7 Helpful Tips for Choosing a Range Hood

Home Improvement

If you’ve ever set off the smoke alarm in your kitchen, you already know how important having a range hood really is. But how do you know which range hood is right for you? As you weigh your options, keep these key considerations top of mind.

1. The Exhaust System

A ducted exhaust system, also referred to as a vented system, utilizes ducts to expel air outside of the home, emphasizing the crucial aspect of “out.” This means venting into interior spaces such as the attic is not viable. For optimal efficiency with a ducted system, mounting the kitchen hood on an exterior wall is advisable, as it shortens ducting and installation complexities increase with distance from an exterior wall.

Conversely, a duct-free exhaust system, or non-vented system, filters and cleans air before returning it to the kitchen instead of directing it outside. However, these systems are generally less efficient than ducted systems and necessitate more maintenance, including regular cleaning and filter replacement. Understanding these differences upfront helps set expectations accordingly.

2. Your Kitchen Layout

Your kitchen layout will determine how much space you have to work with and how best to fit your oven hood into place. A good rule of thumb is to aim to mount the hood between 24-30 inches above the cooktop, but always read the manufacturer’s recommendations to be sure.

Depending on the configuration kitchen vent hoods can be mounted on a wall, incorporated into your cabinets, made part of an overhead canopy or suspended from the ceiling over island cooktops. There are even telescoping chimney hoods that can be expanded when in use or retracted and hidden out of the way when they’re not needed. Another clever, space-saving option is a downdraft kitchen hood. It’s designed to come up from a special slot in the work surface and conveniently stow away when the cooktop’s not in use.

3. Fan Power

The size of the space determines the necessary power of the exhaust hood fan to effectively clear the air and mitigate potent cooking odors. To gauge your requirements, calculate the volume of your kitchen by multiplying the ceiling height by the room’s length and width.

Kitchen Ceiling Height X Width of the Room = Volume of the Kitchen

Ideally, opt for a range hood with the capacity to refresh or purify the air in the area at least eight times per hour.

4. Calculate Kitchen Hood Energy

Calculate the air extraction capacity of a kitchen hood per hour through straightforward mathematics. The fan’s CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) denotes its power, indicating how much air it can move within a minute. For instance, a hood fan with 1,000 CFM can replace all the air in a 10ft x 10ft x 10ft area within one minute. To ascertain the hood’s hourly air replacement rate, multiply its CFM by 60 (the number of minutes in an hour).

5. Consider Range Hood Noise

While opting for an exceptionally powerful oven hood might seem tempting, if it roars like a small aircraft during operation, it’s likely not a worthwhile investment. Experts recommend selecting a model that operates by drawing air towards the hood’s edges or perimeter rather than dispersing it over a wide area. This not only enhances efficiency but also minimizes noise levels. Whenever feasible, test the hood’s performance in the showroom or store before making your purchase.

6. Range Hood Styles

Naturally, you’ll desire a vent hood that harmonizes with the aesthetics of your kitchen and reflects your personal style. Hence, it’s crucial to contemplate the array of finishes available and the maintenance required to uphold their cleanliness. Factors such as brushed or glossy finishes, material options like stainless steel or brass, play a pivotal role. Additionally, consider the overall aesthetic coherence, whether it aligns with a modern or traditional look, and how it complements your home’s architectural style. Lastly, ponder how seamlessly you wish to integrate it into your kitchen; for those seeking to make a bold statement, opting for a striking color or distinctive placement can enhance visual impact.

7. Consider Costs

Similar to most home purchases, the cost of a vent hood can vary considerably. Factors such as size, power, materials, and additional features like heat sensors, automatic shut-off, and built-in lighting all influence pricing. Prior to visiting the store, conduct thorough online research to gauge expected costs. Additionally, don’t overlook installation expenses. It’s often advisable to entrust this task to professionals, considering that labor and materials such as connectors and fittings can swiftly accumulate, sometimes surpassing the cost of the hood itself.