Most people buy very few hood vents throughout their lifetime, but when you do, it can seem like a complicated and difficult decision. It is best to learn about what a kitchen range hood is before making your choice, as it is important for clearing the kitchen of airborne contaminants, increasing air flow, ensuring proper ventilation, and protecting your home from food residue buildup.
The decision to buy a kitchen hood vent involves more than just selecting the type of range hood for your layout and cooking needs. There are also measurements and additional considerations to ensure the perfect fit.
Here are the steps to choosing the right size hood vent:
1. Measure the width
You will want your range hood to be wider than the range, so measure the range with a measuring tape. The hood vent should be larger due to it being more effective at catching the smoke that is coming off the stovetop and oven. You should select a hood vent that is 30-42 inches long, depending on the size of your range.
2. Measure the space
Once you have your measurement of the range, then measure the space where the range hood will go. Youshould buy the largest size that will fit into the space.
3. Measure range and cabinets or ceiling
Proper range hood installation should be approximately 24 inches above an electric stove cooktop and 30 inches above a gas stove cooktop. Measure from the top of the range to the bottom of the cupboards, or to the ceiling above the range. The hood vent that you choose should not sit lower than these recommended heights to ensure the exhaust hood is efficiently circulating the air.
4. Choose you CFM
CFM means cubic feet per minute and when discussing an exhaust hood, this refers to the rate of output per minute. When you are buying a new vented range hood, you will need to check the CFM rating to make sure that it will be effective at keeping your indoor air quality as clean as possible based on your range’s output, how often you cook, and what types of food you cook. Greasy and fatty goods give off more food particles and airborne contaminants.
It is going to make a big difference in terms of effectiveness if you place the hood vent too far away from the range. If your measurements show this may be the case, you should purchase a vent that has a larger CFM rating. A general rule that is helpful, is a range hood rated at 600 CFM should be placed approximately 30 inches above the range.
5. Do not place your hood vent too close
After the last point you may be thinking that the closer you place your hood vent, the more effective. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This will create a fire hazard because the grease may hit a flammable filter.
6. Choose a hood vent that is comfortable
With all these considerations in mind, one of the most important aspects is a range hood vent that is comfortable to work with in the kitchen. You want one that does not get in your way when you are standing at the range. When you are doing measurements and envisioning the result, it is important to visualize how it will all look set up. For example: if it is too low,it is going to be right at eye or head level which will get in the way when you are placing and taking pots off the stovetop, and it will also look cramped aesthetically. Ultimately, you will need to balance the manufacturer’s recommendations with your own needs and preferences.
The types of kitchen ventilation hoods include under-cabinet, wall mount, over the range microwave with vent, downdraft vent hood,ceiling mount, and ventilator power packs. We will discuss these types in greater detail to assist you with making an informed purchasing decision.
When you are choosing your hood vent there are additional considerations to keep in mind such as duct vents and recirculating vents:
Duct hood vents
Duct hood vents are the most effective at ventilating contaminated air because it takes the air through ductwork and releases it outside. This always keeps the indoor air quality as pure as possible. Some types of hood vents are ventilated out from the wall, and others from the ceiling. Depending on the style of range hood and your access points for ductwork, this could be a key deciding factor for if you will have duct vents, and the type of range hood you will buy. For example, an island range hood needs to be installed on the ceiling and vented out of the roof.
The only disadvantage to range hoods that need to be duct vented is that a professional will need to be hired to do the ductwork. This adds to the cost, but many homeowners consider it well worth it for the benefit of clean air and a great looking vent hood that in many cases, becomes a focal point in the kitchen.
Recirculating range hoods
Recirculating range hoods also purify the air, but they do this by capturing the contaminants, grease, and smoke, and filter it through a baffle, mesh, or charcoal filter. The filters need to be changed as often as once per week if you use your range frequently or in the case of charcoal, they need to be replaced every three to six months depending on usage. While these may not be considered the most effective at purifying the air, they do have advantages.
There are ranges that come with recirculating range hoods and they are also quite easy to install. This takes a lot of the work and additional hiring of services out of the decision, which is a benefit to people who simply want an adequate hood vent. This is especially true for people who do not cook often, or have a spacious, open home and frequently use fans and keep windows open for air circulation and ventilation.
Measuring the kitchen space the range will go in, and the distance from the range to the cabinets or ceiling will ensure a proper fit, which will guarantee a product that keeps the air clean and your family healthy. There are several considerations when purchasing and installing a hood vent, but it is worth it to ensure you’ll have an effective and safe range hood for your home.