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Do Ductless Range Hoods Actually Work (The Truth)

If you live in an apartment or a condo, you might be limited to using a recirculating or ductless range hood, but do they really work? If so, how well?

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Proper kitchen ventilation is critical for every kitchen. However, if you live in an apartment or a condo, you may be limited to only using a recirculating or ductless range hood, but do these really work? Are they just as effective as ventilation range hoods?

This post will teach you about recirculating range hoods and whether they work to remove kitchen fumes and odors from your home. So you can make a better decision when making a purchase.

Image of a recirculating ductless under cabinet range hood. Source: adobe stock
Image of a recirculating ductless under cabinet range hood. Source: Adobe Stock

Yes. But, they are not as efficient as ventilating/ducted range hoods. This is because recirculating range hoods only filter the air through carbon filters, but they do not expel it to the outside of the home.

What is a ductless range hood?

Recirculating range hoods, or ductless range hoods, are a type of kitchen ventilation appliance. These hoods don’t need a chimney or venting to function because they are ductless, so you don’t need a vent to the outside. You may place them anywhere in your house.

Recirculation is an important part of how these hoods work. They take in air from the room, filter it, and then let it out again. Carbon and charcoal in the filter eliminate smells and smoke particles, making the air clean enough to go back into the kitchen.

The activated charcoal filter in the ductless model may need to be cleaned or changed out twice a year. It’s important to clean and replace your range hood regularly to keep it working well. Most range hoods that recycle air have a max airflow of 400 CFM.

If you are in the market for a new ductless range hood, look at some of the options below.

How do ductless stove vents work?

Ductless range hoods remove grease and smoke in the air from the kitchen by drawing it through filters made of mesh and baffles. The air is then passed through carbon filters, which may remove the captured dirt and odors.

Do recirculating range hoods actually work?

Yes. However, the air is not released outdoors but filtered and brought back into the home. You can feel the air being vented back into the room via the range hood’s exhaust vents, located either at the top of the range hood or along its side. Range hoods that send kitchen air outside are more effective than range hoods that send air back into the kitchen.

Charcoal filters used in ductless range hoods are effective at capturing oil and aromas, but they aren’t as efficient as the stainless-steel baffle and mesh filters used in ducted range hoods.

Who would want a ductless range hood?

Sometimes, a vented range hood just can’t be installed in smaller spaces like those found in apartments and condominiums. And sometimes, ventilation ducts for hoods installed beneath or on walls must pass behind or through the cabinets to an outside wall. The duct for a wall-mounted or island range hood must extend higher than the unit itself.

Also, it might be costly to install a duct into a kitchen that does not already have one (or sometimes impossible). You can’t just put your range hood anywhere you want, and a lengthy, winding duct run isn’t good for airflow. A ductless range hood’s flexibility and low cost make it an attractive option. If you are a renter, this is also more convenient.

And last, the fan doesn’t have to work as hard. Hence, there is a net saving in energy.

Image of a kitchen with wooden cabinets, a table decorated with flowers, chairs, a countertop, an induction stove, and a range hood on top of it. Source: pixabay
Image of a kitchen with wooden cabinets, a table decorated with flowers, chairs, a countertop, an induction stove, and a range hood on top of it. Source: pixabay

What is the difference between a recirculating and convertible range hood?

A recirculating range hood is any range hood that is not vented that but rather filters air through carbon filters. A convertible range hood is a hood that has the option of being a ducted or ductless range hood.

If you want even more tips and insights, watch this video called “Ductless vs. Ducted / Duct Cleaning vs. House Cleaning” from the Home Performance YouTube Channel.

A video called “Ductless vs. Ducted / Duct Cleaning vs. House Cleaning” from the Home Performance YouTube Channel.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

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

Is a ductless range hood better than nothing?

Yes. Having some airflow while cooking is better than nothing, and a ductless range hood is still a decent option. A ductless range hood cleans the air through activated carbon and a thick filter. Both the former and the latter effectively collect airborne fat and odors.

Do ductless range hoods need to be vented?

No. Ductless and recirculating stove hoods are exempt from needing an external exhaust vent. Instead, these hoods filter the air with a carbon filter and send it back into the room.

Where do ductless range hoods vent?

The air is drawn into the ductless (or ventless) range hood, which is filtered via a charcoal or carbon filter and then returned to the room.

Conclusion

So there you have it. Now you know where the recirculating hoods are right for you. In my opinion, I wouldn’t touch a recirculating hood unless it was absolutely necessary. If you have any ductwork in your home, it is much more advisable to own a ducted ventilating range hood. You will be happy you did.

This article covered ductless range hoods, how ductless stove vents work, and how recirculating range hoods work. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • These recirculating range hoods, or ductless range hoods, don’t need a chimney or venting to function.
  • Ductless range hoods remove grease-laden air from the kitchen by drawing it through filters made of mesh and baffles.
  • How a ducted range hood works is the same as how a recirculating range hood works.
  • The best hoods for removing oil smells and moisture are ducted hoods. Remember that ducted exhaust also requires filtration (with most hoods).

So, do you use a ductless range hood? And 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 in 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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