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Kitchen Range Hoods

This section of the CalFinder Library is dedicated to the topic of range hoods. Although most kitchens are equipped with a ceiling exhaust fan, many new kitchen remodels integrate range hoods.

One of the most enticing and comforting aspects of home cooking is the tantalizing aroma of food preparation. As the foods are sautéed, simmered, or fried on the range top, the combined aromas of oils, seasonings, and main ingredients can produce mouth-watering sensations and give an extra warm welcome to anyone entering the house.

As with most everything, though, there can be too much of a good thing. And especially in the case of homes with open floor plans, in which the kitchen is part of a larger living and dining space, the odors of food preparation can be overwhelming. Cooking on the range will also release oils and moisture into the air, and unless these are removed while they are rising from the range, they will cause a greasy film that attracts dust and settles into fibers.

Range hoods are an excellent solution to these problems, and they provide more efficient air circulation, odor removal, and grease and moisture elimination than most ceiling fans. They come in a variety of styles and levels of functionality. Before you choose the range hood that’s best suited to your kitchen remodel, here are some things to consider.

The following tips for choosing a range hood are provided by the kitchen experts at Lowe’s:

  • Fans are either rotary (like a traditional-bladed fan) or centrifugal (barrel-shaped). A centrifugal fan will move more air and is quieter to operate. This type will also perform better if you have ducts. Select a range hood with rotary fans for less expense. You may want to choose a range hood fan with variable speed controls.
  • CFM — Cubic feet per minute is used to rate and compare air movement, whether it’s a leaf blower or a range hood. Choosing a range hood with higher CFM results in more air moved.
  • Noise is measured is sones. A sone is roughly equal to the sound of a refrigerator running. Normal conversations take place at about four sones, city traffic rates up to around eight. Use sones to compare units, but be aware that the higher the CFM, the higher the sone rating is likely to be.
  • Automatic shutoff can be preset to shut the fan off after a specific time.
  • Heat sensors automatically speed up the fan or sound an alarm when they detect increased heat.
  • Lighting is also a part of some hoods, with one or two incandescent or halogen bulbs.

For information about range hood styles in stainless steel and copper, refer to articles about them in the Library.



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