. If you’re not sure, take your stove’s manual with you when you shop for a range hood. Or call the stove’s manufacturer for advice.
  3. This equation (BTU divided by 100) to help you figure out the power of the range hood you will need will work in most cases. But there are exceptions. If you need to install extra long ductwork, or if the range hood is set very high lover the range top, you’ll need to adjust that equation. You will likely need a larger and more powerful range hood in these cases. But it’s always best to speak with the stove’s manufacturer, the range hood manufacturer, as well as a contractor for expert advice.

Over to you: what do you need to know about choosing a range hood for your gas stove?

The Air Circulating In Your Kitchen Can Make You Sick

Feb. 2

Our homes have become technological wonders. Computers run our appliances. The latest insulation keeps our homes cool in summer and warm in winter. Smart technology is all around us. All of that innovation has made our home life easier, more comfortable, and more relaxing.

The problem is that improvements in building practices have created nearly perfectly airtight homes. That’s great for conserving energy. It’s not so great for indoor air quality.

Kitchens, especially, can be the worst offenders. Our cooking can produce a lot of air pollution that’s not necessarily expelled to the outdoors. If you can crack a window or two open while you’re cooking, that certainly helps. But, sometimes, that’s not the best solution. Living in higher elevations or in a colder climate means that you probably won’t want that cold winter air making its way into your nice warm abode.

Well, thanks to those modern technological advances, we now have a lot of options at our fingertips.

The best way to clean the air in the kitchen is to install a high quality range hood and use it every time you cook. Turn it on at least 15 minutes before you begin to cook, then let it run for at least 15 minutes after you’re done cooking. The stove’s fan will pick up the steam, odors, and particles that, if left to settle on your kitchen surfaces, will contaminate the air. That air then gets circulated throughout your entire home. A good stove fan exhaust system will make sure that as much of that poor air as possible is sent outside.

A high quality range hood goes even further. Its not just the food you’re cooking that can create indoor air pollution. In fact, you could swear off cooking for a month and still suffer from poor indoor air quality. The culprit, in this case, is the kitchen appliances.

Microwaves, stoves, cooktop burners, refrigerators, dishwashers … in short, any of your large or small appliances can emit pollutants. None of these are things you willingly will want to inhale. Appliances can release carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, and more into your breathing space.

You can minimize any health risks and improve your home’s air quality by leaps and bounds simply by opening windows and turning on the range hood fan when using your kitchen appliances.