Range Hood Questions Answered by Vince Nguyen

range hood

As regular readers will know, lately I've been looking into what can be done about the ugly kitchen in my the guest apartment, I'm still in the research phase and a couple of weeks ago I started looking into Range Hoods.

One of the neat things about having your own blog is that it gets you access to people you might not otherwise have been able to reach, and wanting to know a bit more about the practicalities of installing and maintaining a range hood, I sent some questions off to Vince Nguyen who is the Technical Operations Manager at Range Hoods Inc. and he was kind enough to reply so I present the questions and answers here in the hopes so of you might find them helpful.

Why do you recommend that home owners install a range hood if they don't currently have one in their existing home, and is there a different reason to consider having one installed in a new build?

The most significant reason is the smell and being able to suck out most of the smoke and draw in fresh air to replace it. It’s like a “breath of fresh air.” Also, being able to vacuum out most of the grease-filled air will help keep greasy countertops clean on a day-to-day basis. However, you will still have to clean the filters from time to time.

Having ducting installed can be expensive, even if you do it as a DIY project when you take the materials into account, how much does this add to the typical cost of installing a range hood?

We will always recommend a licensed professional to ensure our products are installed correctly, and most important, safely; but it really depends on the specific installation location. In some installs, with the cooktop along an outside-wall, the install could be relatively easy and inexpensive. requiring only a wall vent (~$18) and some foil tape (which costs about $8). In more difficult installs, extra length ducting, specialty (shape) ducting, and refinishing a wall maybe required, significantly increasing the overall cost.

Is it more cost effective to do this as part of a new build or when remodeling the kitchen, rather than as a standalone project?

Grouping projects are usually more cost effective per project; however, the difficulty level of these products is not so difficult that it is substantially more costly performing this project standalone.

How do you recommend home owners maintain their range hood once installed - how often should the filters be cleaned, and how often should they be replaced - do you have different advice for different types of hoods? Additionally, when ducting is involved, what kind of maintenance is required to ensure it continues operating as designed?

It depends on usage and types of foods cooked; highly greasy foods with heavy usage could require filter cleaning of at least once a week; grease catch cleaning of about once every 2-weeks; but I’ve heard of cases where ‘they’ left the hood completely uncleaned for over a year, until grease started dripping from the overflowed grease catch. With regular usage and regular foods, we typically recommend cleaning the filters about once a month, and the grease trap at least once every 6 months, and then the entire hood about once a year. Don’t let these recommendations deter you; cleaning is usually a subjective subject.

The total cost of ownership is always more that the sticker price, particularly when maintenance is involved, so can you expand on what the annual cost of maintenance typically is?

There shouldn't be much maintenance, other than cleaning, after the item is installed. Unless, an air recirculation kit is used (available for some models). The charcoal filters required for this feature will need to be recharged/replaced every 3 months depending on usage.

The operating costs are important too - with energy bills on the rise and climate change an inescapable fact, what are manufacturers doing to keep the energy consumption of range hoods down, and what can home owners do to operate them as efficiently as possible?

The maximum energy consumption is around 300-watts – more or less, depending on the model, but also depending on the usage, the maximum output may not always be used. This is about the same as a large screen TV – individual usage may vary.

Finally, do you have any additional advice for people considering getting one for their kitchen?

Do it. Smokey kitchens, smell infused furniture and greasy surfaces are signs for getting one as soon as possible.

 

I really appreciate Vince taking time out of his schedule to answer my questions, hopefully some of you will find them as helpful as I have. If you want to know more you can read the general FAQ on the RangeHoodsInc website.