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What Should I Look for When Buying a Range Hood?

When buying a range hood, prioritize ventilation power, noise level, size compatibility with your cooktop, and ease of cleaning. Consider energy-efficient models with adequate lighting and user-friendly controls. Style should complement your kitchen's aesthetic. Remember, a well-chosen range hood enhances your cooking experience and air quality. What factors will influence your choice the most? Continue reading to find your perfect fit.
S. Mithra
S. Mithra

When buying a range hood, you must consider how your range top is used and what kind of system best suits your kitchen. Range hoods come in a variety of styles, strengths, and designs, so it's important to choose one that complements the décor of your home but will also get the job done.

A range hood is important because it filters smoke, fumes, grease, steam, and carbon monoxide from the air while you are cooking. Using a range hood every time you turn on a burner can keep your kitchen clean, fresh, and smelling good. Choosing a range hood can seem like a daunting task, but when you consider your budget, taste, and cooking habits, you will make an informed selection.

Range hoods filter out pollutants that cause odor to develop in the kitchen.
Range hoods filter out pollutants that cause odor to develop in the kitchen.

The most important differentiation is between vented and recirculation fans. Vented fans pull the air through a duct to the outside, while recirculation fans guide the air through some filters and it ends up back in the kitchen. If you have the budget for installation and will place your range top near an exterior wall, consider buying the vented variety, because a vented range hood is more effective for removing harmful chemicals and sticky grease from the air. It does need a duct connecting the hood to an exterior vent, so it will be more expensive to install, however. If you consider how often you fry using oil or brown food that smokes, you may find this option worth while.

You'll also want to consider what other features you need in a range hood. You may want to have the ability to switch the fan from low to high depending on how much air you need circulated, or find one that will automatically shut off after thirty minutes. You may prefer a built-in light fixture to give you task lighting, or one fan for each burner for more effective air cleansing.

The maintenance schedule of your range hood should also be considered. Exposed, metal parts might be dishwasher safe. All hoods, whether venting or recirculating, will have filters that need to be cleaned or replaced. These might be metal mesh filters that catch large particles of grease, or carbon filters that remove strong odors from the air. In addition to these considerations, you may want to check the price of replacement filters.

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Discussion Comments


I just discovered water pouring down onto my stove top from my range hood. It is vented to the outside (under the eve).I am concerned that it well cause a problem with the electrical wiring. Does anyone know the cause for this happening? Thank you.


Is it wise, or possible, to vent a range hood into 1) an existing wood cookstove chimney, or 2)vent into a tankless propane hotwater heater??



To anon3844: *depending on your kitchen design & cabinetry*, you may be able to turn the duct 90 degrees as soon as it exits the unit. The body of the range hood may hide the ductwork - or put a cabinet/shelf/molding/soffit on top of it to hide the ductwork.

However, there *are* range hoods on the market that are designed to vent straight out back, so there is no duct sticking out. Check out the links to the left - both Vent-A-Hood and Futuro Futuro make models designed to do just that.

To anon1554: no, there is absolutely no technological reason for matching the hood to the stove. Pick whatever fits your style & budget.

Keep in mind that the hood should be at least as wide (or wider, if you have the room) as the stove.


If I'm installing a vented range hood on an exterior wall can I vent directly out the wall or do I have to vent up through the roof? Do I have to buy a special unit designed to vent "back" rather than "up"?


When I buy a new range hood does it have to be the same brand as the stove?

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    • Range hoods filter out pollutants that cause odor to develop in the kitchen.
      By: Nevermore
      Range hoods filter out pollutants that cause odor to develop in the kitchen.