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Mar 1, 2009 10:08 AM

How CLEAN is your kitchen exhaust system

When I redid the kitchen a couple years ago, there was a artwork on getting the exhaust system right. Bend radius, how many bends, etc etc. The ductwork itself was composed of custom steel crappy expandable aluminum, etc.

The hood we chose is a Best by Broan K260 series.
My biggest gripes with the hood is how its constucted. The frontal part is not truly SEALED from the *grate duct* and it draws air from the lights in the front of the hood, in addition to some misc odd end frontal seams. This makes the hood much less ineffective to a degree and oil buildup around the hood lamps in addition to the front seams in which *oil* does seep out when the hook gets warm. I assume the oil does seep out due to it being caught in the seams and not being properly drawn out.

I guess the same goes for overall operation. The top exterior of my hood gets a lil greasy/dusty/grimey over time. No problem as I can wipe this clean. However, and this is the biggest bug, the cabinet to the left of the hood, on the side of this cabinet, where the door is, it is CONSTANTLY getting grimey. Grimey to the point that I need to use cleaners to *cut* the grime. We have natural low sheen cherry cabs.

So I sit here in wonderment....thinking, after all the thought thought and design on the hood process and install, why am I sitting here cleaning area in which I expected the hood to not be causing the problems.

So I'm curious to ya'll. How CLEAN or effective is your hood keeping your kitchen clean.
The 1st 3 cabs to the left and right of the hood, all the way on the TOP of the cabs, is slighly dusty/oily. Slight enough for this clean freak to notice. The remainder of this cabinets is not showing the oily film once we get past the 2nd-3rd cabinet.

Is a proper hood install supposed to literally keep the kitchen *oil free*. Bear in mind, and yes, the screename should show, but we probably do our fair share of stir fry as opposed to using the oven.

I'm sure culturual/cooking styles comes into play to a degree but I thought the job of the hood would keep it oilfree from a *airbone* application.

And I think think changing out the hood is even a option. The ductwork that is married to the hood output is pretty much set in stone. ...

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  1. We have a Best by Braun WP29, wall mounted opposite an exterior 1200CFM blower. The hood is mounted a mere 29 inches over the 105 Btu six burner stove top. We're grease free outside the hood. Nor are we getting a buildup of grease over the light fixture housing. Filters are cleaned in the dishwasher at least every two weeks while the interior is wiped clean. Our only problem was that the hood was a head knocker until we got used to where it was.

    1. Very interesting. We have a Broan QS 3. While this is a top of the line model, it is from a much cheaper line. The CFM rating is comparable to the low end of the K260, but it appears to have the same blower design. The lights appear identical to those in the K260 and are in the same place. The filters are aluminum screens, as opposed to baffles. It is vented outside directly to the rear via a few inches of rectangular duct.

      This hood works flawlessly. Virtually all grease is trapped by the filters. Nothing is drawn from around the lights and, indeed, the light surfaces themselves don't accumulate grease. The underside of the hood seldom needs wiping.

      The inside of the hood, power unit, and exhaust outlet have never needed cleaning in three years. The filters go in the dishwasher when necessary, usually every 3-4 weeks. The hood signals if the filters are starting to clog.

      The outside of the hood doesn't accumulate grease. Foods will splatter on the cupboard sides to the left and right below the hood level (this is an under cupboard installation), but the cupboard fronts above the hood don't get any messier than those elsewhere in the kitchen.

      A light grease coating accumulates on top of the cupboards, where we have recessed lighting. This must be cleaned about once a year and can't be blamed on the hood.

      It seems inconceivable that our hood would be so much better in quality than the one you have. You do describe yourself as a "clean freak", and no rational residential hood will keep a kitchen literally "grease free". The commercial vents that could do this would also lift carpets - and possibly suck in small animals and children :-)

      Assuming your "clean freakness" isn't ridiculously obsessive, it sounds like you have a defective hood, a poor installation, or both. Unless others report similar, unresolved problems with this unit (here; garden web, etc), you should follow up.

      1. chefwong, I have a pro style Viking wall hood and it's also not sealed around the lights. I just remove my baffles and clean them with a degrease and then attack the rest of the hoods interior with the same degrease. I get grease droplets around my light bulbs and little streams that will drip from the grease trap that the baffels sit in. I clean my hood about 2X a month or more if I've done a lot of frying or pan frying.

        1. And you "think think" changing out the hood is even a option? What the hell are you talking about?

          1. '... Is a proper hood install supposed to literally keep the kitchen *oil free*. ..."


            Wipe down your cabinets and enjoy your cooking.