How to Find the Right Kitchen Hood for Your Home

How to Find the Right Kitchen Hood for Your Home

A kitchen hood, also known as a range hood or exhaust hood, is an essential appliance that helps maintain a clean kitchen. It is installed above the cooking range or stove to remove airborne grease, smoke, odours, and pollutants produced during cooking.

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Learn More has compiled a guide on finding the right kitchen hood for you, along with its benefits, types etc.


What Is a Kitchen Hood?

A kitchen hood is an essential mechanical kitchen appliance that is designed to capture and eliminate airborne particles and fumes generated during cooking. It consists of a canopy or a hood that is placed directly above the cooking area, along with a fan or blower system that helps in extracting and venting out the contaminated air.


How Does a Kitchen Hood Work?


Simple Island range hood


When you cook, the kitchen hood draws in the air, along with the pollutants, and directs them through a series of filters to trap grease, smoke, and other particles.

The filtered air is then expelled outside through a vent or recirculated back into the kitchen after passing through additional filtration. The fan or blower system ensures the efficient removal of pollutants.


Benefits of Using a Kitchen Hood

Following are some of the benefits of using a Kitchen hood.


Improves Air Quality

Cooking releases various pollutants, including smoke, grease particles, and harmful gases like carbon monoxide. A kitchen hood effectively captures and eliminates these pollutants, thereby improving the air quality in your kitchen. By reducing exposure to airborne contaminants, you can create a healthier environment for you and your family.


Removes Unpleasant Odours

Strong cooking odours can linger in your kitchen and even spread to other parts of your home. A kitchen hood with proper ventilation helps remove these odours, keeping your kitchen smelling fresh and clean. This is especially beneficial when cooking pungent foods or using spices that tend to release strong aromas.


Prevents Grease Buildup

During cooking, grease particles are released into the air and can settle on kitchen surfaces, including cabinets, countertops, and walls. Over time, this can lead to a sticky and unsightly buildup. Howevers, a kitchen hood prevents them from settling, reducing the need for frequent and intensive cleaning.


Enhances Kitchen Safety

Accumulated smoke and steam in the kitchen can create a hazy environment, affecting visibility and increasing the risk of accidents. A kitchen hood eliminates smoke and steam, providing better visibility while cooking. It also helps prevent the buildup of flammable substances, reducing the risk of kitchen fires.


Types of Kitchen Hoods


Different Types of Kitchen Hoods


There are several types of kitchen hoods available, each designed to suit different kitchen layouts and preferences. Here are some common types:


Wall-Mounted Range Hoods

Wall-mounted range hoods are among the most popular choices for kitchens due to their versatility and stylish designs. These hoods are directly mounted on the wall above the cooking range, and come in various sizes to accommodate different kitchen layouts.

They effectively remove smoke, odours, and grease particles from the air. Wall-mounted range hoods offer both ducted and ductless options, providing flexibility based on your kitchen’s ventilation system.


Under-Cabinet Range Hoods

If space is a constraint in your kitchen, under-cabinet range hoods offer a practical and space-saving solution. As the name suggests, these hoods are installed beneath the kitchen cabinets, making efficient use of available space.

They effectively capture and eliminate airborne contaminants, preventing them from spreading throughout your kitchen. These hoods are available in different styles and finishes to seamlessly integrate with your kitchen décor.


Island Range Hoods

For kitchen island designs or peninsula cooktops, island range hoods are the ideal choice. These are specifically designed to be mounted from the ceiling, directly above the cooking area, and are a visually striking addition to any kitchen.

Island range hoods offer powerful ventilation capabilities, effectively removing smoke, steam, and cooking odours. With their sleek and modern designs, they also serve as a statement piece.


Downdraft Range Hoods

Downdraft range hoods are a unique alternative to traditional overhead hoods. Rather than being mounted above the cooking range, these hoods are integrated into the countertop or cooktop itself. When in use, the downdraft hood rises from the surface to capture and eliminate cooking fumes and odours.

Downdraft range hoods are an excellent choice for kitchens with open floor plans or for those who prefer a minimalist aesthetic. It’s important to note that they may have limitations in terms of their airflow capacity compared to other types of range hoods.


Range Hood Liners

Range hood liners are designed to hide the ventilation system within custom cabinetry, making your kitchen look much more sleek. These liners are inserted into the bottom of the cabinetry, concealing the inner workings of the range hood.

By using a range hood liner, you can achieve a cohesive and uncluttered look while maintaining effective ventilation during cooking.


Factors to Consider When Choosing a Kitchen Hood

When selecting a kitchen hood for your home, it’s essential to consider various factors to ensure you make the right choice. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:


Size and Fit

When choosing a range hood, it’s important to ensure that the width of the hood matches the width of the cooking surface below. This ensures complete coverage and optimal venting. Standard range and cooktop sizes are usually 30 and 36 inches wide, but compact and extra-wide sizes are also available to accommodate different kitchen setups.


Venting Strength: CFM Ratings

The venting power of a range hood is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). This measurement indicates how much air the vent can move in one minute. A higher CFM rating indicates stronger venting power.

The CFM rating listed in product specifications corresponds to the highest speed setting on the range hood. Canopy and downdraft hoods generally have higher CFM ratings than other types of hoods.


What Is a Good Range Hood CFM?

For gas cooktops, it is typically recommended to have a range hood with 100 CFM per 10,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units). To calculate the recommended CFM for electric cooktops, multiply the width of the stove by 10.


Quietness: dBa Ratings

The noise level of a range hood is measured in decibels (dBa). A lower dBa number indicates a quieter hood. Product specifications often list multiple dBa ratings corresponding to different vent speed settings. Some range hoods are specifically designed for quiet operation, incorporating features like noise reduction technology, sound insulation, and special chimney designs to minimise kitchen noise.


Heat Tolerance: BTU Ratings

If you have a gas range or cooktop, it’s important to ensure that your hood is compatible with the amount of heat generated by the appliance. Electric cook surfaces are generally compatible with any hood. BTU ratings measure the amount of heat a gas burner can produce, with higher ratings indicating a hotter burner.

When selecting a range hood, check the product specifications or owner’s manual to compare the BTU ratings of the hood with the cooking surface below it. The hood should have the same BTU rating or higher to handle the heat effectively.


Design and Aesthetics

Select a kitchen hood that complements the overall style and design of your kitchen. There are various designs available, including sleek and modern options, as well as traditional and decorative models.


Energy Efficiency

Opt for an energy-efficient kitchen hood that consumes less power while maintaining optimal performance. Look for hoods with energy-saving features like LED lighting and variable speed settings.


Maintenance Requirements

Consider the maintenance requirements of the kitchen hood, such as filter replacement and cleaning. Choose a hood that offers easy access to filters and has dishwasher-safe components for convenient upkeep.


Installation and Maintenance Tips


Installation of Range Hoods


Proper installation and regular maintenance are crucial for the optimal performance and longevity of your kitchen hood. Here are some tips to follow:


Proper Installation

Ensure it is correctly installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Improper installation can lead to reduced efficiency and potential safety hazards.


Regular Cleaning and Filter Replacement

Clean the hood regularly to remove grease and other debris that may accumulate on the surface. Replace or clean the filters as recommended by the manufacturer to maintain efficient airflow.


Professional Maintenance

In addition to cleaning the hood regularly, you should consider scheduling professional maintenance for your kitchen hood at least once a year. A professional technician can inspect and clean the internal components, ensuring optimal performance and identifying any potential issues.


Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Despite proper maintenance, kitchen hoods may encounter issues that require troubleshooting. Here are some common problems and possible solutions:


Inadequate Ventilation

If the hood seems ineffective in capturing smoke or odours, check if the filters are clean and properly installed. Additionally, ensure that the exhaust ducts are clear and not blocked.


Noisy Operation

Excessive noise may indicate a loose or damaged fan or blower motor. Therefore, you should inspect the hood for any loose components and consider seeking professional assistance for repairs or replacements.


Filter Clogging

If you notice reduced airflow or an increase in grease buildup, it could indicate clogged filters. Clean or replace the filters as per the manufacturer’s instructions to restore proper ventilation.


Electrical Problems

Check the power supply and circuit breaker if the hood fails to operate or experiences electrical issues. Moreover, if the problem persists, consult a qualified electrician to identify and resolve the electrical problem.



A kitchen hood offers numerous benefits such as improved air quality, odour removal, grease prevention, and enhanced safety. By selecting the right type of hood and maintaining it properly, you can create a clean and healthy environment.


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)


Q: How often should I clean the filters of my kitchen hood?

A: It is recommended to clean or replace the filters every three to six months. However, it depends on usage and the manufacturer’s guidelines.


Q: Can I install a kitchen hood myself, or do I need professional assistance?

A: While some kitchen hoods can be installed by homeowners, it is advisable to seek professional assistance, especially for complex installations or if you are not familiar with electrical work.


Q: What should I do if my kitchen hood is not vented outside?

A: If your kitchen hood is not vented outside, ensure that it has a high-quality charcoal filter to effectively remove odours and recirculate cleaner air.


Q: Can I use my kitchen hood without venting it outside?

A: Yes, you can use it without venting it outside by utilising a ductless or recirculating hood. However, venting the hood outside provides better air quality and pollutant removal.


Q: Are there any energy-efficient options available for kitchen hoods?

A: Yes, many options come with energy-saving features such as LED lighting and variable speed settings, allowing you to conserve energy while maintaining optimal performance.

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