Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen or simply building a new home from scratch, one important kitchen appliance you can’t miss installing is a range hood. Now, range hoods come in a variety of different strengths and designs depending on your kitchen layout and type of oven and stovetop combination. So, to find the right unit that will visually enhance and complement your kitchen décor, you need to find out more about the different types of range hoods available in the market.
But, before we move on, it’s important to understand that the main purpose of installing a range hood is to control cooking odors, smokes, and temperatures from the kitchen. In addition to that, these appliances enhance the overall beauty and structure of your kitchen making it beautiful, elegant, and more professional.
Which factors do you need to consider when shopping for a range hood?
Although the primary purpose of installing a range hood is to get rid of grease, smoke, and cooking odors, every housewife or avid cookout there will have different needs and priorities when determining which type of range hood to buy. To make the right choice, this section will highlight some critical factors you need to consider when shopping for a kitchen range hood.
The first factor you need to consider before buying a range hood is the size. Although it’s not a necessity, the size of your range hood should be at least 3 inches bigger than the surface area of your stovetop. With these measurements, your range hood will be able to pick more smoke and food particles from the air before they can drift away and escape to other parts of the house.
The rate of airflow is directly proportional to the amount of power a range hood has. If a range hood has more power, then it’s certainly effective in doing its job. Range hoods are rated by the amount of air they move which is denoted by CFM (cubic feet per minute). According to most experts, it’s recommended to consider range hoods with at least 100 CFM per linear foot if they’re mounted against the wall and 150CFM if they’re Island range hoods.
Unlike most other kitchen appliances, range hoods are considered to be generally quieter unless when operating on the highest setting. To make the right choice here, it’s recommended that you visit a showroom to get a feel of how loud or how quiet a particular model is. If you’re shopping online, always consider reading some of the recent reviews from verified customers to see what they like and what they don’t like about the product.
The two major ventilation types you’ll find in all range hoods are ducted and ductless alternatives. For the case of ducted range hoods, a venting system is designed to move hot air to the outside while allowing fresh air to move in. These range hoods are effective but are very complex and expensive to install. Those living in urban apartments are strictly forbidden from installing these range hoods thus paving a way for our next ventilation type.
The ductless alternatives are cheaper (in terms of installation) and are very reliable. These range hoods use special filters that trap odors and smokes from your kitchen then recirculate the air to provide you with clean and fresh air. The only drawback with these range hoods is that you have to frequently clean and replace the filters.
The best range hood should have an easy-to-access control panel that lets you adjust the settings quite easily. Such a range hood should also have a multispeed fan that lets you adjust your appliance through a wide range of speeds.
After you’re done with each of these factors, the final consideration you need to check on is the extra features. Although some of these features are not necessary, they do play a critical role in distinguishing a high-quality product from a simple ordinary unit.
- Automatic shut off: this feature may not be necessary but at least it helps to automatically shut off the vent after you’re done cooking.
- Lights: some range hoods miss this feature but most of them do have the lights. These lights aid in providing you with extra brightness when cooking.
- Heat sensors: though not necessary, these sensors play a critical role at some point as they automatically turn on the fan whenever the machine senses a high amount of heat.
- Filter indicator: if you’re using a ductless model, this feature will help to notify you when it’s time to replace the filters.
Different Types of Range Hoods
As we mentioned earlier, the primary purpose of a range hood is to trap all smokes, steams, and cooking odors from the kitchen. But, before shopping for one, you need to consider some factors such as style, size, location, and installation. With this in mind, this section will discuss the different types of range hoods, their pros, and cons, and how to install them.
Under-Cabinet Range Hoods
This is the most common type of range hood style you’ll expect to find in most modern kitchens. Here, the range hood is hung under the cabinets directly above your stovetop or electric cooker. This style is easy to install and is efficient enough to capture almost 99% of smokes, steams and cooking odors emanating from the stovetop.
For them to blend well with the rest of your kitchen cabinetry, under-cabinet range hoods are best installed at the same time as your kitchen cabinets. This allows the range hood to blend well with the kitchen cabinets and still save as much space as possible.
If you’re a beginner in the range hood business, something else you’ll need to know about under-cabinet range hoods is that they come in two major types; ducted and ductless alternatives. Ducted range hoods capture smokes and carries them through a duct to release them to the outside. These units are affordable, more efficient, and easy to maintain than ductless alternatives.
On the other hand, ductless under-cabinet range hoods use filters instead of ducts to remove smokes, steams, and odors from the kitchen. They’re quite expensive to maintain as they operate by recirculating air with the help of the filters.
When it comes to installing your under-cabinet kitchen exhaust fan, there are some factors you’ll need to keep in mind. First, you need to measure the height of your cabinets to determine the height of the range (remember they must be on the same level).
Secondly, you need to measure the dimensions of your cooktop to determine the size of the range. Finally, you need to calculate the BTU of the electric/gas cooker you’re using. Most stoves produce about 700 BTU. So, for every 10 BTU, you need about 1 CFM of airflow. With these statistics, it will be easier for you to calculate the number of CFM your range hood will need to have.
- These range hoods are stylish as they complement the rest of your kitchen cabinetry.
- Ductless alternatives are more independent as they don’t need to be connected to ducts or vents.
- These units come with special lights that provide sufficient lighting to your cooktop when cooking.
- Since they’re close to your cooktop, these units are very efficient when it comes to eliminating steams, smokes, and cooking odors from the kitchen.
- Ducted under-cabinet range hoods require you to have ready ducts or vents installed during construction.
- Ductless alternatives will require you to open the windows as they only recirculate air not eliminate it.
- Ductless units need regular cleaning and replacement of the filters.
Wall-Mounted Range Hoods
Another type of range hood that’s very similar to the under-cabinet hood in terms of the design and space-saving advantage is the wall-mounted range hood. Unlike the under-cabinet option (that rests under the cabinet), this one is attached to the wall above the cooktop occupying the entire space. This means that during installation, an entire cabinet piece will have to be removed to pave way for this type of range hood alongside its vent or duct system.
Also known as wall chimney hoods, wall-mounted range hoods usually come with their own chimneys where contaminated air from the kitchen can escape through. The exterior wall is attached with vents to prevent dust and other contaminants from getting back to the kitchen.
Before installation, first, ensure that there are no cabinets above your cooktop. Secondly, ensure that there’s a ducted port against the wall where you expect to fit the range hood. With the help of a friend, hold the unit against the wall and use a screwdriver to mount it securely against the wall.
When you’re done, follow the steps for the wiring very carefully to avoid any electrocution. Remember to switch off kitchen power until the entire installation process is complete.
Now, similar to under-cabinet range hoods, wall-mounted range hoods also come with ductless options which are highly usable in urban apartments where installing a duct or vents against the wall is greatly discouraged.
- These range hoods serve as a design element to most kitchens.
- They come with the option of ducted and ductless alternatives depending on your installation needs.
- These range hoods are usually very large making them more efficient when cleaning the air around you.
- There are lots of models to choose from.
- These range hoods are more expensive to install than under-cabinet options.
- They also require more wall space making it hard to install on small kitchens.
Island or Ceiling Mounted Range Hoods
Not all kitchens are the same. Although most contractors prefer to design the stovetop beside the wall, a few of them prefer to design it at the center of the kitchen—a design commonly known as Island kitchen layout. If that’s the case and you feel you need to install a range hood to trap contaminated air within the kitchen, then the only option you’ll have is to install an Island or a ceiling-mounted range hood.
Just like the wall-mounted range hoods, these types of hoods are also designed to hang, not on the wall but on the ceiling just over your cooktop. Since these range hoods hang at the center of the kitchen, they usually come with a unique stylish look that adds glamour to your kitchen interior.
Island or ceiling-mounted range hoods come in a selection of modern materials such as glass, stainless steel, copper, and ceramic. Since they’re designed to hang at the center, your contractor will need to be very careful with the height to prevent blocking the sightline through the kitchen.
Now, when choosing an island range hood, one factor you need to consider prior to the installation is whether you need a ducted or a ductless option. Here, the decision of which type of range hood you should install is usually predetermined by the housing restrictions. For those living in urban apartments, a ductless option will be the best choice while those building their own residential homes might consider the ducted option.
- These range hoods have large canopies that trap huge amounts of contaminated air from the kitchen.
- The Island design provides ample space for cooking and resting with friends and family while in the kitchen.
- These range hoods are stylish and usually blend well with different kitchen design themes.
- Since they’re fitted at the center of the kitchen, Island range hoods are very efficient when it comes to eliminating smokes and cooking odors.
- Island range hoods are quite expensive both the price and the installation cost.
- If the range hood is too long, visibility from one kitchen side to another will be limited.
Wall Ventilation Fans
Instead of installing an entire range hood, some homeowners simply opt to install a wall ventilation fan to avoid the high costs that come with range hoods. These units are very easy to install and consume less power as compared to range hoods.
There are two major styles of wall ventilation fans which include; those with fan motors located on the inside of the room and those with motors located on the outside wall. Whether your kitchen space is small or large, exhaust fans are available in different sizes ranging from small units to heavy-duty high capacity ventilation fans.
Now, wall ventilation fans are usually considered when ceiling/roofing space is limited. They’re either installed on the wall or against the windows depending on your taste or restrictions in your area of residence.
If you’re installing your exhaust fan against the wall, you need to consider the ducting or tubing system which will lead to an external vent on the outside wall. Always consider the size of the fan to determine the size of the hole you’ll need to cut on the wall.
In case you have limited roof space or you live in urban apartments, a window exhaust fan will generally do a perfect job. These units are usually fitted against the window and are designed to expel contaminated air directly from the kitchen to the outside. To determine the right wall ventilation fan to buy for your kitchen, you need to first calculate the area of the room then multiply the results by the number of air changes required.
- Ventilation fans prevent internal temperatures from getting too high.
- The cost of installing these units is relatively lower as compared to range hoods.
- These fans don’t consume a lot of power as compared to range hoods.
- They’re usually stylish and blend well with the rest of your kitchen aesthetics.
- Wall ventilation fans are less effective when it comes to eliminating grease and humidity from the air.
- Small insects can easily find their way into your kitchen.
Downdraft Ventilation Hoods
Our final ventilation system is the downdraft ventilation hood. Unlike the rest of the range hood styles we’ve highlighted here, this one is the rarest. The best thing about it, however, is that it doesn’t occupy much of your kitchen space making it one of the most space-saving ventilation designs.
The downdraft ventilation hood is usually fitted at the back of the cooktop to extract as much grease, smoke, and cooking odors as possible. By pressing a button at the display, you can easily adjust the height of the hood to trap as many air contaminants as it possibly can.
These types of hoods are highly usable where kitchen space is limited. They also help to save power consumption as they’re only used when needed. Instead of using extractor fans as most range hoods do, downdraft hoods use downdraft fans to suck smokes and fumes from the cooktop and take it through a tube to the outside vents.
Downdraft ventilation hoods are very economical and are very easy to install and clean. They’re also stylish and very easy to use as you only need to press a button to adjust the height and increase/decrease fan speed depending on the amount of contaminated air in the kitchen.
- Downdraft hoods occupy little kitchen space thus the best for small kitchens.
- You only switch it on when you need to use it. This helps to save on power consumption.
- Since smokes and fumes are sucked downwards, there’s minimal build-up in the extractor fan making it easy to clean.
- This type of hood is very cheap in terms of price and installation as the extraction system is build-in.
- They’re very stylish.
- These units are less effective in removing odors, fumes, and smokes. You need to have enough air circulation in the kitchen by opening the windows.
- In the event of breakage, you’ll need to replace the entire cooking range instead of just the hood. This will definitely be expensive.
Although it’s fairly easy to find a good stove or oven from your local stores, finding a perfect range hood that will meet all your kitchen needs is not just a walk in the park. You see, unlike most other kitchen appliances, the range hood is probably the least important appliance yet it’s an absolute necessity when it comes to eliminating cooking odors, fumes, and smokes from your kitchen.
Since the kitchen is a prime location that needs to be kept clean at all times, choosing any of the five types of range hoods will help you maintain your indoor air by trapping polluted odors and smokes.