Rangehoods and the vital role they play in the kitchen.
Many years ago in what seems like a past life now, I worked on the shop floor of an electrical appliance store in the kitchens department. Prospective buyers of major kitchen appliances such as ovens, cooktops, dishwashers and refrigerators would literally spend hours researching and viewing a range of brands to determine what would suit their household needs and their budget. The process could take anywhere from a day (for prompt decision makers) to a month (with repeat visits to the store). And whilst many an hour got spent on consideration for these type of appliances, there was one appliance that was often forgotten and overlooked… the humble rangehood.
The humble rangehood
Rangehoods are very often overlooked and highly underrated. Left to last, there is often no money or very little to allocate. Functionality is no longer a key factor. It simply comes down to what is affordable and will look good in the kitchen.
For true cooking enthusiasts, rangehoods play a vital role in the kitchen, especially for anyone who is an avid cooktop user, where a lot of steam, grease and odours are created. For ovens such as Falcon upright range cookers which vent at the top rear of the hob, rangehoods also offer assistance with extracting the moisture, odours and steam from cooking.
Image: Falcon Black Canopy Rangehood (FALHDCP110BC)
and Classic Deluxe Olive Green 110cm Dual Fuel Upright Range Cooker (CDL110DFOG/CH)
How do rangehoods work?
Both during and after cooking, the rangehoods sole job is to filter the air using one or two fans (depending on the model). So what exactly does the rangehood filter from the cooking environment?
The rangehood when in operation will:
- draw steam and moisture away from cabinetry and the cook’s immediate environment (aiding in visibility)
- reduce build-up of odour in the kitchen
- minimise smoke in the kitchen (perfect when you accidentally burn cooking as it will reduce smoke inhalation)
- help remove air borne grease particles which can build up on surrounding cabinetry and bench tops and can be difficult to clean if a build-up occurs over time
- extract heat which is generated from the elements, burners, pots and pans away you’re your face and body
- assist in minimising irritating particles that can affect the throat and eyes
- provide extra lighting above the cooking surface when the rangehood lights are switched on which allows better viewing of the cooking underway, as normal kitchen lighting can often be obscured by shadowing from kitchen cabinetry and the rangehood itself
Image: Falcon Stainless Steel Undermount Rangehood (FALUC1002)
and Classic Deluxe Black 110cm Dual Fuel Upright Range Cooker (CDL110DFBL/CH)
What factors should be considered when selecting a rangehood?
When it comes to rangehoods design should not be the only consideration. Yes we want it to look good and complement other appliances however functionality is a key factor. There is no point installing a rangehood that looks pretty but just doesn’t cut the mustard, or should I say remove the lingering mustard odour!
When selecting a rangehood there are a few key points to consider:
- you want it to perform properly, so this means selecting a rangehood with a powerful fan (or twin fans!)
- if you like to hear what is happening in the rest of your household, you also want it to be as quiet as possible. Cooking in front of a rangehood that sounds like a jet engine while filtering the air can be very uncomfortable to the senses.
- control over the fan speed is a must as this allows you to control the ventilation required based on the food types cooking. You don’t need top speed when grilling a cheese sandwhich (unless you burn it!), but you might when cooking that delicious curry.
Elements that can influence a rangehoods performance
- Dirty filters will greatly affect the performance of a rangehood and can also be a fire hazard due to the build-up of grease. So cleaning filters regularly is a must! Depending on the model, some filters can be cleaned easily in the dishwasher or by hand in the kitchen / laundry sink. Refer to the rangehoods operating instructions for cleaning instructions.
- Rangehood performance can be adversely affected if ducting is undersized, or includes long runs or multiple bends. This can also increase noise. Semi-ridged ducting matched to the rangehood outlet size will offer the best performance, with a maximum length of three metres, finished with a suitable wall grill or roof cowl.
Image: Falcon Stainless Steel Canopy Rangehood (FALHDCP110SC)
and Professional+ Stainless Steel Induction Upright Range Cooker (PROP110EI5SS/CH)
Falcon offers a range of hoods including canopies and integrated styles, designed to complement the Falcon range of upright range cookers. All Falcon rangehoods offer variable speed and powerful extraction. Visit the Falcon website to learn more about the available range and specifications.