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A good range hood is not only an important kitchen element, but a substantial investment. So, when you count the cash for a quality product, you want to make sure it looks and performs the best it can. Here’s a list of mistakes that homeowners, as well as many installers, make.

Not inspecting on receiving

Just as with every other appliance or piece of home electronics, you should inspect your new range as soon as it arrives. This way, any problems such as shipping damage or missing parts can be solved within the seller’s and carrier’s capabilities. Even though responsible brands inspect their products prior to shipping and pack them sufficiently well to withstand the shipping abuse, damage can occur from time to time. It’s a good idea to plug in the range hood before the installation to see if it’s working. This way, if the installer makes the mistake, you’ll know from where to start.

Ducted vs. ductless

Range hoods can be installed in two configurations – ducted or vented and ductless or recirculating. A ducted configuration is always a better choice, not only because of performance, but also because there’s less noise. Rigid ducting is always preferred over flexible ducts, whose ribbed walls create turbulence and prevent smooth air streaming. However, the worst mistake is terminating the duct in an enclosed space such as the attic. Not only would the back-pressure decrease the effectiveness, but venting the moist kitchen air to another room is a first class ticket to a mould problem.

Ductless installation

Many high-rise condos and co-operative buildings prohibit all wall and façade modifications. In these cases, a recirculating installation is the only solution. Instead of streaming the air outside, the hood uses additional activated charcoal filters to purify the air and return it into the kitchen. Remember that charcoal filters are sold separately, so you need to order those too if you want to run your hood in ductless mode. However, the most common mistake that homeowners make is not changing the filter regularly, which can lead the blower motor to overheat and fail prematurely.

Power connection

If the appliance comes with exposed wires, it needs to be hardwired in an electric connector. If it comes with a plug, it needs to be plugged in. Modifying the way the appliance connects voids the manufacturer’s warranty. Amateur electricians may choose to save a few minutes by cutting the plug and splicing it directly it the electric line, versus installing an outlet. On the other hand, a genuine pro, as this Sydney-based electrician, will follow all the safety regulations when installing your range hood and perform safety checks, no matter what type of range you’ve chosen.

Installation height

The height of you range hood above the cooking surface depends on several factors. First, you need to consider the manufacturer’s recommendation. For most of them, the typical distance is 65 to 75cm above the cooktop. Otherwise, it’s always best to place it on the lower end, since the cooking steam spreads out early, rather than rising in a straight line like smoke. It’s also advisable to position the range hood so that its lights are below eye level, which also makes accessing its controls and cleaning it easier.

Installation process

The vertical chimney of a new range hood is usually covered with a protective plastic film that protects it from scratches during installation. Please make sure your installer is aware that it should not be removed until the installation is through. Models with extensive glass elements should not be lifted by the glass, since a decorative glass panel won’t support a 50kg appliance. Once it’s installed, you can remove dirt and fingerprints using WD-40 or another non-abrasive cleaner and a paper towel.

Although kitchen range hoods are simple appliances, they are expensive and improper installation can reduce both their effectiveness and your safety. Hire an electrician who will connect your range properly and unless ducted configuration is possible, make sure you change the charcoal filters every six months.

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