Range hoods act as a complete lifesaver all the time. Not only do these devices work at eliminating smokes and fumes, but they also ensure recirculation of air inside the kitchen.
And, with the flourish of modern technology, the demand for these mechanical devices has increased as well. Especially in the commercial kitchen, almost every chef wants a range hood now.
As the demand for these devices has increased, the availability has increased too. Hence, there are almost a thousand of these devices lying around. But, knowing what to look for in a range hood can allow you to know what to expect.
Still feeling lost? Well, fret not, we’re here to make things easy. Below, in the article, we’ve answered all of your confusions. So, let’s begin –
What Is Range Hood Ventilation?
Before trying to even know what to consider inside a range hood, it’s better to know about the definition. Well, we won’t budge you with a bookish definition of any sort.
So, to be precise, a range hood is basically a device. Here, the device ensures that all types of grease and combustion products are evacuated from the kitchen. And this device takes out all kinds of smoke and grease in the form of air.
Hence, ventilation of the range hoods is extremely important. Generally, it’s a type of mechanical fan that’ll remove all sorts of steam in the kitchen.
By ventilating the range hood, you’ll ensure that no smoke or grease accumulates in your kitchen by any means. Plus, it’ll even enhance the overall environment.
What to Look for in a Range Hood?
Now that you know the correct definition of a range hood, it’s time to know what kind of factors are essential. Normally, range hoods are quite available due to their demand in the market.
However, if you don’t know what to look for, the confusion can take place in a matter of seconds. But don’t you worry, as we have it all figured out. So, let’s just get right into the factors –
Before even buying the range hood, it’s important to consider whether you’re up for maintenance. Here, it’s not only about the efforts, but the cost will also matter as well.
So, it’s very crucial to select the hoods that are easy to manage and clean at the same time. However, there’s another thing to consider when talking about maintenance.
Yes, you guessed it right, we’re talking about the parts. You see, if the spare parts aren’t easily available, then the replacement procedure will be a pain. So, you’ll need to consider these factors. Otherwise, you will suffer a lot with the machine in the long run.
ii. Budget Factor
Budget matters! If you don’t have the right budget, then you’ll face a tremendous amount of confusion with the buying process. So, it’s important to set a budget before even selecting other factors.
By selecting a budget, you can quickly identify what features you’ll get and what attributes you’ll have to compromise.
iii. Noise Factor
Oftentimes, the range hood creates a lot of noise. This can eventually make the neighbors and the elderly complain about the hoods.
In the end, you won’t be satisfied with the performance of the hood due to the loud noise. So, select hoods that draw in the air towards the perimeter instead of larger areas. By doing this, they’ll reduce the noise to some extent.
iv. Fan Power/Number of Fans
Fan speeds determine how much efficiency the hoods will carry with them. Here, the hoods need to be strong enough to prevent strong odors. But if your hoods have two different fan settings, then you’ll be good to go.
v. Kitchen Layout
The kitchen layout will play a part in choosing the hoods. But why is that? Well, if you don’t have the right layout, then you won’t be able to set the hood in the right manner. Plus, the proper design will set everything accordingly.
According to the experts, it’s better you mount the hood 24-30 inches on the top of the cooktop.
The better the airflow is on your range hood, the better it’ll ventilate the combustible products. However, there’s no guarantee that it’ll remove steam quickly when you have better airflow.
That said, you won’t surely have problems by ensuring a better airflow through your hoods.
Types of Range Hoods
By now, you’ll have a clear idea about what factors you’ll need to consider when looking at range hoods. However, these considerations can differ from a single type to the other.
So, it’s better to know which types these hoods come from. For that, we’ve prepared their types in detail below. Let’s just check them out –
1. Ductless Hoods
Firstly, let’s take a look at the ductless hoods for a minute. Here, the options are located under the cabinets or under the walls. These types of hoods help at preventing smoke and heat buildup in the kitchen.
Other than that, they help with directing the steam and heat away from the stovetop. In accordance with this, the filters trap in all types of grease and oil buildup. You can even reduce odors inside the kitchen due to the carbon filters present in the hoods.
2. Wall-Chimney Hoods
Usually, wall-chimney hoods are located on the spots where there will be no cabinets situated. It also works at the mounts exposed on walls and to outside vents.
3. Downdraft Hood
These types of hoods work in reversing the direction of fumes and smokes. Here, they reverse the direction into the exhaust. As a result, the fumes are directed towards the ducts situated below the floors.
Hence, they won’t allow fumes and smoke buildup in the kitchen. Even though they don’t have the reputation of being used on every kitchen part, you can use them on the islands.
4. Under Cabinet Hoods
Similar to the ductless hoods, you can mount these hoods under the cabinet wall as well. They can even work inside walls, ceilings, and soffits.
Besides, these models help at directing the smoke and steam towards the suction end. As a result, it doesn’t also allow steam buildup on the face of the cabinet. And it brings those steam down to the range hood’s suction end.
However, the only caveat you’ll face with these hoods is that the design kills a bit of space in the kitchen. So, you won’t get to save a lot when it comes to storage issues.
It’s better to avoid these types of hoods if you don’t have a large enough kitchen in the first place. So, you’ll definitely need to give it a thought.
5. Island Hoods
When it comes to mounting issues, these hoods can be vented through the ductwork. Normally, these ductworks are located on top of the ceiling. And they even lack cabinets or walls alongside them.
Here, you’ll need cabinets and walls to funnel in the fumes. If you don’t have this support, then your steams won’t be removed completely.
6. Ducted or Vented Range Hoods
You’ll find all kinds of range hoods around. However, when it comes to ducted or vented range hoods, you’ll get a lot of options lying around. So, are they worth it? And should you spend your time considering them for your kitchen?
Let’s take a look at them and find it out ourselves.
Ducted range hoods work at eliminating all sorts of smoke and fumes from the kitchen. But these hoods are connected to a duct. Here, the ducts or vents are connected using a pipe.
And the pipe works at channeling the airborne particles to the outdoors from the kitchen. Normally, you’ll find these types of hoods in commercial types of kitchens.
This is because these hoods are capable of transporting huge amounts of fumes and smoke outdoors. Plus, they even project lesser noise when compared to other types of hoods.
7. Ductless or Ventless Range Hoods
When it comes to the ductless options in the market, you won’t get them using a pipe to transfer the fumes. Here, they work at transferring the fumes with the help of an exhaust system.
In fact, they even work at transferring the dirty fumes and smoke outside. But it doesn’t end there. Here, the powerful exhaust fans work at circulating the air inside the kitchen.
As a result, these hoods actually try to improve the quality of the air. So, they cancel out the fumes and smoke and replace it with better air. And how does it do that?
Well, due to the presence of various filters, it circulates better quality air inside the kitchen.
Ducted vs Non-Ducted Range Hood
Well, you’ve seen the definition of both these types of hoods. However, there are differences between them. To make things clear, we’ve provided a head-to-head comparison between the two. So, let’s just check them out –
- Ducted Range Hoods
These hoods work well at eliminating all sorts of grease, fumes, and smoke from the kitchen. Here, the hoods use a pipe when looking at the elimination process. And the pipes effectively work at transferring the particles from the kitchen.
Also, they don’t cause much noise in the kitchen and work at increasing efficiency at all times. When it comes to removing steam, these hoods transfer vast quantities of steam at the same time. So, you’ll find them in most commercial kitchens.
- Non-Ducted Range Hoods
When compared against the ducted hoods, the ductless hoods function quite differently. They don’t work using a pipe. However, they do have exhaust systems located in them.
And the best part about this system is that they work at circulating air inside the kitchen. As a result, the fumes are eliminated, and better-quality air enters the kitchen. The hoods perform this function due to the presence of various filters.
When it comes to mounting, the ductless hoods take the upper hand as they can be mounted anywhere. So, you can mount them without a problem. But you’ll need to replace the filters once in a while as they’ll need to function well.
Our Winner :
If you want our suggestions, then we crown the ductless range hoods as the winner. This is because these hoods just provide a lot when it comes to benefits. And you can even mount them almost anywhere.
How to Measure Range Hood Strength?
It’s important to know about the strength of the range hood. Otherwise, you’ll be bombarded due to the electricity bills. Plus, it won’t even allow you to save up on costs as well.
So, how can you measure strength?
Well, firstly, take a look at the CFM of the fans. Here, the cubic feet per minute will indicate the power of the hood. Normally, you’ll need around 1 CFM for 100 BTU’s.
However, things aren’t as easy as it sounds –
This is because the airflow depends heavily on the exterior ducts. Here, by decreasing the ducts on the exterior, you can decrease the possible airflow as well. So, CFM won’t always demonstrate the correct amount of airflow in the hoods.
HVI has developed a pretty accurate way of testing range hoods. This method includes drawing a curve that depicts the CFM on one axis and the static pressure on the other.
According to them, the standard rating should be 0.1 on the said static pressure axis. That is if the standard is met, the hood can practically be labelled as well-designed.
i. Filters for Range Hoods
We’ve spoken about the filters of the range hoods in the earlier sections. These filters are made of charcoal or metal. And, yes, this filter helps at removing all types of dirt and grease.
It doesn’t end there; it’ll even help at providing proper ventilation in the kitchen. And the best part about these filters is that they help recirculate healthy air inside the kitchen.
What it’ll do is cancel out the toxic air pollutants, and filter them to bring out healthy air in your cooking area.
If you want to know the filter types for these hoods, then let me explain. Among the types, we’d recommend the charcoal, mesh, and baffle filters.
ii. Fan for Range Hood
As we move further towards the middle of this informative guide, let’s talk a bit about the fans of these hoods. Starting off, the fans are normally located on the vented hoods.
Here, the fans are attached to the duct. So, when it moves, it’ll bring out toxic pollutants from the kitchen to the outdoors.
And it doesn’t end there; the fans actually take the extra effort, and clean the air and recirculate them in the cooking space.
Other than that, the exhaust fans in the hoods work at circulating air out of your kitchen. And the fans make it easier to take out smoke and fumes away from the area.
Another bonus point of having exhaust fans in the hoods is that they won’t allow smoke buildup in the kitchen whatsoever.
iii. Range Hood Sound Levels
Before we even break down the sound levels in the range hoods, let’s discuss why it is even important to discuss them. Well, if you select a quieter hood in your kitchen, then it’ll ensure that everyone is working peacefully.
At the same time, no one will actually appreciate it if your hoods are creating a loud noise all the time. At that moment, it’ll even nullify whatever sort of benefits you’re getting out of them.
Hence, it’s equally important to know the sound levels when considering a hood for yourself. Generally, sound levels are dependent on the power of the range hoods.
As a result, the more the CFM of a hood will be, the more sound you’ll get from it. Apart from that number, hoods produce from 3-7 sones (dependent on the power).
If you didn’t know about sone, then it’s the basic unit of loudness. So, the sound of the hood ranges from 3 to 7 sones depending on the CFM.
On the other hand, the sound of the hoods can increase when you’re cooking something heavy. The hood puts extra pressure on the efficiency. Hence, you’ll get an added level of sound from it. Other than that, the sound will be low when you’re working on light-set activities on the hood.
What Size Range Hood Do I Need?
Now that you know what kind of hood you’ll need in your kitchen, another important consideration has to be done right here. And that’s the overall size of the hood. It is one of the important factors which you need to consider, to get the ideal range hood for yourself.
Even though the kitchen layout does play a key role in selecting the hood size, you’ll need to determine the size range as well. Generally, you’ll get range hoods from the size of 30-36” in width. But they aren’t powerful enough and have a CFM of only 100-400.
Here, a general rule of thumb would be to purchase a hood 6 inches wider than your range. As a result, you’ll have three inches to spare on both sides. For example – if you’re going for a 24″ range, then a 30″ hood would be just fine. Similarly, you can calculate for other ranges as well.
Should Range Hood Be Wider Than Cooktop?
Range hoods don’t have to be wider than the cooktops. However, they’ll need to have at least the same width as the cooktops. And you can even increase their lengths and keep them 3” longer on the sides.
When looking at the widths of the hoods, the most common ones are from 30-36″. But if you’re going for optimal performance, then installing hoods of 20-24″ will be just fine.
Here, the 24” hood will be okay for the gas cooktop of 24-30”. So, in the end, you’ll need to select the hoods as wide as the cooktops.
How Many CFM Do I Need for My Range Hood?
Before knowing how much CFM you’ll need for the hood, it’s better to know what a CFM is! Well, if you didn’t know about the definition, let me break it down –
A CFM is basically cubic feet per minute. It’s the measurement of the airflow. And it even describes the ventilation and the heating capabilities.
But you may ask- why is it needed to know about the right amount of CFM. Well, you’ll need to know that because having too much can increase the electricity bills.
That said, how many do you actually need?
To be precise, you’ll need around 100 CFM in your range hoods to make it work better. Here, for a 12-inch width of the stove, it’s better to settle down on 100 CFM.
Thus, the amount of cubic feet per minute or CFM will vary according to the size of your stove. So, let’s do a quick math. If you have a 30″ stove, go for a range hood of 250 CFM.
Distance Between Stove and Hood?
Clearly, it’s better to have a fair distance between stoves and hoods. Here, the hood must have a distance of almost 65 centimeters. And why is that?
Well, if the hoods are too close to the stove, then they can catch fire anytime. Plus, they even run the risk of getting any sort of heat damage as well. So, not having a proper space between stove and hood can invite many unwanted problems like these.
When it comes to maintaining a distance so that the hood doesn’t catch fire, the same goes for not keeping them too far away. This is because if the hood is too far away, they won’t be able to suck the fumes.
As a result, you’ll need to work on a limited range when putting the hoods over the stoves. We recommend going for a maximum distance of 80 centimeters and a minimum distance of 65 centimeters.
What Does Convertible Range Hood Mean?
Convertible range hoods are basically the type of hoods that convert from a ducted hood into a ductless functionality. Typically, they’re like ducted hoods. But you can convert them towards being ductless.
Here, to convert them to a ductless vent, you’ll need to use a recirculating kit. And the kit works at venting the air from the kitchen to the hood. Also, the charcoal filters work at making the air healthy and putting them back into the kitchen.
By converting a ducted hood into a ductless hood, you can easily save up some expenses. Plus, you’ll even ensure that you can eliminate all kinds of fumes and smokes from your kitchen.
How to Install Range Hood?
You’ve seen a lot already in this article. But now comes the most important part- the installation process of the range hood.
Well, if you’ve chosen your hood and went through all of the information, then half of the work is completed already. However, the main difficult part still remains, and that’s the installation process.
But don’t you worry, as we’ve figured it out as well. So, in order to make things crystal clear for you, we’ve added the easy steps needed for the installation procedure.
That said, let’s jump into the steps below –
Step #1: Marking the Location
Measure the hood, and determine where the vent will connect to the hood. Then, when you’re done with the measurement, mark them. Here, you can use a measuring tape for the measurement and a marker for the wall markings.
Step #2: Checking for Wires
Before you start with the cutting and plumbing in the walls, it’s better to check for wires. If you don’t check for the cables, then you’ll accidentally cut them. And that won’t be pleasant, will it? So, cut a smaller hole in the wall and check for the wires. If there are wires connected there, consult a professional and get it taken off.
Step #3: Cutting Vent Holes
As you’ve already marked the places, cut the vent holes. Here, take an oscillatory tool, and cut your way in. But make sure you’re not cutting the wires inside the holes.
Moreover, you’ll need to ensure that you have added space left inside the walls. By doing this, you’ll make working more comfortable.
Step #4: Inserting Screws
Insert the screws in place. As you’ve already marked the holes, then inserting screws on top of them won’t be much of an issue. Inserting the screws will make the installation procedure almost ready.
Step #5: Attaching Hoods
Attach in the hoods, and then go for the overall adjustment process. Here, you’ll need to adjust them and put the screws in place. After that, line the centers by tightening the screws in place.
Step #6: Finishing Wiring
Clip-in the electrical wires. Now, strip off the wires. Then, connect these wires with a connector. After that, attach them by matching the colors. So, you’ll need to attach the white with white and the black with black. Lastly, fasten the ground wire with the wire connector. And the wiring process will be finished.
Step #7: Reinstalling Motor
If you’ve followed all the steps until this point, then all your works are almost done. You’ll just need to reinsert the motor of the fan. Place this motor in the housing. Then, you’ll need to install the filter. By doing this, you’ve completed the installation of the range hood. Now, you can use it with pleasure.
How to Clean Range Hood Filter?
Range hood filters are a lifesaver as they work at recirculating air inside the kitchen. In fact, these charcoal filters work at transferring smokes and fumes outside the kitchen as well.
However, like almost everything in life, this one requires a bit of maintenance as well. And, if the filters are dirty, then they won’t serve the actual purpose well enough. So, it’s better you clean them. Let’s check out how you can clean them –
Step #1: Removing Filters from Hoods
Filters are located under the hoods. And they aren’t hard to remove as well. So, just pop them out of the hood in order to remove them from the range hoods.
Step #2: Filling Sink with Boiling Water and Dish Soap
Get a large sink and fill it up with boiling water and a good amount of dish soap. By preparing this solution, ensure that the sink has a tremendous number of bubbles formed.
Step #3: Submerging and Scrubbing Filters in Solution
As you already have the solution prepared, submerge the greasy filters in the water. Here, you’ll need to completely submerge them inside the solution.
When you’re done with the submerging process, scrub the filters. You can take a brush in order to facilitate the scrubbing process.
Step #4: Placing in Dishwasher and Drying
Put the dishwasher on a hot cycle and place the filters inside the dishwasher. After running them on the cycle, allow them to dry on their own. Here, you won’t need to artificially dry them as they’ll dry on their own.
Where to Buy Range Hoods?
We’re almost at the end of this article. However, before going away, we’d like to share some added insights as well.
By now, you’ve known almost everything about these hoods. But we didn’t mention where you can find these hoods. Even though you can basically find them almost everywhere, let’s still mention the places.
Firstly, all types of physical/local stores will have these range hoods on them. Other than that, you can search on online shopping platforms for these range hoods. Whatever the case is, when it comes to availability, you’ll have them lying around almost everywhere.
That’s all from our end, my friend. We’re hopeful that if you’ve stuck until this point, then all your questions are cleared easily. In the end, you’ll now know what to look for in a range hood.
And, if you’re still confused about it, then we’d suggest reading the first half of the article. By doing this, you can clear all of your confusion quite simply.
Hope you have a great day, Good Luck!