Q: What is a rangehood?
A: A rangehood is an exhaust system designed to remove grease, steam and smoke from your kitchen. It also helps to reduce heat and odours while you cook. Most rangehoods work by removing the air above your stove using a fan and venting it through a filter. The air is then expelled outside the house, or re-released into the kitchen with the airborne contaminants removed.
Q: What are the benefits of a rangehood?
A: A rangehood helps to eliminate the grease and oil which builds up in your kitchen when cooking. It is estimated that the average oven deposits 4.5 litres of cooking fat into the atmosphere every year. This can lead to stained, messy and unhygienic food preparation surfaces. A rangehood will ensure your cooking area remains healthier and cleaner. They also keep odours away from the rest of the house and may include additional features, such as overhead lights to aid in cooking.
Q: What types of rangehood are there?
A: There are three main types of rangehood -- fixed, slide-out and canopy. Fixed rangehoods are traditional wall-mounted models. They are usually the most affordable type and are best suited to people on limited budgets. Canopy rangehoods are large chimney-shaped models that can be mounted to a wall or ceiling. They are the most powerful type of rangehood currently available, and are best suited to people who want maximum extraction. Slide-out rangehoods are slimline, retractable models that can be pulled out when needed. They are best suited to smaller kitchens where space is limited.
Q: Ducted and recirculating: what’s the difference?
A: Ducted rangehoods (also known as external rangehoods) vent the contaminated air outside your house through a hole in the ceiling or wall. This is by far the most effective method, but it requires you to cut through the wallboard in the kitchen to install the exhaust pipes. You may therefore need to hire an electrician to do the job for you.
Recirculating rangehoods recycle air through a carbon filter before releasing it back into the kitchen. Recirculating rangehoods do not require you to install an exhaust pipe through your ceiling or wall, which makes them easier (and cheaper) to install. However, they are less effective at removing heat and smoke from the kitchen. You will also need to replace the filters more regularly, which will add to the running costs over time.
Q: How high should I mount the rangehood above my stove?
A: Most common installations require a space of 60cm between the bottom of the hood and the top of the cooktop. This will provide the best capture area for cooking impurities. Be sure to see if the rangehood has sharp edges, as you may hit your head on these if the rangehood is installed too low.
Q: Can I replace my old rangehood with a new one?
A: This will depend on the size of both the old and new rangehoods and whether they are the same type (canopy, fixed, etc). If you are replacing a recirculating rangehood with a ducted model, you will also need to install the required exhaust pipes. If both models are ducted, it is usually possible to reuse the existing vents and cables, although you may need the assistance of an electrician to finish the job.
Q: How often should I clean my filters?
A: This will depend on the type of rangehood you buy and the frequency of use. Naturally, the more oil you use, the more frequently you will need to clean the filters. Most manufacturers recommend you clean the filters at least once a month. Note that recirculating rangehoods usually require you to replace the filters with new ones. It’s therefore worth checking how much the replacement filters cost before you invest in the rangehood.