This time of year, many homeowners start planning for the busy holiday season ahead. Part of your planning should be thinking about ways to ensure your oven range and other vital kitchen appliances are ready to handle the inevitable spikes in holiday meal making. One of the best ways to get all of your kitchen appliances ready is with regular maintenance.
Your kitchen has more appliances per square foot than any other area in your home. Keeping up with maintenance for each kitchen appliance be daunting, even when you take each task one at a time. The encouraging takeaway to tackling maintenance tasks? It can help to keep those appliances from faltering when you need them the most. Few homeowner woes feel more exasperating than when an essential kitchen appliance, like the oven, stops working—especially when you have a houseful of holiday guests.
Your Oven is Always Working Overtime
You likely work your oven range every day of the week, but it does even more overtime during the holidays. In addition to keeping the inside of the oven maintained, cleaning the range hood filter is an important home maintenance task to tackle this time of year. In fact, most specialists recommend cleaning these filters every two months to help keep it, the fan, and the hood itself in good working condition.
The range hood filter is a workhorse, collecting airborne grease as you cook—this is a big reason why you should always turn on your range’s exhaust fan when you cook. In addition to expelling air pollutants from the cooking process out through the range hood, when the exhaust fan runs, the filter captures grease, cooking oil, and other particulates before they can reach the hood.
Think about it this way—if you are not using your oven’s exhaust fan every time you cook, what might you be inhaling while you’re making dinner, and what could be drifting into other rooms, potentially leading to unhealthy air quality in your home?
Ready to Clean That Gunky Range Filter?
Of course, you always uses your oven’s exhaust fan as you cook, so you can easily imagine how much gunk is building up on the filter. As all that greasy, sticky goop builds up, the filter, the exhaust fan, and the hood lose their effectiveness.
Here’s what to do first:
- Get out your best grease-fighting dishwashing liquid soap as well as some baking soda.
- Be sure you have a clean, non-abrasive scrub brush handy (and if you are a never-cleaned-it-before homeowner, have some ultra-fine steel wool handy for the seriously baked-on stuff).
- Look under your range hood and check if the filter is screwed into the hood. (The filter is typically a metal mesh panel if this is your first time looking under the hood.) Then get the right screwdriver handy.
- Start a big pot of water to boil.
- Plug a stopper into the kitchen sink, fill sink with some cold water, and check that it doesn’t leak.
10 Quick Steps to a Clean Range Filter
Now let’s get that filter cleaned up. It’s not difficult—in fact, you can tackle this task in less than an hour (unless you have just realized you’ve never cleaned it before, of course). Follow these 10 easy steps:
- Put potholders on your hands and carefully pour the boiling water into the sink.
- Add a generous pump of your dish soap and a ¼ cup of baking soda into the water.
- Use a long-handled dish brush to gently swish the water around to get it good and soapy.
- Remove the filter from under the range hood. If it doesn’t require a screwdriver, then typically, it will either pop or slide out.
- Gently place the filter in the hot soapy water. Watch out for splashes! Be sure the filter is fully covered by the soapy water.
- Soak the filter for at least 20 minutes. That is typically enough time to allow the boiled water to cool.
- As the filter is soaking, inspect the fan and clean around the underside of the hood. Turn on the fan to make sure the blades are turning properly. Clean around the housing if the area needs some attention.
- Scrub the filter with the non-abrasive scrub brush. Re-soak as needed or try the ultra-fine steel wool for tough spots.
- Rinse the filter thoroughly in hot water and set it to dry on clean dish towel.
- Place the filter back into the hood. Remember to repeat these steps about every two months.
Breathe deeply. You can get cooking again, knowing the range filter is ready to trap all that greasy gunk floating around—at least for the next few months.
Home Warranty Coverage for Your Oven
Even with regular maintenance, you may just want to avoid Murphy’s Law by getting your oven, as well as other appliances and home systems, covered by a home warranty. It often does hold true that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, so having home warranty coverage can help if a covered item in your home suddenly “goes wrong.” Learn more about what a home warranty is, the appliances and systems that our home warranties can cover, or simply get a quote.