Guest Blogger: Mike Flahaven of Shady Oak Distributing
Mike Flahaven, of Shady Oak Distributing, is our trusted partner and rep for Vent-A-Hood Ventilation Systems and Range Hoods. We invited Mike to share his wisdom and experience with our audience in this two part series on the importance of kitchen ventilation.
In our first part of this blog series on range hoods, we talked through Over The Range microwaves (OTR) and their inability to effectively remove contaminates produced when cooking. Next, we covered the purpose of a range hood when it comes to odor removal, smoke, grease, and hazardous gases.
Today, we will discuss the how effective kitchen ventilation can be achieved.
Good ventilation is achieved by venting to the outside and taking into consideration three main things: the canopy, the blower system, and the ductwork.
The canopy is the most important component when trying to achieve good ventilation. As we cook, the by-products both rise from the cooking surface and at the same time. Many people immediately think of the blower system as the most important component. However, if there isn’t a properly sized and correctly located canopy above the cooking surface, it won’t matter what blower is installed in the hood, these by-products will escape into the house.
The ideal size of a range hood canopy is six inches wider than the cooking surface and covers the front burners. Space limitations can sometimes cause the canopy to remain the same width as the cooking surface. In cases like this, when considering hoods that are mounted on the wall, it’s not the end of the world as the hood is being aided by having the back wall and cabinets on either side. However, when we have a hood that is mounted over an island, it is critical the canopy be larger than the cooking surface.
The blower system should be sized based on the amount of heat being produced from the cooking equipment. The recommendation is one cubic foot per minute (CFM) of air movement for every 100 BTUs (300CFM for 30,000 BTUs). If using electric you would calculate the wattage and roughly figure 300CFM for every 12,000 watts. When totaling the BTUs and watts, remember those totals are with all burners on high at the same time. Perhaps you only cook like that on holidays. Is that the time you want the hood to underperform?
IMPORTANT: Once the blower system has been properly sized, it is important to consult your local building codes and a HVAC professional. In many parts of the country, replacement air may be necessary to install as powerful range hoods can remove too much air from the house. When too much air is removed it can put the house in a negative pressure situation. When that happens, it’s possible to backdraft hazardous gases back into the house from other gas appliances such as furnaces and water heaters.
Range hoods are moving high speed air so it is important to have the correct ducting installed. If the following are taken into consideration, you will have a range hood performing as it should:
With a properly sized canopy, blower system, and correct ducting, you will be keeping cooking odors from mixing with the air in the rest of your home and imbedding into the walls, carpet, furniture, and drapes. You will be keeping the grease off the cabinets. And, in some cases, when selling a home, Realtors will use the range hood as a selling feature.
The range hood may be the focal point of your kitchen or it may be designed to seamlessly blend with the rest of your cabinetry depending on your style preference. If you customize the hood in copper, brass, different colors, shapes, etc. it can really be a statement piece (as seen in the photos we shared above of our kitchen designs.)
For more information about range hoods or to learn more about our kitchen design process, visit our showroom or schedule an appointment with one of our designers today!