Kitchen Trends: How to Choose the Right Ventilation Hood Kitchen Trends: How to Choose the Right Ventilation Hood

It's one of the newest trends in kitchen makeovers. Ventilation is now making a fashion statement, and odors and grease particles are running for their lives. There are more choices in kitchen ventilation hoods than most of us ever dreamed would be possible. Not only are these ventilation hoods fashionable, but some of the most elegant varieties are surprisingly efficient.

The right ventilation hood can serve a variety of purposes, including design, function, and safety. They can be hidden in over-the-range microwave ovens or beneath an over-the-stove cabinet. The most elegant and efficient are what is known in the trade as the "wall-chimney range hood." From stainless-steel to burnished copper, these gorgeous hoods appear to be suspended from the ceiling.

Design: This is the "how-is-it-going-to-look-in-my-kitchen" option. If you are someone who rarely cooks a full meal, then you might like the design of an over-the-range microwave oven ventilation system. It doesn't look like a hood, therefore, it can easily fit in with a hurried life-style. If you need function, but you don't want to pay the expense for a wall-chimney range-hood, then you might opt for the under-the-cabinet model. It is more efficient than the microwave vent, but less efficient than the wall-chimney range hood. For those gourmet chefs amongst us, nothing can beat a gleaming copper hood that seems to climb to heaven, gathering every bit of noxious gas, grease, and smoke particle as it ascends, leaving the kitchen air clean and grease free.

Function: How much grease, smoke, and gas does your cooking produce? The answer to that question makes all the difference. If you fry, bake, and broil every chance you get, go for the range-hood. It will suck that grease up, up, and away through the chimney and out of the house. The range hood is also recommended if you have a pot rack suspended from the ceiling, or decorative items, such as cookie jars and teapots on display in the open. These lovely hoods are very efficient for carrying away grease and dust that like to cling to collectibles. For the average family, an under-the-cabinet mount may just be the order of the day. It can live up to that holiday cooking schedule and is moderately successful at sucking away the fumes and grease.

Safety: Any ventilation hood is safer than no hood at all. Range hoods of all types protect from grease build-up, carbon-monoxide, and smoke. The modern range hoods are also efficient in removing food odors and help to protect the lungs of asthmatics and others with lung conditions.

Picking the Right Features for Your Lifestyle:

For over-the-range microwave oven vents, choose one with a sensor (about $40 extra). The sensor adjusts microwave cooking time according to the steam that is released during the heating process. You might also opt for a convection-oven feature, so that you can bake and brown meats.

Size does matter. Be certain to purchase a range hood, which fits over the cooking area of your stove. If your hood does not fully cover the cooking space, you can lose up to 40% of your venting capacity.

If choosing a microwave, bring along the largest dish you use, so that you may know which size microwave is best for you.

For under-cabinet range hoods, make certain that you have a cabinet over your stove. The cabinet actually hides the duct-work which vents to the outside.

If your over-the-stove cabinets are non-functional, except to hide the chimney, consider removing them and installing a wall-chimney hood, for a high-tech look. Wall-chimney hoods work where there are no cabinets, and they mount with exposed vent stacks on the wall. They are lovely, and they make you look like a real, gourmet chef.

Island models are mounted to and vented through ductwork in the ceiling. It is most efficient when the hood is wider than your cooking surface. These majestic hoods are breathtaking in the well appointed kitchen. They come in stainless steel and copper, and they are more reasonable than one would think.

There are many spectacular choices available for the home-improvement enthusiast, who desires a state of the art kitchen. Over-the-range ventilation can be both fashionable and functional. It is up to you to make the choice that suits your style and your budget, so that you may enjoy your kitchen update for many years to come.

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