There are many different designs and styles of kitchen range hoods, but they all fall into five main types or categories. These include wall-mounted hoods, island hoods, range hood inserts, under cabinet hoods, and professional-grade hoods.
Although all range hoods are made with the same important purpose of ridding smoke, grease, and other toxins in the air that come from cooking and cleaning, some are more effective than others.
In this article, you will learn more about different kitchen ventilation design styles and range hood features. We hope this will help you on your journey to find which range hood type is best for your kitchen.
Wall Mount Range Hoods
Wall mount range hoods are one of the most common types of stove hoods. These vent hood types are mounted securely against a wall in the kitchen. Ideally, mount your wall range hood about 28″-36” between the bottom of the hood and the stove cooking surface to capture the most cooking fumes and to prolong the life of your range hood.
Additionally, wall-mounted range hoods come in different shapes. The most common type is a pyramid chimney style or tapered hood (see below).
If there are cabinets above them, they are called “under cabinet range hoods.” They typically don’t have anything mounted above them. Depending on the model, some wall-mounted range hoods can also function as under-cabinet hoods; be sure to check with the range hood supplier about your options.
Island Range Hoods
Island range hoods are a beautiful centerpiece for any kitchen space. Unlike wall-mounted range hoods, island hoods are not mounted against a wall. Because of this, and all the additional air movement kitchen islands experience, they require more CFM to maximize their efficiency and filter as much unwanted air from your kitchen as possible.
Island range hoods come in all different shapes and styles. Also, all island hoods are mounted to your ceiling and so your ductwork will run through your ceiling as well.
Structurally, some homes may not have the proper clearance or design to vent through their ceiling. Double check that yours has the ability to run the needed ductwork from your hood to the outside of your home.
Range Hood Inserts
Range hood inserts are designed to be used in your custom hood. Hood inserts are usually hidden as they are built into highly customized cabinets above the cooktop or stovetop.
Range hood inserts are a great option if you want full control of how your ventilation fan looks or if you have a premade cabinet that you want to convert into a functioning range hood.
Inserts are a great appliance to set the tone or theme for your kitchen, whether you are aiming for a rustic, old-fashioned look, a modern and sleek design, or anything in between, the use of an insert gives you ultimate creative control of your kitchen
Under Cabinet Range Hoods
Under-cabinet range hoods are a great option for people who have cupboards or cabinet storage above their cooktop. This way, switching out an over-the-range (OTR) microwave with a professional range hood allows you to keep the extra cabinet storage space and upgrade your kitchen ventilation fan.
Downdraft Range Hoods or Ventilation
Downdraft hoods are not as effective as the other hoods mentioned in this article for a couple of reasons
First, cooking exhaust, including smoke rises, and it is easier simpler to catch it where it is already headed, up, rather than trying to redirect it to the side or down.
Second, power. The max power of most downdraft kitchen ventilation is right around 1,000 CFM. And you can easily get up to 2000 CFM with an island hood. Not everyone uses that kind of power, but having it allows you to run your hood on a lower and much quieter setting most of the time, and when the need arises, you can clear the room in a hurry.
Third, The capture area is nowhere near the same. A downdraft hood isn’t able to cover a cooktop and capture all the steam, smoke, and chemicals that other hoods can. It’s just not possible. And if you enjoy grilling or wok cooking, you know how much of those elements car coming off your cooktop.
If you have any questions as to whether a downdraft hood will be able to keep up with your cooking, it probably won’t.
However, they can be a sleek addition to your kitchen; many downdraft hoods can be installed as pop-up vents and effectively hide from view when not in use. And for that reason, people do purchase them. It’s better to have something than nothing, right?
Microwave Range Hoods
That same thought process applies to kitchen ventilation built into microwave ovens. Microwave vent hoods are ductless – or recirculating – which means that they take the air in and then vent it out back into your home.
These hoods don’t vent outside of your home and are less efficient than stand-alone range hoods. However, they are inexpensive and can save a lot of space in your kitchen.
For many of the same reasons that downdraft ventilation isn’t ideal, these aren’t ideal either.
Range Hood Venting Options
All range hoods fall into one of two categories: ducted, sometimes called vented, or ductless, sometimes called recirculating.
Ductless Range Hoods
A ductless range hood is a hood that doesn’t evacuate the air from your cooktop area to the outside of your home. It tries to clean the air through a filter of some kind. The best ductless hoods use a charcoal filter to provide additional filtering of the air. These aren’t as effective as ducted range hoods.
Ducted Range Hoods
A ducted range hood is a hood that filters air contaminants and grease to the outside of the home by way of ductwork. This ductwork is installed in your ceiling for island hoods or in your wall for other hood types. This is the most recommended option by professionals since it is the most effective at keeping the air in your kitchen clean.
Additional Range Hood Features
CFM is short for cubic feet per minute. This is simply a measurement of the movement at which air flows into or out of your cooking space. CFM measures airflow for all kitchen ventilation systems. Range hood CFM will also depend on your type of cooktop – gas or electric.
LED Lights vs. Halogen Lights
Different range hoods come with different bulb types. Halogen and LED lights both provide efficient lighting required for cooking. However, many people prefer LED bulbs simply due to the longer lifespan, efficient power consumption, and other features.
Baffle, Mesh, and Charcoal Filters
Mesh filters and baffle filters have the same purpose, although they are used differently. Baffle filters are usually made with a higher quality metal such as stainless steel, mild steel, or in some cases aluminum. This typically makes baffle filters easier to clean. On the other hand, mesh filters typically consist of layers of stacked metal mesh and are harder to clean. This is because grease and cooking debris will still cause buildups if not cleaned weekly.
Charcoal filters do not need to be cleaned but require replacement after about 120 hours of cooking or every three to six months.
Be sure to clean or replace your filters regularly to maximize the efficiency of your hood.
If you have any questions or are looking to replace your vent hood, contact Bishoff Home Services at 704-349-6008