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Range Hoods: Undervalued Kitchen Stalwarts

The exhaust hood, commonly known in home usage as a range hood, is one of the most useful things any kitchen can have. In conjunction with other elements of a functional ventilation system, such as fans, exhaust hoods can bring major benefits to a kitchen�s cleanliness, temperature control, safety, and more. What�s not to like?

No less a source than the New York Times referred to the range hood as �the most underused and undervalued thing in the kitchen.� Arianne Cohen, the article�s author, writes that the exhaust hood �is designed to whisk away odors and health contaminants released by cooking, but most of us switch it on only when we burn something�and some of us don�t even have one.�

Indeed, a range hood can do a great deal of good relative to its cost and frequency of usage. A range hood, which consists of a canopy and some other area with which to capture debris, uses a fan or blowing motor to extract air pollution caused by cooking from a kitchen. The effects of an exhaust hood are indispensable to commercial restaurants and concessions trucks, which cannot even meet health codes without properly functioning exhaust hoods.

Many underestimate the risks to safety posed by a stove and oven operating without an exhaust hood. Richard Shaughnessey, Ph.D., who directs the University of Tulsa�s Indoor Air Program, seems to think so: �Any time you�re cooking or searing something in a pan,� Shaughnessy said, �you�re producing ultra- fine particles in the air that are not just particles, but coated with all sort of chemicals that you don�t want to be breathing.�

Furthermore, gas flames have the potential to produce nitrogen dioxide, which can have deleterious health effects on humans, according to University of Colorado at Boulder associate professor of mechanical engineering Shelly L. Miller. �In complete combustion, you just get carbon dioxide and water,� Dr. Miller said. �But a lot of times you get complete combustion, and its byproducts. Nitrogen dioxide is the main one of concern. Elevated concentrations of nitrogen dioxide have been shown to cause respiratory problems, including elevated asthma and irritation.�

Luckily, we do not have to suffer the negative effects of nitrogen dioxide any more than we have to consent to cooking and eating in a grease-filled kitchen! An exhaust hood is the easy solution to kitchen air pollution, and an indispensable part of any kitchen.

Why risk cooking without the protection and ventilation offered by a high-functioning exhaust hood? HoodMart is your source for the best exhaust hoods and commercial kitchen ventilation equipment. Find out more today!

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