Range Hoods

Ever since human beings discovered a taste for cooked food, they have innovated ways to get the cooking job done. Early humans simply cooked food over a campfire. Later, as our ancestors discovered the power of tool use, they developed pots in order to cook stews and broths. Being hunters and gatherers, they probably also quickly developed a taste for spices in order to make food tastier. They also cooked medicinal herbs in order to heal hurt members of their group from injuries and illness. When people moved into houses, they eventually invented stoves and ovens and began cooking food powered by a wood or coal flame. Of course, a flame in a home is never a good idea without proper ventilation, and our ancestors often found themselves sitting a room filled with smoke, fumes and flying grease, the only ventilation a chimney or a hole carved in the ceiling for that very purpose. Holes let the smoke and fumes out, but also let the cold and insects in. That is, until someone invented the range hood.

You would be hard pressed to find a stove top anywhere in the western world that is not accompanied by a range hood. The purpose of the range hood is to enhance quality of life by allowing the smoke and smells of cooking to be easily let out of a house. Further, range hoods (which go by many names, including exhaust hood, extraction hood, ventilation hood and cooking canopy), help prevent someone that any bad cook knows all too well – the jarring sound of the fire alarm from going off in your kitchen.

Range hoods are made up of three major parts. The skirt, which, like its sartorial counterpart, bells out to cover the oven’s important bits, traps the rising gases created by the stove. A grease filter (some range hoods actually feature one than one grease filter), does just what its name implies, removing grease from the kitchen atmosphere. Finally, the fan allow for forced ventilation to the stove area. This is especially useful when thing are getting just a little too hot or when something has burned and the fire alarm is blaring.

Range hoods generally operate in one of two ways. Ducted range hoods simply suck smoke, grease, odor, heat and steam out of the kitchen and emit it into the atmosphere outside. On the other hand, ductless range hoods clean all that smoke and odor and then recirculate it back into the home as clean air. Ductless range hoods are able to accomplish this feat by using a filter containing activated charcoal.

Most every homeowner finds the ducted range hood the preferable choice for many reasons. First, the ductless range hood does nothing to remove heat or moisture from a kitchen, meaning that it still stays hot and possibly uncomfortable for the cook. Further, the charcoal filters in a ductless range hood need to be removed and replaced from time to time.

On the other hand, some people are happy to have ductless range hoods, and that is most often because they live in a space that does not allow for access to the outside world. Perhaps they live in an apartment building where the duct work was not installed to accommodate ducted range hoods. If that’s the case, most cooks would certainly tell you that – especially living in a small space – a ductless range hood is better than no range hood at all.

Range hoods are an important part of the modern kitchen and should be cleaned and maintained as part of regular oven maintenance. If in the market for a new home or apartment, be sure to ask your real estate agent or landlord about the range hood before making a choice, especially if you plan to do a lot of work in the kitchen.

This Range Hoods Review is Written/Updated on Sep 1st, 2009 and filed under Kitchen Appliances. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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