Managing Your HVAC System

Why You Need A Kitchen Exhaust Hood And How You Maintain It

If you live in an older home, it may not have a kitchen exhaust hood. When you remodel your kitchen, you'll probably want one installed as they are standard in new homes. You can have a hood installed over a cooktop on a kitchen island or over a stove that's against the wall. Here are some important things to know. 

Why You Want A Kitchen Exhaust Hood

A hood adds a little glamour to your kitchen, but that's not the reason to get one. The kitchen exhaust hood pulls cooking odors, smoke, fumes, and gases out of your house to the outdoors. This is important for indoor air quality and for controlling odors. The hood vents to the outside, so gases from cooking don't accumulate in your home so you inhale them.

The vent also pulls humidity outdoors that's created by boiling water. This helps keep your home drier and prevents mold from growing in your kitchen. The purpose of a kitchen exhaust hood is to pull out cooking odors, gasses, smoke, and steam. It's not used for general ventilation or as a fan.

How An Exhaust Hood Is Installed

A hood has to be a specific distance from the surface of your stove or cooktop so the fan inside is effective at pulling up the gases. The hood connects to ductwork that vents to the outdoors. The length of the ductwork matters since if it's too long, smoke might accumulate rather than make it to the outdoors. That's why you may need professional help installing the hood, especially if you have a two-story home and the duct will need to make turns.

Why Regular Cleaning Is Important

The exhaust fan pulls grease and oil inside the hood, so it doesn't take long for the grease to accumulate and make the inside of the hood a mess that's no fun to clean up. It's better to clean the hood frequently, so the grease doesn't have time to build and make cleaning difficult.

The frequency you need to clean depends on the type of cooking you do. If you often fry foods, you'll probably need to clean the hood more often than you would if you try to avoid oils. When you clean, you generally just clean the outside and the interior as far as you can reach.

Peer up the hood as far as you can and if it looks like grease has gone deep in the hood and duct, you'll want to call a professional to clean your exhaust hood and duct so odors don't develop and so a fire doesn't start.

Cleaning the hood yourself is a matter of using a degreasing cleaner to wipe down the outside of the hood, filter, and inside. Your hood will be much more attractive too if you keep grease cleaned off of it.