Adding a kitchen to a home or remodeling an existing kitchen is one of the most expensive jobs you can do in a home. Part of the expense is the duct work that must be done for kitchen ventilation. But now, there are ductless kitchen ventilation systems that eliminate much of the problems that existed with duct systems.
Creating ductless kitchen ventilation can be easily achieved so long as there is a window or an outside wall in the kitchen. Fitting ductless kitchen ventilation will not only reduce condensation on your kitchen walls and remove cooking odors, but it will also reduce the risk of mould and mildew building up in parts of the kitchen that aren’t regularly cleaned. Ductless kitchen ventilation can be electric powered or simply a mechanical device.
Mechanical Kitchen Ventilation
These devices, available at any DIY store, are basically a thin frame with louvers fitted inside them. The louvers are opened and closed by pulling on a cord and, when opened, some of them have a small fan inside them that can be rotated by any breeze or wind outside, increasing its efficiency in drawing air out of your kitchen. A mechanical louvered vent can be fitted to a kitchen window or wall.
To fit one to an outside window, if you haven’t got one already, you’ll need a glass cutting tool from your DIY store. First mark the center of your window, set the glass cutter arm to 1/32 inch greater than the radius of the vent and using the glass cutter, score the circumference of the vent. Cross the marked circumference with scored diagonal lines and then gently tap out the glass in pieces. You should wear eye protectors when doing this.
The vent then simply installs over the hole you’ve created. If you don’t fancy cutting holes in a window then you’ll have to create the hole in an outside wall instead. If the wall is wood this can be easily done by drilling a hole and then using a saw to cut the opening to the required size. If you’ve a brick wall drill a series if holes that will outline the hole for the vent to fit in, then knock out the brickwork with a bolster chisel and hammer.
Electrical Kitchen Ventilation
Fitting an electrical kitchen vent is probably to be best advised as it can work all year round, rather than only when the weather conditions are favorable. You’ll find a range of electric kitchen vents in your DIY store and should choose one that is powerful enough to draw out the air for a kitchen the size that yours is.
The vent has to be fitted on an outside wall; and the procedure is the same as for a mechanical wall fitted vent. However, you’ll need to run a power line to it, so consult your local building regulations and if necessary call in a qualified electrician to connect the electric vent to the power.
If you suddenly get a problem with condensation and poor ventilation in your kitchen it could be because ventilation bricks have somehow become blocked. This will only apply if you have a suspended floor, but is it worth looking outside to see if you have any airbricks. An air brick is basically a duct which connects two open spaces through a wall. They are like terracotta or fireclay masonry with holes in them. They can form either vertical a vertical duct or a horizontal duct.
If you have airbricks and they’re blocked or broken – replace them, don’t be tempted just to push the blockage or debris through the brick holes, as this will only store up trouble for later on. You can easily chop out the old airbrick with a hammer and bolster chisel, inserting a replacement airbrick with mortar on it, and then ‘pointing it up’ as the mortar dries.
Many people didn’t know how many problems and hazards existed with bare kitchen duct system until they switched over to the ductless ventilation models. There are many ways in which a ductless ventilation system makes a kitchen efficient and attractive.
Ductless kitchen ventilation systems also allow more versatility in planning a kitchen. If you don’t have to work around the right spot for kitchen ducts, there are many more choices available for the kitchen design.
Having a range without a duct system gives a kitchen and a smart, compact look. It also looks modern and up to date. Having a big bulky duct system in the kitchen is beginning to look old-fashioned.
A ductless system works so well in large buildings that need several kitchens added to them. The ductless system is the fastest and easiest way to accomplish this feat. A ductless ventilation system can also add to the resale value of your home.
It is an amenity, just like a nice porch or expensive tile. It also requires very little maintenance. The maintenance on a ductless system is much easier and less expensive than if long ductwork had to be worked on in repaired by a professional.
Benefits of Having a Ductless System
There are several benefits to having a ductless kitchen ventilation system. The most commonly rejoiced benefit is the elimination of the expensive ductwork that previously was the standard. This makes installing kitchens into buildings and rooms that have no ductwork much easier and less expensive.
These systems can also come with high efficiency filters that can reduce indoor air pollution. The air odors are significantly reduced in a home with a ductless system. It can remove not only odors, but grease as well. The filters that come on ductless ventilation systems vary from model to model. Some have simple or filtration systems for the air and some have more sophisticated systems.
Getting a charcoal filter is a good inexpensive way to get an effective air filter. Duct systems that extracted grease from the kitchen area were fire hazards because of their construction. This hazard is eliminated with a ductless system. Having a ductless system can actually save you money on homeowners insurance, as it eliminates a potential hazard in the home.
Another benefit is that the units are a fairly compact and easy to install. A complete ductless kitchen ventilation system can be installed in the ceiling space or even on the roof. There are also many models of wall mounted ductless systems.
These systems are more versatile with timers, multiple lights, and surfaces that are easy to clean. The installation of these systems is much easier than installing a duct system, cutting down on labor costs for installation.
Due to the air circulation component of many of the ductless kitchen ventilation systems, once the air is cleaned it can be re-released into the home as fresh, clean air. While release of formerly dirty air doesn’t sound appealing, the air is clean and it still maintains the temperature inside the home. This saves money on heating and cooling costs as the air that is already been heated or cooled is not being let go.
Photo by Tom, Creative Commons Attribution License