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THE SENSIBLE HOME

New Range Hoods Can Save Energy, Cut Noise

September 01, 1996|JAMES DULLEY | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

QUESTION: My old range vent hood is getting noisier and it doesn't draw out cooking odors and grease well. Are there new, more contemporary-looking vent hood designs that are quiet and efficient?

ANSWER: There are many recent advances in the design, safety and efficiency of range hoods. The best range hoods draw out odors and grease without sucking out excessive heated or cooled air. This saves energy and reduces noise.

The variety of contemporary designs of range hoods is nearly endless. Many of the newer high-tech-looking models use clear plastic or glass formed into attractive flowing contours. These shapes are also computer-designed to produce the most efficient exhaust air flow patterns.

New hide-away designs of range hoods are popular in contemporary kitchens. These include telescopic downdraft, pull-out and tilt-out.

A stylish telescopic downdraft vent design is only two inches thick and mounts behind the range. When it is not in use, it retracts flush with the range top so you cannot see it. Touch a button, and it automatically comes up and the blower starts.

Telescopic downdraft models have powerful motors to suck the odors down and out. These designs have air flows as high as 900 cubic feet per minute for effective venting. Some models have electronic speed memory.

Even with the high air flow, they are quiet because the blower motors are behind the range. For light cooking, they are extremely effective because they suck out the odors before they dissipate into the air. Many times they can be run on a low, energy-efficient speed.

New ultra-slim slide-out range hoods slide out horizontally from under the cabinets above the range. The section that slides out is very thin and made of glass. This allows for more light on the cooking surface.

A tilt-out range hood design is mounted in the cabinets over the range. A matching cabinet front is attached to the hinged tilt-out portion. When it is closed, it looks like a cabinet. Tilt out the bottom and it starts.

For the greatest convenience, efficiency and quiet, choose a range hood with full variable speed controls. Some models have electronic cooking heat sensors to automatically adjust the blower speed to the proper level. They also have high-heat alarms to alert you if you forget that you have food on the stove and it starts to burn.

One convenient feature is infrared warming lights built in under the hood. Fold-out trays flip down to hold the foods under the warming lights. Easy-clean filters, cleaning time alert and extra soundproofing are pluses.

Write for Update Bulletin No. 663 showing a buyer's guide of 16 manufacturers of high-tech, contemporary range hoods listing designs, speed controls, colors and prices. Please include $2 and a business-size self-addressed stamped envelope and mail to James Dulley, Los Angeles Times, 6906 Royalgreen Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45244.

Check Building Codes About Roof Layers

Q: My house is due for a new shingle roof. Is it necessary to remove the old shingles first, and what color is best?

A: First check your local building codes. Most codes allow two layers of shingles and some allow three layers. If you do not have to remove the old ones, many hours of labor will be saved.

Make a quick inspection of the roof to determine the condition of the old shingles. If they are not cupped and the new shingles will lie smoothly over them, do not remove them. Select the lightest color of shingle. A light roof greatly reduces shingle temperatures and heat gain in the summer.

Letters and questions to Dulley, a Cincinnati-based engineering consultant, may be sent to James Dulley, Los Angeles Times, 6906 Royalgreen Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45244.

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