Vented range hoods are common inside homes, but outside, they are often thought of as unnecessary. Is this thinking correct? In some cases, it is not. Read on to learn whether you should add an outdoor kitchen vent hood to your exterior cooking area.
Why You Might Need a Vent Hood
Vented range hoods serve several purposes. They help vent toxic combustion fumes as well as grease and soot, and in the process, make it easier for fresh air to come into the combustion area. Removing combustion fumes is also essential for safety.
The removal of grease and soot keeps the ceilings of enclosed areas cleaner, and it also keeps grease from collecting on surfaces below the grilling area. Without proper ventilation, grease will end up staining the fronts of the lower parts of brick grills and similar structures.
Unvented grease is also a danger to the grill itself, especially when the grill runs on gas. The grease can clog the lines, ignitors, and ports, forcing you to go through a tedious cleaning process to get the grill working properly again.
When Do You Need a Vented Range Hood?
A vented range hood is a good idea if your Florida outdoor kitchen is partially or fully covered. Roofs prevent combustion gasses, grease, and soot from going directly into the air for dispersal. Instead, they allow these contaminants to accumulate, cool, and then drop back down all over your covered area.
Because of this, zoning in some areas may require vented range hoods to be installed over outdoor cooking equipment in covered areas. However, even if your local municipality doesn’t demand them, you should go ahead and install them over every grill or range in your covered outdoor kitchen.
Vent Hood Options
The type and form of vent hood to use depends on your outdoor kitchen setup. There are several options available, allowing you to use one no matter where your grill or range happens to be placed.
For cooking equipment that is placed up against an otherwise-bare wall, a standard wall-mounted hood is perfect. Since nothing is already on the wall, it can be run straight up to the ceiling without trouble.
When there are wall cabinets just above the range or grill, a special under-cabinet vent hood is required. These are made to fit between the cabinets, the grill, and the wall. Without them, the heat, steam, and grease from the cooking equipment will quickly damage the bottoms of the cabinets above.
Grills that are set up in an “island” fashion, away from any walls, need island-mounted vent hoods. These typically need to stop about three feet above the grill, so they have large, flaring bells to catch the smoke as it tries to disperse. They are suspended over the grill by duct work.
Do You Have to Vent Your Hood Out of the Roof?
You do not need a roof-mounted exit for your vented range hood. Instead, you can vent it out through the wall. Not all vent hoods come with both options, so make sure to choose the one that matches your intended plan.
That said, venting through the roof is usually the best idea, in situations where it can be done. This gives smoke a straight path upwards, and eliminates bends where soot can accumulate. It also makes the chimney interior easier to clean.
Do Vent Hoods Look Good?
One of the reasons some people are reluctant to add vent hoods to their outdoor kitchens is concerns about their appearance. However, there are options that are made specifically to enhance the looks of the kitchen as well as to provide practical benefits. These may cost more than the basic ones, but they are well worth it if you want your outdoor kitchen to be a showpiece, and not just a spot to grill without getting rained on.
With all of the options for outdoor vented range hoods, there is no reason not to go ahead and install one over every grill or range you have under roof. You’ll gain the benefits of increased safety, decreased grime, better-preserved outdoor kitchen cabinets, and even better-functioning grills. Plus, your outdoor kitchen will look professional and complete.
In some areas, you may even be required to install a vented range hood in your covered outdoor kitchen. Even if you don’t have to, though, you’ll appreciate the reduced cleaning, as well as not having to worry about carbon monoxide poisoning or dangerous unburnt gas vapors.
Consult with Florida Outdoor Kitchen Professionals
Are you wondering what appliances or features are right for your outdoor kitchen? Reach out to the Orlando outdoor kitchen experts from Orlando Outdoor Kitchens. Our team is experienced in creating beautiful and functional outdoor kitchens for our clients in the Central Florida area. Reach out to our team today.
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