How to cope without a vent hood - ozone filters?
I know this is not really a post about a home cooking recipe, but it does have to do with cooking at home.
I am moving into an apartment without a hood vent or a nearby window. A fan would simply blow smoke and smells into the living room, and the only window is on the opposite side of the room.
Does anyone have any experience with an ozone air filter? I've heard that when placed strategically above the stove, it will suck in any smoke or smells generated from my cooking and remove any odors I'd prefer to confine to my kitchen.
If anyone had any other suggestions about cooking without a hood vent (which I know many people do very successfully), I'd appreciate any suggestions as well.
If the place you are moving to is in the United States, I believe it is an illegal residence. If memory serves, ALL kitchens must have some form of exhaust fan.
I don't know much about ozone filters but I don't rememebr that they are "high volume throughput" types - they don't pass a lot of air quickly, which is what you really want...
I would probably advise against an ozone filter for the following reasons:
1. There have been studies that show that ozone air purifiers can cause respiratory and other health issues.
2. An air purifier is probably not going to move enough air to really do a decent job of filtering. At best it would be like the recirculating vent systems in the stovetop microwaves which really don't help much for smells. Systems like that might help a little in terms of containing the airborne oil from sauteing/stir frying but you need a filter and a large fan right above the stove and the gains from it are probably not going to be worth the trouble.
I used to live in an apartment pretty similar to yours and the best way I found to vent the kitchen was to take a large fan and blow the air through the room towards the window.
I appreciate your comments re: ozone air purifiers. With more research, it seems that many users and experts echo your concerns.
It seems like air filters with fans that utilize carbon/charcoal filters do the best job of filtering out smells, so I may trial that option and see how that works.
I have used a recirculating vent hood. (ie does not vent externally). They are not as good as a proper one but do a reasonable job of grease extraction. The odours though still linger.
I am not sure how well an air purifier would stand up to being loaded with grease.
I had several apartments that came with recirculating air filter hoods. They were certainly better than nothing. If you get a hood with a reasonably high CFM rating (300+) that can be set up to recirculate, and keep your filters very clean, you will get some grease extraction. The recirculating filters used in over-the-stove microwaves - at least those I've experienced - don't work.
Charcoal filters do have some odor reduction properties, though their effectiveness is quite limited. You must use these in addition to metal grease filters and you must replace them often. Washing these destroys their small amount of odor reducing capability.
A large exhaust fan in the nearest window will vent out smoke, but only after drawing it through your living space. If the area between stove and fan is relatively empty, this might be a good bet. If valuable carpeting and upholstered furniture are in that area, it might not be a good idea.
Ozone works - very well, in fact. Disaster restoration companies use it when they clean up after fires. However, as your research undoubtedly showed, an effective level of ozone is something you don't really want to breathe.
A large standalone air cleaner using HEPA filters will clean your air. However, I doubt that any of these are designed to trap large amounts of grease. This would also become a very expensive solution over time.