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How To Choose The Best Kitchen Range Hood Nowadays

One of the most essential yet overlooked kitchen appliances is the range hood. Also known as an extractor/ventilation hood, a range hood is typically a canopy enclosed fan installed just above your cooktop or stove.

Kitchen Range Hoods

Range hoods are designed to tackle smoke, odors, and heat that occur in the kitchen. They work by sucking out the ‘bad air,’ and depending on the model you have, allow the circulation of good air back into the kitchen.

If you do not own a hood range, you should purchase one for so many reasons. Keep reading to discover the best range hoods, their benefits, what to consider before purchase, and so much more.

Venting Options for Range Hoods

Ducted/Vented Hood Range

This type of hood range works by filtering indoor air pollutants and grease outside through ductwork. Ductwork is installed in either your ceiling or wall, connecting the kitchen to the house.

Professionals recommend this type of hood range because it effectively removes any harmful agents in the air. However, setting these ducts up requires effort, money, and space – probably a compartment in your upper cabinets.

Ductless/Recirculating Hood Range

Ductless range hoods do not filter out air from the kitchen to outside your home; they do not work with ventilation. These types of hoods are designed to recirculate – instead of extract air.

Ductless hoods have filters where they run the contaminated air through before releasing them back into the kitchen. Most types make use of charcoal filters and are less effective than having a ducted hood.

Convertible Range Hoods

Convertible range hoods allow you to have both ducted and ductless setups. Their designs have discharge outlets that will enable ducting but can be easily converted to charcoal filters if your kitchen is not vented.

The configuration option can be very beneficial during cold seasons because a ductless hood circulates inside and outside air, while ductless hoods help keep the warmth indoors.

Types of Range Hoods

Kitchen

There are several types of kitchen hood vents available in the market today based on their styles and designs. When picking a range hood, the layout of your kitchen determines which is suitable for you. Below are the types of range hoods to choose from.

Wall Mount

Wall mount hoods have a duct with an adjustable chimney, causing them to be rather large and perfect for big kitchens. They are mounted against a wall in the kitchen, ideally about 28 – 36 inches from the cooking surface, to prolong the life of your range hood.

If your kitchen is not designed with a wall mount range hood in mind, it may involve taking out a cabinet compartment.

Related: Stylish Options for Kitchen Hoods from EuroCucina

Island Mount

These types of range hoods are designed for kitchens with an island counter. Although they have ducted hoods, similar to wall mounts, they are not as efficient. The absence of walls around the cooking area can make it difficult for fumes and smoke to be contained.

Island mounts require a lot of ceiling support because of their weight. You should ensure that the bracing and installation of your island mount are correctly done, and attention is paid to the bracing due to the absence of walls to back them.

Range Hood Inserts

Hood inserts are designed to be used in your custom hood. They give your kitchen a neater appearance because they are built into customized cabinets above the cooktop.

If you have a premade cabinet that you would like to make into a range hood or you want the full option of your ventilation fan’s appearance, hood inserts are a great option.

Downdraft

A downdraft works by pulling the fumes and smoke down towards the floor where the ducted systems run. However, this design has limited effectiveness because this exhaust system’s mechanism works against the dynamics of hot air, causing the system to work harder than the updraft system.

The downdraft is usually mounted into the counter, behind the cooktop. Occasionally, they are integrated with a gas cooktop and are among the few ventilation options that work for kitchen islands.

Under Cabinet

These kitchen hood vents are installed right above the cooking range, underneath the upper cabinets. This design is more compact than island and wall mount hoods, making them the best option for small kitchens.

They are easy to install and do not usually require professional help because of their ductless design.

Why Should You get a Range Hood?

In cooking with gas burners, several toxic gases and fumes are released, such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO). When released in large amounts, these gases are very harmful to the human respiratory system, putting one at risk for wheezing, dyspnea, and even asthma attacks in the elderly and small children.

For modern homes, particularly tightly insulated houses, lack of proper ventilation will cause fumes and smoke produced when cooking to remain stuck inside the kitchen. While most people use exhaust fans or open their windows to let out the bad air, your best bet is a range hood vent.

Range hoods work by capturing the grease and smoke around your cooktop while ventilating the air simultaneously.

Factors to Consider when Getting a Range Hood

CFM/Airflow – typically, the suction capacity of a hood is measured in CMF (cubic feet per minute), a measurement of the airflow velocity in and out of your kitchen. It is used to measure the airflow for the ventilation of cooking spaces. The type of CMF you choose depends on the cooktop you have – either electric or gas.

Coverage – range hoods can have varying sizes, and when choosing one, it should be as broad as your cooking range. Ideally, you should always purchase a range hood that is one size bigger than your range measurement. This means that if you have a 34-inch cooking top, you should get a 30-inch hood.

The extra space is beneficial if you are purchasing an island hood because the absence of walls can make it difficult for air distribution to be limited. It is much easier for fumes and smoke to be captured by a hood with broader coverage.

Filter – there are three types of filters used with range hoods; baffle, mesh, and charcoal filters. Although they serve the same purpose, mesh and baffle filters are used differently.

Baffle filters are made from high-quality metals such as aluminum or stainless steel, making them easy to clean. Mesh filters, however, have layers of stacked metal mesh and are more challenging to clean because build-up can easily result from cooking debris and grease if not cleaned regularly.

Charcoal filters do not require cleaning but need to be replaced every three to six months, or after 120 hours of cooking.

Fan speeds – ideally, your range hood should have two to three fan speeds, including a high-speed setting for when cooking is ongoing and a low-speed setting after cooking to ventilate your space while you eat.

More than three fan speeds usually overkill, except it is a variable speed switch that allows you to set the fan to any speed you desire.

Lighting – there are different types of bulbs for a diverse range of hoods. The most common types are LED and Halogen lights, which are both sufficient for cooking. Most people, however, prefer LED bulbs for their conservative power consumption, extended lifespan, and other features.

Benefits of Range Hood

Range hoods are a kitchen necessity and have a lot of benefits, although they are largely overlooked.

Better Air Quality

The most important benefit of a range hood is that it improves the air quality in your kitchen by removing potentially toxic gases and pollutants in your kitchen. Range hoods are designed to remove grease, smoke, odors, etc., that are released when cooking.

If you do not have a range hood, you may be putting yourself and your family at risk for irritation in the eye, nose, or throat.

Range hoods improve the quality of air in your kitchen by sucking out polluted air, cutting down the amount of toxic air you inhale, and reducing the growth of mold, germs, and bacteria in your kitchen.

Regulates Kitchen Temperature

Cooking can make your kitchen very uncomfortable because of the excess heat the action produces. A kitchen hood vent can help prevent the steam from your food or the heat from your cooktop from hitting your face directly.

This makes cooking more comfortable, allowing you to focus on meal prep instead of wiping sweat off your brow. The inbuilt fan blower sucks away the excess heat produced, removing it through the vent and keeping your kitchen at a moderate temperature.

Eliminates Kitchen odors

Cooking smells can be great when you’re hungry and looking forward to a meal. However, these smells can be annoying when they linger. A range hood helps to suck out the stuffiness and unpleasant odors that tend to remain after cooking, keeping your home smelling fresh and clean.

Serves as Kitchen Lighting

Your range hood can provide extra lighting for cooking and food preparation. This additional lighting is helpful for both cooking and cleaning up afterward. When you can see correctly, the cooking process becomes more manageable, preventing food from burning.

With the range hood light, you can see the grease and dirt trapped in the services and difficult to reach areas of your stovetop. The light will aid in proper cleaning and maintenance of your cooktop.

Makes Clean-up easier

With a range hood, excess moisture and grease from cooking are removed, preventing the formation of the sticky film that results from the build-up of grease. It also stops mold and bacteria from thriving – a plus for people with allergies or other respiratory issues.

Top Range Hood Options

If you wonder which is the best range hood on the market right now, you have come to the right place. Take a look at this line up of hoods, so you know what to get when you go shopping for a new hood.

1. Hauslane Chef Series 30″ PS18 Under Cabinet Range Hood

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With powerful suction technology and dual motors, this ducted range hood is made to remove fumes, odors, and chemicals from your kitchen air. The digital touch screen helps you control the noise levels and suction power. Cut down on clean-up time and remove dirt at the touch of a button.

Features

  • Baffle filter
  • 3W LED lighting
  • Stainless steel finish
  • Exhaust size – Top: 6″ / 3-1/4″x10″ Back: 3-1/4″x10″
  • Product dimensions – 30 x 22 x 7 inches

Pros

  • Comes with three different adapter options to fit a 6″ round or 10″x 3-1/4″ rectangular duct
  • The baffle filters that come with this product are dishwasher-safe filters
  • You can customize the performance of this hood

Cons

  • Does not have the auto-clean function

2. FOTILE 30″ Range Hood

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This range hood sports a beautiful design, making your kitchen look great while providing excellent performance. Its extensive coverage covers all burners, creating a barrier tray stops you from inhaling grease and harmful smoke. 

Features

  • Touch screen controls
  • Double centrifugal fan systems
  • Dimensions- 29.88″ × 18.25″ × 17.44″
  • Under Cabinet/ Wall Mount
  • 3 Speed Settings

Pros

  • This range hood has a wide coverage area
  • It is easy to clean
  • Very quiet when in use, while on the highest setting, it produces just 54dB of sound
  • Its delay function lets the hood function for two extra minutes after you have turned it off, ensuring that all stray smoke is captured
  • The screen lock function helps you clean the unit without the fear of mis-operation

Cons

  • You cannot install this product without the help of a professional

3. Broan-NuTone 413604 Non-Ducted Ductless Range Hood Insert with Light

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Check out this ductless, high-quality under cabinet range hood that provides effective filtration. With a combo grease-charcoal filter to help recirculating indoor air and a durable fan, this is the perfect ventilation solution for your kitchen.

Features

  • Non-ducted hood range
  • Product dimensions – 17.5 x 6 x 36 inches
  • Under-cabinet mount
  • 2-speed motor
  • Material – stainless steel

Pros

  • Doubles as an exhaust fan and overhead stove light
  • Easy to clean surfaces
  • Sleek stainless steel unit that gives your kitchen a neat appearance
  • The bottom edge is hemmed and the sides mitered for safety purposes
  • The filters are dishwasher friendly

Cons

  • The bulb that comes with this product is sold separately

4. ZLINE ZLKB-30 KB-30 Wall Mounted Range Hood

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This is one of the most durable range hoods you can find. Enhanced with a fan and wholly installed blower, this wall-mounted hood is sure to last you a lifetime.

Features

  • Baffle filter
  • Dimensions- 35.4 x 17.1 x 21.3 inches
  • Built-in installation
  • Up to 760 CFM with a powerful 4-speed fan

Pros

  • Filters are dishwasher friendly
  • This product is easy to install
  • Stainless steel finish makes it easy to clean and maintain
  • Has the option of chimney extensions
  • This hood is convertible and can be used with both charcoal and recirculating filters

Cons

  • The stainless steel crown molding has to be purchased separately

5. ZLINE 36 in. Island Mount Range Hood in Stainless Steel

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Take a look at this sleek island mount range hood made from high quality brushed stainless steel. This product gives your kitchen a sleek modern finish while efficiently recirculating the air.

Features

  • Has a 4-Speed Fan Control (120/240/320/400 CFM)
  • Dimensions- 36 x 24 x 6.8 inches
  • Built-in installation

Pros

  • The professional motor helps it function much quieter than most hoods
  • Ductwork is easy to connect to the top of the range hood
  • Stainless steel finish makes it easy to clean and maintain
  • Filters are dishwasher friendly
  • This product has 3-speed touch-sensitive electronic filters
  • Can be converted easily to a ductless range hood

Cons

  • Cannot be installed without professional assistance

6. Cosmo COS-QS75 30 in. Under Cabinet Range Hood with 500 CFM

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This under cabinet hood from Cosmo is perfect for kitchens with limited space. It is sleek enough to fit into an already existing cabinet, and its brushed steel appearance gives your kitchen an upscale, modern look.

Features

  • Has a top venting with a round duct of 7.5.”
  • Auto shut-off timer
  • Product dimensions- 22 x 29.5 x 10 inches

Pros

  • The digital touch control panel and remote control simplifies the use of this range hood
  • Grease and oil are easily trapped using a 500 CFM motor with arc-flow permanent stainless steel filters
  • You can use this hood as a ductless hood with the optional carbon filter kit
  • Utilizes its 4-speed motor and efficient airflow to neutralize odors quickly
  • Dishwasher safe filters

Cons

  • The carbon filter kit has to be purchased separately

7. FOTILE Under Cabinet or Wall Mount

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This range hood sports a beautiful design, making your kitchen look great while providing excellent performance. Its broad coverage covers all burners, creating a barrier tray stops you from inhaling grease and harmful smoke. 

Features

  • 3 Speed Settings
  • Touch screen controls
  • Double centrifugal fan systems
  • Dimensions- 29.88″ × 18.25″ × 17.44″
  • Under Cabinet/ Wall Mount

Pros

  • The screen lock function helps you clean the unit without the fear of mis-operation
  • This range hood has a wide coverage area
  • It is easy to clean
  • Its delay function lets the hood function for two extra minutes after you have turned it off, ensuring that all stray smoke is captured
  • Very quiet when in use, while on the highest setting, it produces just 54dB of sound

Cons

  • You cannot install this product without the help of a professional

8. Cosmo 668ICS750 30 in. Island Mount Range Hood with 380 CFM

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Have a look at this beautiful Italian style, classy range good. Kitchen design experts highly covet this product with its tempered glass visor, sleek brushed steel body, and ultra-modern aesthetic.

Features

  • Arc-Flow Stainless Steel Permanent Filters
  • High lumen LED lighting.
  • Digital touch controls
  • 380 CFM motor
  • Three fan speed
  • Clock and timer
  • Product dimensions-.6 x 29.2 x 47 inches

Pros

  • 380 CFM helps rid the kitchen of odors, pollutants, and grease
  • Has a maximum noise level of just 65dB
  • Dishwasher friendly filters that require no replacement
  • Energy-efficient lights
  • This hood has an LCD touchscreen for your convenience

Cons

  • The controls and display are only on one side of the hood

9. CIARRA CAS75206 Wall Mount Range Hood

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Tackle smoke, grease, odors, and cooking fumes effectively with this modern design kitchen hood.

Features

  • High suction power
  • Energy efficient
  • Environmental protection
  • Convertible (ducted and ductless options)
  • Operates quietly
  • Product dimensions- 30 x 19 x 25.1 inches
  • 450 CFM

Pros

  • Filters are detachable and washable
  • Simple to operate and touch-sensitive panel control
  • Can be converted to both ducted and ductless mode
  • Easy to install
  • Powerful suction

Cons

  • Carbon filters are sold separately

10. Broan-NuTone 413001 Non-Ducted Ductless Range Hood

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This Two-Speed Duct-Free Range Hood is economical and effectively extracts airborne contaminants. It fits perfectly underneath your cabinet and is the perfect solution to your ventilation needs.

Features

  • Non-ducted
  • 2-speed motor
  • 75 WATT bulb
  • Product dimensions- 17.5 x 6 x 30 inches

Pros

  • Easily replaceable charcoal filter
  • Doubles as an exhaust fan and overhead light for your cooktop

Cons

  • The bulb has to be purchased separately

Conclusion

A range hood is a great kitchen appliance that provides many benefits for the protection of your health. They also keep your kitchen area clean and sleek looking.

The kitchen is one of the high traffic areas in the home, making ventilation a priority. Hopefully, this information will help you invest in the best range hood for your home.