If you live in an apartment or another kind of rented space, chances are you don’t have the best ventilation system in your kitchen area, or maybe you don’t have ventilation at all. Ventilation is important for the removal of grease particles, smoke and odors that result from cooking. If you are forced to work around a non-ventilated kitchen, you know that heavy grease buildup can make your kitchen sticky and clammy and be nearly impossible to clean. Smells from cooking done a few days ago still lingers throughout the house, and every time you come in from outside you are assaulted with the unpleasant odors. In small apartments and rented homes, the heat from cooking in the kitchen can spread throughout the house and leave it feeling hot and musty for days.
So, if you live in an apartment or rental where you can’t perform the necessary construction to install a range hood or ventilation system, we’ve cooked up some alternatives for your, shall we say, unique situation. Check out these five tips to working your way around a ventless kitchen.
Break Out the Fans
One of the best alternatives to a range hood is a fan. No, it’s not the same thing and it won’t be as effective, but the principle is the same. If you have windows in your kitchen, consider investing in an exhaust-only window fan. This fan will pull the air out of your kitchen and deposit it outside, much like your average vent hood. Simply having a window open can help with the odors, and in the fall and winter seasons, can help to keep you kitchen cool.
Create a Cross Breeze
When using the kitchen, try to open as many windows in as many rooms as possible. Part of the reason for odors and the stuffiness that comes with cooking is that this hot, greasy air gets trapped inside the house and has no outlet. Turn on the fans in other rooms, whether they are ceiling fans, bathroom fans or portable fans and open the windows in every room that has one. This will create a create a cross breeze and allow the contaminated air to flow outside of the house, while also bringing fresh air into the house.
Invest in an Air Filter
If you don’t have windows in your kitchen and fans alone aren’t doing the trick, you might look into a portable air filter to keep in your kitchen. Consider a high-efficiency particulate air filter, which works by pushing air into a fine mesh that traps unwanted particles such as grease and smoke. If you don’t have a way to push air outside of the house, consider trapping it so that it cannot linger days after the cooking is finished.
Bring Nature Indoors
Plants can have a calming effect, while also being a great decorative tool in your home. Not only this, but plants also have natural components that filter out harmful organic compounds. Adding some greenery to your kitchen can help clear the air and reduce the amount of unpleasant particles that are left lingering after using the stove.
The lack of proper air filtration can be very frustrating. You may find that your smoke alarm goes off every time you cook or that you’re noticing an increase in headaches, congestion, or fatigue. These can be signs of improper ventilation and mean that you need to reconsider implementing some alternative ventilation or it could affect your health and safety. Never remove the smoke alarm from your kitchen, no matter how annoying it becomes. If you have a gas stove, consider putting a carbon monoxide detector in your kitchen to monitor the CO levels in the house and ensure the safety of your home.
Have you ever experienced poor ventilation in your home? If so, how did you resolve the problem? We’d love to hear your comments and feedback!