A range hood, also known as a vent hood or an exhaust hood, is a kitchen device that contains at least one mechanical fan and is located above the stove.
A range hood is one of the appliances that may seem not crucial, but in reality is extremely useful and important.
Benefits of having a range hood
This is probably the most obvious benefit of having a range hood. Cooking typically produces smoke and releases particles from foods and oils into the air, especially when you cook greasy dishes.
Without a range hood, scents and particles stay in the air of your kitchen, stick to the furniture and the walls. You can open the window or turn a fan on, but this is only a partial solution because smoke and particles spread in all directions.
Another danger of having a poorly ventilated kitchen is an excess of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a gas that has no color, taste or odor. It is only slightly less dense the air. The gas is toxic to both humans and animals.
In addition to filtering the air, range hoods also remove excessive heat, both when it comes to the heat from your stove and the heat from the foods.
While you will not be able to replace an air conditioner in your kitchen with a range hood, range hoods do perform a decent job when it comes to removing the heat from your stove.
Increased lighting is the benefit of having a range hood that is physically visible. The lights on your range hood can help you see what you are cooking on the stove and make sure that the foods are being cooked properly without burning. With increased lighting from a hood, you will also be able to see better the areas of your cooktop that may need cleaning. This will help you keep your range in a cleaner condition.
Increased property value
Having a range hood will make your kitchen look more sophisticated. This can improve the impression that people will get from your kitchen and your home, thus increasing the resale value of the property.
If you are looking to sell your home and don’t currently have a range hood, quickly adding one may be a smart thing to do before you start showing your home to potential buyers.
Ducted and non-ducted range hoods
There are two main types of range hoods. The first one is ducted or vented. The second one is non-ducted. Non-ducted hoods are also known as non-vented, duct-free or recirculated.
A ducted hood will have a connection that you will be able to duct to the outside. Some ducted hoods mount to exterior walls. Some mount to interior walls or islands.
Ducted hoods typically require professional installation, which is critical for efficient performance.
These hoods have filters that trap the air, clean it and then flow the air back into the kitchen. Typically a non-ducted hood will have filters with active charcoal in them. It is extremely important that you change your filters on the regular basis.
Some range hoods have both ducted and non-ducted options. It means that you can either use them as non-ducted with filters or connect them to a duct.
Range Hoods by Installation Type
Undercabinet range hoods
These hoods attach to the cabinets located above your stove or cooktop. At the same time, to function effectively they need to be located a certain distance away from a cooktop. This is why undercabinet range hoods have a minimum recommended distance.
When choosing an undercabinet range hood, measure the distance between your stove and the cabinets above it and make sure to choose a range hood with the appropriate minimum recommended distance.
Kitchen island range hoods
These hoods hang from the ceilings and typically go above a kitchen island
Hidden range hoods
Hidden range hoods hide in cooktops and pop-up when in use. They are a great choice for islands because they do not block lines of vision in a kitchen.
Wall-mounted range hoods
The only difference between wall-mounted range hoods and undercabinet range hoods is that wall-mounted hoods mount to a wall instead of a cabinet.
Range hood features
A fan is one of the most important components of a range hood because the power of a fan motor determines how efficiently and quickly the fan will be able to remove or recirculate the air. Some range hoods come with more than one fan. A range hood fan would usually have several speed settings such as low, normal and high.
The efficiency of a range hood fan is measured in CFM. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute. The rule of thumb is to get a range hood that removes 1 CFM per 100 BTUs of power of your range. For example, if the total output of your range burners is 30,000 BTUs, get a range hood with at least 300 CFM.
While in operation, the fan of the range hood will be making noise. The noise usually depends on the speed of a fan. When on low setting, most fans are very quiet. The noise gets higher when the speed gets higher. Noise levels are measured in decibels (Dbs). Most range hoods manufacturers mention fan noise levels in the specifications.
Here are some numbers that you can use for comparisons: a conversation in a normal voice is 55-65Dbs. A vacuum cleaner makes a noise of around 70Dbs. Loud city traffic makes a noise of approximately 85Dbs.
Ducted hoods usually have filters made of aluminum. These filters are typically dishwasher-safe.
Non-ducted range hoods have filters with active charcoal. Sometimes they have both aluminum and charcoal filters. Charcoal filters effectively trap grease and other molecules so that the particles do not go back into the air.
You can’t wash the charcoal filters. You will need to periodically replace them. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer as to how often you need to do so. Some high-end non-ducted range hoods have filter indicator lights that turn on when you need to replace the charcoal filter.
Timer and automatic shut off
Some range hoods have times and an automatic shut-off feature that turns the range hood off after a certain period of time. This feature is very convenient because you can leave the range hood on for a period of time after you are done with cooking to make sure that the air in your kitchen becomes clean again.
Most range hoods have built-in lights. Some modern range hoods have LEDs, fluorescent or halogen lights. One of the hoods in this guide has 2 panels of light with over 40 bulbs in each panel. If you like to have a lot of light in the kitchen, pay attention to how many bulbs a range hood can fit.
Not all range hoods have this feature. A heat sensor automatically adjusts the speed of the fan based on the amount of heat that your range produces.
Non ducted hood reviews
Broan 413004 is a non-ducted-only under-cabinet range hood for 30-inch cooktops and ranges. This range hood has a protective lamp lens that distributes the light evenly over the cooktops. The lens accepts 75 Watt bulbs.
The range hood comes in a variety of colors to match different appliances, including almond, stainless steel, biscuit, bisque, white, and black. The hood comes with all the necessary hardware and is really easy to install. Obviously, you will need tools like a screwdriver for the installation process.
Broan 413004 is ADA compliant and can work in ADA compliant applications. It has a charcoal non-ducted filter that removes smoke and odors. It is the most economical Broan non-ducted hood. It comes with Broan’s exclusive Microtek system that filters airborne cooking contaminants. The size of the filter is approximately 9 inches by 10.5 inches. The filter is available at most home appliance stores, including Home Depot and Lowe’s.
This device has a rocker-type 2-speed fan and a light control. The controls are functional but very basic. The light has only an on/off switch. The fan has three settings: off, fan low, fan high.
The only possible con of this range hood is that it doesn’t look good from below. If you have a kitchen with an open plan and the range hood will be visible from the dining table, you may want something more aesthetically appealing to look at than this range hood.
The dimensions of Broan 413004 are 33 inches by 20 inches by 7.6 inches. It weighs 54 pounds.
Golden Vantage GV-RH0023-CF0001
This range hood has a multi-layer aluminum mesh. It can be used as a ductless or ducted. It does have a grease filter that you can replace if you use this range hood as ductless. The filter is easy to remove and is dishwasher safe.
Golden Vantage GV-RH0023-CF0001 works with 30-inch stovetops.
This range hood is made of stainless steel and has a contemporary European look. It provides airflow of 400 CFM.
Golden Vantage GV-RH0023-CF0001 features 2 LED lights. The fan has 3 speeds and is operated with a touch button.
The dimensions of this range hood are 29.5 inches by 19 inches by 41.25 inches. The duct is 6 inches. The minimum drop down height is 28 inches.
This range hood has a three-year parts warranty from the manufacturer.
AKDY AK-RH0194 is a ductless silver stainless steel range hood that has a remote control. It comes with 2 30-Watt Halogen lights that provide plenty of light for the cooktop and all your cooking activities.
Steel baffle filters that come with this hood are easy to remove and are dishwasher safe.
The maximum airflow is 400 CFM. The fan has a motor with 198 Watts of power. It operates quietly at the noise levels below 65 decibels.
The dimensions of this hood are 29.8 inches by 18.9 inches. It weighs 40 pounds and comes with a 3-year parts warranty.
This custom power module is a fully integrated range hood. It fits with the bottoms of cabinets or custom hoods. The minimum recommended distance between his range hood and cooktop is 24 inches.
You will have a choice between a 7-inch duct connection and a non-ducted discharge. Washable aluminum filter is a one-piece model. It maintains grease capture and keeps the air fresh.
Broan PM250 has a two-speed motor and an 8-inch fan with 250CFM.
You can use this range hood with up to two 40-Watt candelabra bulbs. You will need to buy the bulbs separately as they are not included with the hood.
Broan PM250 has a powder-coated silver finish and will look great in most kitchens. Its dimensions are 22.1 inches by 13.8 inches by 9 inches. It weighs 8.4 pounds.
Kitchen Bath Collection STL75
Kitchen Bath Collection STL75 is a 30-inch range hood that can work with or without a duct. It has a number of high-end features, including two high-end LED lights with 49 bulbs each (a typical range hood has 10-15 bulbs per light).
Kitchen Bath Collection STL75 has a UL-certified motor and three fan speed settings that you can control from the touch screen control panel. The buttons on the touch screen work very well and are very responsive to touch.
The maximum suction capacity of the fan is 700 cubic meters per hours which equals to approximately 400 CFM. The maximum noise of the fan at the highest speed is 58Dbs.
This range hood weighs 35.1 pounds and has dimensions of 30 by 20 by 28 inches.
This range hood consists of two pieces. The first one is the main piece that you can use without a duct. The second piece is an aluminum duct that you don’t have to use if you don’t have a chimney because this hood also comes with dishwasher friendly micro-cell grease filters.
Z-Line KB-36 is a 36-inch stainless steel range hood with a wall mount. It has a 4-speed motor that gets 760 CFM. This range hood has a LED indicator with a timer and an auto shut-off feature.
This non-ducted range hood comes with three dishwasher-safe baffle filters.
You can use Z-Line KB-36 as a non-ducted hood by adding optional activated charcoal filters.
This range hood is 10.5 inches tall, 36 inches wide and 19.7 inches wide. It weighs 39 pounds.
You will receive this hood covered in a protective film that prevents the stainless finish from getting scratches during delivery.
You can buy one of the range hoods described in this guide for just a few hundred dollars. For this amount of money, you will be breathing cleaner air, be able to cook with more comfort and increase the value of your home. You will be able to install most of the non-ducted hoods yourself as they do not need any external connections. All these reasons make getting a range hood a no-brainer decision.