How to Find the Best Range Hood Fan for Your Kitchen
Keep your kitchen clean and smelling fresh with the best range hood on the market
Kitchens are the most popular place of gathering during the holidays. Delicious meals and treats made in the kitchen satisfy the appetite of our guests and leave a memorable experience. Even though our food produces a wonderful scent while cooking, these smells could become foul after a while. As we cook, oils, grease, and other pollutants are expelled into the air and stick to everything within its range. The proper range hood ventilation system will reduce the effects of cooking byproducts and clean the kitchen air to leave your home smelling fresh.
There a many range hoods that will make your home more glamorous and stylish. Before choosing a range hood solely based on its looks, there are some technical aspects that should be considered. Each range hood has a different suction power rating, noise level, capture area, and grease filter. Different range hood styles also have an effect on the performance and overall usefulness of the range hood. For instance, island fans drop from the ceiling and hover directly over the stove top to capture the air. The island style range hoods perform differently than others due to their design. There are many things that should be considered before purchasing a range hood.
Use our guide below to help you find the best range hood for your kitchen.
What is Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM)
The first step in finding the right range hood for your kitchen is discovering how much power you need. Range hoods power ratings are measure in cubic feet per minute (CFM). The more CFM a range hood has the more air it will be able to move in a minute. The size of the stove top will also affect the amount of CFM needed. For example, a large stove top with six burners will require more CFM than a stove top that only has four burners.
As a general guide, electric stoves require 300 to 450 CFM, whereas gas stove tops need roughly 600 to 1,200 CFM. Depending on the size and style of your stove top, the amount of CFM required will increase or decrease. Finding the correct amount of CFM will maximize your range hood’s ability to cleanse the kitchen air.
How Loud Are Bathroom Fans and What Are Sones?
Many people do not think to consider the noise level of a range hood fan. If the kitchen fan is too noisy, people simply won’t use it. They would rather suffer the consequences of not using a range hood than listen to it. Do not become victim to this issue as well.
The sound levels produced by range hoods are measures in sones. Sones are the measurement of loudness to a person with normal hearing. The higher the amount of sones a fan has, the louder it will be. For instance, a fan producing 1.0 sones will be fairly silent; however, a fan with 5.0 sones will be very loud. The sones produced by a range hood can increase or decrease depending on the speed setting.
Most range hoods usually have between three and six speed settings. The lowest speed setting typically produces 3 sones. When you begin cooking, the speed setting of the range hood will need to increase which will produce a higher amount of sones. The highest speed setting usually produces around 7 sones.
A major contributor of noise during operation is the filter. Older style range hoods place a large amount of stress on the filter which causes the range hood to produce more noise. Newer styles of air filtration place less stress on the filters and generate less noise.
What Different Blower Options Are Availiable?
Fan noise is a major issue with range hoods, and any method of reducing the sound level is important. Unlike what many people think, kitchen fans do not need the blower unit within the main body for it to function properly. Traditional style range hoods have the motor and fan blade located close to stove top. Since a high powered fan is in the kitchen, the range hood will be very loud. Luckily there are other range hood options that will significantly reduce operation noise.
An alternative to traditional range hoods is to install a mid-line motor which is installed halfway down the duct. This system traps the noise generated by the motor in the upper attic spaces of your home. Even though this type of setup significantly reduces fan noise, a mid-line fan could become difficult to reach if maintenance is needed.
If you are looking for a more efficient and effective alternative, external blowers are exactly what you are looking for. External blowers are very versatile and can be mounted on any roof or exterior wall. This amount of freedom allows you to install your range hood without having to deal with problems in relation to CFM and suction power. External blowers silently extract kitchen air and remove hazardous airborne contaminants.
How High Should I Mount My Range Hood?
The mounting height of a range hood is not based on how far it is mounted from the floor, but rather how far it is from the burners on the range hood. Kitchen range hoods need to be a certain distance from the range burners in order to be completely effective.
The optimal distance from the counter top to the hood is 30 to 36 inches. Any range hood mounted higher than 36 inches will begin to notice loss of efficiency and effectiveness. However, some range hoods can be mounted at a lower height and still maintain its effectiveness. For instance, undercabinet range hoods are generally mounted lower than more expensive range hoods. Even though these range hoods a low, they still maintain their effectiveness in the kitchen.
How Much Area Does A Range Hood Capture?
Matching the size of a range hood to the stove top is critical for effectiveness. Capture area refers to the width and depth of the hood. If a hood is 3ft long and 3ft wide, the area it will be able to directly capture is a 3ft x 3ft area above the stove. As a general rule, the range hood should completely cover the back burners and most of the front burners.
Most importantly, finding the correct size and style of range hood for your kitchen will make a large difference in your home. The perfect range hood will be able to draw in hazardous airborne grease and toxic gases created while cooking and expel them through the exhaust duct.
What Different Air Filters Are There?
Range hoods don’t simply extract air from the kitchen and send it through an exhaust duct. Most range hoods have a replaceable filter system. These filters can be made out of aluminum, steel, and charcoal. Charcoal type filters need to be replaced and cannot be reused, however the other filters, such as aluminum and steel, can be cleaned and reused.
A special feature all non-charcoal filters have is that they are completely dishwasher safe. From the dirtiest filters to the partially clean, metal filters can be placed in the dishwasher to remove captured grease and grime. Once cleaned, the filter can be re-inserted and used again.
What Is the Difference Between Recirculated and Exhaust Duct Systems?
Range hoods generally have 2 types of exhaust systems. The exhaust duct system takes in the kitchen air, filters it, and expels it outside of the home. However, the recirculation system operates in a different way. The recirculation system draws in kitchen air, filters it through a carbon or charcoal filter, and then re-introduces the air back into the kitchen. This system is efficient at removing airborne grease, but it does not remove odors and toxic gases from the air.
Depending on your specific needs, either type of system will work perfectly. Ducted systems require more work, time, and money, but they are cleaner. On the other hand, air recirculation systems cleanse the air but do not completely remove all airborne toxins.