979 Range Hoods and Vents
What size range hood do I need?
Your new kitchen hood should be at least as wide as your stove top, but an additional three inches on each side is recommended. If you’re replacing yours, take note of the old model’s size before you go shopping. Sometimes you may not have much leeway thanks to a pre-determined opening in your cabinetry. If this is the case, simply measure the opening from left to right to determine what size will fit.
What’s the difference between a ducted and non-ducted kitchen hood?
The way your new extractor hood vents air is an important consideration. Here are the three most common methods of ventilation:
• Ducted or vented: This method allows you to vent air outside of your house, which is your best option. Keep in mind the shorter your ducts, the more efficient your system will be. If your extractor hood is mounted to an interior wall or on an island, you may want to invest in a more powerful unit to force the air through a longer ductwork system. If you choose to install the ductwork yourself, be aware that you should never vent your exhaust to your attic or basement. Also be sure that the size of your duct is the same as the attachment on your kitchen hood and read any instruction manuals carefully before you get to work.
• Non-ducted, non-vented or recirculated: This style pulls exhaust through a filter that traps irritants before the air flows back into your kitchen. If you choose this style, be sure to swap out your filter every few months to ensure all airborne irritants are captured.
• Convertible: This design allows you to choose between ducted or non-ducted.
What installation methods are available for range hoods?
While the thought of a kitchen hood may bring to mind the style that sits over the top of your stove, there are many different ways range hoods can be installed. Here are some of the more common installation methods:
• Under-cabinet: These hoods are installed beneath the cabinet that sits above your cooktop. They’re excellent space savers and are often paired with a light to help illuminate your cooking area. They can be ducted or non-ducted.
• Wall-mount or chimney: This style is attached to the wall in place of cabinets that would sit above your stove. Since they’re a standalone piece, they’re often available in a wider range of styles and finishes, including ducted and non-ducted.
• Island: These are designed to install on your ceiling, making it easy to place them above an island cooktop.
• Inserts or power packs: These can be installed horizontally in your ceiling or with custom range hoods.
• Downdraft: Another space-saving design, these sit at the back of your stove top and pull the air back and out versus up.
What sound and power levels are best for my extractor hood?
Comparing the level of sound and amount of power introduces a whole new set of vocabulary. Here’s a quick guide to determining the appropriate cubic feet per minute (CFM) and sones:
• Cubic feet per minute (CFM): The power of range hoods is measured in CFM. A higher level CFM means a more powerful unit — perfect for those who cook with strong smelling ingredients or a lot of steam. Overhead range hoods naturally capture rising gas and steam, so you shouldn’t need a high level of CFM. It’s recommended an island-mounted style has at least 50 to 150 CFM for every foot of width, whereas a wall-mount style has 10 to 40 CFM per foot.
• Sones: You can use sones to compare models, but don’t forget that a higher CFM means a higher sone rating. To compare levels easily, keep in mind that a normal conversation rates about four sones, while light automobile traffic rates around eight sones.
What types of kitchen exhaust fan styles are available?
A kitchen exhaust fan is another way to rid your cooking area of steam, gas and smells. They typically come in either a rotary or centrifugal style. Rotary styles are similar to your traditional bladed fans and are an affordable option, though they can be noisier. A centrifugal exhaust fan tends to be quieter, moves more air and works best with ducted hoods.