Top Tips for Selecting a Range Hood

While today’s kitchens are multi-purpose living spaces, cooking and food are still firmly at the center of kitchen activity.  The range hood performs a critical function for safety and cleanliness by capturing smoke, odors, grease, and humidity at the source, keeping them out of the air and away from your cabinets and appliances.  There are many types of range hoods to suit all budgets, kitchen layouts, and styles, so your focus should be on finding the right one to suit your kitchen renovation. 

Before you begin searching for the perfect range hood to complement your design, there are a few practical criteria to consider.

How often do you cook? Are you an avid chef, using your range on a daily (or maybe hourly!) basis?  Or, do you search for the instruction manual on the rare occasions you cook for friends at home?  How often you cook and the size of range you need will help determine what type of ventilation you require.  Range hoods are measured in terms of size and strength and it is important that you select a hood that fits the job.  The hood must cover a minimum portion of the range, and strength is quantified in the amount of air it moves, or cubic feet per minute (CFMs).  Your kitchen design professional can help you determine which specifications meet your requirements.

What is your available space? What size is your kitchen and where do you intend to locate your range?  The location of your range will influence the types of range hoods available to meet your needs.  For example, if your range will be located in the kitchen island, then a ceiling-mounted island hood is required.  Also, if you have more space, then you have greater scope to install a centerpiece hood that is a style statement in your kitchen design.

Can you use ducted or non-ducted?  The ideal solution to removing unwanted elements from your kitchen is a ducted hood as they are exhausted outside the house, while a non-ducted hood filters and then re-circulates air back into the kitchen.  Both solutions will achieve acceptable results, but a ducted model is much more effective at removing all grease, odors, and humidity from the kitchen.  Which one you select depends in large part on the kitchen layout and budget.

What is your design budget?  Just like there are a wide range of vehicles that will get you from point A to point B, there are an array of range hoods that will remove unwanted elements from your kitchen.  What you get depends on how much you want to pay.  More expensive hoods tend to be quieter, stronger, ducted models, and spending more money may get you digital controls with variable speed fans. 

Once you have made these key decisions, you can determine which type of hood best fits your kitchen remodeling project.  Here are the main categories of range hoods to choose from:

The under-cabinet model is exactly as it sounds: a range hood attached underneath the kitchen cabinets.  The non-ducted model tends to be at the lower end of the price spectrum, while the ducted version of this hood is generally more effective.

A wall-mounted hood is a mid-range model that is installed against the wall and is often a chimney shaped hood, like the one in this design.

Ceiling-mounted hoods are a typically higher-end chimney style model that is suspended from the ceiling over an island range.  Their dramatic positioning and shape create an eye-catching centerpiece in your kitchen layout, like the design pictured here.

Custom built hoods are another higher-range option that turns a practical appliance into a design statement.  The custom-designed hood can be built to order to blend in with your cabinetry like the one pictured below left, or incorporated into other materials like the beautiful stone accent wall and custom niche that houses the range and hood pictured below right.

The hood can also be custom built out of a different material to create a focal point, like this custom-designed wood range hood. 

Contact us today to find out more about how to select the right range hood for your new kitchen, or visit our kitchen design gallery here to see more hood styles.