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Make the most of your kitchen with an under cabinet range hood

The kitchen is one of the few areas in your home where youíll see a direct return on your investment. When you get caught up in picking wall colors, cabinet materials and countertops, itís easy to overlook functionality. One way to protect your kitchen investment is to install an under cabinet range hood.

Under cabinet range hoods ventilate your kitchen, removing smoke and everyday odors associated with cooking. But they also go one step further. A range hood under your cabinet can wick away the cooking fat that is deposited on your walls, ceilings and cupboards. And a range hood can protect your home from dangerous fires in the event that the heat on your range becomes too high.

A clean, fresh, safe kitchen can easily be enjoyed with an under cabinet range hood. And since this type of range hood takes advantage of your already existing kitchen layout, the investment is minimal.

Function over style

There are three types of European range hoods: the island mount range hood, the wall mount range hood and the under cabinet range hood. While island hoods are sleeker and more stylish, and wall mounted range hoods give the illusion of a professional-grade kitchen, under cabinet range hoods are all about functionality.

Under-cabinet range hoods are the most traditional type of European range hood youíll find in kitchens. They are the least expensive, as they are mounted under an existing cabinet and attached to an exterior wall above your range. With these hoods, grease, steam, and cooking odors exit your kitchen through an exhaust duct. Because these hoods are mostly covered by your cabinetry, they generally arenít very decorative; however, more ornate models and stainless steel options are available to match your kitchen style.

Installing an under cabinet range hood

While what your under cabinet range hood looks like may draw you toward a particular model, the most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a range hood for under your cabinet is efficiency. The standard recommendation for circulation in your kitchen says the air should be changed between seven and twelve times an hour.

Obviously the larger a range hood is, the more air it will circulate. A 30-inch hood is recommended to handle the steam, grease and cooking odor of two burners, but it wonít be as efficient if you are using three or more burners. A 36-inch wide under cabinet range hood could work better for the traditional 30-inch cooktop.

The bells and whistles of under cabinet range hoods

While there is a variety of under cabinet range hood models available, your personal needs and style will be the deciding factor in choosing the right model for your home. Two factors to consider in your decision making process are fans and lighting.

While it might make sense that more fans means a more efficient range hood, thatís not always the case, especially with newer models. Keep in mind that a larger single-fan model could be better at circulating your kitchen air than a smaller two-fan model. Also remember that fan noise increases with performance, with some reaching up to 66 decibels.

While your kitchen is no doubt equipped with plenty of overhead lighting, an under cabinet range hood can provide spot lighting over your pots and pans. Models range from offering a single 40-watt bulb to halogen lamps and suffused fluorescent bulbs. Decide what your needs are before picking your model.

Caring for your range hood

Under-cabinet range hoods are the most traditional type of European range hood youíll find in kitchens. They are the least expensive, as they are mounted under an existing cabinet and attached to an exterior wall. Usually with these hoods, grease, steam and cooking odors exit your kitchen through an exhaust duct. Because these hoods are mostly covered by your cabinetry, they generally arenít very decorative; but under cabinet stove hoods do a great job at controlling dangerous fumes.

Bigger is Better for Your European Style Kitchen Hood

With under cabinet range hoods, since less of the hood is exposed, exterior maintenance is minimized. Clean the outside of your range hood with hot soapy water and a cotton cloth. You can clean the interior of your under cabinet range hood with an everyday household degreaser. A degreasing solution can also be used to clean the grease trap.

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