Baffle Filters vs. Vent-A-Hood Magic Lung

Restaurant-grade appliances in your kitchen sounds like a home cook’s dream come true. You can cook faster, clean easier, and wow friends and family when you entertain better with just a few turns of the knobs and switches of your kitchen equipment. 

Back in the 90’s, home appliance companies caught on to this and started introducing miniature “baffle” style filters similar to the large baffle filters used in restaurants. While these Mini-baffle filters looked the same, that’s where the similarities stopped.

A Baffle Filter

Most homeowners are not aware of the significant differences between our homes and a restaurant environment.  It’s easy to think all kitchen appliances would work the same way no matter where they’re located right? Not exactly. Let’s take a closer look at some of the core differences between why a baffle works well for a restaurant, but may not necessarily work well for a home cook with a powerful commercial style range or cooktop.

  1. They’re Built for Speed

For baffle filters to work, air must flow through them so fast that the grease in the cooking exhaust is essentially ripped from the air as it passes through them.  This is by design for baffles.  Loud and powerful fans force the cooking exhaust through a few 90 degree turns (baffles) in an effort to cool and catch grease and oils as cooking exhaust passes through them.  On full speed, this is reasonably effective, but when baffle hoods are run on low, over 75% of the oil, grease and steam can pass right through them and up into your homes ducting.  When baffle style vent hoods operate on low speed, they are far, far less effective at removing any of the grease odor and steam from the cooking exhaust coming from our pots and pans. The baffles may capture some of the steam and grease, but a high percentage of it will move right past the baffle “filters” and up into your ductwork.  

  1. They can be a hazard

On high speed, baffle filters usually capture around 50% of the grease, oil and steam.  In restaurants, so much grease is captured in their baffles on very high speeds that they often empty out into large capture systems on the roof or exterior of a restaurant.  We are talking buckets worth. 

With so much grease clogging restaurant ventilation systems, it’s critical that they regularly clean the baffles each day and that they have their duct work professionally cleaned every 90 days to help prevent grease fires.  Because very few if any homeowners regularly clean the impossible to reach insides of their homes cooking ventilation ducting, the grease that passes by a residential hood with a baffle filter is left to build up inside of a home’s duct work, increasing the chances of a grease fire getting out of hand during a cooktop fire.

Baffle style filters remove a good amount of the grease when run on full speed, but they miss a lot of it when the baffle hood is run at anything less than full speed. Over time, grease builds up on the inside of the walls of the kitchen ventilation and your home ducting as well as cabinets, curtains, walls and floors. Very few homeowners regularly clean the impossible-to-reach insides of their home’s ventilation systems or their ducting of course and this leads to two hazard risks:

  1. Fire hazards from the built-up grease.
  2. Infestation hazard of bugs, insects and small rodents that are attracted to the smell of the built-up cooking grease running through your homes duct work.

Both are cause for serious concern. 

  1. They’re Dirty
While they start out looking beautiful, once we use a residential baffle or filter hood, the high amount of grease and oil that gets past them collects behind the filters that are designed to be removed.  While its easy to throw the filters in a dishwasher, the inside of the hoods have sharp edges and loose wires that make these areas impossible to clean. This leaves a sticky, messy grease laden interior that invites dust and pests to collect in the motor and duct area.  This only adds to the potential risks of a grease fire.


Ventilation Blower

  1. They’re Loud

In restaurants, patrons don’t notice the sound of filters running at full speed because they’re in the dining room. There, they enjoy ambient noise, soft music, and a quiet place to eat which is away from the hustle and bustle of the kitchen. 

In the home, baffle filters get very noisy when turned on to full blast. This creates an unbearably loud noise for most and few homeowners can ignore it for an extended period of time.

To quiet the noise, we often either end up not using our hoods, or turning them to the lowest setting which renders baffle and filter hoods virtually useless at removing heat, grease, oil and steam.  Insufficient ventilation, fire hazards, and loud noise aren’t ideal in our homes and especially not when we are entertaining.  The “commercial” look of “baffle” styler residential cooking range hoods isn’t enough to overpower the downsides. The answer is simple: Leave baffle filters running on high speed in the restaurants, where they belong.

The Magic Lung from Vent-A-Hood

One hood manufacturer realized the struggle baffle and mesh filters were creating. Vent-A-Hood designed a unique hood patented to use centrifugal force to capture grease, oil and separate them from the air.

Here are a few reasons why homeowners are now opting for this style of hood over hoods with baffle and screen style filters:

  1. It’s easy to clean. Vent-a-Hood included an EZ clean tray that just slides out. Homeowners can simply remove the tray and wash it in the dishwasher. Even better, for deep cleaning, there are no sharp edges and no loose wires so cleaning the inside of the hood is easy too.
  2. Its Quiet. Vent-A-Hood doesn’t have to push air through baffles or screens that create a lot of back pressure and noise from restricting the air.  The magic lung motor quietly separates the grease from the air and doesn’t drive you crazy with noise while your cooking.
  3. It runs at a consistent speed. When switched on, the centrifugal unit is working consistently to separate the grease from the cooking air. This allows it to run on full speed at all times, without overpowering the home with loud noise. 
Vent-A-Hood Magic Lung

Our Recommendation

Without question, we believe Vent-A-Hood’s Magic Lung is the ideal choice for home cooking ventilation. It’s effective in filtering the cooking contaminates and captures over 99% of the heat, grease, odor, and steam created in home kitchens. If you are interested in learning more about purchasing a Vent-A-Hood for your home, browse our collection of Vent-A-Hood's online here or by scheduling an appointment with one of our experts by calling 206-574-0770.

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