There are numerous options if you’re looking to purchase a new range hood. They range from the utilitarian and inexpensive to the designer-styled with added functions, and lots of options in between.
Why Do You Need a Range Hood?
A range hood, as the name suggests, encompasses the area over your range and uses a fan to collect and remove steam, smoke, fumes and other airborne particles that are generated during cooking.
Removing the particles helps to keep them from collecting on the walls, ceilings, and other surfaces. This cuts down on grimy buildup and helps to keep your kitchen cleaner with less upkeep.
A variety of controls for range hoods are available including electronic variable speed, timers, humidistats, and dual fan-light and/or fan-heater combinations.
No matter what kind of range hood you decide to buy, making sure it is large enough is key.
- A range hood needs to be at least as wide as the range. A range hood that is narrower than the width of the range won’t catch all the emissions from all the burners, and it won’t be able to eliminate all the smoke and moisture. Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations for mounting height. Generally speaking, the higher you mount the hood, the larger it needs to be.
- Kitchen range hoods are rated by how much air they can pull out of a given area, measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute). As a starting point to determining what CFM rating you need, the Home Ventilating Institute recommends taking a stove’s BTU rating and dividing it by 100 to find a minimum level. For example, a stove with a 30,000 BTU rating would require a kitchen hood with a capacity of at least 300 CFM. Keep in mind, though, that there are other important factors that determine the CFM requirement such as the length of the ductwork, the number of elbows in the duct, and the size of the area being ventilated.
Range Hood Mounting Locations
There are four mounting types:
Under-Cabinet Mount: This type of range hood is fixed to the bottom of the cabinet and either connects to duct work at the back of the vent, or at the top of the vent, and up through the cabinet. Non-ducted models pull the air up and push it back out into the kitchen.
Wall Mount: This type of range hood is affixed to the wall and used when there are not cabinets above the range. This style typically features a decorative chimney that meets the ceiling.
Ceiling or Island Mount: Island or ceiling hoods, sometimes called chimney hoods, hang from the ceiling. This style is intended for cooktops on an island or peninsula. Because this type of hood is typically mounted higher than a wall-mount or under-cabinet range hood, it does have to be wider than the range to be effective.
Downdraft Hood: This style of range hood is less common and is generally not as effective as the other types. A downdraft hood is hidden in the cook top, and only pops up when in use. This type of hood pulls those cooking smells, smoke, and heat across the top of the range and down into a floor duct venting outside.
Ducted vs Non-Ducted Range Hoods
A major consideration, if you have a choice, is whether to purchase a ducted or non-ducted range hood. If your kitchen is already set up with ducts for a range hood the choice may be a simple one. If not, you will need to decide if installing ductwork is your best option. Almost all the literature points to the ducted type of range hood as being superior in most ways.
Ducted Range Hoods: The fan pushes the air into the duct and moves it from the kitchen to the outdoors. As the name implies, ducted range hoods need ducting to work. There are top-venting and rear-venting configurations.
Pros and Cons:
- Because a ducted hood sends all air directly outside, most of the cooking smells are expelled.
- Range hoods vented to the outside send the steam and heat of your cooking right out of the house, keeping your kitchen cooler and drier.
- Airborne grease from cooking can tend to settle on walls, cabinets, and other surfaces, creating a layer that needs to be cleaned fairly often. A ducted range hood does a great job of blowing the greasy air outside.
- The cost of installation can be expensive if having to add ductwork.
- Once the ducts are installed, you have only one option for placement of the stove.
Non-Ducted Range Hoods: This type filters the air through degreasing and charcoal-filled filters and recirculates the air. Recirculation improves air quality around the cooking area by cleaning and redistributing it.
- More options for placement of your stove
- Works well for people who cook light meals, vegetarian type foods with less grease, or those who simply cook less often.
- Some ductless models run on timers and can be programmed to turn on or off automatically.
- For under the cupboard models, you don’t need to sacrifice usable space for the air duct.
- Less expensive to install because no duct work is needed.
- A ductless hood can filter out some of the odors, but it is generally not as efficient as a ducted hood.
- In comparison with ducted hoods, ductless units have weaker blowers. Their powering ratings tend to stay around 200 CFM.
- A ductless model filters the particles out of the cooking area, but the heat and moisture stay in the room.
- A ductless hood vent also captures greasy air and filters out the grease, though not as well as a ducted model.
- You must replace the filters at least 2 or 3 times per year
According to the Home Ventilating Institute, there are no government standards for range hoods. The “HVI Certified” label assures that the hood has been independently certified and tested for airflow, sound and energy stated ratings.
For all your repair and maintenance to all your major appliances, contact C&W Appliance Service. Call us at (214) 855-1496 or (855) 358-1496 or submit our online service request form.