What is a Ductless Range Hood (Complete Guide)

If you’re in the middle of a kitchen remodeling project, you’re probably considering a new range hood. And odds are you probably encountered a bunch of new words you never even knew existed, like ducted or ‘ductless range hood’. But what is a ductless range hood?

Ductless range hoods (also known as recirculating hoods)are kitchen exhaust fans that recirculate the air in your kitchen using charcoal filters rather than ducting. Charcoal filters absorb grease, dirt, and smells. The air then returns to the kitchen.

But there is a lot more to it than that. So, in this article, we will cover what a ductless range hood is, how they work, so you can figure out if one is right for you.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated on September 15th, 2021, to include additional information regarding ductless range hoods.

What is a ductless vent hood?

A ductless range hood also, known as a vent hood, is a kitchen exhaust fan that recirculates air in your kitchen using charcoal filters rather than ducting. Charcoal filters absorb grease, dirt, and smells. it then recirculates the air back into the kitchen.

How does a ductless range hood work?

A ductless range hood works by pulling in kitchen air and filtering it through mesh or baffle filters. After passing through these filters, the air is then filtered through carbon filters and returned back into the kitchen.

How can I tell if my range hood is ductless?

It’s easy to know if you have a ductless range hood or not. Just look for ductwork. If your home has ventilation ductwork anywhere in it, you probably have a ducted range hood. If not, it’s likely a ductless range hood. Another way to tell is if you use or have charcoal carbon filets for the hood. if so, it’s a recirculating hood, ie, ductless.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of a ductless hood

Ductless range hood offers a variety of benefits, however, there are several drawbacks you should consider. Below we will discuss the pros and cons of a ductless range hood.

Ductless range hood benefits (pros)

There are several advantages to using a ductless range hood, including:

  • Filtres smoke and grease
  • Helps keep walls and applainces clean
  • Removes smelly kitchen odors
  • Apartment frienldy
  • Low cost
  • Ease of installation

Filters smoke and grease

Unlike which simply recirculates the air back into your kitchen, a ducted range hood pulls smoke, oil, and undesired particles via ductwork and outside your home.

Helps keep walls and applainces clean

Your cabinets and surrounding area will stay cleaner for much longer than they would with a ductless hood now that all of the dirt and grime have been removed.

Removes smelly kitchen odors

Strong scents are also removed from your kitchen by ducted hoods, which is especially beneficial if you prepare Asian or fried foods.

Apartment friendly

If do you live in an apartment, there’s no way you’re going to be knocking down, drilling a hole in the wall to get a ventilation duct in there. That’s why ductless range hoods are a great option. They allow the benefits of a range hood, without needing to drill a hole through your neighbor’s wall.

Low cost

Ducless hoods are some of the less expensive options out there. It’s typical Doctor Strange it will cost anywhere between $200-$700. When compared to ducted range hoods, it’s a bargain!

Ease of installaion

recirculating range hoods are a breeze to install. They don’t require any fancy ductwork or any expensive installation services. It can be done within a few hours on a weekend with just two people.

Drawbacks of ductless range hoods (cons)

Recirculating hoods have certain drawbacks as well. Drawbacks include:

  • Noise levels

Recirculating hoods simply recirculate air within the residence rather than pulling greasy cooking exhaust and venting it outdoors, which is never ideal.

A recirculating hood can also be noisier than a ducted type since it requires significantly more fan power. It is also crucial to remember that the filter must be cleaned or replaced on a regular basis in order for the hood to function properly, which is an ongoing cost for the homeowner.

Sometimes, these benefits aren’t enough. most people choose to vent their kitchen hoods to the outside.

Are ductless range hood safe?

Yes, recirculating range hoods are safe to use in your kitchen. However, if you cook frequently or enjoy oily or Asian cuisine, a ductless hood will not be powerful enough. This could lead to poor indoor air quality, which is hazardous to your long-term health and especially dangerous for people who have pre-existing lung or respiratory disorders.

How much do ductless range hoods cost?

A typical ductless range hood will cost between $200-$700. This does not include the price of installation, which can be $100-$300.

How much does it cost to install a ductless range hood?

Installing a ductless range hood typically costs around $100 and $300. The installation of is much less expensive because you don’t require ducting. This also makes the job lot more manageable with fewer installers.

Is it worthwhile to invest in ductless range hoods?

It is dependent on the individual. In general, a ductless range hood is preferable to no range hood at all. Ductless range hoods can be mounted on the wall, above a kitchen island, or within a custom range hood. They are also a low-cost choice for your kitchen because you do not need to hire a professional to install ducting. However, ductless hoods are less efficient than ducted hoods, which transport kitchen air to the outside via ductwork.


Choosing a hood for your kitchen is one of the most important divisions you need to make as a homeowner. A ductless hood might be the optimal solution for you and your situation.

In this article, we covered what a ductless range hood is, how it works, and why it might be the right solution for your kitchen ventilation. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • A ductless range hood reciculates air, ot doe snot ventilate it.

 If you’d like to learn more about range hoods, check out our full blog here. Stay safe!

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