The range hood is one of the unsung heroes of the kitchen, usually thought of well-after the refrigerator, dishwasher and the oven, but still responsible for keeping the environment in the space comfortable, cool and smoke free. Here are the factors that can make a range hood work to its full potential:
1) Setting the right capture area – To capture the highest amount of smoke, steam, heat and other emissions, the hood should be an inch or two wider than the cooktop. The height of the hood is usually recommended at 18 to 30 inches above the cooktop, but at 18 inches above a cooktop that is the standard 36 inches tall, the hood will stand at 5 feet 6 inches high, which may be too short for anyone who is taller than that. At 30 inches above the cooktop, taller cooks can work without head-butting the front of the hood.
2) Venting power – Increased venting power will be required if the hood is positioned more than 30 inches above the cooktop and/or if a more powerful cooktop is being installed. Additional venting power is also recommended when a kitchen hood is being installed in conjunction with a cooktop on a kitchen island due to potential for emissions to escape from any of the four open sides. All of these factors can be gauged to provide adequate venting for the combination of increased BTU output as well as the height and location of the hood.
3) Lighting – The overhang of the kitchen hood can make getting good light on the cooktop challenging, with lighting from behind the cook casting shadows on the cooktop. Buying a venting system with under-hood lighting can serve as a solid solution by putting light directly over the cooktop.
4) Factoring noise output – Going with a more powerful venting system may result in a higher decibel output, especially when fans are running at their highest speed. Generally speaking, higher priced range hoods will be able to run with lower noise outputs, which can be a significant benefit and a worthy investment if the kitchen area serves as a place for entertainment and/or dining.
The effectiveness of your new range hood will play a direct role in the determining the level of comfort in your kitchen. By taking these factors into consideration when making a purchasing decision, you can be sure that you are installing a hood that can enhance the environment in the space by efficiently removing heat and airborne particulates.