Everyone loves to gather in the kitchen during holidays with the family and get-togethers with friends. If you are in the process of renovating your kitchen, or even designing a new custom home, the kitchen design and layout are going to be significant considerations, and one of these choices involves what type of kitchen range hood to choose based on your cooktop needs and home layout requirements.
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Why a range hood?
Some people see the range hood as nothing more than a noisy fan, but it serves several purposes. A cooking range hood ventilates the air of impurities, cools down the room, and prevents food splatters and residue from covering the cabinets, furniture and upholstery. A kitchen range hood is an important investment that protects your family’s health and keeps your home in great shape.
How many different types of range hoods are there?
There are seven different types of range hoods we will discuss here: under cabinet range hood, wall mounted hood, island hood, professional range, downdraft range, and microwave range.
Under Cabinet Range Hood
This is one of the most common types of range hoods. It is placed under the cabinets and is known for saving space. Many ranges come with a hood for under the cabinet installation.
A wall mountedhood is installed on the wall, typically higher than the under the cabinet range. It should be placed 28”-36” above the range for the exhaust fan to capture the most particles from the cooking area, and to prolong the lifespan of the range hood.
Island Mount Range Hood
The island mount is the most popular range hood style for an open concept layout where the range is located in the middle of the kitchen. This range hood ventilates vertically and out through the ceiling where this range hood is mounted. An island mount range is usually the centerpiece of the kitchen and can be made from a variety of materials such as stainless steel, copper, glass, andceramic. Kitchen ventilation is usually made custom and results in a very decorative focal point. This is also the most popular design for commercial kitchens. The island mount range hood needs to be checked for proper clearance, and then a professional will need to be hired for the ductwork. It can cost upward to $500.
Professional range hoods are designed for people who cook frequently and want the most control over maintaining clean indoor air quality. Proline is a great brand for these high-grade range hood type. It comes with a CFM of 900, which fits the requirements of a professional level appliance.
The downdraft hood range is one of the best solutions for unusual layouts and a lack of space because it is installed right in the range. When it is time to ventilate the air, the hood pops up from the range and the air is ventilated downward or sideways out of the home. The downside to range hood type is that it is harder to catch the smoke as it is rising, so it is less effective than the others.
Microwave Range Hood
This is another space saving solution as the microwave is installed above the range, and it also functions as a range hood. This way there is more space on the counter, and the microwave doubles as a hood range to clear the air and cool the space. The downside to this type is that it is not vented to the outside. It is a recirculating range hood. This means that the air is filtered and re-leased back into the environment. You will need to clean the filters or change them every few months if you cook often.
With the decision to replace the range hood also comes with ventilation choices:
Ductless Range Hood
This type is the easiest to install but it is not as effective at ventilation. A ductless range recirculates the air through a filter and releases the air back into the kitchen. The benefit of the ductless range hood is that it does not require extensive duct work which can be costly and interrupt the home while the work is being done.
Ducted Range Hoods
Ducted range hoods are ideal as they take the fumes, harmful contaminants, and grease, and vent to the outdoors. This is the best way to keep your indoor air quality as clean as possible.
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There will be features on your new range hood that you should consider before purchasing:
LED vs Halogen Bulbs
Overall LED is preferred because the bulbs do not run hot, and they are more efficient and long-lasting. The only downside to LED bulbs is they are more expensive, but weighed against the other benefits, the cost is considered worth it.
Auto shut off timer
If you forget to turn off the range hood or like the convenience, this is a great option, especially for a professional chef or avid cook who simply wants less things to worry about when they are multitasking to prepare a big meal.
Baffle, Mesh, and Charcoal Filters
If you decide on a recirculating range hood, you will need filters to keep the air filtration as effective as possible. Baffle filters are made with metal, steel, or aluminum. Mesh filters are made with layers of stacked metal. Both types are used in a similar way, but overall baffle is easier to clean. To prevent build-up, which will make it even harder to clean, you should clean your filter once per week. Charcoal filters do not need to be cleaned but should be replaced every 120 hours which is the equivalent to every three to six months.
There are several considerations when it comes to selecting the correct range hood for your home, lifestyle, and cooking requirements. In addition to the different types of range hoods there are also a few additional considerations such as deciding if you want recirculating or ducts, and if you will purchase a hood range with LED or halogen lights, an automatic timer and baffle, mesh, or charcoal filters. With all components in mind,you can make the most informed choice for your next kitchen remodeling project.