When you consider all the things that affect the air quality inside your home while you’re cooking, having a quality range hood makes perfect sense. All the gunk – steam, smoke, food particles, grease – that splatters on your stove can wind up in your air.
A good range hood sucks all of it up and filters it out, preventing it from settling into the fabrics in your house and lingering forever. We’ve got lots of information for you about how to choose a range hood. Here, we specifically discuss CFM requirements for your kitchen and cooking style.
What is CFM for Range Hoods?
CFM means cubic feet of air moved per minute. Simply put, it’s the amount of air a ventilation hood fan is capable of removing through its filter every minute. The fan has to be powerful enough to cover the cooking area and suck up all that potential pollution, but not so loud you feel like you’re cooking next to a jet engine.
CFM and Your Kitchen Size
With an ideal setup, your hood will replace all of the air in your kitchen once every 4 minutes. So, the size of your kitchen can also be an important factor in finding the best CFM for you.
First, you’ll need to determine the volume of your kitchen by multiplying its length, width, and height (I know, more math).
Let’s say your kitchen is 10-feet long, 10-feet wide, with an 8-foot ceiling. Multiply those numbers and you’ll find the volume of your kitchen is 800 cubic feet (10x10x8=800).
Next, simply divide the volume of your kitchen (800) by 4 (1 air exchange every 4 minutes) to get your recommended CFM. 800/4= 200 CFM, the minimum number for your kitchen size.
Now, compare that number to the recommended CFM based on your range type, and go with the larger number. So, if you need a 200 CFM hood based on the size of your kitchen, but your range size and type call for a 500 CFM hood, go with the 500 CFM option.
CFM and Your Cooking Style
First of all, if you only cook once or twice a week, you’ll likely be just fine with the minimum recommended CFM for your kitchen size or cooktop. But, if you tend to cook 3 or more times a week you may benefit from a little extra power. This is especially true if you’re cooking for a large number of people or you like to cook several things at a time and utilize several burners at once.
Next, while a range hood’s primary job is to clear smoke and grease from the air, it also works to remove fragrant odors. Think ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and the number one odor offender, fish sauce. The same goes if you like to cook a lot of seafood. While good seafood shouldn’t smell bad, it’s probably not something you want lingering in your home for days. And a hood with a higher CFM is an effective way to stop your home from smelling like a restaurant 24/7.
Finally, ask yourself, “Do I do a lot of high heat cooking or deep frying?” Deep frying can produce a lot of heat, smoke, grease, and odors. And all of those things will be best handled by a high-powered hood. Indoor grilling and wok cooking are also two big culprits of smoke and grease splatter in the kitchen. If you regularly do either of them, you’ll definitely benefit from more CFM.
The Dangers of a Low CFM System
Indoor air pollution is a health risk. In the short term, pollutants can trigger asthma attacks, irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, and cause headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Temporary effects usually go away on their own with limited exposure, but over the long term, living in a home with a poor ventilation system can result in chronic respiratory diseases, heart disease, cancer, and even death.
Unfortunately, there’s no one-CFM-fits-all option. But, by taking a quick look at your kitchen and your cooking style, you can find the best CFM that’s perfectly tailored to your needs. And when in doubt, go with a hood that has more CFM than you may think you need.
At Range Craft, we bring you hand-crafted range hoods that add a unique touch to any kitchen style. Our team of professionals can confidently provide a system with an appropriate CFM to ensure you and your family remain healthy. We provide quality products driven by design, innovation, and craftsmanship to enhance the spaces where you live, work, and play.