Cooking actually creates a hazardous environment especially to many new and remodeled homes.
The large space of an open kitchen allows increased air circulation into other rooms.
Such a large area prevents a kitchen fan from removing those impurities.
A stronger kitchen fan will help but then creates other problems.
Here’s what is happening.
Healthy Food Does Not Equal Healthy Air.
Frying, grilling or toasting foods with gas and electric appliances creates particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, and volatile organic compounds.
Emissions of nitrogen dioxide in homes with gas stoves exceed the Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of clean air in an estimated 55 percent to 70 percent of those homes.
Acrolein, which most cooks recognize as the smell of burnt fats or oils, was used in grenades in World War I because it causes irritation to the lungs and eyes. We don’t think of this as an issue because we are used to this kitchen cooking smell and it smells wonderful!
Kitchen Exhaust Hoods are Needed.
People spend lots of money with the intent of making their home green.
They use lots of insulation and put in a big open kitchen often on an island with an exhaust hood 4 feet above it.
If any lower you would hit your head and we wouldn’t want that to happen!
A stove that is in a large open area allows these emissions to escape the fan and circulate throughout the other rooms.
Stoves on a kitchen island allow much more toxins to bypass the fan.
These exhaust hoods do next to nothing unless they’re very close to or unless they’re designed to move enough air to actually collect what’s coming off the stove.
Don’t Follow Fads – Do it the Old Fashioned Way
In a traditional enclosed kitchen, with a stove backing up against the wall, less impurities can escape to other rooms even with a smaller exhaust fan. Kitchens in old homes also had doors which helped. Most older kitchens did not have any exhaust fan except for opening a window.
Today your average kitchen exhaust fan is chosen with the help of an appliance dealer, not an engineer. In the old days this was fine. With today’s open kitchen, and as our homes get built to higher performance standards, they are getting tighter, and proper ventilation and exhaust is even more important.
So basically to remove toxins from cooking properly you need some heavy duty ventilation.
Unfortunately, when this exhaust hood is powerful enough to remove all the toxins you create another problem. You then have the big problematic question of make-up air. You’re pumping a lot of air out with that exhaust; what’s going to replace it?
It used to be much easier in leaky old houses because the air just came in everywhere.
A Bigger Kitchen Exhaust Hood Creates Other Problems.
The bigger the range, the bigger the hood, the bigger the makeup air unit required, the more energy needed to condition the makeup air. Don’t even think about putting it all on an island, because it has to suck even more air to work at all.
All that air has to be heated in winter or cooled in summer, and that is a huge amount of air. A lot more that just leaving the door open on a winter’s night.
And if you really care about being green in the kitchen, forget the Viking and the Aga and go induction or use a Microwave.
Here’s leaving you with a picture of a Pink kitchen – just because!