Today’s kitchens everywhere are being modernized with a range hood (no pun intended) of amazing and innovative designs, spatial arrangement, appliances and cabinetry. Kitchens are becoming centralized hubs that support all of the life within the family:
A sort of mecca for respite and replenishing the stomach and soul for everyone who resides there. Kitchen design technology has brilliantly moved from the basic rote design of yesteryear, making it now seem mostly archaic and passe.
Today’s kitchen appliances and fixtures offer a new intelligence in serving a wide myriad of needs, from everything to warming drawers and cabinet-contained refrigeration systems to central charging stations for just about any technological device that individuals in the family might need to charge up.
Thinking About Home Features
In planning to build, renovate, or enter into a search for a new home, the average family or individual has thoughts that tend to touch on several features that would satisfy both imagined and real needs they might have.
Much of these elements are derived from true life experience in their current (or even past) situation. They know what they want, just as they know what they do not want, and these features become priorities that they hope will be readily found in their next place of residence.
The first considerations are typically location, square footage, the number of bedrooms, and the home’s general condition (If buying an established home, rather than building new.) Following those come things like lot size and landscaping, individual room size, potential to accommodate a growing family or other anticipated future changes in living dynamics.
Then, the concentration shifts to amenities that include kitchen and even laundry appliances that will remain with the home (or be purchased new, if need be.) Among the basics to be decided are ovens, stoves or stovetops, refrigeration systems, microwaves, dishwashers, trash compactors, warming drawers, type and location of cabinets and more.
Interestingly, something like a range hood is often an item that tends to be overlooked when it comes time to layout detailed plans for a kitchen; how could something so vitally important to the overall performance of the kitchen be so easily ignored?
Previously an Afterthought
The chances are that if a homeowner has had a relatively uneventful experience with previous stove ventilation devices, they don’t usually think of one in terms of the appliance array of the typical kitchen performance.
Chances are they are mentally residing in the old days of their childhood when the cooking ventilation systems that Who built into their parents’ homes were more or less kind of unimportant looking boxes that crudely set above the all-in-one kitchen range, comprised of an oven that typically had four burners on top of it–three medium to small-sized, and one larger unit to accommodate cookware like frying pans and larger pots.
These antiquated stove vents were incredibly noisy, and the only time you noticed them was on the somewhat rare occasion when someone would take a look under there, where Who would reveal an accumulation of greasy substances, dust and other small debris, all effectively stuck to the filter, underside and walls of the unit. Cleaning these hood vents was a bear, too, requiring a great deal of degreaser-type cleaning solution and elbow grease.
The Next Wave
A great boon to the stove vent discussed in the previous paragraph was when microwaves were eventually designed to be cleverly installed directly above the oven and stovetop appliance. Because of this specific placement, the microwaves designed for this express placement had to double as a cooking ventilation system for everything below.
Not only did this configuration greatly enhance the modernized and sleek look of kitchens everywhere, but it helped serve another problem: the new design eliminated much of the previous surface area that would become grease and grime-laden like the old vents would do.
More Than Functional-Only
Since the innovation of the above-the-stove microwave, we have come a very long way, ultimately seizing the opportunity to create even more artistry from kitchen design and flow with the advent of a wide range of choices.
Today’s kitchen design offers homeowners their choice of style, from stately and dramatic design statements radiating from every appliance to the subtlest and completely hidden evidence that any cooking whatsoever even occurs in the kitchen. Where does this leave the once-utilitarian-only cooking ventilation systems?
The answer: in the dust. We now witness today’s fashionably designed range hoods emerging as stand-alone, must-have works of art, both visually impressive and providing the ultimate in streamlined operation and maintenance.
Designers have effectively created a stylish presence in these distinctive range hoods that both complete the range but are also extremely visually appealing.
Along the Same Lines as Artistry
In determining the type of range hood that would be best for your kitchen, it’s important to dedicate the same attention to your choice as you would regarding the range that will rest below it.
The range hood you select will provide a unique opportunity for you to place an eye-catching piece of artistry that will help define your kitchen’s ambiance. Do you want just one range hood, or would you like the option of a downdraft ventilation system too? Each has its advantages.
This being said, you will need to have a range hood that will do the real work required of it, providing you with seamless performance that is discreet and easy to maintain. The power your range hood has is an important consideration.
The higher the CFM (cubic feet per minute) number, the more air it will be able to remove in a minute of operation. Generally, this depends on your range, top size and type, and even how often you cook. Electric stovetops require between 300 to 450 CFMs, and gas ranges require between 600 to 1200 CFMs.
The sound output of a fan is measured in sones or decibels. Today’s fans generally have three to six settings. It’s been determined that it’s a good idea to keep the fan running at the lowest speed during the entire cooking process and turning it up to the higher settings for short periods when it’s needed.
It’s not always an easy thing to do–determining just how loud any particular fan will be, so it’s a good idea to turn one on and listen to it at various speeds before you buy. Sometimes the fan’s filter creates the noise level, so check the various filters out when shopping. The same thing applies to blowers, both internal and external.
Hood fans that are running on high will remove a considerable amount of air. This air needs to be replaced at the same rate it is expelled, or you’ll end up with greater air pressure outside of your home than inside, like a vacuum. The make-up air system will replace that air as it’s expelled.
Among other measurements, you will need to consider the actual space where the hood vent will go, and once installed, the height it will be, both in terms of top and bottom–in proximity to the cooking area, as well as ensuring that your ventilation system is deep and wide enough to adequately correspond to the size of your cooking area below.