Among the several problems that many rental homes, as well as old homes face, is having a badly ventilated kitchen. It is the absence of a range hood that creates all these problems. Without any infrastructure to capture all the vent smoke, grease splatters, cooking smells, steam, etc. most of the renters end up having a smelly and dingy kitchen. All these cooking outputs remain arrested within the indoors of the kitchen not only hours but even after days of cooking. Moreover, the oily vapours spoil the overall interior of the kitchen. It makes all the kitchen cabinets and the other paraphernalia old and sticky in its appearance.
All the kitchens without proper ventilation outlets are greasy and unattractive. Even the freshly renovated kitchens without proper functioning ventilation facilities end-up becoming old within a very short span. Poor ventilation is all that is required to make a new kitchen look older than it actually is within a short period. The accumulated oil and grease make the kitchen unhygienic and unhealthy too. A kitchen should be the last place in the household which anybody likes to keep unhealthy. Therefore, to maintain the health and hygiene of the entire family, a fresh and clean kitchen is a must.
Do You Need A Range hood For A Gas Stove?
Under ideal conditions, the answer to this question is positive. The range hood is perfect for maintaining a neat, fresh and clean kitchen. It is an expert in removing bad odours, steam, smoke, health contaminants that are produced during cooking. If their big size is what concerns you, there are compact under-cabinet range hoods that can be installed without giving your kitchen that blocky appearance. Alternatively, contemporary over-the-range microwaves could also be used as a thoughtful range hood alternative. However, you may completely work without them with a couple of tweaks that we’ve listed down below.
All gas ranges, for a fact, produce more heat and cooking related fumes as compared to modern radiant electric cooktops or even sleek Induction cooktops. Therefore, kitchens with gas stoves are in a greater need of a suitable venting apparatus. Not implying that an electric stove doesn’t need to be vented. Range hoods effortlessly free the kitchen of the unpleasant odors, pollutants and gases which may potentially turn toxic. It also reduces the bacterial growth of the kitchen to a considerable extent.
However, if range hood installation is difficult (as with ducted range hoods in terms of both, capital and effort) then there are several other methods which can keep the kitchen free from the accumulation of the toxic fumes and keep it fresh and healthy. While ductless range hoods can be a pragmatic alternative to these, you may even skip installing a range hood altogether with some handy kitchen ventilation ideas. We will focus on some of the best range hood alternatives below.
Practical Kitchen Ventilation Ideas If You Don’t Have A Range Hood
1. Use A Portable Kitchen Exhaust Fan.
If you are fortunate enough to have an outlet in your kitchen, then please utilize the space effectively. It is best to install a portable kitchen exhaust fan. It is one of the most popular kitchen ventilation options. The exhaust fans are not of much help regarding the arrest of the oil and grease, but it significantly reduces the accumulation of steam and fumes. Bad odours of cooking are significantly eliminated with a functioning exhaust fan. The overall environment of the kitchen remains cool and airy with the use of exhaust fans. It is one of the best alternatives to a kitchen without a range hood.
2. Use an Over the Range Microwave Oven
Over the Range Microwaves or what many people call them, OTR Microwaves are mounted above your range or gas stove. OTR microwave works similar to your regular countertop microwave but also comes with ventilation system at the bottom. It helps eliminate smoke, steam and cooking odors through the built-in ventilation system. This is the best alternative to a rangehood as it doesn’t look bad and also does the work of a microwave oven. If you think this alternative seems like a good idea, you can check our review of the best over the range microwave ovens that not only look good but also come with lot of features.
3. Install An Activated Carbon Filter Air Purifier
If a kitchen doesn’t have a vent, then installation of an activated carbon filter air purifier is the next best alternative. It captures offensive smells of cooking and prevents the formation of VOCs in the surrounding of its placement. Most large room air purifiers with high CADRs now come with a built-in activated carbon filter in addition to their primary True HEPA filters. Having one installed in your kitchen would essentially mean that you’re done dealing with kitchen odor, fumes, VOCs and other gaseous irritants. If you’re looking for frugal options here, you may consider air purifiers with washable filters. These do not require frequent filter replacements and hence have virtually zero running costs.
As the fumes get arrested, the oil accumulation in the interiors of the kitchen is also reduced significantly. Therefore, in the absence of a range hood, an air purifier is one of the best kitchen ventilation options that can be used to keep a kitchen fresh and airy. But one thing should be monitored regularly is that the filters of these air purifiers must remain clean. Blocked filters can’t absorb the pollutants well.
4. Use Charcoal Briquettes to Manage Moisture and Odour
The kitchen typically being a damp place, using charcoal briquettes can be helpful for efficient absorption of moisture and odor. It purifies the kitchen air significantly. You can put them on a metal tray or sew pouches a place them in different nooks and corners of the kitchen interiors. They keep the offensive kitchen odors at bay and maintain a clean and fresh air. It should be certain that these charcoal briquettes should be perfectly natural, completely devoid of mesquite or any easy-light additives. These charcoal briquettes function just like a charcoal water filter.
Maintaining a Kitchen That Has A Gas Stove Without Vent
1. Clean Your Kitchen Cabinets Frequently
Although kitchen stove venting facilities are must for a neat and clean kitchen, yet many kitchens lack them. As a result, the overall look and appearance of such kitchens become greasy and old. Managing the steams, fumes and odours from the kitchen can somehow be managed easily with some additions and alterations. But removing the tough, greasy and dirty stains from the kitchen cabinets is a tough job in that respect. The only way to get rid of this is to wipe them clean regularly.
Regular cleaning prevents the accumulation of dirt and oil. Apart from the readymade cleaning solutions that are readily available in the market, you can also opt for a vinegar-based home-made solution. It’s best to wipe them out when it’s still fresh because with time these stains get tougher.
2. Steam Aromatic Spices to Fight Away Bad Odour
Kitchen without a range hood often faces a problem of rancid odors of cooking. These bad odours can be combated and balanced with good cooking odour. You can simmer some wedges of lemon in an open pot and then add a handful of whole spices to intensify the aromatic effect. This way, odorous cooking will not be able to spoil the overall atmosphere of the kitchen. Sometimes some strong cooking odours can even linger within a poorly ventilated kitchen for several hours, even days. To avoid such conditions, this simple household technique can be applied with effective and satisfying results.
3. Resort to Alternative Cooking Techniques
For operating in a kitchen without a range hood or which is poorly ventilated, it is better to resort to alternative ways of cooking. There are various types of smart appliances currently available in the market which may serve the purpose. Using electric pressure cookers like the beloved Instant Pots to do your curries and roast meat instead of doing it over an open flame will cause much less fume production. Similarly, opting for multicookers instead of stovetop cooking reduces kitchen fumes and odors. Cooking or boiling with the lid on will also give similar benefits. In a kitchen without range hood, it is best to produce as less fume and smoke as possible. It is easier than redirecting odorous gases within a poorly ventilated kitchen.
Although having a range hood in the kitchen is the best alternative that one can opt for a properly ventilated kitchen; you could get away without it if you work best with available resources. For some reasons (personal preference or specific kitchen layout), it might not always be practical for a homeowner to install a range hood over their gas range. This shouldn’t however translate to a greasy, smelly and unpleasant kitchen. If it’s the big size of hoods that concerns you, you might opt for a compact over-the-range microwave.
In other cases, you can still maintain a clean and fresh kitchen, even without a range hood or any other paired fixture with a ventilation apparatus. We’ve listed down some of the best kitchen ventilation ideas above that would help you better manage a kitchen without range hood. However, these solutions may cost you some conscious efforts here and there besides maintenance. Nonetheless, you could get away with thoughtful alternatives even if your kitchen doesn’t have a vent.
On the flip side, if these solutions don’t seem to be just enough to facilitate apt ventilation in your kitchen, a powerful range hood could indeed be your best bet. Use our reviews of the best models from top brands to decide which one suits you best.