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Exhaust Hoods

Once just a utility item for eliminating unhealthy smoke and grease, exhaust hoods are now so attractively designed that they have become major kitchen focal points. Made from stainless steel or built into the wall and covered with plaster or tile, these important appliances can make a major decorating statement. Most of the better known kitchen manufacturers make their own line of hoods, but they are also available from firms that specialize in them.

Consider the following if you are thinking of buying a kitchen exhaust hood:

  • The most effective hoods are attached to the wall and vented directly to the outside. While hoods can be mounted under a cabinet or soffit, the more fashionable look is for a large hood mounted directly to the wall. Duct work should be as short and straight as possible for the best exhaust performance.
  • Non-ducted hoods, such as those installed over kitchen islands that sit in the middle of the room, do not exhaust fumes; they merely recirculate air that has been cleaned by passing it through a replaceable carbon or charcoal filter.
  • Exhaust hoods should be installed so that there are 18 to 24 inches between the bottom of the hood and the top of the cook top. The hood should be large enough to completely cover the cook top area. Models vary as to how many cubic feet per minute can be exhausted. Check to make sure that your particular needs will be met. You should also consider how noisy the hood fan will be when it is operating as a noisy fan can detract from kitchen comfort.

The exterior of the hood should be cleaned regularly with a soft cloth dipped in a solution

of mild detergent and warm water. Aluminum mesh grease filters can be washed in the dishwasher. Non duct filters cannot be washed; they must be replaced. Some models have indicators that change color when the filter needs replacement.

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