Choosing The Perfect Range Hood For Your New Kitchen
Kitchen aromas smell great while you’re cooking, but not so great three days later when those smells are still hanging around your kitchen. That’s why you need a range hood kitchen ventilation system to remove those smells, along with any heat or condensation in your kitchen, too. A range hood also serves as a grease trap, too. Whether you cook only because you have to eat or you cook as a hobby, knowing about range hoods is important.
Several types of range hoods are available for your kitchen design.
The ceiling mount hood is the most recognized range hood. It is mounted from a ceiling, usually over an island. Mounting height can vary, but is usually about 3 feet above the range top.
A wall mount hood can be directly placed on any wall to line up with the top of your cabinets. There is usually a decorative cabinet built around the hood to make it less noticeable.
Some kitchens work best with an under-cabinet mount that is attached to the bottom of a cabinet. These fans typically draft downward when it’s not feasible to have the range hood overhead. Many people use these with kitchen islands also.
Now, here comes the technical part
This is certainly not as exciting as picking out cabinets or tile, but nevertheless important.
Power is key. How strong does your ventilation fan need to be? Power is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM)—the higher the CFM, the more air your fan can remove from your kitchen. The cooktop size dictates the hood size you’ll need. Electric and gas stoves have different hood requirements. Also consider how frequently you cook and how often you’ll truly be using the hood.
Capture area is also very important. The footprint of air the fan can pull in should be enough to cover your range top. Make sure it can reach those back burners. The vent and ducting design of the hood—whether it is straight or a tapered vent—comes into play here.
Lots of people have hoods they don’t use because they’re too noisy. Fan sound is measured in decibels; the higher the number, the louder the fan. Most hoods have low and high settings. A typical low setting is about the same sound level as a running refrigerator. Most kitchens can operate on a low setting, except during major cooking (or burning!) when you need that high burst of air. Range hoods have different options for where the blower is located. The loudest ones sit in the hood itself, but some options place the blower further up in the ducting to cut down on the noise.
All fans have grease filters, and you’ll want one that is easy to remove and clean. Most are stainless steel and can be wiped off, hand washed or even put into the dishwasher. Look at the filters in the appliance showroom, and take them out to make sure the hood will work for you.