Range hood cleaning ranks near the top of everyone’s list of detestable chores. Unfortunately, because vent hoods are so difficult to maintain, people often neglect them. This can create a variety of hazardous conditions and potential problems, shortening the life of the ventilation system and rendering it ineffective and possibly dangerous. Here are some helpful hints for making this unpleasant task easier.
Cleaning the Range Hood Filters
The exhaust fan system’s sole purpose is to suck up the fumes, smoke and grease produced during the cooking process and vent them away safely. Consequently, if it’s doing its job, the filters quickly become dirty and difficult to clean. Although some filters are dishwasher safe, this approach should be used only for periodic maintenance once you’ve done an extreme cleaning. Pop the filter(s) out, then fill your sink with a mixture of grease-busting liquid dish soap, baking soda and boiling water. Drop the filter in and let it soak for 15 minutes, then scrub with a non-abrasive scrubbing pad. Use more dish liquid if necessary and scrub until the filter is clean. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry before replacing. Clean the filters at least once a month or more often if you cook frequently. Remember that the filters can become greasy and clogged even if you don’t run the vent fan. If your model uses activated charcoal filters, these cannot be cleaned. Replace this type of filter at least once each year.
Cleaning the Vent Hood Lighting
Most range hoods include a light bulb cover panel, however, some older models leave the bulb exposed. Clean plastic covers in the same manner as described above for filters, taking care not to scratch the plastic. If the bulb is exposed, switch off the breaker to the hood then remove the bulb. Use a strong kitchen cleaning and degreasing spray with a cloth or sponge to clean the area around the bulb as well as the other metal areas on the hood’s underside. Dry with a cloth or paper towels then allow the area to air dry for several hours before putting in a new bulb and restoring power.
Recommended Range Hood Maintenance
As greasy as those filters were, the inside of the ventilation system is likely to also be full of crud. This buildup can cause the hood to short out or catch fire in extreme cases. Even if you are diligent about cleaning the exterior of your vent hood, regular cleaning and maintenance of the fan and vent tube is necessary as well. This is not a do-it-yourself project, but requires the expertise of a professional hood-cleaning service or appliance repair company. This is especially true if your range hood is the ductless type, as these can rapidly become ineffective when dirty, potentially exposing you to toxic fumes.
In the Salt Lake City area, Complete Appliance Repair can provide professional repair and maintenance service for your range hood. When it’s time to replace your stove’s ventilation system, their professional service techs can remove your old model and provide installation of the new one. Contact them today for more professional advice on range hood cleaning and maintenance.