Range Hood Ventilation Buying Guide of 2023

Buying a new range hood?

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A busy kitchen is often filled with the aromas of a home-cooked meal. While these smells are welcoming, the lingering odors, grease, steam, and smoke from cooking will need to be properly removed from the room. A range hood is required for proper ventilation, but considering the style of range hoods available today, it is also an important design choice in the kitchen too! A range hood can be the kitchen focal point, making its own design statement, and bringing excitement to your kitchen or a range hood can be integrated with your cabinetry to showcase your own design in your social setting.

Installation Types

Why You Should Have Ventilation

A kitchen range hood will help provide proper ventilation that is critical in improving indoor air quality and ensuring a healthy environment in your home. It can be as significant of an investment as your cabinetry, flooring, walls and countertops. A range hood protects and prolongs the life of this investment by keeping contaminants off these surfaces.

Hood Size And Measurements

Width & Depth of Your Hood

It is important to choose a ventilation system to match or exceed your range or cooktop’s requirements.

Hoods come in standard widths of 24”, 30”, 36”, 42”, 48”, 54” and 60”. Specialty hoods can span up to 66” and 70”. The width of the vent hood should be as wide as your range or cooktop for maximum performance. Hood depths vary from 12” for inserts and up to 25” for professional range hoods. Width and depth selection varies by type of cooking.

Range Hood Options

Get the Right Look For Your Kitchen


Pulls air down through vents built flush with the cooktop or, more commonly, built into the back of it. Air is drawn down through ducting and exhausted to the outside. They typically rise above the stove when cooking and retract into the counter when switched off.

Downdraft Hoods


Designs include chimney and pro-style range hoods mounted on the wall or an island.

Canopy Range Hoods

Insert Range Hood

Hidden in your cabinetry or custom décor and can be mounted on a wall or island.

Insert Range Hoods

Standard Range Hood

Basic, low profile standard range hood that mounts under an upper cabinet when cabinet space is needed.

Standard Range Hoods

Slide-Out Range Hood

Installs in your cabinet and slides in for integration and out when you cook.

Slide-Out Range Hoods

Ducting vs. Recirculation

Ducting a range hood to the outside is generally recommended. If exhausting air to the outside of the home is impossible or impractical, duct-free, or re-circulating hoods, work to bring filtered air back into the kitchen. Recirculating hoods require regular filter changes to maximize performance.

In all cases, ducting runs through the hood’s chimney or the kitchen’s cabinetry where it is either ducted to the outside or re-circulated back into the kitchen.

It is important to keep ductwork as short and straight as possible. If an elbow needs to be used it should begin as far away from the hood duct exit, and never have two elbows back to back. Use smooth, metal ductwork that is the same or has a larger diameter as the hood duct exit. Maintain at least the same duct size through the entire duct run. Do not reduce the duct size as this restricts airflow and range hood performance.

Wall Mount Range Hood

Finished on 3 sides and attaches to the wall directly above the cooking area.

Wall Mount Range Hoods

Island Mount Range Hood

Finished on 4 sides and suspended from the ceiling above the cooking area.

Island Mount Range Hoods

Under-Cabinet Mount Range Hood

Attaches under a cabinet directly above the cooking area.

Under-Cabinet Mount Range Hoods

Important Installation Requirements

Ventilation Performance

Performance, or the power of the blower, is measured by how many cubic feet of air is moved per minute – known as CFMs. The Home Ventilating Institute recommends a ventilation rate of 100 CFM for every linear foot of cooking surface. So, if you have a 3-foot range, you need a range hood with at least a rating of 300 CFMs.

With proper ducting or recirculation, lower CFM levels may be acceptable. For gas ranges, a suggestion is to have 1 CFM for every 100 BTUs. So a 60,000 BTU range should have a range hood above it with 600 CFM. With proper ducting, a 600 CFM blower can be used up to 75,000 BTUs.

Type of Blower

Range hood blowers can be located internally, remotely or in your ducting. Most range hoods typically use squirrel cage blowers with AC or DC motors. Traditional models may also use fans. Hoods typically have an internal blower installed directly in the hood. Quieter options are an in-line blower within the ducting, or a remote blower installed at the exterior of your home for the ultimate in quiet performance.

Sound Level

Another important consideration for selecting vent hoods is the noise produced by the blower or fan system. Vent noise level is measured in sones. 1 sone is roughly equal to the sound of a refrigerator running. Sone levels vary by model and are generally higher with higher CFM range hoods.

Ceiling Height

Out of the box, most canopy range hoods can accommodate ceiling heights between 8’ and 10’. Many hoods have high ceiling kits to reach higher ceilings. For low ceilings, chimneys can be cut.

Mounting Height

It is recommended that standard hoods be installed 18” to 24” above an electric cooking surface, and 24” to 30” above standard gas cooking. A hood should be 30” above high BTU gas cooking.

Make-up Air

In certain locations, building codes require “make-up air” to bring fresh air back into the home to stabilize air pressure. Lower CFM range hoods or airflow reducers, which take less air out of the home, are possible solutions. Make-up air kits/systems are also alternatives. Check your local building codes for your exact requirements.

Ventilation Style and Design

Combine Kitchen Design With Your Cooking Habits


High BTU Gas (75,000 total BTUs and above).

If you are a serious cook who loves to entertain, and you have higher BTU gas cooking, you may require hoods with more performance to remove smoke and odors. Updraft hoods with higher power levels starting at 600 CFM, whether they be pro-style range hoods, chimney, slim profile or inserts, are the right solution.


Standard BTU Gas (Under 75,000 BTUs) OR Electric/Induction.

If your kitchen is the ultimate in modern design, or if you enjoy eating out and cooking occasionally, less powerful hoods starting at 350 CFM will work well with electric, induction and lower BTU gas cooking. Range hoods can add excitement to your kitchen setting.


Standard BTU Gas (Under 75,000 BTUs).

If you have a traditional approach to family cooking and entertaining, the range hood plays an important function. Under-cabinet range hoods are a good solution, as well as canopy range hoods and insert designs with more moderate performance levels starting at 250 CFM.

Range Hood Features


Mechanical vs. electronic, multi-level vs. variable speed


Incandescent, fluorescent, halogen, LED, single or multi-level

Grease Filters

Baffle, stainless steel, mesh, restaurant-style - usually dishwasher safe

Special Features

Heat sensor, auto on/off, delay timer, clean filter indicator, perimeter extraction, sound dampening technology, safety lockout, power boost, direct rear venting, remote controls