What you should know about kitchen ventilation

Ventilation in the kitchen is crucial for maintaining air quality, removing odors, and expelling potentially harmful byproducts of cooking. If you are in the process of planning out your kitchen remodel, do not forget selecting a good option for ventilation. Venting is an important, but frequently overlooked aspect of you kitchen design. Good ventilation will not only help maintain good air quality and eliminate odors, but will also protect your appliances and cabinetry from excessive wear and accumulation of moisture and hard-to-clean oils. If you have ever tried to clean grease from your kitchen cabinets, you know the struggle.

Hood VentThere are two types of kitchen ventilation systems – the Range Hood and the Over-the-Range Microwaves. Range Hoods are the most common form of kitchen ventilation. They can be ducted, meaning they vent air outside, or ductless, where air is filtered and recirculated back into the kitchen. Some microwaves come with built-in venting systems, providing both cooking functions and ventilation. Microwaves offer a ductless ventilation solution. Ductless venting uses filters to clean the air before recirculating it back into the kitchen, but may not be as effective in removing all odors and contaminants. Ducted systems are generally more efficient but may be costlier to install. Ducted ventilation is more effective as it expels air outside, preventing moisture and cooking byproducts from lingering indoors.

Microwave Hood VentYour ventilation system should be appropriately sized for your kitchen. It needs to have enough power to effectively capture and remove smoke, steam, and cooking odors. Consider your cooking habits when you are selecting ventilation. If you cook frequently or do a lot of high-heat cooking, a more powerful ventilation system might be necessary to handle the increased heat and grease produced. Placement also matters, to be most effective, range hoods and microwaves should be installed directly above the stove to capture the most vapors and odors – typically 20-24 inches above the cooking surface. Some range hoods can be noisy, especially at higher power settings. Consider noise levels if your kitchen is open to other living spaces.

Like with many other systems in your home, regular maintenance is essential. Filters should be cleaned or replaced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Ducted systems might need periodic cleaning to prevent blockages.

Proper ventilation not only keeps the kitchen environment pleasant but also extends the life of your kitchen cabinets, thus protecting your investment in your home. Whatever your preference, make sure your kitchen renovation accounts for proper ventilation.

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