How to Maintain Proper Ventilation During the Holidays
The holiday season usually means your kitchen is working overtime. Which means ventilation issues may be on the rise.
Dealing with a smoky oven
Smoke has to be dealt with whether it’s a minor annoyance or a major threat. A smoky oven may have several causes, including:
Factory coatings – If you bought a new oven for the holidays, you might see some smoke the first time or two you use your new oven as there is an oil-based factory coating on it. This is normal, but you want to let them burn off before you bake since the burn odor can taint your food.
Baked-on food – Let’s face it, things find their way to the bottom of your oven from previous meals. Over time they harden and burn on subsequent uses.
Cleaning residue – If you’ve used a cleaning solvent on your oven you want to make sure it’s completely wiped clean with water afterward.
High gas pressure – If you have a gas oven, high gas pressure (which commonly results from an improper conversion from propane to natural gas) can create taller, hotter oven flames which can cause smoke. If you suspect this is an issue, consult whoever installed the oven or the gas company.
Faulty heating elements – If you have an electric oven, smoke can be an indicator for a short in the heating elements. If your baking or broiling elements don’t glow red when the oven is in use, they likely need to be replaced and you should contact an electrician.
When smoke happens, there are several ways to vent it out.
Use your hood fan – Turning on the fan inside your oven hood sucks that smoke or steamy air up through the fan and blows it outside through your ventilation system.
Open a window – It’s old school, but an open window can let smoky air out and fresh air in – especially if you can open a couple of windows to create a draft.
Fan air outward – For a little extra power, place a simple box fan in the window and point it outward to pull the smoke out of your kitchen much more quickly.
Dealing with dirty ducts
Of course, having regular HVAC maintenance is ideal for dealing with any ventilation issues. This is a good time to have the licensed professionals of Fountain Hills Air inspect the heating, cooling, and air quality in your home. This is also a good time to make sure your air filters are clean. Dirty, clogged filters not only cause more energy use, they put added stress on your equipment.