Health and safety investigators have seen their fair share of violations when it comes to environments where a heat source is used to prepare food. This is especially true when it comes to a restaurant or commercial kitchen that is not properly ventilated. A properly installed and working kitchen ventilation system is not only as important as installing a smoke alarm or washing your hands, it improves air quality and lessens the chance of a fire and smoke damage. This not only applies to a commercial business, but to your home.
Here, we look at how ventilation improves the air quality in your home and the differences found between different ventilation systems and how they work.
Whether using electric or gas ranges, there is always the possibility of the intense heat causing smoke, steam, odours, and even airborne particles to be released in the air while cooking. This can not only affect the area inside your kitchen, but can also cause problems throughout your home. However, a properly installed and well-working ventilation system can prevent all manner of heat-caused irritants from permeating the air. That’s because they are designed to:
There are two different options for ventilation systems you can get for your kitchen:
An updraft exhaust system normally uses an overhead range hood with a fan that inhales and then filters the steam, smoke and air particles that rise above the cooking surface.
A downdraft exhaust system, which normally needs to be installed by a Canadian appliances dealer, is used to pull odours, steam and excess heat through a vent out of the cooktop and into a vent pipe that is installed under the kitchen floor. Downdraft systems are typically used for countertop cooktops, such as those located on islands, or when a venting system is not possible above the stove.
Range hoods also come in two different options. One is a ducted hood, which is connected to some sort of ducting (pipe) system that vents any smoke, steam and air-borne particles and completely removes them from the kitchen to outside the home. Ducted hoods normally need to be professionally installed, as the venting system needs to run through the ceiling and upper cabinets (if any) inside your kitchen.
A ductless model features a motorized fan or blower that circulates the air back into the kitchen after trapping the smells, smoke, and particles through an activated charcoal filter located inside the range hood. Many manufacturers of the best brands in gas and electric and even induction ranges offer ductless range hoods as part of their packages.
While ductless range hoods tend to be less expensive than those that are ducted, you will still need to make sure to clean or change the charcoal filter inside the hood depending on how much you cook. You’ll also need to consider the speed and loudness of the hood’s fan. Some manufacturers of ductless range hoods such as Broan appliances offer range hood fans that recirculate the air with a low “sone” (loudness) rating, which is lower than the sound of a refrigerator running.
While installation will be required, a ducted range hood is said to be better for both commercial kitchens and those with a professional-style or larger cook ranges as instead of filtering and recirculating the air, it completely removes offending smoke, odour, etc. Ducted systems are also said to be quieter; however, the efficiency and noise production can differ depending on the brand, size and model of the hood you purchase, as well as how well you maintain it.
For more information, read our Vernon appliances tips on 6 Ways to Maintain Your Kitchen Appliances This Fall.
Genier’s Appliances Vernon, BC store has every cooking appliance you’ll need to give your kitchen a stylish look while making it safe. This includes a variety of range hoods by some of the top manufacturers, including Broan. Visit our showroom for live kitchen demonstrations and to talk to one of our appliance Vernon experts about what model will work best for you.