There’s nothing like anticipating the pleasure of savoring a long-simmered dish. However, who says cooking also says smells, smoke, steam. The scent that makes you salivate is mixed with a host of pollutants and a good dose of humidity that can affect the air quality in the home. Difficult to escape … unless you can count on a powerful range hood.
With or without an external outlet?
Whether a hood is of the classic, built-in or chimney type, the air intake and exhaust capacity is at the heart of its efficiency. Thus, a hood connected to an exhaust duct which rejects stale air outside the house will be more efficient than a hood which returns the filtered air in the kitchen, leaving water vapor and odors.
The fan: a guarantee of performance It
all starts with a good fan. From the outset, be aware that centrifugal fans (appearance of a hamster wheel) are advantageously different from paddle fans in terms of performance. Not to mention that they are quieter. Best rangehood
What extraction capacity?
Air extraction capacity is generally expressed in cubic feet / minute (CFM) or sometimes in liters / second (L / s). According to the National Building Code, the minimum required in a kitchen is 100 CFM (50 L / s).
Rather, specialists suggest choosing a more powerful model, which offers a capacity of 100 CFM for each linear foot of cooking surface. Thus, for a standard 30 “(76 cm) wide range, a flow rate of 250 CFM would be more appropriate. Why? To counteract, among other things, the decrease in performance caused by factors such as the diameter, deviations, length and type of the exhaust duct.
Other determining factors
The distance between the hood and the cooking surface also influences the efficiency of the appliance. If the gap exceeds 30 ”, which is often the case when the cooking appliance is integrated into an island, an increased power of 100 CFM should be provided for each additional 3 ” of elevation. Lovers of grilled meats and other dishes whose cooking produces a lot of smoke or steam should also choose a device with a higher extraction rate.
Gas stove owners should target a flow rate of 1 CFM per 100 Btu.
But be careful not to overdo it! In a very airtight house or equipped with combustion equipment, such as a wood stove or an oil heating system, a fan with a power exceeding 600 CFM can cause more air to escape than it enters into the house, causing other problems, such as negative pressure or backdrafting into the chimney.
Components: quality above all
Adjustments, sound level, filters. More than just convenience, the components of the hood contribute to its overall performance. Overview of the main elements to check.
The settings: the more, the better
The multi-setting controls allow you to adapt the ventilation power according to your cooking needs and, as a result, control the noise produced by the hood.
Less noise, please!
The unit for measuring the operating noise of the fan is the sone. When operating at low speed, at 100 CFM, the quietest fans have an index of 0.5 sone. A clear advantage when you simmer a dish for hours! The most discreet devices are those installed far from the ears, inside the exhaust duct or outright outside the house.
Filters: minimize maintenance, maximize performance
To maximize the performance of the hood, pay attention to the characteristics of the filters. Some points to observe.
Filters that cover the full surface of the hood are more effective than smaller ones, which also tend to clog faster.
Very tight mesh filters (micromesh type) better capture greasy particles, especially at low intensity.
Keeping filters clean is a good way to optimize the performance of a range hood. The stainless steel and aluminum filters are dishwasher safe, ideally every 2 months. Charcoal filters generally need to be replaced every 6 months.
For an optimal installation
A quality hood will give a higher output. Provided, of course that its installation is done in the rules of art. Some guidelines to respect.
The exhaust duct must be made of smooth metal to promote air flow and not retain grease.
The size of the duct must be greater than or equal to that of the exhaust air outlet of the hood, either 3 ¼ “x 10” or a minimum of 6 “in diameter.The duct should be as short and straight as possible. Consult the hood installation guide for the maximum length of the duct and the equivalent for the fittings.
Avoid 90 degree deviations; it’s best to soften them with two 45 degree fittings.
The very short duct of a hood installed against an exterior wall should rise a little before branching outward, to avoid the formation of frost in the hood.
An insulating sheath should cover the duct for at least 5 ft.
A quality seal
Look for the Home Ventilating Institute (HVI) seal; it guarantees that the air flow (PCM) and the degree of noise indicated by the manufacturer have been rigorously tested in an independent laboratory.
Thanks to Michel Robitaille, President of Les Échangeurs d’autides Expair inc., A company member of the CAA-Quebec network of recommended companies in housing, for his contribution to this advice capsule.
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