As we’ve been progressing on the idea of renovating our home (and kitchen), I’ve been researching range hoods and going kind of cross-eyed at all the specs you need to know. While I can pinpoint exactly how I want the hood to look, that visual part is really just the “shell” of the hood. I am completely clueless about how to evaluate the actual functional hood piece that goes underneath the prettiness. As a general rule, I don’t accept sponsored guest posts on this blog but when the people at RangeHoodsInc.com got in touch with me about submitting a post, I thought maybe I could save us all an obnoxious amount of Googling and just have the experts give us a cheat sheet.
Guest Post by RangeHoodsInc.com(with graphics by me!)
The range hood often becomes a focal point in a kitchen design, but range hoods aren’t just about looks. The main purpose of a range hood is to ventilate the kitchen air during cooking, so choosing a range hood means being able to determine which model has the specifications you’ll need in your kitchen. Don’t fret; this post aims to relay the nuts and bolts information you need to know to buy a kitchen range hood without the confusing jargon.
Range Hood Mounting Style
First of all, you’ll have to know which type of mounting style of range hood you need in your kitchen. This part is easy. Just ask yourself, where in the kitchen will I be mounting my range hood? If your new range hood is going underneath a cabinet, then shop for under cabinet range hoods. If your range hood is going on a wall (above the cooking surface), look for wall mount range hoods. If your stovetop is on your kitchen island, then you need an island range hood that hangs from the ceiling and ventilates air above the island. Both the wall mount range hood and island range hood types include chimneys. You may need a chimney extension if your kitchen ceiling is too high for the range hood.
Other than mounting style, size is the most important aspect of the range hood. The range hood should be as wide as the range. It is even better to have an extra three inches of range hood on each side of the outside burners on the range. The three extra inches is a must for island range hood installation. Note, the range hood has to cover the back burners and at least half of the front burners. The range hood should be mounted about 30 inches above the range. Check the manual of your range hood for specific instructions.
Don’t let the term CFM overwhelm you. It stands for cubic feet per minute. Just remember it describes the power of the range hood.
If you want the technical definition, CFM is a measurement of how much air (in volume) the range hood can move per minute. This is the air flow of the range hood.
The higher the CFM of the range hood, the faster it will ventilate air from the home. This is essential for homeowners who do a lot of heavy duty cooking and frying in their kitchens. You may also need a higher CFM if there is long ductwork in your kitchen with turns in it.
You can calculate how much CFM you need depending on the type of range you have. For gas ranges, you will need about 100 CFM for every BTU. For electric ranges, you need 100 CFM per 12” of range and 150 CFM per 12” of range for island range hoods.
The sound level of a range hood is measured in sones. One sone is the equivalent of a running fridge. For some homeowners, a tolerable noise level is the most important aspect of the range hood. You can decrease the sound of your range hood by purchasing a range hood with a high CFM and running it at a lower speed level. Make sure you don’t purchase a range hood that is too loud; you may be deterred from using it.
Ducted or Ductless
The best option for kitchen ventilation is a ducted range hood. This is a range hood that ventilates air through ductwork. If you do not have ductwork, you may have to add installation to the project cost. However, if you cannot install ductwork for whatever reason, you can use a ductless range hood option. Many range hoods can be converted to ductless. A ductless range hood uses charcoal filters, which cannot be cleaned. These need to be replaced about every three months.
This should be enough information to get you started on shopping for your kitchen range hood. Be sure to find a range hood that includes both the specifications you need and has the aesthetic you’re looking for to match the rest of your kitchen design.
Thanks RangeHoodsInc for breaking this down for me! I hope you found this post helpful and feel a little more prepared to shop for this important, functional item in your kitchen. I know I do!