Tag Archives: air quality

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.

This Is Why Variable Fan Speeds On A Range Hood Rule

cavaliere_range_hood_uc200-30ss_8__22429_zoom

Did you know that range hoods can use up a lot of electricity? You can’t just decide not to use one, either. The kitchen range hood plays a very important role in keeping your kitchen clean and the air inside your home pristine.

Turning the range hood fan on at least 15 minutes before you begin cooking and leaving it running at least 15 minutes after you’re done cooking will optimize how well the range hood does its job. That important job is to draw up as much grease, smoke, odors, and potentially toxic fumes as possible and exhaust them all to the outdoors where they can just dissipate naturally in the environment.

So, now you know how important a range hood can be to you and your family’s health. But, how can you maintain a healthy home environment without increasing your electricity use?

Glad you asked!

Look for a range hood that is equipped with variable fan speeds. Most range hoods come with at least two speed options – low and high. If that’s what your range hood has, use the low setting just before you start cooking. Switch to high while you’re cooking, and drop the setting down to low again once you’re done cooking.

Some range hoods come equipped with a greater number of setting options, anything from 1 to 6. Range hoods that offer more settings allow you to better control how dirty air is drawn up and exhausted out. So, if all you’re doing is boiling a small pot of water, you will probably only need to use a setting between 1 and 3. If, however, you’re using your stovetop grill or dealing with oil splatters from frying, you will probably want to use one of the higher settings.

A range hood that features greater setting options may cost more at the outset. But, you will make that money back in terms of energy savings and better air quality in your home.

All About The Range Hood Heat Sensor

dec. 19

Here’s another great range hood feature that you might not give much thought to. It’s the heat sensor. Do you know when you should operate the range hood at low power? When should you switch the range hood to high power? Honestly, I wouldn’t really know. I suppose that if you have all burners going, and there’s lots of steam rising up toward the range hood, running it on high would make sense. But what about those times when what your cooking or baking falls somewhere in between heavy and light use?

Enter the heat sensor. This feature is first and foremost a safety device. You don’t even need to buy a professional range hood to enjoy the benefits! It monitors the temperature of the steam emanating from the stove. If that steam reaches a certain temperature, the range hood is programmed to automatically switch to a higher speed. When the temperature decreases again, the fan speed also switches back to low.

The heat sensor is a great way to save energy because you’re only using the highest power when absolutely necessary. It also makes the range hood more efficient. The fan will continue to draw up as much steam, grease, odors, and smoke as possible at both low and high settings.

Contact us if you want to know if your range hood comes equipped with a heat sensor.

How To Properly Use Your Range Hood

dec. 5

You’d think that a range hood is a pretty basic device to use … and it is. But there are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind each and every time you cook. Following these best practices ensures that your range hood stays in good working order for a long time. It also means that the air in your home remains as clean as possible.

Some basic best practices are:

  • wash the filter regularly
  • wipe grease and dust away from surfaces
  • turn the fan on at least 15 minutes before you start to cook
  • leave the fan running at least 15 minutes after you finish cooking

Watch the video (courtesy of Broan) for more tips:

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.

How To Choose The Right Sized Range Hood For Your Kitchen

june 26

You might have thought that you already have enough on your plate trying to choose the right color and style of range hood for your kitchen. But, I’m about to complicate it a bit.

You also need to consider the size of the stove vis-à-vis the size of range hood. Very simply put, a range hood that’s smaller than the stove will not be very effective at venting all the grease, odor, smoke, steam, and fumes that cooking produces. A range hood that’s too large for the stove will be too effective at doing its job. In other words, it will waste more energy than is necessary, which may end up costing you more on your energy bill. You’ll also pay much more for a larger range hood than a smaller one. All that extra money you’re spending is basically wasted if you end up with a range hood that’s just not right for your kitchen.

So, keep these tips in mind.

Fan Size

At a minimum, don’t look at any range hood that has less than 300 CFM (What is CFM?) for an average 36-inch wide stove. Even with an electric stove, that amount of fan size just won’t be enough for average use. Look for a minimum of 750 CFM for an average 36-inch wide stove. So, the wider the stove, the wider the range hood. Also consider whether you’re cooking with electric or gas. Gas will produce more fumes than electric, and so you’ll need a hood fan that’s powerful enough to expel those fumes to the outdoors.

Room Size

The ultimate reason for having a range hood at all is to ensure the purest indoor air possible. All of our appliances, not just the stove, give off fumes, odors, steam … you name it. Allowing that polluted air to remain inside our homes can, in the long run, affect our health. So, consider how large your kitchen is when shopping for a range hood. Just like any air purifier, you’ll want a range hood that can circulate and exchange the air in the kitchen every 5 minutes or so.

Ductwork Size

Just because all or most of the ductwork sits unseen behind walls does not mean you don’t have to think about it. Consider how many times that ductwork must twist and turn before it meets the outside wall of your home. Consider also the diameter of that ductwork. The further the ductwork has to travel between the range hood and the outside wall, the larger in diameter it should be. Also, more powerful range hoods require larger ductwork.

One Further Tip

Here’s what our experts suggest:

The ideal width of your range hood should be six inches wider than your cooking surface (overhanging by three inches on either side). Having the range hood wider than the range allows for additional capture area, which allows for more efficient ventilation. Where space is restricted, the hood should be no less than the width of the cooking surface. Island units are a bit less forgiving than wall mounted units, and they require the additional 6 inches of capture area due to drafts within the room. Abiding by these recommendations will ensure optimal performance from your range hood.

If you’re not sure how to put all this information together, give us a call. We love hearing from you! You can also ask a contractor who has experience installing range hoods.

Q & A: Should I Opt For An External Or Internal Blower?

Photo: Range Hoods Inc

Most of us look at photos of range hoods and consider the shape and size of each. Ultimately, we want to know if the range hood we like is also going to be the one that looks best in our kitchen. It needs to fit in terms of style, color, and function.

Let’s take a look at that last one for a moment – function.

Before you plunk down your money for a brand new range hood, you need to mull over some important considerations. Think about how often you cook, and the kinds of dishes you regularly cook. If you tend to make food that produces pungent aromas or is heavy in grease splatter, you’re going to have to choose a range hood that can handle that kind of output. A range hood that fails to vent odors, grease, smoke, and fumes from the kitchen to the outdoors is just not going to give you the kind of home environment you probably want. It won’t improve your home’s indoor air quality. In fact, it could make it worse.

So, once you’ve narrowed down your option, you’ll need to consider one more thing. Should you opt for a range hood with an internal blower or one with an external blower?

Internal Blowers

Internal blowers are located right in the range hood. They suck up all those bad odors, grease droplets, smoke, and potentially toxic fumes and send it all flowing through the ductwork to the outdoors. The drawback of a blower built directly into the range hood is that the noise level can sometimes be quite loud. Internal blowers are the best option if the ductwork has restrictions or many bends.

External Blowers

External blowers, as the name suggests, are actually mounted on the outside of the house. These may not be very practical in very cold climates where they’re likely to be subjected to ice and snow for part of the year. But, elsewhere, they make a lot of sense. These units still require you to install a hood over the stove. But, the fan is not built into it. Because the blower is located outside of the home, fan noise is reduced significantly. External blowers can be much more efficient at their job. Pulling all of that odor and smoke laden air out of the house is much easier than pushing it.

Got questions? Give us a call. We’d love to help!

 

Monthly Pick – Avoid These Mistakes When Buying A Range Hood

April 5

Since you’re already shopping around for a new range hood, you’re already avoiding mistake number one. The first mistake that most people tend to make is that they don’t realize their old range hood needs to be replaced. Just because it still runs doesn’t mean it runs well or that it’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing well enough. So, congratulations … you’re well on your way to a healthier kitchen environment. Let’s see if I can keep you on track to that better space by letting you know about these common mistakes.

It’s not an ornament. We decorate our walls with beautiful art. We create beautiful food. We choose countertop, cabinet, and floor finishes that are particularly pleasing to the eye. The range hood should fit right into that pattern. By all means, choose one that works well with your decor. But … and this is a big one … the primary concern should be how well it works. Look for the right range hood that works best with your stove. Whether you cook with electric or gas makes a huge difference in terms of which range hood you should be eyeing.

Cheap and cheerful. Sure, everyone wants to save money. And you can if you spend a little time looking for range hood sales. You’re bound to find something that lets you check off all your requirements. The key though is research. Don’t automatically settle for the best price. You need to make sure that the range hood is the right one for your stove. Choose one that offers multiple power settings (low, mid-range, and high). The point of a range hood is to clean the air in your home by removing all the grease, odor, and fumes that are produced every time cooking happens.

Size matters. No one wants to hit their head against a range hood while they’re cooking. So, to avoid that, you might think it’s ok to install the hood high above the stove. Don’t do that. A range hood that’s set too high just will not be able to do the job it’s meant to do. Check the manufacturer’s suggestions. If all else fails, choose a different type of range hood.

Not sure how to choose a range hood for your particular kitchen situation? Give us a call. We love talking with you!

 

 

Winter Recipes – Grilled Halloumi With Peaches

Fri. 10

I hesitate to file this recipe under the heading of Winter Recipes. First of all, it’s March, and March is the month of spring. As far as I’m concerned, the weather can do whatever it wants in March because spring – and all the wonderful buds and blooms it brings – is just around the corner.

So, regardless of how warm or cold it is right now wherever you happen to be, you have to fire up the grill and give this dish a try. If your stove comes equipped with a built-in grill, you’ve got it made. You don’t need to go outside at all. I do, however, encourage you to get outside. Take a deep breath of fresh air, let the sun shine down upon you, then pull out the tongs and get cooking!

Halloumi, if you’ve never had it, is an absolute treat. Traditionally Greek, it’s a semi-hard, unripened cheese made from a mixture of goat and sheep milk. It’s brined in salt water, and has a very high melting point. So, it’s perfect for the intense heat of the grill. As always, turn on your range hood fan before you begin grilling (even if you’re grilling at your outdoor kitchen).

Grilled Halloumi With Peaches

  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 8 oz halloumi, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 2 peaches
  • 8 skewers
  1. Preheat grill.
  2. Mash garlic and salt together in a large bowl. Add lemon juice, oil, sugar, and parsley; stir until well combined. Add halloumi; coat well.
  3. Leave halloumi to marinate at room temperature between 30 minutes and 1 hour.
  4. Slice peaches into thick quarters.
  5. Thread halloumi cubes and peach slices onto skewers.
  6. Grill each skewer 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until cheese and peaches are warmed through.

Enjoy! Try your own variations, and tell us all about it below in our comments section and on our Facebook page!

Pro Tips: All About Downdraft Range Vents

Mon. 6

It’s going to come as no surprise that we here at Range Hoods Inc love talking about range hoods. And why not? They’re innovative, necessary for clean indoor air quality, and truly beautiful additions to the heart of the home – the kitchen!

But, what if you’re living in a home where installing a range hood is impractical? If you’re renting an apartment in an older home or building, there’s a good chance that your home doesn’t have a range hood. Believe it or not, range hoods were not standard in kitchen design in the past!

You can ask your landlord to install one for you. But, if he or she is unwilling, there are other ways for you to improve the air quality in your home. All of that smoke, odor, and steam that’s produced when you cook has to go somewhere!

Read: Best Ways To Ventilate An Apartment.

Photo: Jenn-Air

Photo: Jenn-Air

Here’s another idea for you: buy a stove with a built-in downdraft ventilation system. Here’s how it works.

Pros

  • A powerful fan lays beside the burners or the vent pops up from the back of the stove.
  • Downdraft vents take up very little space. So, there’s more room for upper cabinet space.
  • Downdraft vents are usually invisible unless in use.

Cons

  • Downdraft vents are only found on cooktops. You will have to buy a separate oven.
  • They tend to be more expensive than a regular range hood or a regular stovetop.
  • Depending on how much and what you cook, downdraft vents can be much less efficient.
Photo: General Electric

Photo: General Electric

What do you like best about downdraft range vents?