Range Hoods

Range hoods vent away cooking odors and filter out heat, smoke, grease and moisture

Range Hoods- Range Hoods

There are many different types of range hoods to choose from. To help with your buying decision, it’s best to consider where it will be installed, the type of ventilation system you should use, and the size that best fits your kitchen.

Ventilation Systems

Units with higher CFM rates move more air and it is recommended that you have a minimum of 40 CFM for every linear foot of range. So, if you have a 3 foot range, you would need a range hood with at least 120 CFM. For gas cook tops, you should have 1 CFM for every 100BTUs of power the stove has.

  • Two primary types of ventilation are external and recirculating
  • Different fan types include rotary fans that feature blades, or centrifugal fans that are shaped like a barrel or wheel
  • Centrifugal fans are slightly more powerful and better suited for longer ducts
  • The amount of air vented by fans is measured in cubic feet per minute or CFM

Consult the chart below to learn more about the different ventilation systems:

Systems Description Points To Consider


Able to utilize either external vents or filters.

  • If using filters, be sure to change regularly
  • Choose to vent externally if
    possible for greater effectiveness


Vents contaminated air outside of the house through a series of vertical or horizontal ducts.

  • Air must be vented outside of house, not into a crawl space or attic
  • Generally more efficient
  • Can be more complicated to install


Uses a filter system to clean air before circulating it back into house.

  • Filters must be cleaned or changed regularly to ensure high-quality performance
  • Easier to install

Size, Style and Placement

The type of range hood you choose will be based in part by your kitchen setup and in part by your own sense of style.

  • Common colors include almond, bisque, biscuit, stainless steel, silver, black and white
  • Make sure to match the finish and style of the hood to your range or cooktop
  • Hoods are typically 30, 36 or 42 inches wide
  • Choose a hood that’s at least as wide as your range for maximum effectiveness
  • One-touch activation of downdraft models allows you to start them quickly and easily

Maintenance and Installation Tips

For houses that already have ductwork in place, make sure to get a range hood that has a compatible design. For new construction, determine whether vertical or horizontal positioning will be more efficient.

  • Always make sure air is vented outside the house and not into an enclosed space
  • Models that can accommodate either round or rectangular ductwork provide greater installation versatility
  • Gas ranges usually require a hood with a higher CFM rate than electrical units
  • Wash or replace filters regularly as needed
  • Deep-frying and frequent cooking may require you to clean or replace filters more frequently
  • Convertible units generally allow for both vertical and horizontal ventilation
  • Wipe down range hood surfaces regularly with warm water and mild soap


  • Halogen Lights and Nightlight. Lights make it easier to see what you are cooking. Nightlights provide soft illumination when walking into the kitchen.
  • Electronic Touch Controls. Offers precise operation and the ability to preset on and off times.
  • Variable-Speed Fan with Heat Sensors. Fans speed up to handle more heat. Sensors automatically increase speed or sound alarm when things get too hot.
  • Quiet Operation. Features insulation for quiet operation.
  • Automatic Shutoff. Shuts the fan off automatically after a specified period of time.
  • Self-Cleaning/Filterless Operation. Can be programmed to clean themselves.
  • Filter Monitor and Indicator Light. Lets you know when it’s time to replace the filter.