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
Consider the following if you
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
- 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.