When planning for kitchen remodeling, airflow is not the first item of business on a homeowner’s or designer’s mind. But good airflow is a vital component to a well-designed kitchen. After all, what good are beautiful kitchen cabinets and fantastic tile floors if the entire room smells like old grease?
The first consideration in a new kitchen is cooking ventilation. Despite the excellent products on the market, too many kitchens have underpowered or ineffective ventilation systems. An effective ventilation system must vent to the outside, rather than simply recirculate the air. Recirculation systems simply move odors around, hoping the eventually dissipate – but they often don’t. Additionally, effective systems have a fan that is the right size for that particular kitchen. The power and size needed in a fan varies according to the size of the room, but many systems are underpowered. An underpowered fan does not effectively remove smoke and odors, even if it is vented to the outside. This can lead to greasy build-up on kitchen cabinets as well as a musty kitchen smell.
Ventilation needs to be efficient – moving the most air possible for the lowest cost. Both the system purchased and the installation of that system will affect the efficiency of the ventilation. Several manufacturers have “green” systems that increase efficiency through heat recovery, compact construction, and low wattage use. Also consider the length of warranties on the parts used in the ventilation system. Longer warranties may reduce overall costs. Another factor in creating an efficient kitchen ventilation system is correct installation. If installers take the most direct route to the outside, avoiding turns and angles as much as possible, it will allow the use of a smaller, more energy-efficient fan.
Design in Ventilation
Design, in both aesthetics and engineering, is another important consideration in ventilating a kitchen. When considering looks, there are a wide variety of kitchen hoods, both freestanding and attached, that add beauty as well as function to kitchen remodeling. There are also cooktops with built-in fans than can work for some kitchen designs. But don’t stop with choosing a great exterior design. Also find an electrician who understands vent design. A good installer, for example, will know how to install the fan remotely, away from the hood, for quieter operation. There are also systems that use a silencer for even quieter operation. Explore all the different options available to get the best vent design for the unique kitchen layout in your home.
Whole Room Airflow
Cooking smells are not the only reason for good kitchen ventilation. With the amount of traffic that moves through a kitchen, smells from pets, shoes and sweat build up and can create an unpleasant atmosphere without good ventilation. Make sure at least one window in the kitchen opens to provide airflow. If possible, put the window that opens opposite the main entry to the kitchen, allowing air to pass through easily. Consider an undercut or a bottom vent in the kitchen doors. They’ll ensure good airflow with the heating and cooling system in the home.
With thought and planning, a kitchen remodeling project can accommodate effective ventilation for a more enjoyable living space. While it may not be as much fun to choose a hood fan as it is to choose kitchen cabinets or new appliances, a well designed ventilation system is important to the overall enjoyment of a new kitchen.