Preventing cold air from entering a kitchen

Even the most sophisticated manual thermostats may not be able to compete against kitchen drafts from unlikely places.

Even the best manual thermostat can't win the fight against kitchen drafts. I found this out the hard way last year when I bought a Honeywell Focus 5100. The product fit great with the clean, modern aesthetic our kitchen had, and the backlit display made it easy to alter, even when we wanted to dim the lights to save on electricity. However, we found that no matter how tight we kept the doors, our thermostat was working overtime to ensure the house was a warm 72 degrees.

One possible area to check when this happens in your home is the cooking range vent. Our home happens to have a particularly large steel version over the oven. This helps ensure that when the cooking smells less than lovely, smells are quickly transported outside. However, the cold air that it pumps these odors into can just as easily get back inside if the device isn't functioning properly.

This could be the result of improperly functioning vents or ducts that are getting sucked into the house. To find out for sure, it's best to unscrew the screen cover. This piece is usually located on the vent hood. Here, you'll find the duct flap – the one I wrote about in a previous post that can also cause problems in bathroom vents. A duct flap is usually a pretty reliable device, but when it's out of whack it can really cause problems.

Hopefully, for you readers out there fixing the problem will be as simple as degreasing a vent flap that's stuck open. Otherwise, you may need to examine the external cap, insulate the vent pipes or ensure the vent itself was properly installed. 

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