What is that appliance that hangs above the stove, and provides additional light when you cook, and a fan so that the steam doesn't blow into your face? It's a range hood! Believe it or not, the range hood is one of the most important appliances in your kitchen, protecting you, your family, and your dinner guests from carbon monoxide, grease, dangerous fumes, bad odors, and much more. If you just looked at your kitchen and realized that you do not have a range hood, here are 10 reasons why you should go out and get one.
Reason #1 - Air Quality
The most important job of the range hood is to filter out and remove hazardous air pollutants that come from cooking. Smoke, grease, and steam caused by cooking remain in the kitchen, coating the walls and being inhaled by the cook. The essential feature of the range hood, the blower (fan, motor), sucks up all those pollutants and carries them out of the house (ducted installation) or filters the air (ductless/recirculating installation).
Reason #2 - Carbon Monoxide
There is a reason why most carbon monoxide detectors are put in or near the kitchen - household cooking and heating equipment and appliances are the main source of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Without proper ventilation, carbon monoxide can cause flu-like symptoms during short-term exposure, and difficulty breathing or even death with long-term exposure.
It is required for homes to have carbon monoxide detectors in most states. But a detector merely warns you that there is a problem - a range hood actually helps to prevent the problem!
Reason #3 - Excess Heat
There is a reason for the old adage, "if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen." Cooking produces a lot of heat, as well as generating smoke and steam. Range hoods provide relief for the cook and protection to the kitchen by cooling off the area.
Reason #4 - Health Protection
By acting as a filter, cleaning irritating, hazardous, and even deadly pollutants, range hoods offer protection to everyone in the household. Without a range hood, everyone in the kitchen and surrounding rooms would be subjected to eye, nose, and throat irritation, lung damage, and potential CO poisoning. The range hood offers more safety benefits than almost any other appliance in the kitchen.
Reason #5 - Cooking in Comfort
Due to the smells, the steam, and the stuffiness, cooking can be quite uncomfortable. Range hoods significantly reduce those factors, so that cooking doesn't have to be such an arduous task. Being comfortable in the kitchen makes cooking much more enjoyable.
Reason #6 - Freedom to Experiment
There are so many possibilities when it comes to cooking. Yet, how often do attention-getting recipes quickly become forgotten once it's realized how messy and foul-smelling the actual cooking process will be? Why does that have to limit one's creativity in the kitchen? Range hoods give you more freedom to experiment with those restaurant-quality dishes you've been dying to try. From curries to kimchi, from salmon to saffron, with a powerful, properly installed and ducted range hood, the air pollutants are eliminated - and the only limit is your imagination!
Reason #7 - Additional Lighting
The position of an overhead range hood provides optimal lighting for cooking, illuminating the most important view. The lighting feature of a range hood varies from model to model, so you can choose what fits your needs best. Some high-end designer range hoods offer an array of lighting effects, for both an aesthetically pleasing and practical appliance. If you're looking to really make an impression, high-end range hood manufacturers offer some of the world's most advanced range hoods that feature creative lighting effects, built-in LCD displays, touch-sensitive optical control panels, and other cutting-edge technologies.
Reason #8 - Cleanliness
When cleaning the hard-to-reach areas of the kitchen, behind the stove, or above the cabinets, there is often a sticky film coated with dust. This is caused by the grease and excess moisture in the air from cooking without a range hood. By removing grease and moisture, range hoods cut down the time you spend cleaning. Some models even have timers, providing an additional 10-15 minutes of ventilation after cooking to further prevent that greasy residue from attaching to kitchen surfaces. As an added benefit, removing the grease and moisture helps to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold, which is especially important for allergy sufferers or anyone with lung problems.
Reason #9 - Style
As an appliance, the range hood is part of your kitchen design. It enhances the attractiveness of the room. Range hoods come in hundreds of different styles and custom designs, making it easy to find one that fits perfectly in any type of kitchen. They can be blended into the original layout of the kitchen, or created to stand out as the central showpiece. Gone are the days when the phrase "range hood" was synonymous with a large, bulky metal box with a noisy fan. Today's high-end kitchen hoods provide quiet performance while looking like works of art.
Reason #10 - Home Resale Value
On top of the health and safety benefits, the ease and comfort in cooking and cleaning, the reduction of smells and grime, and the visual appeal, range hoods also increase the value of your home. According to many real estate agents, the kitchen makes or breaks a sale. Updated kitchens add close to 80 percent of the expense to the value of a house. The nicer the range hood, the higher the value and attractiveness of the room, and ultimately, the house. In addition, by removing the airborne pollutants, the range hood keeps kitchen cabinets looking new longer, and prevents cooking smells from settling into the soft furnishings around the house, which also contributes to the overall "look and feel" of the house, as well as its attractiveness to potential buyers.
For safety, comfort, and style, range hoods are of the utmost importance in any kitchen. But not all range hoods are created equal. The basic functions may be there, but to get the most out of this appliance, you should choose one that provides the most optimal performance based on the ten reasons listed above. Due to the variety of models available, prices vary between around $ 200 (cheap, low end models) to anywhere between $ 1,500 to $ 5,000 (high end luxury range hoods). Some custom design hoods can go for tens of thousands of dollars - but there's usually no need to go to extremes. As with all other major appliances, range hoods need to be installed. The cost of installation is another budget factor, though any contractor can do it.
Considering the invaluable benefits of a range hood, it's best to make your purchase from a trusted brand name. Choosing a no-name brand with no established credibility will end up costing much more than you bargained for, as the price of uninstalling and repurchasing a major appliance will end up tripling your expenses. Brands such as Miele, Futuro Futuro, Elica, and Gaggenau, have earned the highest reputation for quality products with cutting-edge designs. When buying a range hood, always remember to check the manufacturer's warranty, and make sure your contractor or installer follows the installation requirements, for maximum performance and many years of trouble-free operation.