Category Archives: Sustainability

You Might Need A Backdraft Damper

feb. 27

The backdraft damper is one of those range hood components that most of us don’t ever spare a thought for.

And that’s ok.

Having said that, though, I’m going to spend a little time telling you about what a bonus a backdraft damper is.

The whole point of a range hood is to help maintain clean and healthy indoor air quality. It does that by drawing up cooking odors, smoke, grease, and potentially toxic fumes and exhausting all of them to the outdoors.

But, what stops outside air from making its way into your home? Usually, nothing. If you’re trying to make your home as energy efficient as possible, then you don’t want outside air leaking in.

That’s where the backdraft damper comes in.

The backdraft damper opens when you turn the range hood on allowing all that dirty air to escape to the outdoors. Once you turn the range hood off, the damper falls back into place blocking any outside air that might otherwise make its way into your home.

Not all range hoods come equipped with backdraft dampers. For instance, range hoods that are not ducted to the outside don’t need them. Actually, not all range hoods that are ducted have them. Sometimes, a backdraft damper isn’t really necessary, especially if the duct is located in a wind-protected side of the house.

Think that you might want a range hood with a backdraft damper? Give us a call. We’ll explain which modes might work best for your home.

Choosing Energy Efficient Kitchen Appliances

dec. 25

Energy conservation is more important now than it has ever been before. Most of us want to live in healthy homes. When we spend time outside, we want our environment to be as clean as possible.

The kitchen is one of the keys to a healthy home environment. Using the range hood fan every time you cook, bake, or roast goes a long way toward keeping the air in your home clean, fresh, and healthy.

The other key to a healthy home environment is to choose new appliances that are energy efficient. Most energy efficient appliances are marked as such. Sometimes, they bear the Energy Star logo. Sometimes, they’re identified in other ways.

In the end, energy efficient range hoods, refrigerators, stoves, and more save us money. They are less of a strain on the environment and on utility companies, and ultimately on the climate.

Contact us to find out which range hoods are the most energy efficient.

Featured Product: Island Range Hoods

nov. 3

So many condo units and detached homes are designed with features like extra tall ceilings and open concept living spaces. The lack of walls lends the space an airy and spacious feeling. Cooking in a kitchen that’s not enclosed makes entertaining so much easier. No longer will you find yourself alone in the kitchen while guests have a good time without you. Better yet, no longer will you be trying to cook in your kitchen while guests crowd in to be with you!

Open concept kitchen design means that more of us have the luxury of cooking at, and sitting around, an island. Some islands feature stoves. That makes entertaining even easier, doesn’t it? You won’t ever need to turn your back on your guests.

But, if you’re going to install a stove in the island, you will need to also install an island range hood. Hung from the ceiling, the island range hood are not only functional. They’re often also a focal point in the kitchen. Look for range hoods that are stylish, unique, and fit well into your home’s decor.

If the kitchen ceiling is extra high, you can still opt for an island range hood. Many of these units come equipped with chimney extensions that reach upwards of 10 feet. If the unit you’ve selected doesn’t have an added extension, you can still purchase one separately.

Talk to one of our expert Support Team members to make sure you’re choosing the right range hood.

Monthly Pick – Wall-Mounted Range Hoods

nov. 1

Take a walk down the aisle of any kitchen hardware store and you can be easily overwhelmed by the array of choice you have when it comes to range hoods. Do you choose an island range hood, a wall mounted one, or an under-the-cabinet model?

Unless you’re working with very specific kitchen measurements, you could really go with any. Every range hood is designed to draw up smoke, fumes, grease, and odors and exhaust them outside. If you’re kitchen doesn’t allow for an island or an island range hood, then a wall mounted unit is a great choice.

All wall mounted range hoods come in a variety of sizes and styles. They’re made from brushed stainless steel so they won’t show fingerprints! Stainless steel is very easy to keep clean and will last a very, very long time. If your kitchen features an extra tall ceiling, you’ll be able to purchase a chimney extension. Some range hood styles even come with an extension as part of the whole package.

Just check with our Support Team to make sure you’ve chosen the right one for your kitchen.

Featured Product: Under Mount Double Bowl Square Kitchen Sink

oct. 26

This under mount double bowl square kitchen sink is the perfect do-it-all kitchen helper.

Think about how much thought you really give your kitchen sink. Probably not very much, right? Well, you won’t need to give this one much thought either. Because it’s installed under the countertop, it looks clean and integrated into the kitchen decor. The double bowl offers more functionality than a regular sink without taking up too much more counter space.

Unlike nearly any other sink material, like stone, stainless steel is super easy to clean. It won’t show scratches and certainly won’t crack (under normal use, of course!). The brushed steel works with both traditional and modern kitchen decor.

Wondering if this is the right sink for your kitchen? Give us a call! We love hearing from you.

 

Monthly Pick – Stone Sinks

Photo: Sonoma Cast Stone

So, you’ve bought a gorgeous range hood, added stylish chandeliers, and the right kitchen flooring for your needs. What’s left? How about really kicking up the style temperature by opting for something truly unique?

Photo: Signature Hardware

Most kitchen sinks are made from stainless steel. But, there’s a growing trend toward natural stone. Marble and granite have been around for awhile. And they still are as gorgeous and as popular as ever. But, other types of stone have entered the market now.

Photo: Vigo

Look for petrified wood, soapstone, limestone, or travertine. The key is to reinforce the kitchen cabinets and countertops before installing the stone sink. These fixtures can weight up to 300 lbs! Maintenance will be an ongoing task, too. You’ll have to reseal your stone sink every 3 months or so. The biggest benefit of a stone sink, beyond its wow factor, is that it will last hundreds of years if cared for properly.

The Color Of Beauty – Glass Range Hoods

july 26

Range hoods come in a variety of materials. Flipping through magazine images of kitchens, you might think that stainless steel is the only choice. In fact, glass is a very popular alternative to the look of stainless steel.

The glass that’s used to construct range hoods is actually a standard clear color. But it does have a slight green tint to it. It’s a high quality glass, so you don’t have to worry about accidental chips or cracks. The glass is built to withstand the high temperatures that rise up from the stovetop as well as the vibrations caused by the fan.

If your kitchen features a modern design, then glass is as appropriate as stainless steel. Glass is also particularly good in another situation. Most of us are living in homes equipped with small to medium-sized kitchens. A glass range is ideal in a smaller space. The fact that it’s at least partially see-through helps make the room look larger. So, if you’re thinking of renovating your kitchen, or if you’re already in the middle of a remodel, I definitely recommend considering installing a glass range hood.

Give our Support Team a call if you have any other questions. We love hearing from you!

All About Stainless Steel Range Hoods

july 10

For the longest time, stainless steel was relegated to restaurant kitchens. Long, stainless steel countertops punctuated by stainless steel stoves, refrigerators, and range hoods took whatever the chefs could throw at it. Scratches and dents were hardly visible. The cool, shiny surface remained sanitary and spotless.

The fact that stainless steel is hardworking, durable, and beautiful did not escape the eye of designers for long. Soon, stainless steel kitchen appliances were the trend. That was more than a decade ago, and the trend is not showing any signs of slowing down.

Beauty and strength, together…

The majority of range hoods that are manufactured are made using stainless steel. Take a walk through any store that sells range hoods and you’ll see that it is definitely the material of choice.

All stainless steels contain iron and a minimum of 10.5% chromium oxide (“CrO”) (other elements used to make stainless steel include nickel, nitrogen and molybdenum). The chromium in the steel is combined with oxygen to form a thin, invisible layer of chrome-containing oxide. This layer is only a few atoms thick due partially to the ability of the chromium atoms and oxide atoms to pack together tightly. This layer protects the steel underneath and has a unique self-healing ability. Should the layer become scratched or cut, the newly exposed steel will form another protective area with oxygen in the air. (www.rangehoodsinc.com)

Another boon? Stainless steel won’t rust … ever! It’s super easy to sanitize and clean, which is why restaurants love it. Their industry depends on preparing and serving food that’s fit for consumption. Why shouldn’t your own meals benefit from that extra level of clean?

Don’t worry if you drop coffee or blueberry juice onto the surface. Although stainless steel isn’t stain resistant, it does stain less than other types of steel. Remember, it’s very easy to clean. So, a quick wipe up is all you really need to do. Concerned about the environmental impact of the materials you use in your kitchen? Then you’ll love stainless steel. It’s earth friendly. It can be melted down, recycled and made into something else. Stainless steel is 100% recyclable.

Over 50% of new stainless steel is made from melted scrap metal, rendering it an eco-friendly material. It is important when purchasing any item that claims to be made of stainless steel to ask if the steel is completely stainless or if it is just top-level plating with a cheaper steel or metal underneath. (www.rangehoodsinc.com)

What type of stainless steel?

Although all stainless steel looks the same, there can actually be differences in its make-up that will effect how durable and long-lasting it will be.

A commonly used grade of stainless steel for range hoods and sinks is Type 430 (S43000). The basic alloy contains 11% chromium and 1% manganese. Grade 304 is the most common grade of stainless steel used in our industry. It has a minimum of 18% chromium and 8% nickel, combined with a maximum of 0.08% carbon. Grade 200 stainless steel alloy contains 17% chromium, 4% nickel and 7% manganese. (www.rangehoodsinc.com)

What does the gauge mean?

Gauge (or gage) sizes are numbers that indicate the thickness of a piece of sheet metal, with a higher number referring to a thinner sheet. The equivalent thicknesses differ for each gauge size standard, which were developed based on the weight of the sheet for a given material.

If you’re looking at a range hood, and you’re not sure of the quality of stainless steel, give us a call. We’ll help you figure it out.

 

Inspiring Outdoor Kitchens!

June 2

Sometimes you just need a little hit of inspiration. Whatever your outdoor entertainment space looks like, admiring what other people have done to turn their backyards or balconies into an extension of their homes is a fabulous use of time.

Who doesn’t love looking at images of beautiful things? And who knows, you might even pick up an idea or two that you can implement in your own outdoor oasis. As you’ll see, some people go all out. They set up an outdoor cooking and eating area complete with stove, range hood, fridge, and countertops. For others, a barbeque and a picnic table are just enough.

Have you already done something amazing with your outdoor entertaining area? Share your pics on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We’d love to see them!

In the meantime, enjoy these:

Simple, but gorgeous. This comfortable patio marries the natural elements of the outdoors, like concrete and wood, with the functional elements of an indoor kitchen.

Photo: Rob Karosis

Here’s a little southwest feel with all the cool functionality of a working kitchen.

June 2-2

I love the fresh, open look of this backyard entertaining space. It goes to prove that you don’t need a lot of area to create a functional and beautiful backyard kitchen.

June 2-3

Need tips on setting up your own backyard entertaining oasis? Check out: Design Your Own Outdoor Kitchen.

What elements of backyard kitchens do you love most?

Blueberry Crumble Pie

may 29

Raise your hand if you can’t wait to head out berry picking! All those fresh fruits that are available at local farms are just waiting to be poured into pies, right? So, go to it! Remember to fire up your range hood fan so the whole neighborhood can smell the yummy aromas wafting from this delectable dessert!

Blueberry Crumble Pie

Crust

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp milk

Filling

  • 5 cups blueberries
  • lemon juice squeezed from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp flour

Topping

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp cold butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. For the crust, combine flour, salt, and sugar in a 9-inch pie plate. Stir in oil, vanilla, and milk. Use your fingers or a fork to press the mixture together until it forms a moist dough. Remove 1/4 cup of the dough and set aside.
  3. Press remaining dough evenly into the pie plate. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Bake crust until lightly golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven; set aside.
  4. For the filling, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well and set aside.
  5. Increase oven temperature to 425°F.
  6. For the crumble, stir together flour, both sugars, and salt in a bowl. Use your fingers or a fork to blend the butter into the flour mixture until crumbly. Add vanilla and the reserved pie crust dough. Blend together well with your fingers.
  7. Pour blueberries mixture into pie crust. Crumble topping overtop blueberries. Place pie on a baking sheet.
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes. Then lower the heat to 375°F for about 25 minutes more, until pie is golden. Cool completely.

Enjoy a slice of this blueberry crumble pie with a fun cocktail: Cocktail Recipes from Movies and TV Shows.