How to select the right range hood for your kitchen
A new range hood makes for an exceptional household addition for many reasons – cleaner air and surfaces, better cooking experience, enhanced aesthetic appeal, and more – but choosing the right kitchen hood can often be an overwhelming process.
How large should your range hood be? Do you need to install ducting? What about the noise level? These concerns and more should all come into play during the selection process, and understanding how to answer these questions will help guide you toward the right decision.
Here’s what to look for when selecting the perfect range hood for your kitchen.
The ventilation of your range hood is often referred to as its exhaust, and there are generally two options – ducted and non-ducted.
A ducted range hood – also known as vented – provides ventilation from your range to the outside of your house. This serves to completely remove irritants like smoke, heat, and unpleasant odors rather than having them linger in your kitchen and on its surfaces.
Ducted ventilation is an easy route to go if the hood is mounted to an exterior wall because the air has less distance to travel to make it outside. If the stove hood is mounted to an interior wall or to the ceiling, air has to travel further and may require a more powerful hood fan to achieve efficient operation.
A non-ducted range hood – also known as non-vented – sends air through a filter to remove irritants and then sends it back into the kitchen. With this setup, you will need to change the filter every few months to ensure continued effectiveness.
As its name suggests, non-ducted ventilation requires no ducting work and may be a preferred option if your hood isn’t being mounted to an exterior wall. It should, however, be noted that a non-ducted option won’t work as well to remove heat and humidity from your home.
Where you plan to install your vent hood is another important factor in deciding which type you’ll purchase and how big it will be. A properly sized hood must cover the full width of the range and at least 50 percent of the front burners.
Under-cabinet range hoods attach to the underside of a cabinet above your range. They are typically more affordable and can be either ducted or non-ducted. Ducted will be a bit more expensive but will also be more effective in removing air.
Wall-mounted range hoods are similar to under-cabinet but are instead mounted to the wall in the event there are no cabinets directly above the range. They are also known as chimney-style range hoods due to their similar geometric appearance to that of a fireplace chimney.
Island range hoods descend from the ceiling over your island. They are similar in appearance to wall-mounted range hoods but simply run through the ceiling rather than the wall. Island range hoods are a bit more expensive than other options but are the best way to go when mounting over an island range.
Downdraft range hoods are hidden within your range surface and pop up when in use to help remove steam and smoke. They are connected to ducts beneath the floor (hence “downdraft”) and aren’t as effective as larger options – but they’re also not as expensive and are popular for islands because they don’t impede the line of vision.
Insert range hoods are completely hidden by being built into the wall or cabinetry above a range. These hoods require a custom fit and rely on power packs that are mounted and ducted to be non-obtrusive.
Custom range hoods may be what your kitchen calls for if you’re looking for a more unique solution, and the right partner will be able to work with you to find the perfect fit for your home and its needs.
The air movement achieved by a range hood is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). If you perform lots of heavy cooking in your kitchen, your range hood will require a CFM of at least 350. The Home Ventilating Institute recommends a minimum of 100 CFM per linear foot for wall-adjacent hoods and 150 CFM for island hoods. For high-output gas ranges, a minimum of 1 CFM per 100 BTU is the standard.
A range hood expert will be able to work with you to meet your power needs without going overboard.
The noise of a range hood is measured in sones, with one sone roughly equating to the sound of a running refrigerator. The noise of a range hood is a common complaint among owners, but a higher-powered system is never going to be completely silent. Check out a model in person or rely on customer reviews to get a feel for a hood’s sound level when browsing.
It’s clear there are a lot of options when choosing your range hood, and selecting the right one can add a significant aesthetic appeal to your kitchen. Apart from the hood type and placement, the finish and design style are also leading factors that will contribute to the look and feel of the space. Copper and stainless steel range hoods are extremely popular and perform exceptionally well while also adding to the atmosphere of your home.
Your budget will play a big role in determining what you can and can’t achieve with your range hood. Certain elements will be required depending on your situation (the need to use an island or downdraft installation if your range is on an island, the need to go non-ducted if ducted isn’t logistically feasible, etc.).
Find your perfect range hood with CopperSmith
More options become available as your budget grows, but no matter what you’re looking to invest, CopperSmith can help find the perfect range hood solution for your kitchen.