Range Hood Guide

Range Hoods Buying Guide

There's nothing quite like preparing a home-cooked meal, whether it's throwing something together for the family or preparing multiple dishes at the stove top for friends and family congregated in the kitchen. Either way, simply the act of cooking will create unhealthy air particles, and when it comes to clean air in the kitchen, nothing does the job quite like a range hood.

When we use heat to cook our meals, tiny particles filled with food, grease and smoke are released and float around. After time, these particles collect in our lungs if they're not taken care of. Range hoods eliminate these particles by pulling them from the air, filtering them and venting them outside. The result is a living space with fresh, clean air.

Range hoods come in a few different applications. The most common application is an under-cabinet hood. This is the easiest to install and is mounted beneath the cabinet and directly above the range. For a cooktop that's positioned against a wall, but does not have a counter above it, consider a wall-mounted range hood. This is also a very common type and vents straight through the ceiling. Finally, if you have an island range, you'll need an island range hood. These are installed directly above the range and are designed to double as stylish centerpieces for your kitchen.

Range hood FAQS

Are ducted or ductless range hoods better?

Range hoods should be ducted directly outside. While duct-free filters trap some of the grease and odors from normal cooking if these filters are not replaced regularly, the humidity, smoke, and heat will all eventually be re-circulated back into the home.

How often should I clean my filters?

Aluminum mesh grease filters should run through your dishwasher once a month depending on the amount of usage. Wash often if you fry foods or use a wok. Non-duct carbon filters must be replaced. Baffle filters, used in professional style range hoods, are built to operate longer in high-grease conditions. Clean with soap and water whenever the surfaces become grimy.

How often should non-ducted filters be replaced?

Depending on the frequency and type of cooking, every 3 to 6 months is recommended for replacing the charcoal filters. Some charcoal filters are equipped with an indicator that changes color as a signal that it's time to replace the filter.

What's the safest way to clean the surface of my hood?

Stainless steel hoods should be washed regularly with a clean cloth, warm water and mild soap or dish detergent. Clean in the direction of the polish lines, rinse thoroughly with clean water and immediately wipe dry.

What type of duct is best for venting a range hood?

Always vent using metal duct. And if you have a choice between flexible metal duct and smooth metal duct, opt with the smooth. The ridges found in flexible metal duct create turbulence and will diminish airflow.

How are range hoods ducted?

This depends on the model. The 3 1/4"? x 10"? duct may vent from the top vertically or horizontally through the rear of the range hood, while 7" round duct vents through the top of the product. Some hoods are single-use ducted and some are convertible (the hood is designed to be installed using more than one duct method or direction).

What do the CFM and sone ratings mean?

CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute of exhausting air flow. The higher the number, the greater the amount of air that's exhausted. A sone is an internationally recognized unit of loudness. Sones are a linear measure like inches. Doubling the sone value is equivalent to doubling the loudness. To get a sense of what one sone represents, one sone is equivalent to the sound of a quiet refrigerator in a quiet kitchen.

How high should I mount my hood above my stove?

Typical installations require a range of 18"?to 24"?between the bottom of the hood and the top of the cooktop. High-capacity ventilators, however, should leave 24"?to 30", unless otherwise noted for a specific hood or range.

Is the hood width the advertised measurement?

Actually, no. They're between 1/8"?and 1/4"? smaller than listed to make sure they fit into an opening of that nominal size.