Kitchen

Under the hood: Style, power and a purr

 

About blowers

•  A family that cooks four times a week can produce about a gallon of grease and two gallons of water in the form of steam every year, says Jan Byers, manager of a showroom in Charlotte. The blower in the kitchen’s ventilation system is designed to remove both.

•  The best option is a blower that is vented to the outdoors. Range hoods that recirculate air through a filter generally don’t perform as well.

•  The strength of the blower should be based on the size and features of the range.


The Charlotte Observer

Above every stove or cooktop hangs an opportunity to express yourself.

No more are we stuck with a boring, bulgy box that howls from a space beneath the spice cabinet. Now that the kitchen is one of the most popular places to gather, range hoods are evolving and competing to be a focal point. They are floating elegantly above a voluptuous kitchen island and commanding attention from a wall.

Make the right choices, and you can have a sleek new kitchen ventilation system that has power and a purr — for an investment starting at about $400, plus installation.

It would be easy to spend a lot more. Prices for custom and high-end decorative hoods can quickly climb to thousands of dollars.

Homeowners are turning on to the trend. From the artsy to designs with attitude, decorative range hoods are turning up in settings from contemporary to traditional.

“If you’re doing a traditional home, there’s no reason you couldn’t use a more decorative hood,” said Lora Donoghue, past president of the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s Carolinas Chapter.

Form over function? Not necessarily. Range hoods are more powerful than ever, with blowers moving air at rates from about 400 to 1,300 cubic feet per minute or more. Check online consumer reviews to avoid noisemakers.

The might and muscle is important these days. Ranges in many homes are big, sometimes six to eight burners.

That’s a lot of territory for a range hood to cover to remove the grease and steam bubbling up from the pots and pans.

“If it isn’t leaving the house, (the greasy steam) is on — guess what: beautiful new cabinets, carpeting, upholstery, walls, pictures and you,” says Jan Byers, manager of the Sub-Zero/Wolf showroom in Charlotte, N.C.

A cabinet maker can build a hood to match your cabinets — and the size of the range.

“Basically if you can draw it on a CAD (computer-aided design) program, they can make it,” said Liz Gant, appliance manager at a bath and kitchen store in Charlotte, N.C.

A custom hood will need a liner and an insert, which includes all of the innards that do the dirty work.

A decorative range hood is a second option. The single unit combines a hood and insert. These often have a more contemporary look.

Lighting is usually built into a ventilation system. Halogen, florescent and LED fixtures are common.

While design is important, customers want a model that works well above all. That means power without the howl.

“The No. 1 concern is consumers want something quiet,” Gant said.

Read more Home & Garden stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category