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Do Range Hoods Have to Vent Outside? (Answered)

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If you’re looking at this page, you probably know the benefits of having a range hood in your kitchen. The idea of cleaner air and less greasy walls is great. But what if you live in an apartment or a house without ductwork. Do range hoods have to vent outside of the home?

No, range hoods are not required to ventilate air outside of your home. While this is the most efficient way of cleaning kitchen air, not all homes or apartments have the required ductwork to vent outside.

But there’s a lot more to it than that. So, in this article, you will learn what the different types of range hood ventilation solutions are, how they work, and how to choose the right one for your kitchen.

Editor’s note: This article was updated on October 10, 2021, to include additional information regarding range hood ventilation. 

What are the diferent type of range hood ventilation options?

While all range hoods are designed to remove smoke, and grease from your kitchen, some are more effective than others. Rang hoods have three different ventilation configurations, which include:

  • Ductless
  • Ducted

Ductless (recirculating)

Range hoods perform best when they vent outside of the home. However, not everyone will be able to ventilate to the outside, notably, people who live in apartments or condos. These people are unable to install ductwork due to building codes or because they reside in a multi-story complex where ducting to the exterior is prohibited. If you fall under this category, you will need a ductless range hood.

Ductless range hoods (sometimes referred to as recirculating hoods) do not ventilate to the outside. They capture steam and grease from the kitchen and recirculate the air back into the kitchen. Ductless range hoods use activated charcoal or carbon filters to clean the air.

Ducted (ventilating)

Ducted range hoods connect to the ductwork in your home’s walls or ceiling to exhaust cooking fumes, grease, and odors. Unlike ductless models, these hoods are more effective at removing odors and heat, keeping the kitchen clean and fresh.

Ducted hoods can be expensive because of the ductwork required. Ducted hoods range from $500-$1,500, and that’s not including cost and labor or installing ductwork.

If you go with the ducted method, you must also consider the blower location. There are three blower configurations you can choose from

  • Local blowers
  • Inline blowers
  • External blowers 

What is a local/internal blower?

A local blower sometimes referred to as an internal blower, is a blower that is located directly inside your range hood.

What is a Inline/remote blower

An inline blower sometimes referred to as an inline fan, is a type of blower that is not located in the range hood itself, but rather in your home’s ductwork, between the range hood and the end of your ducting.

What is an external blower?

External blowers refer to a blower that’s located outside of the home. Blowers like these are typically found on the roof of the home.

To learn more about the difference between these blowers, check out our article on what is a range hood blower.



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If you found this article helpful, check out our full blog for more tips and tricks on home and kitchen maintenance. 

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Author avatar - Roger Harris
Written By Roger Harris
Hey there! My name is Roger, and I've been selling range hoods for over six years. I now run this blog all about range hoods and kitchen ventilation! If you're looking for a new range hood for your kitchen, this is the place for you.

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