Whether you are using an electric or gas ranges, many of us do not realize just how important it is to vent. Most of us basically switch on the vent when something is burning. We think of the venting as an unnecessary factor. However, when we place food in a pan or pot, particles of water, smoke, grease, and food are sent into the air. These particles tend to land everywhere. Overtime you will begin to notice grime on furniture, fabrics, and floors. Accumulated grime can damage the finishes and surfaces of your home.
Adding to this, the grime from all the dispersed particles exude an odor over time. If you do not vent when using a gas range, you will be left with a beautiful home that has a smelly space. There is also the heath aspect of it. Venting is very important because anytime you cook or sear something in a pan, ultra-fine particles are introduced in the air. These are not just your ordinary particles; they mesh together with other chemicals in the air (sometimes produced from the air fresheners, air conditioning unit, and other chemicals in the air) and produce a heavy induced chemical that is not safe to breathe in.
Most gas flames produce nitrogen dioxide. In complete combustion, we just get water and carbon dioxide, but a lot of times we get the incomplete combustion, and the byproducts. Elevated concentrations of nitrogen dioxide cause respiratory problems, including elevated irritation and asthma. This is a great concern especially if you have kids.
Gas ranges do not necessary require venting as much as electric ranges because they burn relatively clean. However, keep in mind that ventilation is used to remove heat, smoke, steam, and grease – plus the byproducts of burning gas.
If you are in the habit of cooking with high heat, frying, cooking meats, bacons, etc, these products create smoke that steam up your windows and leave grease on your cabinets, and the odors can survive for days. Venting is the sure way to prevent any of this from happening.
So, what is the best way to vent?
The most effective way to vent a stove is to do so outside. Look for a range hood that can sufficiently exhaust outside the home. If your home does not have an in-built ventilation, install one 24 to 30 inches above the stovetop. Ensure it spans the width of the stove and comprise of a depth up to at least half of the front burners. Do not complicate the process by purchasing huge decorative mantel hoods. Most of the fans in these big mantel hoods are way too high. Range hoods are rated by how many cubic feet of air they remove per minute, so ensure they match your stove’s energy output.
One important factor that most of us forget to do is change the filter. Remember to change the filter at least every 3 months – if you cook often. Filters can be purchased at appliance stores and cost as little as $40 each.
Whatever model you choose, make sure to turn it on as soon as you commence cooking when using gas ranges. Remember to clean the grease filter regularly.
Related article: Do Gas Ranges Produce Carbon Monoxide?