How To Choose A Range Hood | Buyer's Guide For Range Hoods



Buyer’s Guide: 6 Simple Steps to Choosing the Right Range Hood

By Hauslane | 15 mins read

Figuring out how to choose a range hood may seem overwhelming at first—but it’s actually very simple and straightforward once you understand the terminology and how it all works.

That’s why Hauslane put together this short, handy guide.

Why Does Choosing the Right Range Hood Matter?

Shopping for a range hood is a much bigger decision than buying, say, an inexpensive kitchen knife. You could probably select a knife from a catalog based on appearance alone, and in most cases it will do its job of slicing, dicing, and prepping food. Eventually, the blades will get dull and you’ll replace it. That’s simply not how things work with range hoods.

A range hood is something you’ll keep for many, many years.

Once installed, it’s time-consuming and costly to replace, so we want to help you get it right the first time.

If you choose a range hood with a fan that isn’t powerful enough for the burners on your stove, for example, the smoke and odor will linger and spread throughout your home. And if you choose a model you can’t integrate with your ductwork (we’ll explain that below), you may not be able to install it in the first place. Knowing how to choose a range hood is important for the proper function of your entire kitchen.

Buying a range hood is an investment, and if you choose the ideal product for your needs, it will serve you for many years—even decades! Hauslane range hoods are built to last, and they deliver a professional cooking experience at an affordable price.

Why Range Hood Is an Essential Component of a Healthy Kitchen >

The Good News
This straightforward 6-step guide tells you everything you need to know about how to choose a range hood, so you’ll have no problem choosing a quality range hood that fits perfectly into your kitchen and your life.

Questions? Send us a message and we’ll get right back to you: | 1-800-929-0168

Step 1: Learn the Difference Between Ducted Vs. Ductless Ventilation

An air duct is a wide, metal tube that allows your blower to pump the smoke produced from your cooking outside your home.

Ducted Range Hoods connect to air ducts in your kitchen, allowing your blower to suck up the smoke, odor, and grease and blow it outside.

Ductless Range Hoods use charcoal filters to capture grease, odor, and debris before recirculating the air back into the home.

Ducted/Ductless Range Hoods have both technologies built in, so you can install them in any kind of kitchen. Many of our range hoods can be used as either ducted or ductless units, depending on your needs. Learn how to know if a ducted or ductless range hood is right for your kitchen.

Why go ductless?

Some homes have ducts built into the kitchen, ready to connect to a range hood, while others do not. If your cooktop is not next to an exterior wall, there might not be any ducts because there is no clear path to run the ductwork.

If you don’t have ducts, or cannot access them from your point of installation, be sure to choose a unit with a ductless option.

You may also choose a model with ductless capabilities simply because it’s more versatile. For example, if you’re remodeling and decide to place the stove in a part of the kitchen that isn’t near the duct, ductless models will eliminate the need to redo the ducting.

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Why go ducted?

If your kitchen has ducts exactly where you want them, a ducted range hood may be ideal because it will do a better job of sucking up grease particles and cooking fumes.

Ducted range hoods also allow you to install a more powerful blower (see Step 4), which will come in handy if you have a large, professional-grade range that produces a lot of smoke when used at full capacity.

Search Tip: When you search Hauslane products to find the right range hood for your kitchen, use the filter ("filter by") in the upper-left-hand corner to search for “ducted” or “ductless” hoods, depending on your needs.

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Step 2: Select Your Mounting Style

Now it’s time to decide where, and how, you want to mount your range hood. When figuring out how to choose a range hood, you’ve got four main options: under the cabinet, against the wall, directly into the ceiling (island), or recessed (inside the wall or cabinet). Here’s how each of these options work.

1. Under the Cabinet

These range hoods fit directly underneath a cabinet, and the ductwork remains hidden by the cabinet itself. You have three under-the-cabinet styles to choose from, based on your kitchen’s layout.

Slim Style: These sleek range hoods are less than 10” tall, and they’re perfect for small, more compact kitchens.

Pro Style: These larger range hoods take up more space, but typically they include powerful blowers, allowing chefs to use strong, high-capacity burners that produce a lot of smoke.

Microwave: Many of our customers start out with microwave range hoods -- those connected to the existing microwave --and come to us for an upgrade. Microwave range hoods all use the same size ducts, which are typically 3-¼" x 10”. Also, they vent from the back, connecting to short ductwork that goes through the home’s exterior wall and leads outside.

Note: If you want to fix a new range to the microwave duct, you’ll need to buy a rectangular duct or purchase a piece called a “transition,” which allows you to connect a rectangular duct to a circular one. Some Hauslane models designed with versatile venting system which would save you the money to purchase a transition.

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2. Against the Wall

These units rest directly against the wall, with the ductwork connecting behind the chimney cover. This mounting option works if your range isn’t below any cabinets.

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3. Island

If you’ve got an island stove, an island range hood can mount from your ceiling and hang directly over your cooktop. Island range hoods tend to be larger and contain more powerful blowers.

Why do they need more power? Units tucked away under cabinets or against the wall don’t have to contend with air currents blowing in from multiple directions. The stronger power and wider surface area of island mounted range hoods keep smoke and odor from dispersing around the kitchen.

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4. Recessed/Built-in:

These units are tucked into the wall to maximize space. They can fit inside a standard cabinet or the chimney itself.

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Step 3: Know Your Grease Filters

Grease filters capture and remove grease and other debris carried in smoke. There are four different types of grease filters: mesh filters, baffle filters, hybrid filters, and charcoal filters.

Baffle Filters: These state-of-the-art filters use a special design to restrict the flow of smoke to capture pollutants. They’re reusable, dishwasher safe, highly durable, and represent the industry standard in efficiency.

Mesh Filters: Mesh filters trap the grease in aluminum mesh. They’re affordable and reusable, but they do require regular cleaning.

Note: Mesh filters are not dishwasher safe.

Hybrid Filters: Hybrid filters combine the features of both mesh and baffle designs.

Charcoal Filters: These filters are required for ductless range hoods. They need replacement on a regular basis and they’re less efficient than other designs, but they’re light-weight and easy to replace.

Note: Depending on your cooking style, we recommend changing the charcoal filters every month to keep the recirculating air clean.

Step 4: Find the Right Blower Strength for Your Needs

The blower is the workhorse of your range hood. Without the right size blower to fit your needs, your range hood won’t be able to clear your home of smoke, grease, and odor. Hauslane sells high-quality range hoods with powerful blowers that will accommodate everyone from the occasional chef to the culinary enthusiast.

A blower’s strength is measured in its ability to move a specific volume of air over a specific period of time—a measurement called Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM). Each range hood we sell lists the CFM capacity for its blower. Blowers that reach 900+ CFM are considered professional grade and will accommodate any serious chef. Here, discover how to tell what CFM you need for your kitchen.

How to determine the bare minimum CFM requirements for your stove

Electric Stoves: CFM requirements for electric stoves are determined by the size of the range. Measure the width of your range, and for every inch, you’ll need 10 CFMs.

Note: Dimensions for an oven are measured in Height, Width, and Depth. Width refers to the measurement you collect when you face a stove and lay down a tape measure to determine distance from the left-hand edge to the right-hand edge.

Example: A range with a 36” width requires a bare minimum of 360 CFM blow (36” x 10 = 360 CFM).

Gas Stoves: Minimum CFM requirements for gas stoves are based on a measurement called British Thermal Units (BTUs). BTUs measure how quickly you can raise the temperature of water when the burner is at maximum capacity.

Note: To determine the total BTUs of your stove, look up the manufacturer’s guide (or look for a tag on the back, or the inside of the stove under the hood, that indicates each burner’s BTU). Add each burner’s BTUs up to find the stove’s total BTUs, then divide that number by 100 to get the blower’s the CFM requirement.

Example: A gas range has the four burners with the following BTUs:

Burner #1: 20,000 BTUs
Burner #2: 17,500 BTUs
Burner #3 17,500 BTUs
Burner #4: 9,500 BTUs

Total: 20,000 + 17,500 + 17,500 + 9,500 = 64,500 BTUs

CFM Requirements: 64,500 ÷ 100 = 645 CFM

Going Beyond ‘Good Enough’: These figures, again, are the bare minimum you need to have a blower that does its job—but why settle for ‘good enough?’

Blowers in Hauslane range hoods approach, or exceed, professional grade. This keeps your home healthy and smoke/odor-free, even when running your cooktop at max capacity. When figuring out how to choose a range hood for your home’s kitchen, look no further than Hauslane for premium products with the power and effectiveness you’re sure to love.

Why limit yourself as a chef? Hauslane products deliver an exceptional experience at an affordable price.

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Step 5: Choosing the Right Size Unit

Different mounting setups require different size units, based on the width of the stovetop.

Note: Dimensions for an oven are measured in Height, Width, and Depth. Width refers to the measurement you collect when you face a stove and lay down a tape measure to determine distance from the left-hand edge to the right-hand edge.

Your cooking style may also affect the type of range hood you may need.  

Under Cabinet and Wall Mounted Units: Range hoods should be equal to, or slightly larger, than the range top.

Example: 36 inches wide cooktop should require at least 36 inches wide range hood.

Island Units: Island units should be a little bit larger than cabinet and wall mounted units because they have to contend with cross-currents flowing in different directions. In order to cover more surface-area and suck up the smoke before it spreads around the house, these units should extend 3-6" beyond the range on both sides.

Example: A 36 inches wide cooktop requires a range hood of 42 inches.

Height Requirements for All Units: Range hoods should be mounted 24-30 inches above your range top. You can use this information to determine how tall your range hood must be to connect with your ductwork.

Note: Our range hoods have adjustable chimneys to fit most kitchen setups. If you’re concerned that the chimney won’t fit your ceiling, contact us about adding an extension: | 1-800-929-0168

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Step 6: Understanding Additional Features

Hauslane products come with a variety of features to fit a range of budgets, including auto-cleaning, delayed shut-off, special lighting, and multiple speed settings for the fan.

Auto-cleaning: With the touch of a button, certain Hauslane range hoods can clean themselves using steam-cleaning or water-cleaning technology. In other words, the range hood will automatically clean its motor, fan wheel, and housing to remove grease buildup—delivering improved hygiene, longer motor life, and better long-term motor efficiency so the suction power won’t diminish over the years.

Delayed Shutoff: It’s usually a good idea to let the fan run for while after you're done cooking so it can suck up all the lingering smoke. With delayed shut-off, you don’t have to return later to shut off the fan—just press a button, let it do its work, and it will shut itself off.

Lighting: Pay attention to the lighting used on the range hoods you evaluate. GU10-LED lights save energy and are easy to replace. Integrated LED lighting lasts a long time, but it’s not as easy to replace. Halogen lighting won’t give you much energy savings, but it shines brightly.

Speed settings: Take a look at the various speed settings for the fan—some of our models offer as many as six speeds, so you can find your perfect balance between noise level, power, and efficiency.

Range hoods might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about upgrading a kitchen, but breathing fresh, clean air and keeping your home free of smoke and other pollutants requires an informed buying decision.

At Hauslane, we’re as passionate about cooking as we are about the technology that makes it possible, and we bring professional-grade equipment into ordinary homes at an affordable price. If you need additional help figuring out how to choose a range hood, the professionals at Hauslane are happy to help. Get in touch with us today.

Happy cooking!