The air around us is constantly changing. We inhale particles of dust, pollen, and bacteria that exist in the world with every breath. If you live in a crowded area with lots of traffic, there are probably noxious chemicals floating around—diesel fumes or cooking smoke. There’s nothing wrong with this; it’s just the way our planet works. But in your home, you may want to do something about it. Your kitchen is the one place where you’re always around, and you probably spend a lot of time there. It’s also the one place where contaminants like smoke and cooking fumes tend to concentrate.
You can add air purifiers and filters to your kitchen cabinets, but an entire house system isn’t practical for every household. You can eliminate this problem with a range hood. With a range hood, you can focus your efforts on the single room where most cooking is done.
Recirculating Range Hoods
You have a choice of two types of range hoods. A non-recirculating system pulls air from outside and filters out contaminants. A recirculating system takes air from the room and filters it before sending it again into the room. The effectiveness of both types depends on how clean the air in the kitchen is in the first place. If there are no contaminants in the air, you’re wasting your time—and money.
Importance of recirculating range hoods
With a recirculating range hood, you can concentrate your efforts in one room, so you don’t have to worry about the air in other rooms. If you have children, recirculating range hoods are especially useful. They’re not only quieter, but they’re safer too. Your entire house can be cleaner if you install a recirculating range hood in each room with cooking appliances. In general, this adds cost—but it’s a one-time expense. After that, you always have the air quality in the kitchen to thank for.
Why You Might Want to Use a Recirculating Range Hood
If you’re tired of replacing filters every few weeks and constantly having to sweep out dust and debris, a recirculating range hood is an easy way to bring your kitchen into the 21st century. If you have allergies, air purifiers are beneficial too. And if your children are constantly sick, they’ll benefit from having clean air around them all the time.
- The system provides continuous, filter-free air.
- The system is relatively maintenance-free.
- It works well in small area kitchens.
- No need for filters or replacement parts.
If there are no contaminants in the room, you’re wasting your time—and money. The cleaning solution that the range hood uses may contain chemicals that are hazardous to health. If you already have a working vent hood, installing a recirculating range hood adds extra work and expense to an existing system without necessarily solving your problems.
Non-recirculating Range Hoods:
You might prefer a non-recirculating system if you live alone. But if you have children, especially young children, you need to pay extra attention to keeping your kitchen clean. A filtering system only works if the air is free from contaminants.
Many of these systems are similar to the recirculating models, although these models often have several extra features. Some newer models have a fan that pulls air from outside and filters it, maintaining the quality of the air even if you leave a window open.
If you don’t have a window open, you’re stuck with the air quality in the kitchen. Some of these systems are so loud that they can be heard in other rooms. You probably don’t want this in the bedroom area at night, so it’s worth noting if you need recirculating range hoods for this reason.
Are Recirculating Range Hoods Effective?
In some ways, recirculating range hoods are the best of both worlds. They’re quiet, and they’re easy to operate, but they have a powerful air filter that keeps your kitchen air clean. You might find that your entire home is cleaner without having to add an entirely new system just for the kitchen. On the other hand, recirculating range hoods only work if there are contaminants in the air in the first place. So if you have a very clean kitchen, a recirculating hood may not be worth the expense.
If you want to decide what type of range hood to buy, consider which factors are essential. Do you use your kitchen often enough that you need to eliminate cooking odors and fumes? If so, then a recirculating range hood will be an easy choice for cleaning that air.
Cost of Recirculating Range Hoods
A recirculating air system for a kitchen usually costs $100–$200. You can find models that cost less than $100, but you won’t find any that cost more than $200. This is because it’s easier to buy a complete kit that contains the unit, the exhaust hose, the cleaning solution, and an instruction manual instead of purchasing each of these separately. If you’re on a budget, you’ll need to spend some time shopping online before making your final choice.
Some people underestimate how much maintenance they should do on their range hood. Once a month, you should clean the filter and pre-clean it to ensure that it doesn’t get clogged easily. You should also use a vacuum cleaner to clear all the dust from your kitchen. You can also use a damp cloth to wipe down any excess dirt on the appliance. Wiping with a damp cloth is better than wiping with a dry cloth because you need to clean in between surfaces and remove everything.
If you live alone with no pets or young children, non-recirculating range hoods are probably fine for your home. Just remember to keep the air circulating—open a window every now and then. If you have young children, you need to take extra precautions. Children do worse when they’re exposed to cooking smoke and other contaminants. The DNA in their bodies breaks down under these conditions.