Kitchen range hoods are efficient, attractive

An air of elegance can be easy to achieve in a kitchen equipped with a smart, stylish vent or range hood.

An air of elegance can be easy to achieve in a kitchen equipped with a smart, stylish vent or range hood.

Cooks can breathe a sigh of relief when they realize how efficient and attractive kitchen ventilation or a range hood can be.

First, kitchen range hoods come in four basic kinds:

• Canopy hoods that mount to the wall, also called pro-style, or bottom of a cabinet, also called under-cabinet.

• Island hoods that mount to the ceiling.

• Chimney hoods that come with a decorative cover to hide unattractive ductwork.

• Downdraft hoods that are installed behind the cooktop.

If you’d like to breathe easier, these facts and hints can help:

• Kitchens with proper ventilation are much cleaner. Ventilation can stop particulates from settling on surfaces and damaging cabinetry and fabrics.

A good vent can also reduce smoke, grease and other types of indoor air pollution that can harm your health and increase your cleaning chores.

• Keep it clean. It’s wise to wash or replace vent filters every couple of months.

If you cook frequently, they may require more frequent cleaning; most are dishwasher-safe.

• When shopping for new ventilation, look for the Home Ventilating Institute label. It’s an independent third party that rates ventilation performance.

• If noise levels are important to you and your family, get a hood that exhausts more air — indicated by a higher level of cubic feet per minute — and operates at a lower and quieter speed. Another quiet-performance option is an external blower that can be mounted to an outside wall, installed in the attic or on the roof.

• The hood should be in­stalled as close to the cooktop as possible, within the manufacturer’s guidelines, so it captures the most smoke and odor.

• Duct size is important for optimum performance. It should be equal to or greater than the size of the hood’s duct outlet.

• Make sure the backdraft damper opens and closes completely and freely.

Check both inside and outside the house to be sure nothing gets in the way of its movement.