’Tis the season for lots of cooking – whether you’re making food for family, goodies for the neighbors, or extra dishes for the local soup kitchen. The kitchen is often called the heart of the home, and there’s a lot of heart during the holidays. So make sure you’re taking steps to keep it properly ventilated; help your kitchen keep it’s cool when the oven’s working overtime.
Here are a few tips to help keep the air fresh and free of smoke and lingering odors in your kitchen and around the house.
OVER THE OVEN
Use your hood fan
It helps to ventilate the steam created by cooking by turning on the fan in your oven’s hood over the stovetop. Directing that hot and/or damp air up through the fan and having it pushed outside through your ventilation system is a good way to keep your kitchen cooler and keep the moisture from making the room uncomfortable.
Keep the cooking temperatures down
When cooking during the holidays (or at any time) you might have several things going on your stovetop at once. If you’re boiling something, don’t let it run on high. A full-on boil produces a lot of steam and fogs up everything in the room. Lower temperatures will get the job done just as well, and use less energy in the process.
Avoid burning your food
It sounds simple, but a good way to keep from making smoke is to avoid burning your food. (That goes for cooking oil as well as pots and pans.) Use timers on you stove, additional timers, and even apps to help you remember when to remove something or turn it down.
OPEN A WINDOW
Create a draft
If you don’t have a hood fan, the next best thing is to create a draft by opening a window. It’s best if you can open more than one window. Having a couple of windows open will create a draft that can move the smoke and steam away from your culinary efforts. It’s best if two windows are in the same room, but opening one down the hall will also be helpful.
Use a box fan in the window
Any hardware store or hardware aisle in a department store has inexpensive box fans on hand. These are a great way to help circulate air in your kitchen. Place one in your window and turn it so the fan is blowing outside the window. This may seem counterintuitive, but you want the smoky or steamy air getting pulled from your kitchen and then blown outside.
Use a dehumidifier
Sometimes things get a little on the humid side, what with all the cooking and dish washing and laundry going on during this time. A dehumidifier can help maintain the right moisture levels in your home.
Contact us if you’re interested in adding a dehumidifier to your furnace or want us to check your ventilation system. And Happy Holidays from us here at Heating Specialties!