HOME & GARDEN: Avoid moisture and smells in your kitchen
We had our kitchen remodeled two years ago. My wife is a great cook; however we failed to install a kitchen range hood. Currently the moisture rises to the top of the kitchen ceiling and is accumulating water marks. I would like to install a kitchen vent hood over the range on our exterior wall. Please advise on what we should look for.
—Tim R., Ann Arbor
I remember a few years back while cooking my favorite family pizza dish, I forgot to set the timer. Let’s just say that was the defining moment when I, too, decided to purchase and install a kitchen exhaust fan that would suit the Paul family.
Large steaming pots can create a high level of moisture which over time can cause damage to your ceiling and surrounding areas. Other benefits of a kitchen exhaust fan are ventilating and removing excess heat, and in my case, smells from periodic burned and smoldering meals.
Photo by: vikingrange.com
Kitchen exhaust fans are available in several types, sizes and models. One point to consider when choosing a model is to select the largest model your kitchen will allow. The standard residential dimension is approximately 30 inches wide, with varying heights.
Items to consider before a purchase:
Fan size. Fan sizes are measured in CFM or cubic feet per minute, which is the amount of air that can be moved in one minute. Hence, the larger the CFM, the faster the air will be moved in your kitchen. If you live in a house where cooking smells can quickly infiltrate your home, the larger fan is suggested.
Exterior wall. Since you are installing it on your exterior wall, consider the installation needs. Do you have brick, wood, aluminum or vinyl siding? Each surface type will require different installation methods.
Handyman tip: If a fire is started over your stove do not turn on the fan. The flames could be pulled into the ventilation system and cause the fire to spread much quicker.
Style. Picking a style which meets your current decor is important. What color meets your needs? Does the fan blend in or stand out with your current kitchen cabinets? Would you like your fan to include lights?
Price. Exhaust fans can range from $199 to more than $1,000, depending on your needs and style. The lower-priced models are generally lower quality, with smaller CFM ratings, and maybe inefficient for your needs, so take your time and choose wisely.
Consumer Reports voted Viking VSWH3048[SS] $1320 and GE Profile JV936D[SS] (approximately $850) as the two best overall performing wall-chimney models. Keep in mind, a regular maintenance schedule will be key to a lifelong fan.
Choosing the right fan can not only help with moisture issues but can add a visual appeal to your overall kitchen decor. Enjoy.
Paul is a State of Michigan Licensed Builder. Paul serves as President and founding member of Nationally franchised HandyPro Handyman Service, servicing Washtenaw, Wayne and Oakland Counties. www.handypro.com. Email questions or comments to email@example.com.