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Homeowners who want their kitchen to be free from grime, excess oil, and heat often rely on a range hood. As soon as the hood is switched on, the fumes are lead outside the home. The most common model is the ducted range hood. We asked the experts about the ins and outs of a range hood, and we're sharing what we've learned.
We don't recommend using a flex duct on your range hood. Considering that local codes advise against this, you'll want to avoid using flex duct in your home. Furthermore, flex duct tends to trap grimes and fumes instead of moving them away, so that's never good.
If you want your range hood to function efficiently, read this post to get more information. Using the approved ducting material will save you money. You will reduce your headache in the long run. A functional range hood keeps your kitchen well-ventilated.
How Does A Range Hood Work?
The range hood is an essential kitchen appliance that filters out unwanted smells and heat in the room. Generally, a blower, hood, and ducting make up the range hood.
The motors of the blower do the filtering. There is an inline blower located in the attic or the crawl space. It is ducted from the hood towards the blower placed outside the house. Meanwhile, the external blower is attached to the roof or one side of the house. Finally, you can find the local blower inside the hood.
There are different options for the hood. You can install it wall-mounted, under-the-cabinet, over-the-range, island, and downdraft. If you want to get the exhaust fumes removed efficiently, then choose the hood that is bigger than your cooking range.
There are two models of range hood: ducted and ductless. Most contractors recommend the ducted hood since it is more effective. If you install the ducted hood properly, it will work just fine. This model is appropriate for stand-alone homes.
However, most people living in apartments or condominiums choose the ductless hood. The ductless model is a logical choice for them because they cannot put ducts outside their unit. A ductless hood only recirculates the air inside the home. It also does a minimal job of filtering out contaminants.
How To Install A Ducted Range Hood
Generally, installing a range hood will be daunting if you are not familiar with ductwork. Otherwise, you could probably do it if you are an expert and want to save money.
To get started:
- Choose a spot where you will put the vent of the range hood.
- Set up the ductwork in a clear and shortest path outside the home.
- Cut a hole in the wall where you will put the ductwork. Allot additional 2-3 inches from the ductwork size because this is where you will put the duct.
- Connect the ductwork and range hood.
- Put a wall or roof cap on the other end of the ductwork located on the roof.
Furthermore, contractors don't recommend venting the range hood in the attic. You want to expel the air outside your home. Consequently, you will spend more time since you need to install ductwork beyond the roof.
What Materials Should You Not Use For Ducting A Range Hood?
As you prepare to install the range hood, your primary concern would be to know which or which not to use. The more common question among homeowners is whether they can use flexible ducts.
The answer is to this question is no. According to experts and contractors, flexible ducts trap soot and dirt. This material will also cause back pressure and air turbulence during use. Eventually, the flexible duct will sag as it accumulates the dirt inside.
In addition, contractors also do not recommend using aluminum material or flimsy PVC plastic. Remember that it is better to use a straight and durable ducting material to pass through the fumes.
What Materials Are Good For Ducting?
Typically a ducted range hood is more effective in filtering the air in your kitchen. It is critical to use the appropriate ducting material. You should also have the approved duct as you prepare to install the range hood.
We reviewed local building codes and manufacturer's recommendations, and these are the ducts you can use:
- Galvanized steel
- Stainless steel hose
Use a rigid duct since it allows unhampered passage of fumes and grimes. You also need a duct with a smooth surface on the inside.
In addition, you should also use a round exhaust hood duct. The round system prevents the grease and smoke from sticking in the duct. It has no corners for the grease to attach itself.
What Are Common Range Hood Problems?
Once your range hood is in place, you will expect it to run smoothly. However, let's discuss common problems that you may have.
If your range hood doesn't turn on, you could check the power outlet. Perhaps the power outlet where you plug the range hood is not working or could have blown. It is also possible that the circuit breaker has tripped.
Furthermore, you might notice that the range hood will not turn on. Your initial solution would be to replace the broken lightbulb. If it still doesn't switch on, you should check the wiring.
Finally, you might hear strange noises coming from the range hood. To solve this, check the hood for any debris that might be stuck in there. There could be some loose screws or parts that are not installed correctly.
If the problem with the range hood continues, you should consult a professional. Don't tinker with your appliance if you know that you are not knowledgeable enough.
Preventive Maintenance Of A Range Hood
It's always a good idea to ensure your range hood remains in good shape. Many manufacturers recommend regular maintenance. This typically includes:
- Fix any problems that you have with the range hood. You can do this by checking the switches to see if they still work. Check the settings of the fan speed.
- Clean your vent. You need to check it for grease build-up. Use a hard piece of cloth and degreaser to remove the grease. The fan motor will not blow efficiently if you don't remove the grease.
- Check your air filter. To do this, remove the air filter and wipe off the grease. Dip the air filter in a basin filled with a degreaser. After a few minutes, wash the air filter with warm soap. Dry the air filter thoroughly before putting it back on.
- Clean the outer surface of the hood. You may not notice it, but the outer surface will have accumulated some dirt and soot as you cook. Make the outside of your hood look new again by wiping it regularly.
Can You Customize The Color Of Your Range Hood?
Yes! It's certainly possible to customize the color of a range hood. You can do this by creating a unique cover for your hood. Some ideas we found include:
- Paint the hood with a different color scheme from the rest of the kitchen.
- Use a wooden cover. You can also choose from various patterns and stains available.
- Use a metal finish. This design works well, especially if you have granite countertops.
- Put bricks or tiles to create a different look. Bricks work well with industrial-themed kitchens.
How Long Do Most Range Hoods Last?
A typical range hood has a life expectancy of about 15 years. Of course, its life will depend on how you take care of your appliances.
The more expensive models tend to last longer. If you clean your unit regularly, you can prolong its life some more. Pay close attention to the filter so that the motor can run smoothly.
To Wrap It All Up
A range hood is a valuable appliance in your kitchen. It filters the smell of food and heat outside your home. It also sucks out oily substances that you make when you cook. If you are thinking of getting one, make sure that you use the appropriate materials.
Specifically, don't use a flexible duct when you install the hood. It is not efficient in filtering out the soot in the kitchen. This material might even trap the substances because it does not have a smooth interior. Choose a rigid duct for your range hood so you will not go wrong.
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