How to Choose the Perfect Range Hood (2022)

A range hood is a must-have item in any kitchen. Range hoods are not only attractive, but they also serve a practical role. They’re in charge of eliminating odors, heat, and smoke particles from the air in your kitchen as you cook, and ultimately, keeping your kitchen clean.

Choosing a range hood, on the other hand, is not as straightforward. There are so many on the market that deciding which is best for you can be difficult.

Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen or simply want to learn more about the different options, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about how to choose a range hood. Also, be sure to check out our list of the top ten range hoods of 2022.

Editor’s note: This article was updated on December 22, 2021, to include additional information regarding range hood selection.

What is a range hood

Range hoods are an important element of any kitchen. Range hoods remove smells, smoke, and dangerous particles from the air you breathe while cooking. The air surrounding the stove is drawn through filters or into a duct and sent out of the home using strong fans.

Why are range hoods important

Rangers are some of the most important appliances in your kitchen. They are responsible for keeping your home fresh and by removing smells in order. From your kitchen. Marketing manager for Broan-NuTon, Brian Wellnitz says,

“The home cooking process is the number one source of airborne pollutants in the house… The purpose of vent hoods is to capture smoke, odors, humidity, and heat at the source before they dissipate into the house.”

Brian Wellnitz, Marketing manager for Broan-NuTone

In addition to keeping your home smelling fresh, a range hood can also:

  • Provide adding additional lighting for your cooktop
  • Can help cool down your home
  • Can help prevent grease fires
  • Can increase the value of yoru home
  • Serve as a beautiful centerpiece for your kitchen

What to look for when buying range hood

While you might assume that all range hoods are the same, there are a few differences that can affect how they work. Your needs and the layout of your kitchen will determine which range hood is best for you.

Consider asking yourself the following questions:

  • What is your budget?
  • Is noisle leve inpotant to you?
  • What features do you want?
  • Do you cook with alot of spices? (chinese or indian foods)
  • Do you want the hood to blend in with the kitchen or stnad out?

Beloe are the 10 things you need to consider when shopping for an insert range hood.

1. Mounting type

Range hoods come in many different styles and configurations. Wall-mount, under-cabinet, island, and microwave range hoods are the most popular types of range hoods.

Wall-mount range hoods

Wall-mounted range hoods take the place of cabinets above the stove. In most cases, removing a cabinet is required to install a wall mount range hood. The appearance and feel of your kitchen may suffer if it isn’t designed with one in mind. You can, however, buy hood covers to hide the ducts and make the appliance blend in better with the rest of your kitchen. Many wall-mounted range hoods have a chimney-like shape and exposed vent stacks, lending an industrial feel to your kitchen.

Under-cabinet range hoods

Under-cabinet range hoods are range hoods that are installed beneath the cabinetry. They’re smaller than wall-mount and island-mount hoods, so they’re better for smaller kitchens. They’re also typiclly ductless, which makes installation simple and usually doesn’t require professional help.

Islands range hoods

Large kitchens with an island counter or peninsulas benefit from island hoods. Smoke and glasses have more room to spread because there are no barriers surrounding the cooking area. The solution is to simply buy a larger hood. For optimal ventilation, they should be at least 6 inches wider than the cooktop. Island hoods put a lot of strain on the ceiling because they have no walls to support their weight. That means you should pay special attention to the bracing and load on the ceiling.

Microwaves range hoods

Microwave range hoods come in ducted and ductless versions, but they’re significantly less powerful than stand-alone models. Almost all over-the-range microwaves are ductless.

Insert range hoods

A range hood insert, also known as a “power-pack,” is a type of range hood that is designed to be hidden and unseen under a decorative cover, usually made of wood or copper. Range hood inserts are frequently used in the construction of custom kitchens. These hoods are designed to blend in with the rest of the kitchen and can even be installed inside cabinets.

Downdrafts range hoods

Downdraft range hoods provide quiet ventilation while keeping the kitchen looking tidy. The smoke or steam is drawn away from the cooking area and vented through ducts beneath the floor. Because they tuck under the stove when not in use, downdraft hoods are ideal for kitchens with limited overhead space.

2. Ventilation type

The first decision you must make when shopping for a range hood is whether you want a ducted or ductless model. While ducted systems are the most common, there are also ductless and convertible options.

Ducted

Ducted (or vented) range hoods take air particles from your kitchen and exhaust them outside through ductwork. They are effective at venting smoke and odors, but they necessitate the installation of ducts and are not appropriate for all kitchen layouts. You should never exhaust your range hood into an attic or basement.

Consider the location of your ductwork and the vent location on the rang hood. Some range hoods vent only at the top, while others vent from the sides or the back

Consider Installing a backdraft damper to prevent air from escaping back into the house via ductwork.  Backdraft dampers are sometimes included in range hoods, or your home may already have one built into the ductwork.

Ductless

Ductless (or recirculating) range hoods filter and then circulate air back into your home. They’re not as effective at removing smoke and cooking odors but are much easier to set up. They have filters that must be cleaned and replaced on a regular basis to keep them working properly. Ductless hoods are often significantly less expensive than ducted models.

Convertible

Convertible range hoods can be used with or without ducts, providing a versatile option for some buyers. To convert a ducted hood to a ductless hood, they usually require you to purchase a recirculating kit.

Installation of a ductless range hood is usually simple and does not necessitate the hiring of a professional. Ducted hoods, on the other hand, are typically installed by a contractor because they are more difficult to install. 

3. Size

Unless you completely rebuild your kitchen, your range hood will have to fit within specific dimensions, so hood size is critical. In general, your range hood should be at least as wide as your cooktop.  Size is measured in width, so a 30-inch range hood is 30 inches wide.

Range hoods are available in a few standard sizes. Most range hoods are available in 30 inches, 36 inches, 42 inches, and 48 inches wide. However, you may also find a few as small as 24 inches, 28 inches, and as large as 54 inches and 60 inches. notice how they tend to go up by six inches

Most range hoods on the market are 30 inches wide because the standard width of a kitchen range is 30 inches. While this size is suitable for most kitchens, individuals with larger ranges or custom-designed kitchens may prefer larger versions.

Most experts recommend a hood that is one size larger than your range, so if your stove is 30 inches wide, get a 36-inch hood to collect all the particles that fly around while you cook.

4. Power (CFM)

The amount of air moved each minute is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), which is how powerful ducted range hoods are. You can also figure out how many CFM you’ll need for your kitchen by multiplying the BTU of your stove by 100. A range hood with a minimum CFM rating of 220 is required if your stove has a BTU rating of 22,000 BTUs.

Most kitchens with electric ranges will benefit from a CFM of at least 300, while those with gas burners will benefit from a CFM of at least 800. Range hoods with CFMs of 300 to 500 will, on average, be enough for most kitchens.

CFM measures the rate at which air is moved but not the efficiency with which it is removed or redistributed.

5. Noise levle

A range hood’s noise level is frequently measured in sones, though some manufacturers will also publish their noise rating in decibels (dB). The faint volume of sound produced by your refrigerator is one sone. The average volume of conversation is four sones. Any noise level under 65 dB (or 13 sones) should be acceptable while cooking. Higher CFM range hoods are generally noisier.

Use the handy chart below to help you visualize sound.

SonesDecibelsSound
010Normal Breathing
.525Rustling leaves
6.555Moderate rainfall
9.560Normal Conversation
1970Washing Machine
A chart to help visualize a range of hoods sones and describes.

6. Filters

Image of man replacing mesh range hood filter with both hands.
Image of man replacing mesh range hood filter with both hands.

Filters, whether made of metal or charcoal, help to keep the air in the kitchen clean. They capture grease, smoke, odors, and other impurities.  The filter is essential for optimum air recirculation in ductless range hoods. The most common types of filters are baffle filters, mesh filters, and charcoal filters.

Baffle filters

Baffle filters are high-efficiency filters made up of interlocking three-sided baffles that trap oil as it passes through. Stainless steel is frequently used because it is durable, easy to clean, and attractive. They can also be washed in the dishwasher. Baffle filters are more effective than mesh filters at capturing grease, but they are also more expensive.

Mesh filters

Mesh filters are typically made of aluminum and have multiple layers of mesh. The layers of mesh capture oil and other impurities when the range hood is turned on. They can also be washed in the dishwasher. Mesh filters have a shorter lifespan but are less expensive.

Charcoal filters

To catch impurities and neutralize odors, charcoal filters are frequently used in conjunction with a baffle or mesh filter. They’re most commonly found in recirculating ductless range hoods. When switching from a ducted to a ductless hood, compatible charcoal filters can help with odor control. Charcoal filters cannot be washed in the dishwasher and must be replaced after extended use.

Controll types

Rotary dials

These are reserved for the oldest types of range hoods, you will likely never run into these as they are outdated, if you do find a mode with rotary controls, we suggest looking at a different model.

Push button Controlls

Push button-type hoods are the most common because they are simple and easy to manufacture. These types of controls typically have no display to indicate what settings are on.

LED displasy

LED displays offer a visual indication of settings, but do not provide an entire visual display like you would find on an LCD touch screen monitor. They are also simple and can be controlled with push buttons.

LCD / Touch screen displays

Range hoods with LCD displays allow you to see exactly what settings are on at any given moment, they are very modern and can give your kitchen a futuristic modern look. there are typically reserved for modern, more expensive range hoods. Most LCD controllers are touch screens. meaning there are no buttons on the side of the god and you must interact with the display itself, this might sound great, but it also means a lot of greasy, stiffy substance will find another way onto the display as well.

Features

The majority of range hoods come with additional features. Depending on the model, the unit may include one or more of the following features:

Fan speed settings

Range hoods typically have one to six fan speeds. A model with at least two speeds is preferable because it allows customers to choose between a faster cooking speed and a slower after-cooking ventilation speed. While some manufacturers tout a variety of speeds, having more than three isn’t necessary.

Lighting

LED-lit range hoods save energy and require less frequent replacement.

Smoke detector 

Kitchen safety is improved by range hoods with built-in smoke detectors. The range hood’s fan automatically turns on when temperature sensors detect unusually high heat or smoke.

Delayed Auto-shutdown

After a 15-minute timer, some range hoods have an auto shut-off feature that turns off the range hood (including the blower and lights). Push the timer button as soon as you’re finished cooking. The hood will scrub out the odors before shutting down.

Change filer-light indicator

A light that indicated when a filter should be replaced.

Material and Aesthetic

Image of a beautiful kitchen modern kitchen with custom insert range hood.
Image of a beautiful kitchen modern kitchen with custom insert range hood.

Range hoods are available in a variety of materials and finishes, and they can serve as a decorative feature in your kitchen. The hood will either stand out or blend in with your cabinets and fixtures, depending on the design you choose.

Stainless steel 

Stainless steel range hoods are popular because they last a long time, are easy to clean, and require little maintenance. A stainless steel hood will complement a variety of other kitchen appliances, utensils, and stainless steel cookware.

Copper

Copper has a warm, inviting, yet sophisticated appearance. It’ll look great in a modern, industrial, or farmhouse-style kitchen.

Tempered glass

Tempered glass range hoods are stylish and contemporary. The range hood may blend in with the rest of the kitchen because it is translucent.

Wood

Wooden range hoods have a traditional look that is ideal for traditional kitchens. While the range hood itself is not made of wood, the material that surrounds it is. 

Budget

Now that we covered almost everything there is to cover about what factors to consider when buying a range hood, we need to talk about price. The ultimate factor. The fact is that you might have the perfect range hood in mind at this point, but if you can’t afford it, it’s not likely to make its way into your kitchen anytime soon.

Installation costs

Installing a range hood may cost anywhere from $400 to $1,500, with the average cost being $750. This is the typical cost of replacing an under-cabinet hood with existing ducting. A hidden cabinet hood with a custom cover and new ducts has the lowest cost in this range, while a wall-mounted ductless hood with an existing outlet has the highest cost. The hood, which may range from $200 to over $1,000, accounts for the majority of the entire installation cost.

Average range hood prices

Below are some of the average price ranges for range hoods.

Under-cabinet range hood price

Undercabinet hoods are the most affordable range hoods on the market. A low-end 24″-36″-wide under-cabinet range hood (placed under the kitchen cabinet right over a stove or cooktop) may cost $30 to $150. Larger under-cabinet range hoods with quieter motors and better airflow may cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000, depending on size, materials, and features. A high-end under-cabinet type with features like a stainless steel finish or a variable-speed exhaust fan may cost $1,100 to$3,000 or more.

Microwave range hood prices

A microwave range hood generally costs $150 to $500. High-end microwave hoods may cost $500 to $1,500 or more, depending on features such as a convection oven or sensor cooking controls.

Wall mount range hood prices

Depending on the size and materials, wall mount range hoods can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,500 or more.

Island Rangehood prices

Depending on size, materials, CFM, and design, kitchen island range hoods may cost anywhere from $600 to $1,000 for a simple model to $1,000 to $4,500 or more.

Downdraft range hood prices

A downdraft rangehood, deemed the least effective by Consumer Reports, is positioned in or below the stove and sucks smoke and pollutants down into under-floor ducting. Depending on the type, whether the cooktop is incorporated, and if the hood retracts out of sight when not in use, downdraft range hoods may cost $600 to $2,000 or more.

Warranty

A manufacturer warranty can come in handy if you get a faulty product or damage to a component. Most brands provide warranties. It’s critical to comprehend and read the warranty terms, sometimes known as “warranty terms.” 

Pay attention to what the warranty covers, as well as how long it will be valid for. Some warranties cover mechanical damage and not shipping, while others cover everything. 

We recommend getting a range hood that honers a multi-year warranty. It is up to you to decide if a warranty is beneficial or not. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you vent a range hood

xxx

XXX

xxx

XXX

xxx

Conclusion

Choosing the right range hood for your home can be a daunting task. However, we believe that, once you understand what to look for, you will have no problem choosing the perfect range for your home.

In this article, we covered what rangers are, why they are important, and how to choose the right one for your specific kitchen. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • Check to see if you have any ductwork
  • Choose your preferred mounting type
  • Calculate the power (CFM) you need
  • Consider the balance between power and noise level
  • Choose one with the filters you want
  • Choose one with the control types you want
  • Consider additional features
  • THink about the aesthetics of the hood (style and material)
  • Stick to your price range, hoods can be expensive
  • Don’t forget to factor in any Installation costs

So, do you have the perfect ranger for your home? Or would you add anything to this list? Let us know in the comments below (we read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, check out our full blog for more tips and tricks on home and kitchen maintenance.

Helpful Resources

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend