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Top 5 Considerations When Selecting A Range Hood

Modern kitchen with brown kitchen cabinets

The popularity of kitchen range hoods today is as much about artistic design as it is convenience. They not only remove unwanted smells and help keep the kitchen clean—they can also serve as a focal point for the room and as an extension of the owner’s style and taste.

Whether you’re replacing an old range hood or buying a new one for your latest kitchen remodel, we’ve provided a list to consider when selecting a range hood for your kitchen.

How Much Ventilation Do I Need?

When choosing the size and power of a kitchen hood, the stove underneath will be a key determinant. Obviously, a larger stove requires a larger hood. The more BTUs the stove cranks out, the amount and type of cooking that will be done are all things to consider. Many stove manufacturers have recommendations on the amount of ventilation needed.

Kitchen range hoods are rated by how much air they can pull out of a given area, measured in Cubic Feet per Minute. As a starting point, the Home Ventilating Institute recommends 100 CFM for hoods against a wall and 150 CFM for an island kitchen range hood. Of course, a stove’s heat output, the size of a hood, and the kitchen itself should be taken into account, with the highest CFM number used after calculating each of these requirements separately.

A kitchen range hood should be able to cycle the air out of the entire kitchen 15 times per hour. Simply multiply the kitchen’s dimensions (floor area square footage x ceiling height) to determine its volume, and then divide that figure by 4.

To account for hoods over an island, just multiply the minimum CFM by 1.5.

The Noise

If noise is an issue, a larger hood might allow a less powerful fan speed to be used. Also, a powerful fan with variable speed control would give the flexibility of cranking up the power when needed or to get the air flowing, then dialing it back. A stronger fan would likely be less noisy when run at a lower level.

The fan’s location should be considered as well. A unit that’s mounted on a home’s exterior would produce less noise in the kitchen itself.

Fan noise levels are rated in Sones, which is a measure of how loud a sound is perceived. A modern refrigerator is roughly 1 Sone. This can be hard to determine as less inexpensive hoods might not provide Sone levels, while makers of quieter units like to brag about it. One manufacturer boasts that its quiet model rates 6 Sones, which is roughly 65 decibels or about the level of a conference room conversation.

Something else to consider is making sure the ductwork is of the right size, as one that’s too constricted can increase the noise level.

Hood Pros And Cons

One of the most obvious considerations on the type of kitchen hood is the size of your stovetop and where it is placed in the room. A hood over an island will have to be larger than one against the wall, because an island hood has to capture air from both sides.

Insert hoods, which are concealed, can be useful for someone who doesn’t want to make it a focus of the kitchen’s design.

A downdraft hood, installed alongside the stove, would also be more concealed. However, there are downsides to this design. Heat and smoke rise in the air, so a downdraft hood would be less effective as it fights the laws of nature. They can also have a negative effect on gas ranges, as they pull the flames towards them.

For anyone unable to install ductwork in their kitchen, or perhaps a condominium dweller, a ductless or recirculated hood could be used that recirculates air back to the room.

Latest Trends And Artistic Design

Designers have responded to this trend in ways that allow people to use range hoods as a decorative feature that fits the overall look of the home.

Stainless steel has long been popular in the U.S. for its function and ease of cleaning. 

Warmer metals such as copper, antiqued brass, copper, and those with a cast iron look became popular in Europe recently. These could be coated to preserve the look or left bare to let them develop a patina.

The Perfect Accessory For Your New Jersey Kitchen

At Range Craft, we bring you hand-crafted range hoods that add a unique touch to any kitchen style. You can choose from one of our standard styles or have your range hood custom-made. Our various materials, finishes, accents, and banding allow you to create a one-of-a-kind look. We provide quality products driven by design, innovation, and craftsmanship to enhance the spaces where you live, work, and play.