Every cook knows the necessity of having a high quality range hood in their kitchen. Firstly, because it sucks out the warm air and heat that fills up the kitchen when you start cooking. Secondly, and more importantly, it helps remove toxins, harmful particles that are released as a part of the cooking process. If you don’t invest in a good quality exhaust system, you will have poor air quality at home which will affect you and your loved ones’ health. Worried about how to find the perfect range hood for your kitchen? Fret not, in this blog you will find the best tips for buying a kitchen exhaust system.
Buying a Kitchen Exhaust System
The primary purpose of a range hood is to ventilate your kitchen to remove smoke, heat and odours. It also helps to absorb and trap grease which would otherwise land up on your walls, cabinets and kitchen appliances. Before we look at the factors to consider when buying a kitchen exhaust system in Pakistan, let us first take a look at these terms that you should know of before buying a range hood.
Terms You Should Know Before Buying an Exhaust System
- Make up Air Damper
- Air Capture Area
Let us understand these terms in detail.
CFM stands for cubic feet per minute. It is how the power of air movement is measured. So you can calculate how efficient your exhaust system is. For gas stoves, a minimum ventilation level of 100 CFM per 10,000 British Thermal Units (BTU) is recommended. For example, if the total output of your gas stove is 45,000 BTUs, then your range hood should have at least 450 CFM output to give the best ventilation.
Make up Air Damper
This is a device that opens and closes to allow fresh air in. It helps replace the air that is extracted by the range hood.
Air Capture Area
This determines the area that is actually covered by the kitchen hood.
When choosing the best kitchen exhaust system, you must know that there are different types of options to vent in a range hood.
Factors to Consider When Buying an Exhaust System
You must look at the following factors when choosing the right kitchen hood
Let us discuss these in detail.
The best way to calculate the efficiency of air removal when buying an exhaust system for your kitchen is to check out the width of the range hood. It should at least be of the same width as that of your cooking surface.
Ideally, it should overlap 3 inches on either side of the cooktop to cover maximum area. So, if your cooktop is 30 inches wide, a 36 inch wide range hood will be the right option for you. Remember, that the exhaust system should be deep enough to cover the back burners and at least half of the front burners. If your range hood is shallow, then it should be installed closer to the cook top.
If you have a kitchen island, then the range hood should cover at least 6 inches more on either side of the cooktop. This is because in a kitchen island, there are cross breezes that can carry the heat and smoke and make the environment suffocating.
Types of Mounting Options
Once you have determined the size of the exhaust system, now you should determine how you are going to mount it. There are four different varieties of it available in the market.
- Under cabinet – This type of mounted range hood is under an already existing cabinet above your cooktop. The duct or vent passes through the wall and is hidden under the cabinet.
- Wall-mounted or chimney hood – This type of range hood is mounted on a wall and the duct is hidden inside the chimney
- Island – This type of range hood hangs down directly from a chimney above the island cooktop.
- Custom hoods – Also known as insert or liner hoods, these are installed directly inside an already existing hood in the kitchen
Types of Venting Options
There are three different types of venting options.
- Vented or ducted – Funnels the bad air out of your home through a duct or vent
- Ductless ventilation – It is usually placed inside an apartment or a condo where you don’t have direct access to the rooftop or ceiling. Therefore, it is ductless. It pulls the bad air through a charcoal filter and recycles the clean air back into the room. It is always a good idea to change the charcoal filter regularly otherwise the exhaust system won’t be that effective
- Convertible – This type of vent has both the options – vented or non-vented. So, you can use the vent option when needed
Perhaps the most important factor in choosing an appropriate range hood for your kitchen is selecting the right filter which can effectively remove grease, grime and smoke. This helps keep the kitchen clean and improve the indoor air quality. There are three different types of filters used in a range hood.
- Mesh – Aluminum mesh filters have a filter like a mesh that traps the grease. The mesh needs to be properly cleaned or else the grease will block the pores in the mesh. With some range hoods having a mesh filter, there is a separate container that can collect the oil and grease
- Baffle – A baffle filter is the most effective in trapping grease and is most common in ducted range hoods. They have alternating three-sided baffles that can maximize the airflow and grease filtering mechanism when the hood is running.
- Charcoal – Most circulating or ductless range hoods use charcoal filters. The charcoal filter needs to be changed more often or else the exhaust system will not work up to the mark
As mentioned above, the range hood’s ability to move air is measured in CFM. To determine the cubic feet per minute of a range hood, you must know what type of a stove you have. For an electric stove, you will need 100 CFM for every 10 inches of width of the cooktop. For instance, you have a 40 inch wide cooktop you will need a 400 CFM.
If you have a gas cooktop, you need to take the maximum number of BTUs or British Thermal Unit and divide that by a hundred. So if you have a 65,000 BTU you will need 650 CFM.
Another factor to consider when buying an exhaust system for your kitchen is how quieter you want your exhaust system to function. The volume of the range hood is typically measured in sones. The lower the number of sones, the quieter your range hood would be. For a reference, 1 sone measures the sound made by a quiet functioning refrigerator.
The noise of an exhaust system is usually created by the blower. But it is also determined by the air movement. You can lower the noise level of your exhaust system by adding a remote blower which is located away from the kitchen, inside the duct or on your rooftop.
The height of the range hood plays an important role in determining the efficiency of your exhaust system. If you place it too high, the heat and smoke won’t be filtered effectively. An average cooktop is usually 36 inches above the floor. The bottom of the range hood should be 28 – 36 inches above the cooking surface. So, if you want to know how tall your range hood should be you should do simple math.
Total ceiling height – cooktop height – distance from cooktop to rangehood = Total height of the range hood
If you have a ceiling height of 96 inches and the cooktop height is 36 inches. The distance above the cooktop is 30 inches which should be further subtracted from the ceiling height. The end result would be the range hood height which is 30 inches in this case.
So, this was a comprehensive guide on buying the best kitchen exhaust system in Pakistan. You should also check out ways to clean your kitchen appliances. Take a look at these features of a low-maintenance kitchen and save your hard-earned money that would otherwise be spent on remodeling and upgrading the kitchen. Don’t forget to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will surely get back to you. Subscribe to the Zameen Newsletter appearing on the right hand side of the page. Stay tuned to Zameen Blog, the best lifestyle and real estate blog in Pakistan.