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What are the Different Types of Range Hoods?

Margo Upson
Updated May 16, 2024
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When you cook, steam, smoke, and other vapors come up from the food being prepared. Add to this the smell from the garbage can, moisture in the air from washing dishes, and the greasy smell from last nights take out, and you've got a kitchen with a serious scent problem. The quickest way to fix this problem is with a range hood.

Range hoods are used above stove tops to remove vapors from the kitchen. The vapors are then carried outside of the home using a ventilation system. They come in many varieties, meant to meet the needs of all cooks, from amateur to even the most professional.

The most commonly seen range hood is the under-cabinet variety. These fit under small cabinets, and don’t take up any extra room in the kitchen. They work best for ranges that are set against a wall. They usually feature a light and a fan with multiple speeds. Some newer models offer electronic controls to better suit the needs of today’s cooks. Most come in a full range of colors and sizes, making it easy to find one that will match your kitchen. They are generally not as powerful as other varieties, but they work well for average cooks.

For a cook who enjoys the look of an under-cabinet hood, but wants something with a little more power, there are high performance range hoods. Made of a more durable material, they still offer a lot of the same features as the under the cabinet hoods. Some also have grease trays, heat lamps, and different fans that can be used separately or all together. High-performance range hoods were made for the home cook who demands the best from all of their kitchen appliances.

Chimney hoods used to be most commonly seen in professional restaurants. Like many other professional grade cooking tools, they have made their way into the home environment. Chimney hoods are just what they sound like. They have the main hood feature, and their own chimney that stretches up to the ceiling and into a vent. For island ranges, this is the necessary hood to have. It is the only freestanding hood set-up available. Chimney hoods are available in different shapes, sizes and materials, and can easily match the style of any kitchen.

Downdrafts aren’t technically a range hood, but they serve the same purpose. They attach to the back of your range, sucking out vapors the same as actual hoods. These are great for small kitchens where space is tight. While they don’t offer as many of the features that the other ventilation systems provide, they are still a great product. They offer fan control, and some have a light. These are a great option for an average cook who either doesn’t have the right set-up for a range hood or who doesn’t like the look of traditional hoods. The only downside is that they can only be used on ranges, not on ovens. If you have a stove, these will not work for you.

Range hoods offer a great addition to any kitchen. There are a lot of choices to consider when looking to purchase a new one. They have been greatly improved upon in the past several years, as the foodie movement has demanded better home kitchen equipment. Fans are now quiet, and the extra features can make them one of a cook’s best helpers in a kitchen.

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Margo Upson
By Margo Upson
With a vast academic background that has ranged from psychology and culinary arts to criminal justice and education, Margo Upson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role as a HomeQuestionsAnswered writer. Her wide-ranging interests and skill at diving into new topics make her articles informative, engaging, and valuable to readers seeking to expand their knowledge.
Discussion Comments
By M54white — On Apr 29, 2009

How often should a non-vented range hood filters be changed? (Electric Stove)

Margo Upson
Margo Upson
With a vast academic background that has ranged from psychology and culinary arts to criminal justice and education,...
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