A range ventilator or hood collects and vents the smoke and fumes that are produced during cooking. It is used to ventilate the cooking area and eliminate odors. The ventilator also reduces grease build- up that can cause kitchen fires.

There are certain steps you can take to maximize the life of your cooking ventilator.

The first thing you can do to extend the life of your range hood is make sure it is installed correctly. Proper installation will increase the efficiency of the ventilator. The ductwork should vent to the outside rather than to an interior room. Mounting a hood on an exterior wall will shorten the duct length and increase effectiveness.

The second step to maximizing the life of your cooking ventilator is regular fan maintenance. The fan motor can become slow the more it is used. Regularly inspecting the fan will prevent it from breaking. In addition to checking the fan, you should also check the vent. When grease builds up in the vent, it can weaken the ventilator and shorten its life.

Another way to optimize your range hood’s efficiency is to clean it regularly. The protective filter(s) should be removed and washed with a degreasing cleanser, rinsed and dried thoroughly before being re-installed.

If your hood circulates air instead of venting it, replace the charcoal filters every so often. This will prevent any buildup of grease which can damage the ventilator. Even venting units need filter replacement on a regular basis.

No matter what type of range hood you have, providing regular maintenance to the unit will extend its life significantly. Periodically clean and check for proper operation of your ventilator. You will have a more efficient and powerful appliance that you can depend on for years to come.