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Five questions to ask before you shop for a new kitchen range hood.
BY: Laura Dye Lang
For every cooktop or range, there’s a range hood -- kitchen ventilation to remove heat, steam, odors, grease, smoke and hazardous gases that result from cooking. Here are five questions you need to ask before finding the right range hood for your kitchen.1. How will the range hood be vented?
Range hoods can expel exhaust outside via ductwork in a wall or the roof (vented) or inside the home (ventless). A vented range hood will remove more heat and pollutants and cost more -- to buy and install -- than a ventless model.
2. Where will the range hood be installed?
Updraft range hoods have a canopy and are typically installed 18 to 30 inches above the cooking surface. They can be attached to a wall, the bottom of a cabinet, or the ceiling above an island or peninsula. Downdraft models are hoodless and are typically installed behind the cooktop. More likely to be ventless, they are popular for -- though not restricted to -- islands and peninsulas.
3. What size range hood should I choose?
For downdraft vents, choose a model that is at least as wide as the cooktop. For updraft range hoods, choose a model that is deep enough to cover all the burners. Wall-mount and under-cabinet models should be at least as wide as the cooktop. Island hoods should overlap the cooktop by 3 to 6 inches on each side.
Range hood power is determined by the amount of air the appliance moves and is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). You will need at least 0.25 CFM for every cubic foot in your kitchen, plus 100 CFM for every 10,000 British thermal units (BTUs) of power generated by your cooktop or range. Round up to the nearest CFM model available.
Example: For a kitchen that is 9 feet wide, 11 feet long and 8 feet high with a 30,000 BTU range, choose a range hood with a rating of at least 498 CFM.
9 x 11 x 8 = 792 cubic feet
792 x 0.25 = 198 CFM
198 + (30,000/100) = 498 CFM
5. What are the most important features of a range hood?
Laura Dye Lang is a writer and editor who specializes in appliances, kitchens, design and entertaining topics. She has worked for many magazines, including Home, Sunset, Country Home, House Beautiful Kitchens & Baths and Bridal Guide. Laura's articles have previously appeared in Home Sweet Solutions.