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Buying a Range Hood

In the kitchen, we want to be confronted by the tempting smells of food, not the build-up of oils, smoke and odors. For stoves that see a lot of use, a range hood is the ideal solution. Range hoods not only filter grease, heat and impurities from the air, but can also become a statement piece in your kitchen. When shopping for a range hood for your home, there are several styles and features to consider.

Wall-mount Range Hood

Installation Considerations

The first step in choosing a range hood is deciding on the location in your kitchen. For the most efficient ventilation, choose a place in your kitchen where the shortest amount of ducting is necessary for proper ventilation and 90-degree bends are limited to no more than two. If you select a ducted unit, the exhaust should always be directed to the outside, never to a basement or attic. When deciding the size of your range hood, first measure your existing or desired cooktop. The hood should be at least as wide as the range or cooktop itself.

Range Hood Styles

There are several optional styles of range hoods to consider before you purchase. Wall-mount range hoods attach directly to the wall of the kitchen. They have a decorative flue that mounts flush with the ceiling or cabinets and is finished on three of the four sides to conceal exhaust piping. Many wall-mount range hoods have telescoping flues to accommodate most ceiling or cabinet heights. These range hoods duct straight up for a roof exhaust, or up then horizontally for a side exhaust. [image:

Island-mount range hoods are an easy upgrade to your kitchen. These hoods hang from the ceiling directly over an island or peninsula. Many island-mount range hoods have a telescoping flue that is finished on all sides. Ducting is similar to wall-mount, and may be hung higher to avoid blocking views of the kitchen.

To accommodate for mounting further away from the cooktop, choose a range hood that is 3” longer than the size of your range on both sides. For example, a 30” range should have a 36” hood. Under-cabinet range hoods are best installed against a wall and under a small kitchen cabinet. This versatile range hood may duct out of the back or straight up through the cabinet. These range hoods are great for saving space in the kitchen, while the cabinet above also adds convenient storage.

Materials and Colors

Choosing a material and color for your range hood is a great way to express your personal style and choose the perfect accent piece for your kitchen. A copper range hood can add a stunning, designer look to your kitchen while traditional stainless steel range hoods bring a contemporary feel to the room. Range hoods are also available with a black or white powdercoat, to coordinate with your kitchen.

Range Hood Features

Many range hoods feature two or more halogen lights to evenly illuminate the range, making it easier to see while cooking. Some range hoods offer a dimming feature for the lights, which can be also used as a nightlight for your kitchen. CFM or cubic feet per minute measures the volume of air passing through your range hood. This number is measured when the hood is running at full speed and at zero pressure.

Many installation issues may reduce a range hood's CFM, so try to minimize the distance to the outside of the home and number of bends in the duct. Gas stovetops, by design, produce more heat and therefore should be paired with a range hood with a higher CFM.

Range hoods feature several types of filtration such as aluminum, charcoal or residue cups. A popular filter, aluminum mesh combines durability and dust, grease and particle-trapping capabilities into one. Many aluminum filters are dishwasher safe and easily removed for cleaning. Charcoal filters are for recirculating systems and clean and eliminate chemicals in the air. Known for trapping carbon-based impurities, this type of filter minimizes cooking odor and traps grease. These filters should be replaced annually.

Residue cups collect waste oil and prevent air that contains oil from polluting the ventilation system or the kitchen. Ideal for those who use a lot of oil while cooking, residue cups are removable and provide for easy cleaning. Grease particles collect on the stainless steel U-shaped baffle channels and drip down into the bottom of the filter. Examine this type of filter periodically for assure that all surfaces and parts are clean. These filters can be easily washed with hot, soapy water.


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