TIPS & GUIDES
How To Choose the Right Range Hood for Your KitchenBy Hauslane ∙ 15 mins read
You might be wondering, “Do I really need a range hood?” The short answer is yes, every kitchen needs a range hood. These appliances remove fumes, smoke, odors, and grease generated by cooking processes. The methods of extraction vary based on the type of range hood. Essentially, particles, smoke, and fumes are extracted through the use of fans and filters. This air is then extracted outside of the home or neutralized and recirculated through filters.
Range hoods are essential for kitchen safety and ventilation. Even if you only cook a few times a week, you’re still producing fumes, gases, and smoke. You can simply switch on your range hood and let it do the hard work instead of trying to waft everything out of an open window or door. Without a range hood, you’re at risk of not only a foul-smelling, greasy kitchen but also poorer indoor air quality.
So, there’s no reason not to have a range hood and every reason to have more for your health and the cleanliness of your kitchen. Your next question may be, “Which range hood should I get?” Let’s walk through some of the similarities and differences between different types of range hoods.
Are All Range Hoods the Same?
There are plenty of options for range hoods to suit your needs, taste, and budget on the market. The most common difference between range hoods is the type of ventilation they provide. We recommend first determining whether you need a ducted or ductless model. Then, you can easily narrow down your options based on style and budget.
Ducted vs. Ductless Range Hoods
Ducted range hoods use ductwork within your home to move contaminated air to the exterior of your property. This type of range hood offers the greatest amount of ventilation. However, if you don’t have ductwork, you can try a ductless model instead. You may also hear this type referred to as a “recirculating range hood.” Ductless range hoods extract and then neutralize air through filters before it is recirculated. Some models of range hoods can be converted to ductless through the use of charcoal filters.
Styles of Range Hoods
Once you know whether you need a ducted or ductless model, think about which style of range hood will best suit your kitchen. Your kitchen’s layout plays an important role here. You should be able to mount the range hood about 24 to 30 inches above the cooktop. It’s important to mount it at the right height for safety and effectiveness.
✦ Under-cabinet range hoods
Under-cabinet range hoods are one of the popular styles for a more compact look. They install under your kitchen cabinets and are generally about 30 to 36 inches in size. If you have a smaller kitchen or just want a more sleek appearance, you may like an under-cabinet model best.
✦ Kitchen wall mount range hoods
Kitchen wall mount range hoods work well in larger kitchens or those with a larger open area above your range top. They are mounted securely to an interior wall above the stovetop and offer a more eye-catching look.
✦ Built-in range hoods
For a super understated look, try a built-in range hood. Built-in models differ from undercabinet models in that they can be inserted into a custom cabinet or hood. They work well for kitchens of all sizes.
✦ Kitchen Island Range Hood
Got a kitchen island? Then, you’ll love a kitchen island range hood. These models typically come in a canopy or pyramid style. They are mounted to the ceiling, and the ductwork should run through the ceiling as well.
Sizes of Range Hoods
Always review manufacturer requirements before purchasing or installing a range hood. The easiest way to determine size is to start with your range hood. The range hood should be at least the same width as your range though ideally a bit larger. That way, it can extract fumes and grease completely. You should also check the depth of the range hood to make sure it doesn’t protrude excessively. Don’t forget to make sure you’re installing 24 to 30 inches above the stovetop! If you need some extra help, try reading this blog about the Best Range Hood Mounting Height.
It’s also important to consider the amount and type of cooking you do. A large cooking operation demands a larger range hood. If you cook often, love to stir fry, and use high temperatures, then you’ll want a heavy-duty model. If you only cook a little bit each week, you can select a range hood that’s designed for light cooking.
At Hauslane, we like to break different types of cooking and appropriate models into tiers:
Tier 1: This is what we call our “15-Minute Dinner Fan” Think simple recipes, prepared ingredients, canned goods, and one pan dinners. This style of cooking involves light cooking, heat, and smoke; boiling, steaming, poaching.
Tier 2: Next up, we have “the Everyday Cooking Whiz.” This style of cooking is right in the middle and suits most home cooks. Look for models built for everyday cooking, typical levels of heat and smoke, boiling, steaming, poaching, braising.
Tier 3: Finally, there’s the Home Chef who can’t get enough of exploring new recipes. You’ll want range hoods designed for heavy-duty cooking, high levels of heat, and smoke, plus boiling, steaming, poaching, braising, frying, searing, and sauteing.
For even more insights into choosing the right range hood, check out our essential buyer’s guide.