How to Choose the Right Range Hood for You and Your Kitchen
Whether you’re building it from scratch or remodelling a kitchen, one important appliance to consider is the range hood. If your kitchen has a stove and you intend on using it often, then a range hood is an important appliance to incorporate in your design.
When you cook, the smoke, odours and particles released will generally linger in the air without the help of some kind of air filtration system. A range hood, sometimes also called a vent hood, will extract all that stuff out of the room so you don’t have to worry about unhealthy smoke or unpleasant odours sticking around while or after you’re cooking.
6 Benefits of Range Hoods
- They provide extra lighting to the space you cook in, which aids in prep safety.
- They contribute to keeping your kitchen cleaner – if smoke gathers or spreads, it will make your walls and countertops harder to clean.
- They reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can build to dangerous levels if your cooking space isn’t properly ventilated.
- They can help cool off hot kitchens. In addition to removing smoke and particles, they remove excess heat as well.
- Moving the smoke outside means you won’t have to worry about the smoke detector going off just because you’re cooking.
- Even if you don’t cook all that often yourself, having a range hood can increase your property value – it’s one less thing a future buyer will have to invest in.
If you cook much at all and especially if you like to fry your food, a range hood is pretty much a necessity. Luckily, you have a ton of options to consider that all vary in style, price, size and features. Here’s what you need to know to find the best range hood for your kitchen.
Undermount Range Hoods
Undermount range hoods are one of the most popular categories of range hoods on (in) the market. They’re an affordable choice that makes sense with many types of kitchen designs. The (vent) hood is installed under your cabinets and above your range, ideally spanning the width (length) of the stove so it can capture all the heat and smoke as it rises and before it reaches your cabinets. Cyclone undermount hoods range in power from 300 CFM to 1200 CFM.
Under cabinet range hoods are relatively easy to install and cost less than many of the other types of kitchen hoods. You can find some that are stylish and others that are mostly designed to be functional without drawing much attention. All Cyclone undermount models are designed to transport the smoke and particles out of your kitchen to the outside.
See our full line of Undermount range hoods HERE.
Wall Mount Range Hoods
As the name suggests, Wall Mount range hoods are installed on the wall, above the range, without the presence of cabinets. They are sometimes referred to as “Chimney Hoods.” Wall mounts are generally meant to be the same width as the range and come in a wide variety of styles and designs to bring style and sophistication to the kitchen area.
See our full line of Wall Mount range hoods HERE.
Island Range Hoods
Island hoods are very similar in design and appearance to wall mount hoods but are designed to be suspended from the ceiling, hovering over a stove installed in an island. Instead of the hood connecting to a duct in the wall, it does so in the ceiling and vents out the smoke that way. These tend to be on the more expensive side, but many of them are designed to be especially beautiful and sleek looking. Many remodellers may choose to go with an island range hood for aesthetic purposes, but for anyone planning to have their stove as part of an island in the middle of the kitchen, they’re the most logical choice.
See our full line of Island hoods HERE.
Insert Range Hoods
Insert hoods, sometimes referred to as “power packs, provide the same powerful suction as the other range hood choices but are designed to be inserted into a cabinet of your own design. The cabinet can be ornate and stand out from the rest or blend in seamlessly with the rest of your kitchen aesthetic. Inserts offer great flexibility and are gaining in popularity but may end up being a slightly more costly option when calculating design and construction costs.
See our full line of Insert hoods HERE.
Key Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Range Hood
Every consumer will have different needs, options, and priorities that will determine which range hood is the best choice for them. These are the most important factors to keep in mind during your search.
The simplest range hoods can cost you a couple hundred dollars before installation costs, while the most elaborate cost several thousand before installation. Some of the factors that influence price are predictable: larger range hoods will typically cost more than smaller ones, and those with extra features or that are designed to be especially stylish will usually cost more as well. Island and wall mount hoods are some of the most expensive types available, while under cabinet range hoods are usually the most affordable options.
Many types of range hoods involve a complicated installation process, especially island models. The higher cost for installation in these cases does result in more effective venting, as duct-free models can only re-circulate the air and capture smoke and contaminants in filters rather than ridding it from the space entirely.
For most types of range hoods, the size should be directly related to the width and depth of the cooktop. It’s not exactly a requirement that your range hood match your stove top in size, but it’s generally best that it does so that all the smoke and food particles that drift up get caught in the hood before they get the chance to contaminate other parts of your kitchen.
As you’d expect, larger range hoods can get expensive, but if you’re investing in a large stovetop the extra is likely worth it. Under cabinet range hoods will need to fit in the space you have available under the cabinet, between the cooktop, while wall mount and island range hoods are limited in size by how much width and height you have available. Make sure you measure the space where you plan to put your range hood so you get the dimensions right. Also, it’s a good idea to research the specs and installation requirements of the desired product to ensure it is compatible with your space.
The more powerful your range hood, the more effective it will be at its job. If you do a lot of heavy cooking or frying, you should definitely aim for a vent hood that offers a good amount of power. Manufacturers will provide you with a measure of the power to expect from their range hoods in CFMs (cubic feet per minute).
Ductless models won’t provide the same power as those that vent the air outside of the house, since they depend on filters to clean out the air instead of removing it from the space entirely. Smaller models won’t be as powerful as larger ones, generally speaking.
CLICK HERE For more information on choosing the the right amount of suction power (CFM)
Some basic range hoods won’t add much to your kitchen space in terms of aesthetics, but if you want to find a hood that’s beautiful, stylish and really stands out there are many options. Many island and wall mount hoods have stunning designs that visitors will be sure to notice. Insert hoods make it possible for you to work with a designer or contractor to come up with a range hood match and enhance any style you can think of.
If you’re unconcerned with the style of your range hood and just want something that works well and isn’t too visually obvious, you can find plenty of models (mostly in the under cabinet category) that fit the bill. But if you want a range hood that adds something a little extra to the visuals of the space, then many brands provide options that are likely to give you a double take.
Most vent hoods are going to be loud, at least on the highest settings. When we looked over the reviews of various models, one of the most common complaints across all of them was the noise they make. Some models at least aim to be more quiet than usual – they still make some noise, but not as much. If you have a chance to visit a showroom, you can get a feel for how loud or quiet a model is in person. If that’s out of your reach, customer reviews are probably your best bet for figuring out what to expect from the noise of your vent hood.
Learn More HERE.
Range hoods are either vented and include ducts that move air outside, or they’re ductless and recirculate all the air they take in while trying to remove as much of the smoke and food contaminants as possible with the help of filters. Ducted range hoods are far more effective than ductless ones, but they’re more complicated to install and will cost you more upfront.
Some people also live in buildings with restrictions that won’t allow them to build a range hood with ducts and only have the option of a ductless model. For whatever reason you may choose to go with a ductless range hood, keep in mind that you’ll need to stay on top of replacing filters and will need to clean your range hood more frequently. Ducted range hoods typically come with aluminum or stainless steel baffle filters that you’ll need to take out and clean periodically.
Learn More HERE.
Most vent hoods offer several different fan speeds. This gives you the option to turn the range hood up higher whenever you’re doing some really heavy duty cooking, or keep it on low if you don’t want to deal with noise of the higher levels. It’s definitely worth having a couple of options, but usually having two or three speeds suffices – most consumers won’t feel like they get that much more value from being able to choose between five or six.
Ease of Installation
Most range hoods, particularly ducted ones, are going to require a complicated installation that involves hiring a professional. Some of the simpler ductless models are much easier to install and may be possible to add to your kitchen without professional help, but if you’re not sure whether or not you know what you’re doing, it’s best to call in a contractor.
In some cases, paying extra for a more complicated installation process is worth it. As already mentioned, ducted range hoods are far more effective than their ductless counterparts. Even so, it’s worth having an idea of what to expect to be involved in the installation. The more complicated it is, the more you’ll pay for the help of a professional.
● Lights — Most of the range hoods you consider will come with lights, so consider what type and how bright they are.
● Heat Sensors — Heat sensors will automatically turn the vent on whenever the range hood senses a high amount of heat.
● Automatic Shut Off — Automatic shutoff will turn the vent off automatically after a certain amount of time.
● Filter indicator light — For ductless range hoods that include a filter, a filter indicator light makes it easier to remember when to replace it.
Range hoods aren’t especially cheap or easy additions to a kitchen, but if you’re building a new kitchen from scratch or doing a remodel, they’re well worth including in your plans. You have plenty of options and should have no trouble finding one that suits your particular needs and style. Having the right range hood can save you from having to do more cleaning, protect your family from airborne contaminants caused by cooking, keep your kitchen from smelling, and ensure you don’t have to open all the windows every time you cook to avoid setting off the fire alarm.