Do Range Hoods Have to Vent Outside? (Answered)

If you want to buy a new range hood, you probably have many questions, like, what is a ductless hood, and do all range hoods have to vent outside?

If you’re reading this, you probably know the benefits of having a range hood in your kitchen. But what if you live in an apartment or a house without ductwork? Do range hoods have to vent outside of the home?

This article will teach you the different types of range hood ventilation solutions, how they work, and how to choose the right one for your kitchen.

No, range hoods are not required to ventilate air outside 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.

Image of an external vent on the roof of a home. Source: adobe stock.
Image of an external vent on the roof of a home. Source: Adobe Stock.

Do range hoods need to be vented outside?

No, a range hood that vents outside is not essential to clear the air from your house. Not many houses or flats come equipped with the ductwork needed to vent kitchen air outdoors, even though this is the most effective method.

My favorite range hood (at the moment):

COSMO COS-63190S Wall Mount Range Hood

Do range hoods have to vent outside? (answered) | 71ddmbmvgwl. Ac sl1500 | range hood homeland
My favorite range hood (at the moment):

COSMO COS-63190S Wall Mount Range Hood

This is one of the best hoods available at this price point. Reasonably strong CFM for the cost, and it has received rave reviews (over 3,800 reviews!). It looks great, and the LED lights provide a pleasant brightness. For the price, its performance and style are outstanding. Highly recommended!

What are the different types 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 two 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 cannot install ductwork due to building codes or because they reside in a multi-story complex where ducting to the exterior is prohibited. You will need a ductless range hood if you fall under this category.

Ductless range hoods (sometimes called 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 are best if you want to eliminate moisture and odors, and grease.

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 use the ducted method, you must consider the blower location. There are three blower configurations you can choose from

  • Local blowers
  • Inline blowers
  • External blowers 

Local/internal blower?

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

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.

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 a home.

Can you convert a range hood from ductless to ducted?

Yes, it is possible to switch an existing range hood from ductless to ducted. Connecting a ductless hood to an external exhaust system may not be possible since it lacks an exhaust port. All of these versions are ductless.

Some recirculating hoods contain a compartment for disposable filters and an exhaust opening for a duct, whereas others don’t. These hoods, called “convertible hoods,” may be utilized with or without ducts, depending on your needs. A hole in the center of the hood of certain convertibles allows the duct to be attached at any time. The panels on certain units may need to be removed before you can attach them to an external vent.

If you want even more tips and insights, watch this video called Vented vs. Recirculating Cooker Hoods | Pros, Cons & Advice from the Kitchinsider YouTube Channel.

A video called Vented vs. Recirculating Cooker Hoods | Pros, Cons & Advice from the Kitchinsider YouTube Channel.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Do you still have questions? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about kitchen vent hood ventilation.

Is a range hood vent necessary?

Yes. A range hood keeps cooking exhaust, chemicals, and smoke out of your kitchen. It improves your indoor air quality and streamlines your cooking experience. Depending on where you live, a range hood may be required by your building codes. Range hoods hey have a multi-layered baffle or mesh filters that trap grease particles; these can often be cleaned in the dishwasher

Do recirculating range hoods need to be vented?

Since they do not need to vent to your home’s exterior and are ductless, you don’t need to install them where there’s a duct. These hoods filter the air they suck in and then blow it back into the room using a recirculation procedure.

Are recirculating range hoods effective?

Yes. However, they are not as efficient as ducted range hoods. Ductless range hoods use charcoal filters that trap some grease and odors but are not as effective as the stainless steel baffle and mesh filters of ducted range hoods.

What is CFM?

CFM stands for cubic feet per minute. It is a measure of the airflow rate through an appliance or system. Range hoods typically range from 200-1200 CFM.


Venting your range hoof to the outside of your home is very important. It helps ensure all the smoke and grease is out of the home. It also prevents orders from accumulating in the house.

This article covered different types of range hood ventilation options. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • A vent hood helps keep the air in your kitchen clean. These appliances come in several different models, some more effective than others.
  • Range hoods are not required to ventilate air outside your home.
  • Rang hoods have three different ventilation configurations.
  • If you use the ducted method, you must consider the blower location.
  • Most of these overhead hoods include lighting that illuminates your cooktop, and these styles can be found vented or unvented.
  • Environmental protection agencies strongly advise homeowners to install a vent hood to capture, filter, and expel the fumes outside.

So, do you have a ventilation hood? Did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below (I read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on home ventilation. Thanks for reading, and stay safe.

Helpful resources

Image Of Roger Harris
Written by Roger Harris, Staff Writer

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.

Yerain Abreu
Edited by Yerain Abreu, Staff Editor

Yerain is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

Verified User Black 24dp


Our team conducts thorough evaluations of every article, guaranteeing that all information comes from reliable sources.

Event Available Black 24dp


We diligently maintain our content, regularly updating articles to ensure they reflect the most recent information.

Leave a Comment