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Can I Install a Ductless Range Hood Outside?

Ductless range hoods outside are a great option if you want convenience and flexibility. In this article, you will learn about some of its major benefits.

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If you’re looking to install a ductless range hood outside, you’ll first need to decide whether or not the installation is possible. Depending on the climate, installation can be either a quick and easy process or a bit more challenging. But can you install a ductless range hood outside?

This article will teach you what a ductless range hood is, how it works, and what to look for so you can choose the range hood for your particular needs.

Image of an outdoor kitchen. Source: pixabay
Image of an outdoor kitchen. Source: Pixabay

The installation of a ductless range hood will vary depending on the climate and location. However, ductless range hoods can generally be installed indoors or outdoors. If you want to install your rangehood outdoors, you must ensure that the installation meets all applicable local building codes and standards.

What is a ductless range hood

Ductless hoods can be fitted in practically any location. You are not forced to install them only where there is a duct because they do not need to vent to the outside of your home and are ductless. These hoods work by sucking in air, purifying it, and then blowing it back into the room, a process known as recirculation. The filter frequently contains activated carbon or charcoal, which aids in the removal of odors and smoke particles from the air, which is then cleanly recirculated throughout the kitchen.

Of course, with the ductless model, the activated charcoal filter may need to be cleaned or replaced once or twice a year. Regular cleaning and replacement are required for your range hood to function properly.

How does a ductless range hood work

Ductless range hoods are also ventless range hoods and recirculating range hoods. Rather than venting unclean air outside of a kitchen, ductless range hoods use a series of filters to purify and recirculate it. Another great way to remove smoke from the air is with ductless range hoods.

While vented range hoods are often favored, ventless models have a place in the working kitchen. Let’s look at how ventless range hoods function step by step.

A range hood is typically erected above a stove, oven, or grill. Many kitchens have only one range hood, but you can have as many as you like. Multiple range hoods are required in restaurants and other places with multiple cooking units.

When you use your kitchen equipment, smoke, steam, grease, and other particles are frequently released into the air. It is critical to have your range hood switched on if you are producing smoke or other dangerous pollutants.

A fan inside the ductless range hood draws air into the hood.

Inside the recirculating hood, carbon or charcoal filters remove cooking odors, smoke particles, debris, and other impurities from the air. The fan draws unclean air into the filters, capturing and absorbing contaminants.

After passing through the filters, the clean air is released and circulated back into the kitchen.

This final step distinguishes a ducted range hood from a ductless one. A ductless range hood cleans the air and returns it to the kitchen, but a ducted range hood has a vent on the back or top that transports bad air outside the house or building you’re in.

Ducted hoods also lack carbon or charcoal filters because it is pointless to clean the air expelled from the building. They will have a baffle or mesh filter that covers and protects the fan motor while preventing most cooking fat from entering.

Modern ductless hoods feature stainless steel baffle filters similar to those in commercial kitchens. Because the baffles are dishwasher safe, baffle filters are the best alternative for a ductless system.

Ventless hoods are ineffective for gas stoves, requiring a ducted type to eliminate cooking exhaust and comply with local building requirements.

What are the benefits of a ductless range hood (advantages)

Upgrading to a high-quality range hood can be an easy way to enhance your cooking experience.

  1. Ductless range hoods are a great way to reduce the air pollution produced in your home. They work by extracting air from the kitchen and are more energy efficient than traditional range hoods, which require you to open the hood whenever you want to cook.
  2. Ductless range hoods also have automatic cooking and cleaning features, so you don’t have to waste time.
  3. Ductless range hoods are often quieter than traditional range hoods, which makes them a good choice for busy homes.
  4. They’re also easier and faster to install, so you can get your kitchen up and running quickly.
  5. They’re less expensive to operate than traditional range hoods.

What to look for on a ductless range hood


Your outdoor range hood should have at least 1200 CFM. Indoor hoods require 600 to 900 CFM, whereas outside vent hoods require more power. Most homeowners will benefit from 1200 CFM. However, if you have a one-of-a-kind arrangement that includes two or three grills, side burners, or other accessories, you may want to consider more power. If you grill daily, you may require more than 1200 CFM.


When selecting an outdoor hood, the size of the range hood is especially significant. All you have to do is extend your kitchen range or grill by 12 inches. A 48″ range hood is appropriate if you have a 36″ outdoor grill. This provides maximum coverage and eliminates all smoke and odors from your cooking area.

On each side, the range hood should reach 6″ past the grill.


There are three kinds of range hood filters. Mesh, baffle, and charcoal Mesh filters are the most effective at trapping grease, followed by baffle filters. For your outdoor range hood, baffle filters are the finest option. Replaceable charcoal filters are used in ductless range hoods. Although these filters remove some grease and odors, they are not as effective as baffles.


When buying an outdoor range hood, seek one made of weather-resistant materials. 304 stainless steel is the most commonly used outdoor-rated material. It is rust and weather-resistant, so it will last for years in your outdoor environment.

That concludes the four most crucial factors before purchasing an outdoor hood.

Once you’ve purchased your outdoor range hood, ensure it’s properly installed. Find out more here.

Image of a traditional outdoor kitchen. Source: maria orlova, pexels
Image of a traditional outdoor kitchen. Source: maria orlova, pexels

Is a ductless hood better than no hood at all

Any range hood is preferable to none at all. While ducted models are preferable, ductless hoods can still provide an effective ventilation solution.

Although they recycle air into the kitchen, carbon filters can effectively neutralize smoke and odors. They also do an excellent job of capturing grease so that it does not end up in your lungs or create a film on all of your kitchen surfaces.

If you choose this route, read our roundup of available top ductless hoods. There are options for every budget and convertible type that you can use now and later if you decide to install an outside vent.

What are the different types of range hoods

Ducted range hoods

Ducted hoods are typically found in commercial kitchens or residences with larger ranges that produce more smoke, fumes, or unclean air that needs to be vented outside.

Ducted hoods are more efficient at removing humidity and steam from the cooking area because they do not filter and recirculate the air but instead vent it out of the kitchen completely.

Some people argue that ducted exhaust systems are more efficient and quieter. However, this is questionable because efficiency and noise production will vary according to the brand, size, model, and how well you maintain your range hood.

A few disadvantages of a ducted hood is that it must be positioned where a duct system runs from the kitchen to the exterior of the house or building. This may restrict the spaces in the kitchen where you may set your range and hood.

Ductless range hood

A ductless hood has the advantage of being more adaptable and may be positioned in almost any place. Because a ductless range hood simply filters and recirculates air around the kitchen, you don’t have to worry about installing it near any pipes or ducts that connect to the exterior.

In this aspect, a ductless hood may be more convenient than a ducted system, at least in installation. Some ductless units are even timer-controlled and may be set to turn on and off automatically.

Unfortunately, ductless range hoods are not without drawbacks. Because this sort of hood recirculates air rather than drawing in fresh air or letting out stale and dirty air, your kitchen may become fairly humid. The decibel levels of a ductless hood may be slightly higher than those of ducted exhaust systems because they frequently demand significantly more fan power. Again, this will be determined by various criteria, including the brand, size, and model you select.

Remembering that the filter must be cleaned or replaced regularly for optimal efficiency is also critical. This could result in recurring costs for the homeowner.

If you want even more tips and insights, watch this video called “What is a Recirculating Range Hood?” from the Proline Range Hoods YouTube Channel.

A video called “What is a Recirculating Range Hood?” from the Proline Range Hoods YouTube Channel.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Do you still have questions? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about ductless range hoods.

Is a ducted or ductless hood better?

Ducted hoods are more effective and efficient when keeping your kitchen air clean. They can remove contaminated air better and faster than a ducted hood can clean it.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Range Hood?

It typically costs between $400 and $1,500 to install a range hood, with an average of $750. Installing a ductless range or a replacement range hood with existing ductwork falls on the lower end. Installing a ducted range hood with new ductwork comes near the high end.

Is it worthwhile to invest in ductless range hoods?

Unvented range hoods filter some oil and cooking aromas from the air, but they aren’t nearly as effective as vented range hoods. They also do not remove heat or humidity, so they will not keep your kitchen cool while you cook.

Is it necessary to vent a range hood outside?

Is it necessary to vent range hoods outside? No, range hoods without a duct, often known as ductless range hoods, can recirculate air back into the kitchen. Purchase a ducted range hood to clean your kitchen air more effectively.


You can now see why the ductless range hood is one of the most efficient home appliances. They not only help you save energy but are very secure as well. 

To sum it up, if you want to buy a new range hood and don’t have enough space in your kitchen, then consider installing a ductless system instead of an old-fashioned model that may not be so safe for use around food.

This article covered what a ductless range hood is,  how it works, and what to look for so you can choose the range hood for your particular needs. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • Ductless hoods can be fitted in practically any location.
  • Ductless range hoods are also known as ventless range hoods and recirculating range hoods.
  • Your outdoor range hood should have at least 1200 CFM.

So, are you thinking of installing a ductless range hood? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? And what do you think of my list? 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 for your kitchen. Thanks for reading, and stay safe.

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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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