Range Hood & Kitchen Ventilation Options

Come on, tell me, who would want the hint of the fish one ate for last night’s dinner lingering in the quarters of ones home? Wouldn’t it be wise to spend for a high-grade range hood to eliminate this problem?

When choosing a range hood, always consider the design of your kitchen. How should your range top be used? What type of ventilation system will best go with your kitchen?

An assortment of styles, durability and design options are now available for your kitchen range hood. A stainless steel range hood may add style and professional grade functionality or it could be overkill, depending upon your needs and kitchen design tastes. A simple wall-mounted unit may be sufficient.

To those of you who still don’t know why one needs a range hood, here’s a little introduction. A range hood helps keep your kitchen smell fresh and sanitized whenever you turn your burner on by filtering the hazy fumes, greasy vapor and carbon dioxide that cloud your kitchen while cooking.

Over the Range Hood

In general, there are two main types to choose from: the vented and the recirculation fans. What vented fans do is to haul the smoke through a duct from inside the room out!

Recirculation fans, however, steer the smoke through some filters and make the cleansed air flow back to the kitchen; this type should be avoided unless you simply have no options to install proper ductwork in your kitchen.

Vented Range Hoods

If you are going to install a range top close to an exterior wall and at the same time have the resources for an installation then it would be best to consider a vented range hood because this type is more successful when it comes to ridding the air of dangerous chemical substances and oppressive grease that cling to the atmosphere.

Considering that this type needs a duct to be connected to the hood and exterior vent, then, it is only natural that installation costs will be higher. However, considering also the amount of frying using oil or browning of dishes that produce smoke and steam in your kitchen, this choice is indeed more advisable.

You may want to consider whether you want a range hood that can control the quantity of air you want circulated in your kitchen or you may wish for the type that has an automatic shut-off after a thirty-minute period or so.

Fixtures such as a built-in lighting system that helps in lighting a specific task, or a fan installed for each burner to give you better air purification, are also available.

Kitchen Range Hood Prices

There are many range hoods that can fit your budget, ranging from $50 for the basic wall-mounted type to the $200-$400 range or even higher, where you can get range hoods that come with several lights, timers and easy-to-clean filters and surfaces.

For a more economical model, you can get a down-draft range hood installed underneath the cabinetry and become virtually unnoticeable when not in use. Kitchen island range hood models may “pop-up”, and may be integrated with the range for a clean look when lowered, and then raise 8 to 10 in. above the range’s surface when in use. Other models may have vents situated on the range’s surface near the burners.

If you plan ahead when designing a new kitchen with a cooktop on the island, you can also install a matching island range hood, which provides good ventilation for your kitchen island cooktop. There are also models that integrate a microwave with the vent system. This style is attached on the wall over the cooking stove.

Regular maintenance should also be considered. Some of the external metal pieces of your range hood will be dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

Filters made of metal mesh can get trap grease while carbon filters can purify the air of overpowering scents. Regardless which type of range hood you purchase, the filters will need to be cleansed or renewed from time to time.

How Effective is Your Kitchen Range Hood?

So, just how much air can a range ventilation system remove? This is typically measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm). The Home Ventilating Institute suggests a minimum of 40 cfm for every linear foot a range comprises. A 120-cfm unit is generally sufficient for the average kitchen range. With downdraft types, you may want to go up to 150 cfm.

Models with a remote-mounted motor are quieter since the fan is located on the far end of ductwork instead of the canopy, but does require a higher cfm fan. Depending on the model and manufacturer’s instructions, you will need up to 400 cfm for use with a wall-mounted hood or up to 600 cfm for an island range hood.

Ductwork should be as short as possible to increase the hood fan’s effectiveness, so proper planning is an important part of the selection and installation of any range hood.

Kitchen Range Hood Types and Options

When talking to your builder or shopping for a new range hood to install in your existing or new kitchen, you have a lot of ventilation options to consider, including:

Basic wall-mounted unit – in the range of $200 to $400, you can get a hood featuring easy-to-clean surfaces, built-in lighting, and kitchen timer.

Downdraft hood – this type works hard to ventilate air from your kitchen and may not be as effective for burners furthest away or removing odors and steam and odors wafting out of taller pots and pans. Often this type will be an add-on option matching your cooktop, so look for this option when selecting a kitchen island range.

Recirculating range hood – you should avoid this type if possible since without ductwork it does not remove odors from your kitchen, but as the name suggests, simply recirculates air.

Over the range hood – hands down, the best option available and also the most expensive, a hood mounted over the range will most effectively remove steam and unwanted odors and is the preferred type among serious home chefs, offering both the look and functional characteristics of a commercial stainless steel range hood.

The ventilation system is a major component in your kitchen. Be sure you get the right one for needs by selecting a range hood that is large enough, has the features you need and a design that complements your overall kitchen design.

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