Range Hoods, also called cooker hoods, have become a focal point of inspired kitchen design - here’s how to narrow down the right range hood for your unique needs
The basic range hood has achieved an elevated status over the past decade or so. From its humble origins as a restaurant safety and convenience apparatus to its present mission as both a ventilation appliance and artistic kitchen design element, more and more individuals today look at the range hood as an extension of their own design preferences and tastes. If you are considering a range hood purchase, keep the following three concepts in mind to ensure you achieve the optimum blend of performance and beauty in your home.
The CFM rating
While not all range hoods are created equally, one standardized unit of measurement that can be used to gauge the performance potential of several different hoods is the CFM, or cubic feet per minute, rating. This specification indicates the amount of air that can be moved through a particular range hood in a minute, expressed as CFM. Ventilation authority The Home Ventilation Institute (HVI) recommends no less than 40 CFM for hoods that are mounted flush with a wall, 50 CFM for those that reside above a kitchen island.
A good rule of thumb that has been adopted by HVI is to take the total BTU rating of the kitchen stove and then divide it by 100. For example, a 20,000 BTU stove would mandate a 200 CFM hood for optimal performance and safety. Another way to figure the appropriate CFM rating is to take the room volume (floor square footage times ceiling height) and divide it by 4. As long as this number is less than the CFM rating on the hood, you’ve chosen a model that will evacuate the right amount of air from the room. For example, a room that is 10’ x 15’ x 8’ equates to 1200 cubic feet. One fourth of that results in a 300 CFM minimum rating for your desired range hood. Is the hood going over an island? If so, multiply the minimum CFM rating by 1.5.
One of the more obvious considerations to make is to the overall cost of the unit. While in a perfect world we could all buy exactly what we want with no attention paid to cost, most of us have to consult our budgets when ordering a range hoods. Most reputable appliance retailers will offer simple but reliable units in the $100-$350 range, while spending more than that often results in more sophisticated designs that not only perform better, but are also more elegantly constructed to match today’s contemporary homes.
Various features will add to the cost of the unit, so consider each one carefully and determine if you can or cannot live without some or all of them. Digital controls are sleek and elegant, but they’ll add a few dollars to the base cost of the unit. More sophisticated lights will cost more, but they add serious utility and can make working in the kitchen much more enjoyable. Sensors that tell you when to replace the charcoal filter are nice, as are temperature sensors that turn on the hood when the unit detects a need. Modern manufacturing techniques translate into better features for less money today, but you’ll still want to aim for the ideal balance of form and function.
This one seems obvious, but a range hood isn’t just a “buy something that works” type of purchase. Instead, look at this as an opportunity to add a touch of elegance and utilitarian performance to your cooking area, all while creating a more inviting space that will draw accolades from visitors. When deciding on a new range hood, there are several options when it comes to the finish.
Stainless steel is a popular and cost-effective option, and it is easy to clean and delivers commercial-grade performance in many cases. Stainless can look a little utilitarian to some, so why not consider one of the more Avant Garde options available today, like copper, bronze, or antiqued brass? These finishes do require a little bit of maintenance, but they weather beautifully over time and can add a touch of rustic elegance to your space. Try to stay away from anything porous, like wood, as it can be difficult to clean these surfaces and they can absorb grease - leading to potentially off-putting smells and stains.
Selecting a new range hood for your kitchen takes a little bit of math, a touch of designer intuition, and a firm understanding of your budget. If you’re looking to replace your old, worn-out hood with a high-performance, modern design, contact the appliance and home accessory experts at AJ Madison today!