Whenever you cook food, there is bound to be heat, steam, and some smoke. This is a part of the process. And unless you’re cooking in the open, you would need some level of ventilation for your closed kitchen (something most of us cook in).
Cooking indoors is bound to produce steam, smoke which spreads indoors unless vented out.
Induction cooktops do not need much venting as gas or electric cooktops do. But they do need ventilation. Residual heat, steam, grease, and smoke are bound to come out of the cooking vessel, which is better handled when you have ventilation.
It also depends on what type of cooking you do. For example, if you fry or sear a lot then there is going to be smoke and grease.
Air movement is necessary to remove grease, steam, smoke, and smell. The ventilating hoods also concentrate and trap grease. This makes cooking safer. Less splattered grease will lead to fewer chances of falls, spills, fire and fewer germs spreading around the kitchen.
Ventilator hoods also come with air purification techniques leading to fresh healthy air in the kitchen. The fan inside moves the air and filters trap grease and dust particles.
The hoods are a stylish addition to the kitchen giving beautiful aesthetics with its presence.
How much ventilation does your kitchen need?
Depending on the construction of your kitchen, the home ventilating institute has developed a standard for air movements in various parts of the home including the area above the cooktop.
Recommendations from appliance maker trade associations suggest air movement venting capabilities of about 250 CFM for 30-inch wall mounted units
Ultimately, it is the size and location of your cooktop which decides the size of the necessary ventilation.
There may be a local code requirement in your area for buildings and homes. They may require the cooktop hoods to deliver the air outside the house with the help of ducts instead of an exhaust which circulates the air back into the kitchen.
The codes can also be of the specific material used for making venting ducts. Steel, galvanized steel, or copper is usually the standard material used for venting.
Ducted hoods have a hole cut into the wall or ceiling to help in removal of air outdoors. Although they work very well, they are a bit heavy on the pocket. The installation is a bit complicated and they do make some noise due to the exhaust fan.
Ductless hoods have charcoal filters which help trap grease. The air is made to pass through the filters and then recycled back into the kitchen. Most of the ductless hoods are under cabinet hoods. They take little space and are lighter on the pocket. The installation is also easy.
There are some good ventilation hoods options that you can choose from.
- Under cabinet hoods
- Wall mounted hoods
- Ceiling mounted/ free hanging hoods
- Downdraft ventilation
Let us look at each of these ventilation hood options one by one.
Under cabinet hoods
These are designed for cabinets above the cooktop area. They are mounted beneath the cabinets. They can be with ducts or without ducts. The duct can be through the cabinet or towards the back (on the outside facing wall of the house).
As I have mentioned before, the ductless system is not very effective as it recirculates the air. Under cabinet hoods with ducts are quite effective and space saving.
Some of the under cabinets designs are not very pretty.
Wall mounted hoods
The most common types of ducted hoods are wall mounted hoods. They work very well in exhausting the air out. The duct can be taken out straight, towards the back or horizontally depending on your kitchen design. They can also be hidden behind racks.
Due to powerful centrifugal exhaust fans, they work quite well. The air can be vented out of the wall or ceiling
Many different sizes and styles are available depending on your budget. They are bit heavier on the pocket.
Another thing worth mentioning is that a lot of ducting can be involved if there is no outside wall and the kitchen can look cloggy appearance wise.
Ceiling hanging hoods or free hoods
These hoods are made for island or peninsular cooktops where cooktops occupy the center of the kitchen and are not near any wall.
They are very expensive and the installation is quite tricky.
There are many different designs and styles available in the market. A plus point is that the installation can be done with varying heights depending on how much free space you need to avoid blocking of view.
Please note that the higher the vent is from the cooktop surface, the more powerful and large it has to be for proper venting.
If you choose a flat design, the flat fans are not like a powerful centrifugal fan on wall mounted ones. These flat fans are not very effective at suctioning and exhausting cooking smells and grease.
A downdraft is not a hood. There are two designs of downdraft ventilation. One sits in a groove alongside the cooktop and pops up when you turn it on. It is otherwise out of view, behind or beside the stove.
The other design is in the center of the stove between the burners. Basement installed fans are quieter and more powerful. However, they are quite expensive.
Downdrafts are not very apt at removing smoke, steam, grease, and odors as they are fighting against the rising natural current of air. Pulling air down is not as effective as pulling air upwards. There can be still some smoke which manages to come upwards.
They can be with duct or without ducts. The ducts can be installed beneath the floor in the basement, where the vent is exhausted to the outside.
They take a lot of space where another cooktop burner could be placed. It can also be tricky to manipulate cooking on the cooktop with a downdraft in the center.
In terms of power and durability, wall mounted hoods offer the best option for ventilation. Go for a ducted range and get it installed by a professional.
You can select other features that you want in a hood – features like automatic shutoff, filter change indicators, heat sensors to adjust blower speed.
If you do not do a lot of frying and searing than a normal wall-mounted ventilation hood with less CFM is good enough rather than a powerful centrifugal fan with good CFM.
Even though a lot of heat does not get generated in the pot, there is steam, smoke, and grease because of which ventilation for induction is a necessary investment.
Be aware however of your local building and house laws for ventilation. Go for a less noisy fan, a ventilation hood which gives good direct overhead lighting for visualization and great aesthetics. Adjustable lighting with LED or dimmer switch according to your preference.
A smaller house will require less ventilation than a bigger house. If you have a tightly insulated house, there should be a system of makeup air (MUA). In some areas, MUA is regulated by law. It is better to know the building codes and discuss with your manufacturer.
If you are constrained by money or the layout of your kitchen, go for an under cabinet ventilation. It is the cheapest solution. If you do have an outside wall in the kitchen, then I would recommend wall-mounted ventilation.
Armed with good information, I now leave you free to decide what type of venting system you would need for your induction cooktop.
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