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Do I Need A Range Hood? | A Guide To Kitchen Air Ventilation

A range hood is an essential appliance if you're in need of an air ventilation system in the kitchen.

Do I Need A Range Hood

You might be wondering, "What is a range hood?" and "Do I need a range hood?"

Here's everything you need to know about the range hood and if you need one for your house.

What is a Range Hood?

What is a Range Hood
© Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt

A range hood is an appliance that captures cooking grease, steam, and smoke. It can either filter and clean the contaminated air in the room or vent it out.

These types of appliances are mounted directly above your kitchen range or cooktop to immediately capture said fumes.

While you may feel that it's just a fan in practice, it has a hood that makes it blend in with and accentuate your space. It can also include lights to help you cook and to improve your cooking experience.

What Do Range Hoods Actually Do?

Range hoods work by sucking up any grease, fumes, heat, and smoke when you cook or grill your food.

The range hood and exhaust should match the output of your gas stove or electric stove to properly eliminate contaminated air.

Whenever you're cooking with heat, it's bound to release gas, steam, smoke, and fumes into the air. These carry odors that can stick to walls and furniture.

A range hood lets you efficiently vent these odors to keep the air in your kitchen air clean and pure. While it may seem like just a fan, it's a great help when it comes to the cooking process and cleanup.

Still asking, "Do I need a range hood?" Not to worry. It has even more benefits.

Benefits of a Range Hood

The best range hoods are designed for more than just the smoke and fumes of cooking.

Grease can also splatter around when you cook with heat, especially frying. You already have many things to clean up after when you cook.

A range hood has enough power to include grease when sucking up air, giving you fewer things to worry about when you cook or clean.

It doesn't just keep the air quality at its best and ensures that the rest of your kitchen remains pristine compared to when you don't have a hood.

Different Types of Range Hoods

There are different types to consider when finding the best range hood. It can depend on how you cook, how you can install it into your room, and more.

These are the two types of range hoods you can choose from.

Ductless Range Hood

Ductless Range Hood

This type of range hood is one of the most versatile options for any kitchen.

These ductless models are not connected to any exterior ducts. Instead, it finds a self-contained way of cleaning and filtering the air.

When you cook, it sucks up the air and uses an interior carbon or charcoal filter to clean the air and circulate it back into your home.

Ducted Range Hoods

Ducted Range Hoods

This type of range hood is connected to a duct that leads contaminated air out of your home.

It's one of the most efficient, making it the default choice in many households.

However, it can also be pricey and selective of where it can be installed.

Ducted Hoods vs Ductless Range Hoods: Which One is Better?

A ducted range hood is usually preferred over ductless hoods. However, choosing the right type usually depends on your kitchen needs.

Some may require ductless models because of their building's structure or compatibility with ductwork.

Choose a ductless range hood if:

  • You live in an apartment or condo
  • You cook around three days a week or less
  • You want a versatile option for your room
  • You can't connect it to a duct.
  • You can't afford a ducted hood

Choose a ducted range hood if:

  • Your smoke alarm tends to go off while you're cooking on the stove-top
  • You can connect your range hood to the ductwork
  • You cook almost every day
  • You're concerned by the air quality and smoke in your home
  • You like cooking food with strong smells

If you're not sure which type is best for your room or house, it's best to ask the local authorities or landlord for help.

Do I Need a Range Hood?

At this point, if you're probably still asking, "Do I need a range hood?" The answer is most likely yes.

Whether cooking on a gas or electric stove, you will be working with heat. Steam and smoke will inevitably come with it.

On top of that, some building codes may also require vent hoods to keep the complex up to code and standard.

How to Choose a Range Hood for Your Home?

Now that you know how to determine if you need a range hood, you might be wondering how to choose the best one for your kitchen.

These include how to install a range hood, the best size range hood you need, or how to maintain its venting features to keep your kitchen clean.

These are the things to consider to help you know how to correctly choose these types of appliances and install them in your kitchen.

Size and Mounting

How do you know what size range hood to get?

You can compute this based on where your stove is located. If you're mounting it to a wall, it should be 3 inches beyond your stove.

It should be larger by 3 to 6 inches if you have it above an island.

There are four ways to mount a range hood:

  • Under cabinet: These are mounted if cabinets are directly above your stovetop.
  • Wall: These can be mounted against walls with their duct head directly connected to your house's chimney.
  • Insert/liner: A range hood insert is installed by mounting it into the available hood on top of a gas stove. It can be made of copper, stone, or wood.
  • Kitchen island: These hang down directly from the ceiling just above the island cooktop.

The size and mounting usually depend on your kitchen's layout and exhaust.

Ventilation and Filters

When choosing a range hood, consider how it will clean the air or lead it out of your home. This can greatly depend on where you live.

If your range hood works with a filter, there are two types to consider, depending on the type of range hood and the maintenance that goes with it.

  • Mesh Filter: This filter traps grease into the mesh, which needs to be cleaned regularly to prevent any restrictions.
  • Baffle Filter: This filter catches any grease and traps them into a removable tray.

These filters are usually dishwasher safe and can be easily cleaned to keep the ventilation and kitchen air clean.

Power and Noise

You'll need a range hood with enough power to manage the smoke and odor from your pots and pans. The power is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM).

The power of your hood can depend on how you cook and the types of stoves you use in the process.

An electric range top usually requires 100 CFM per 10 inches of width, while a gas stove depends on the maximum number of BTUs divided by 100.

A professional level hood usually requires more CFM, going above 900. It's necessary, especially for strong-smelling food and specific cooking techniques, like frying and grilling.

The noise of a range hood can vary. While most local blowers can be quiet, a remote one makes the slightest noise in your home. Finding the right noise level will also depend on where you live.

The best range hood brands can provide a powerful vent hood that doesn't make much noise to function.

Need A Range Hood FAQs

  • You might have more questions about why you would need a range hood.

    We’ve found one of the most common questions to help you further understand them.

  • Why Is It Important to Get Rid of Cooking Odors?

    As mentioned, having a range hood above a gas cooktop or electric stove is one of the best ways to improve air quality and eliminate harsh smells.

    While the smell of food may be pleasant, any gas and heat circulating in your home can get overwhelming.

    You would need a range hood to make managing odor in your home easier.

  • Do I Need A Range Hood Conclusion
    © Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt


    A proper range hood is a simple appliance to install in your kitchen, no matter how much you cook.

    It's a great way to keep your home clean after working with heat.