On hot summer days, when smog settles like an ominous cloud over the city, it’s recommended that you stay indoors and avoid non-essential travel to limit exposure to air pollution. But if you’re used to cooking without running your range hood, the air quality in your kitchen could be just as bad! Here’s why.

Cooking and Indoor Air Pollution

Cooking using natural gas produces nitrogen oxides, emissions similar to those generated by vehicles on the road. In 2018, a University of Saskatchewan study showed that nitrogen oxide levels from gas cookers sometimes exceed Health Canada’s exposure standards within an hour and remain high for several hours.

Even when using electric appliances, cooking food emits air pollution. Frying or sautéing using oil produces acrolein, a lung irritant also found in tobacco smoke. Any form of heated cooking sends volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air: one British study reports that the air in a kitchen can be up to three times more polluted than that of a typical London street after making a simple omelette.

If you’re worried about air quality in your kitchen, the solution is simple: turn on your range hood.

The Importance of a High-Quality Range Hood

Your range hoodplays a vital role in cleaning up the indoor air by venting pollutants, smoke and harmful substances away from your property through a duct.

However, an American studyreports that only 12.5% of respondents use their range hood “most of the time when the oven or cooktop is on.” Among those who use it rarely or never, 47.7% consider that it’s not needed, 20.7% find it too noisy, and 16.1% don’t think about it.

If you choose a sufficiently powerful and quiet range hood, you’re more likely to use it. If you’re worried about forgetting to, go with a smart range hood featuring a heat sensor that will automatically activate the appliance once the air above the cooking surface gets hot enough.

Aroua range hoods are also equipped with an automatic shutoff feature. In addition to improving the appliance’s lifespan (since it doesn’t stay on needlessly), this frees you to do other things—such as entertaining your guests—knowing that your range hood will turn itself off automatically when it’s no longer needed.

How to Improve Air Quality in Your Kitchen :

  • Turn on your range hood whenever you use your range, oven or cooktop.
  • Whenever possible, use the back burners. Your range hood will pick up twice as many air pollutants from these as from the front.
  • If your appliance has multiple speed settings, choose the most appropriate one according to your cooking needs.
  • Clean your range hood’s filter at least every two to three months or according to your appliance’s reminder feature.
  • If it’s nice and warm outside, crack open a window!