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Do You Really Need a Range Hood? 

The simple – qualified – answer to “do you really need a range hood?” is yes. To fully understand why, you need to understand what they do. 

What is a Range Hood? 

This definition comes from the Whirlpool website: “A range hood, also known as a vent hood or kitchen hood, is an appliance typically mounted above ranges or cooktops that helps to capture, filter or vent out cooking grease and steam above your cooking surface.” Thankfully they also help to remove cooking odors and smoke!  

The yes is qualified because, unless required by code, you don’t necessarily need one. But you definitely want one! Without a range hood, moisture, smoke and grease affect your indoor air quality. They also get deposited on everything in your home – walls, ceilings, woodwork, appliances, window coverings – you get the idea! 

Some Helpful Terminology 

 These are a few terms that are crucial to understanding the descriptions of range hoods: 

  1. CFM: Cubic Feet per Minute. Refers to the volume of air moved through the system. 
  2. Ductless: Air is pulled through a charcoal filter and vented back into the room. 
  3. Make up air: Air that replaces vented air; fresh air pulled into a system that heats/cools it before releasing into the house. Required when vent systems – in this case range hoods but may be a combination of appliances – move a high volume of air from the home, creating an imbalance.    

There are many more so we’ve included a link to a glossary at the end of this article. 

Factors Affecting Your Choice Range Hoods 

A range hood can be a surprisingly complex decision.  Here is a list of basic questions to ask, the answers to which determine what size you need, as well as some of the features:  

  1. What is the size and layout of the room? 
  2. Will it vent to the outside through duct work? If there is no access to the outside through a wall or the ceiling/roof, you will need a ductless model. 
  3. What size is the stove? This question is multi-faceted. How wide is the stove, gas or electric, how many BTUs are the burners? What kind of cooking do you do? Frying, searing, and other types of high heat cooking as well as styles that produce a lot of steam may require a more powerful range hood. In some cases, an extremely powerful range hood requires some form of make-up air. 
  4. Will it be mounted on the wall, be attached to a cabinet over the stove, or come down from the ceiling?  
  5. Last but not least, are there code requirements for your location? 

Especially in a full kitchen remodel, it’s important to have asked and answered the basic questions. This is an appliance not unlike the others in the kitchen. It can be a substantial investment, but also a statement. The mechanical, working parts can be housed in a wide variety of materials in an equally wide array of styles.  

Putting this all together to make the correct choice for your circumstances can be daunting. Choosing a highly qualified kitchen designer for your remodel removes the stress and leaves you with the excitement of designing a beautiful space for cooking and entertaining.  

 Range Hood Glossary 

 How to Get Your Range Hood Right? 

 7 Considerations for Choosing a Range Hood  

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