Most people think that opening the kitchen window and door while cooking is good enough; however, it's best to have proper kitchen ventilation.
Whether it is summer or winter, many of us spend at least one or two hours a day in the kitchen cooking, preparing food, and baking.
Especially as we approach the festive season or when a family gathering is coming up, there is more cooking going on in the kitchen.
When the smell of a nice meal being prepared spreads through the house, everyone feels happy.
However, we need to be aware that with the cooking, baking, frying, tea-making, and all the other activities in the kitchen, there is a great need for proper kitchen ventilation.
There are toxic emissions, stale smells (or food smells), and stuffy air when you cook, and these need to be extracted.
Research confirms that cooking with a gas stove even once a week regularly emits levels of pollutants that are illegal outdoors.
Ventilation in the kitchen is often overlooked or reduced to opening the window for the steam or smell to go outside.
However, kitchen ventilation is very important, even as important as cleaning the kitchen after cooking.
Why is there a need for Proper Kitchen Ventilation?
One may ask, why is there a need for proper kitchen ventilation? Isn't an open door plus an open window good enough? There are a few reasons why proper ventilation is needed in the kitchen.
Eliminate the Odours: opening the door to the kitchen doesn't mean you ventilate the kitchen, it means the odours spread throughout the house. A proper kitchen ventilation system ensures you combat cooking smells, odours, and other such pesky things.
Enhance air quality: nobody wants to cook or be in a place where there's no ventilation, especially when it comes to the kitchen. Kitchen ventilation is important for the health both of the body and of the soul since it makes you happy to be in the kitchen when the air is clean.
Remove the pollutants and Smoke and bring in Fresh air: whether we realize it or not, cooking with a gas stove results in the release of pollutants and smoke, and these need to be eliminated. Proper kitchen ventilation prevents the risk of carbon monoxide accumulation.
Tip: We recommend the use of a Carbon Monoxide alarm installed properly in the vicinity of the kitchen - it can be a lifesaver!
Note: for Ventilation in Catering kitchens and Commercial Kitchens in the UK, please read this guide from the Health and Safety Executive entitled, Ventilation in catering kitchens.
The Best way to Ventilate the Kitchen
If you read different guides and listen to various specialists, they all speak the same thing when it comes to ventilation in the kitchen: whether you have a small or a big kitchen, proper kitchen ventilation is required.
If it is a small kitchen and cooking is done in the kitchen, ventilation is absolutely necessary.
The most basic way to ventilate a kitchen is to leave doors and windows open, but this is no longer enough, especially since new government regulations call for tighter ventilation rules and specify a certain level of extraction necessary.
The two main elements that help ventilate the kitchen properly are using a cooker hood with an extractor fan built-in or using an intermittent fan, a continuous extractor fan.
Let's take a closer look at these solutions.
1. Use a Cooker Hood with an In-built Extractor fan
Most kitchens have a cooker hood, but not many use it.
The easiest way to extract and eliminate odours and pollutants is to use a cooker hood with an in-built extractor fan.
Usually, the cooker hood is installed right above the stove or oven, and it needs to be turned on when cooking or boiling is taking place.
Using a cooker hood with a fan built-in means that the steam, smoke, and pollutants are being extracted and eliminated instead of spreading around the house.
Odours resulting from frying and cooking are extracted when the cooker hood is turned on at the start of the cooking.
Tip: it is recommended to periodically check, clean, and maintain the cooker hood to make sure it works properly. Grease can build up and the mesh or grill can become loaded with pollutants; please check the instructions on the cooker hood on how to clean it.
2. Use a Continuous Extractor Fan
If there is no cooker hood installed due to space constraints, or if you want to make sure the air in the kitchen is maintained clean and free from odours, a continuous extractor fan is recommended.
Such intermittent extractor fans from excellent manufacturers like Airflow and Envirovent can help extract up to 60 litres per second.
Such an extraction rate is needed if your kitchen has a recirculating cooker hood or no cooker hood at all.
If there's a cooker hood, an extraction rate of 30l/s is good enough.
And if you choose the continuous extraction, a 13l/s extraction is great.
The Airflow iCONstant Continuous Running dMEV Extractor Fan with Timer is an excellent solution for kitchen ventilation.
You simply install it and forget about anything else.
Plus, it looks very stylish. If you prefer a square fan, how about the Envirovent ECO-dMEV-T 100mm Continuous Running Ventilation Fan with a Timer with a quiet running of as low as 20dB(A).
Tip: It is good to clean the continuous extractor fan from time to time, see the instructions for each fan.
Conclusion: It is Important to Properly Ventilate your kitchen!
Whether you cook often or only on special occasions, kitchens can be hotspots for condensation build-up and food odours, smoke, and VOCs from cleaning appliances.
Appliances such as dishwashers, kettles, hobs, and even the water tap produce steam and inject humidity into the air.
It is easy for condensation to form when steam comes into contact with the window, ceiling, or wall.
Then, dampness can build up, mould and even corrosion or wood rot can happen, all of which can weaken the structures or cause damage to your kitchen.
And the toxins from mould and VOCs can cause or contribute to health issues (such as allergies, asthma, etc).
It is important to have proper ventilation in the kitchen.
There are also odours from cooking, and there are gases such as Carbon Monoxide, Carbon Dioxide, Methane, and Nitrogen Dioxide, which are harmful both to people and pets.
It is worthwhile to consider properly ventilating the kitchen to have a comfortable time when cooking and using the kitchen and to make sure that health conditions are not made worse simply by using the kitchen.