If you like to cook for big parties at your home or just prefer to prepare all your meals, you know the kitchen is one of your home’s most important rooms. An open kitchen with high-end equipment and gadgets is becoming common in modern house design. When thinking of ways to combat the heat, AC in the kitchen is probably the first thing that springs to mind. If you’re wondering whether having AC in the kitchen is a good or bad idea or if your HVAC system could change how you cook your family recipes, read on.
Cooking at home is a great experience, at least for most people. Home-cooked meals are often packed with the essential nutrients for a balanced diet. However, the heat often gets intolerable, especially on sweltering summer days when temperatures can soar to 50 degrees Celsius. To keep the temperature in your cooking area under control, an air conditioner is critical. Your HVAC system presents several benefits in the kitchen, as long as you take a few safety precautions. Whether your recipes include craft beer, secret herbs, or organic lecithin, here’s how your HVAC system can impact how you cook your family recipes.
1. Less Kitchen Odor
Nothing brings on an appetite like the aroma of a well-cooked meal. Unfortunately, even after dinner is over, cooking aromas tend to linger on in your home. Your HVAC system will work to eliminate stuffiness and other aromas, leaving the entire house smelling as fresh as ever. The system allows for ventilation, and your kitchen’s exhaust system gets rid of the bad air. You can have several exhaust systems in your kitchen, one for steam-generating appliances like baking ovens and dishwashing machines, and another for heat and grease-generating kitchen appliances like cooktops, grills, and fryers.
2. Maintain Comfort
Comfort significantly affects how you cook your family recipes. The heat generated during cooking can make a kitchen quite uncomfortable. With a functioning HVAC system, you have complete control over the temperature in your kitchen, even when appliances such as ovens and gas stoves are operating. An HVAC system gets rid of excess heat and steam, making your kitchen environment much more comfortable. Consulting an expert is the best way to determine which system is ideal for you. Professional HVAC services offering effective AC and furnace repairs have in-depth knowledge that can be helpful in choosing the right system for your kitchen, so you can make meals in a comfortable setting.
3. Food Preservation
Depending on your needs, air conditioning systems are designed to maintain ideal temperatures in a space. Installed in your kitchen, the HVAC system regulates the temperature and provides a host of advantages. These include maintaining stable food-safe temperatures and preserving the freshness of your ingredients for a bit longer. Food preservation significantly affects how you cook your family recipes.
4. Protection from Moisture Issues
Moisture affects how you cook your family recipes. When it comes to moisture-related problems, which often arise in kitchens, the right ventilation can make a huge difference. With a functioning HVAC system, you can protect your kitchen from moisture-related problems. This guards against costly and time-consuming damage and repairs to your kitchen and the rest of the home.
5. Promotes a Proper Dining Experience
An air conditioner not only makes cooking more comfortable but also dining with the whole family more enjoyable by fostering a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Without adequate ventilation, you and your family will hardly enjoy your meals in the kitchen. It’s the one area in your home no one would want to stay in for long if it doesn’t have a functioning HVAC system.
What Distinguishes a Kitchen Air Conditioner From a Typical Room Air Conditioner?
A kitchen air conditioner significantly affects how you cook your family recipes. Keep in mind that if you use the same brand, size, and capacity of air conditioner in both your kitchen and other rooms, the kitchen unit will perform differently than the others. A rise in energy costs is inevitable since an air conditioner in the kitchen uses 20% to 40% more electricity due to dust, oil, and debris.
Food preparation may be a little more problematic since heated ingredients tend to cool down quickly. This can especially present a challenge when making several dishes at the same time. The expense of maintenance tends to be higher since oil and smoke often get lodged within the air conditioner.
Considerations for Installing AC in the Kitchen
Before installing an air conditioner in the kitchen, there are a few things you should factor in for optimal effect. These include:
1. Using a Chimney
Before adding air conditioning to the kitchen, have a chimney installed. The smoke generated while cooking without a chimney makes the kitchen environment stuffy and uncomfortable and affects how you cook your family recipes. This can lead to suffocation and other breathing challenges. Consequently, you should have a chimney installed first before installing an HVAC system. Grease and smoke from cooking damage not just the home’s interior but also the health of those who spend time in your kitchen. A well-functioning chimney is ideal for capturing smoke.
2. Using a Fan or Air Conditioner With Spot Cooling
You’re probably aware that you can’t use a ceiling fan in your kitchen; it’ll extinguish the glass flame. However, you can install an air cooler with spot cooling. You can’t use a regular room or desert cooler here, only those with spot cleaning. Air coolers with a blower-type fan can provide spot cooling, which concentrates the airflow towards you without affecting the gas flame.
3. Setting Up the AC
The positioning of the AC unit is an important factor to consider as it significantly affects how you cook your family recipes. Don’t place an air conditioner directly above or next to a gas burner. When you cook on a stove, grease and other food components evaporate, which can block your air conditioner. This results in the progressive buildup of dirt, which can obstruct cooling and ventilation operations. Therefore, positioning the AC far from, or at the other end of the kitchen where your cooking burner is located is recommended.
4. Choosing the Right AC
The AC you choose significantly affects how you cook your family recipes. By conducting adequate research and developing a clear understanding of AC specifications, you’re better positioned to choose the right AC for your kitchen. With a small air conditioner, maintaining the kitchen’s temperature at around 26 to 28 degrees Celsius is recommended. This temperature optimizes the cooking process. Before installing AC in the kitchen, check the energy star rating. An AC with a high energy rating is better at balancing power consumption and energy load.
5. Keep Away From Gas Stoves
Even with a kitchen hood, the greasy vapor from your cooking evaporates and condenses near your cabinets, countertop, and kitchen sink. Placing your AC next to the stove isn’t a good idea. As part of its natural cooling process, an air conditioner releases or absorbs the air. So, positioning an air conditioner next to a gas stove eventually causes it to absorb more of the steam produced while cooking, which can slow the cooling process.
6. Avoid Centralized Air Conditioner in the Kitchen
If you have central air conditioning, every room in your home is likely to have supply and return air. While return air has numerous benefits, a kitchen shouldn’t use it as the aromas from cooking are sent to the central air conditioner and distributed throughout the entire home. This may eventually cause your home to be musty and smoky. At the same time, the lack of return air causes the supply air to generate a positive pressure in the kitchen, which forces the odor into the other rooms. Therefore, avoid using a central air installation in your kitchen.
7. Upgrade Your Cooking Methods
There are a few extra things to think about before installing AC in the kitchen. A majority of homes typically use gas burners for cooking. But just as times change, so do our kitchens. If you intend to turn your kitchen into an air-conditioned space, it may be wise to switch to induction and use a microwave rather than a stove. Induction cooktops don’t heat the kitchen up as LPG burners do. If you’re not ready to give up your stove, try to keep the air conditioner off while cooking. Keep your ovens and freezers in different rooms because they both emit heat.
8. Avoid Placing Hot Items Under the Air Conditioner
When cooking, hot appliances such as pressure cookers, rice cookers, microwaves, and ovens generate and release heated steam. As much as you can, avoid letting this hot steam into your air conditioner. Your air conditioner’s power consumption will go up as a result. If hot appliances are placed too close to your air conditioner, they’ll eventually get burnt. You may notice that the cover of the air conditioner has a burn mark. Although this won’t affect the functioning of the air conditioner, you may find the sight unpleasant. Basic cleaning isn’t enough to get rid of the burn mark. The plastic cover will often need to be replaced.
Maintenance Tips for AC in the Kitchen
AC maintenance can have a significant impact on how you cook your family recipes. By performing regular maintenance and taking better care of your AC, you can significantly extend its useful life. Maintenance improves the efficiency of your air conditioner and promotes its safe operation. Here are a few maintenance tips that can help keep your air conditioner in great working shape.
1. Regularly Replace or Clean the AC Filters
The room will take longer to cool if the AC filters are dirty. Your air conditioner’s filters need to be cleaned or changed frequently. If possible, wash your AC filter every three to four weeks or replace it once a month.
2. Repair AC leaks
If there is a problem, the air in the ductwork of your air conditioner can leak by up to 30%. As a result, energy consumption will rise, and the air conditioner’s functionality will be hampered. To locate the source of the leak, use an incense stick. Hold the stick next to the air ducts and burn it; if smoke comes out, there is a leak. If the leak isn’t severe, you can manually seal it with foil or duct tape. If you can’t locate the leak, contacting an expert in air conditioner repairs, such as furnace repairs or geothermal HVAC system repairs, is recommended.
3. Make Good Use of the Timer Feature
We often make the mistake of running air conditioners throughout the day. As a result, the lifespan and working capacity are significantly reduced. You can specify the times you want your air conditioner to turn on using the timer feature. This means your AC won’t overwork and will be less likely to experience a technical problem.
4. Service Your Compressor and Condenser Regularly
Pay attention to the compressor or condenser of your air conditioner, which is often located outside the home. Before installing it, make sure nothing is in the air conditioner’s path, at least within 2 feet on all sides. To avoid dust buildup, clean the equipment often. Also, consider building a shield for protection against direct sun rays.
It is clear that an HVAC system is a necessary piece of kitchen equipment that every homeowner needs. Installing air conditioners in kitchen spaces is becoming a more popular trend. By considering the aforementioned factors before installing AC in your kitchen, you’ll get the most out of it.
From granite kitchen countertops to hiring luxury home remodeling services, we equip our homes with all the amenities we can afford to make them comfortable places to live. Why not make your kitchen better as well? No matter how much time you spend in the kitchen working the oven or stove, an HVAC system will effectively facilitate a comfortable environment. Get a high-quality appliance that meets your kitchen’s needs and let an experienced and qualified residential HVAC contractor install it for you. This way you be sure the gadget is installed correctly for maximum function.