Having a proper Range Hood when cooking is extremely important, especially when dealing with gas ranges. Range hoods effectively vent smoke, fumes, and all that vapor which results when cooking with high heat.
In this article, we are going through in-depth why it’s important to have a range hood and what would happen if you wouldn’t use one, how to choose a range hood for your needs, and the Best Range Hoods for those situations.
Before we go into the recommended range hoods, let’s refresh your memory on why you should definitely use one.
How Important Is a Range Hood
While a range hood can easily blend into the overall look of the kitchen and draw little to no attention, it is actually one of the most important appliances within the whole kitchen. You probably know the sight when you throw a ton of ingredients into a burning hot pan or boil a large batch of potatoes, those fumes need to go somewhere and if not, you would have big health, comfort, and hygiene problem. Let’s take a look at the different factors that range hoods make better.
1. Air Quality
The biggest and most important task that a range hood has is without question the air quality. When cooking, all kinds of fumes, steam and odors are realized and hoods do a good job removing or circulating them, therefore you have a lot easier time breathing which is difficult enough in a small, high temperature, and a busy kitchen.
There will be many more problems than breathing if a hood isn’t used such as eye and nose irritation and it can eventually start affecting your skin.
There are so many odors and smells released in the kitchen, therefore a range hood is essential to keep them at a minimum, especially with gas stoves. In addition to the worse smell of gas stoves, if there would be a leak a hood fan will greatly reduce the gas effect that could be harmful to your health.
Also, anybody that has worked in a kitchen knows that the food odor can stick with you long after working hours and you wouldn’t probably want to smell like a walking hamburger where ever you go.
The kitchen isn’t the most comfortable place to work due to the high temperatures, smoke, and odors. Range hoods will increase the working environment’s comfort which is really important and I can’t stress it enough. If you’re spending a big chunk of your day cooking it’s important to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
Now, this is a really important part. Imagine years of frying, boiling, and cooking without a range hood and all those fumes will go up straight to your ceiling. The effects could be catastrophic to your business or home if you start to see your ceiling falling off or turning black or brown from the fumes. This could also form mold due to the evaporating water from boiling.
As we proceed in the list it is probably clear that all those pollutants aren’t some magical health mist but right the opposite. When breathing water vapor, cooking fumes, and grease through the year will eventually lead to serious health issues without forgetting the skin problems if you spend most of your day covered in smoke and pollutants.
6. Value & Style
A quality range hood isn’t only practical and necessary, it can also be a big part of decor that could bring your restaurant’s and home’s value up. The kitchen is one of the most examined part of the home and if that looks great and is equipped with a proper hood vent, it will greatly increase the look and value of your home.
Now that we are up to date on why a range hood is important and what could happen if you don’t use one, it’s time to review the different aspects of how to choose a range hood for specific needs because let’s face it, a range hood isn’t the easiest appliance to choose.
How To Choose A Range Hood
There are a couple of things that you need to know before choosing the right range hood for you and those aspects should be carefully examined. Let’s see what’s important.
Ducted Or Duct-Free
In other words, vented or circulating range hoods have one great difference that needs to be thought of well and we do not recommend duct-free (circulating) range hood to any commercial kitchen here’s why.
If the range hood is duct-free it doesn’t get rid of all those pollutants but it circulates them through filters and blows them back to the working environment. Nonetheless, duct-fee range hoods are a way better option than no range hood at all and these will work just fine in homes if you don’t cook all the time.
For commercial businesses, a ducted (vented) range hood is a necessity because of the non-stop volume of pollutants, odors, and smokes which needs to get out because no duct-free range hood can effectively circulate that much smoke.
However, ducted hoods are more expensive and more difficult to install which is totally worth the cost and effort for restaurants, and should probably be installed with professional help.
There are many different types of range hoods in addition to the two different function types, let’s see what types are out there!
Convertible range hoods offer both ducted and non-ducted functions which can be beneficial when the outside temperatures are freezing because a ducted hood replaces the vented air with outside air. Convertible hoods are a great choice for countries that have huge seasonality changes to temperatures.
Under Cabinet range hoods are installed under the kitchen’s upper cabinets as the name can suggest. This design allows it to fit into smaller spaces and usually haves ductless functions so they are really easy to assemble and won’t need professional assistance with it. There are also many convertible under cabinet range hoods that are a great choice for commercial use.
Wall Mount range hoods are easy to spot from a room because of their size and recognizable design. Wall mount hoods are nearly always ducted and are favored by commercial kitchens and homes with the need for them. These range hoods usually need professional installation.
Island Mount range hoods are my favorite design for homes if the home has an island kitchen countertop of course. We have a visual example and review of one below so if you aren’t familiar with island mounts you should check it out. These range hoods look like wall mounts but are installed right above a countertop to the ceiling.
Island mount hoods are usually ducted however they don’t have nearly as much suction power as wall mounts and the installation should be thought extra carefully because It doesn’t have a wall to support it, only the ceiling.
Downdraft vent system isn’t anything like the ones above because it sucks the fumes downwards near the range and pushes the air below the countertop. These aren’t used in commercial kitchens or any other spaces than with island countertops, or at least shouldn’t be used. Hot air naturally rises up and downdraft vents need to have a big suction power in the order for it to even work. However, this could be a good choice for an island countertop if an island range hood isn’t an option.
The size of the installed range hood needs to be seriously considered. A great rule of thumb is that the hood should be at least as wide as the range itself in order to get the fumes and pollutants effectively however, it certainly won’t hurt if the hood is a little wider because smoke doesn’t exactly have a straight line up.
CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute)
CFM means the suction power of the range hood and when it is an important factor, I wouldn’t stress about it too much because the size and type will greatly determine how effectively the fumes will actually get sucked. However, you shouldn’t get a low CFM range hood either and in general, more is better than less in this situation. You should generally have at least 400 CFM when considering a vented range hood.
With these 4 things in mind, you should confidently be able to choose the right range hood for your needs. We have listed our recommendations for quick examination below but you can see full reviews below the quick select list.
- Best Overall: Fotile 30” Under Cabinet/Wall Mount Range Hood
- Best Budget: Broan-NuTone 30” Under Cabinet Range Hood
- Best For Industrial Use: Sun Air Commercial Exhaust Hood
- Best For Large Coverage: Zline 48” Wall Mount Range Hood
- Best Low Profile: Kobe Rax 30” Under Cabinet Range Hood
- Best Auto Cleaning: Hauslane 30” Pro Performance Auto Clean Range Hood
- Best For Kitchen Island: Cosmo 30” Island Mount Range Hood
- Best For Food Truck: Captive-Air Trailer Mobile Low Profile Exhaust Hood
- Best Looks: Akdy 30” Wall Mount Embossed Copper Range Hood
Best Overall: Fotile 30” Under Cabinet/Wall Mount Range Hood
We chose the Fotile 30” as the best overall for a couple of reasons. First, you can either install this range hood under a cabinet or on a wall that opens so much more doors. Also, it is a ducted (ventilation) model so your fumes will get out effectively.
This range hood is equipped with a 90° open hatch and dual motors which ensures maximum fume sucking capacity! This appliance reduces produced odors by 98% and grease & fumes by 92%! These are really good numbers!
Featured with 3-speed settings, 2 LED lights, mechanical buttons with memory functions of your preferred settings, and super easy to clean grease tray and filters!
The best part is that this range hood covers 6ft² of space and will get the pollutants easily from that area, therefore it’s suited for all the usual sized ranges and if the stainless steel outlook doesn’t please you it also comes as Onyx Black.
We highly recommend this hood for commercial or home kitchens that needs a variable ventilation system with many options and amazing suction power!
Best Budget: Broan-NuTone 30” Under Cabinet Range Hood
If you’re looking for a range hood with extremely affordable prices, amazing reviews, and relatively powerful functions, you will need to take a closer look at this hood.
This stainless steel range hood is actually a convertible hood which you certainly wouldn’t expect from this priced appliance. However, if you want to use this hood as a non-ducted you will need to get the Filter separately.
Featured with 2-speed options, dishwasher safe removable grease tray, lighting, compact size, and the operating power of 190 CFM which is a great choice for casual home use, however, for commercial kitchens, this one isn’t just quite enough.
The best part about this range hood is that you can install it in nearly any way because it is designed with four-way convertibility. In addition, the fan is extremely quiet and it operates at only 55 decibels. By the way, there are 11 color options and 4 size choices for this model.
We highly recommend this range hood for any home that needs an amazing range hood with a great price-quality ratio and low noise for peaceful cooking moments.
Best For Industrial Use: Sun Air Commercial Exhaust Hood
In commercial kitchens, the needs are a little bit different and more demanding so if you are looking for an exhaust hood for that purpose, your time will be well spent when reading about Sun Air’s commercial hood.
This industrial exhaust hood is ETL approved for US and Canada safety standards and meets all the code requirements as well. Also, you are pleased to hear that this hood is made from 430 stainless steel which ensures high corrosion resistance and extreme temperature endurance as well. In fact, this hood can withstand 600 degrees (315°C) so you can use all the griddles, ranges, fryers, and ovens without a second thought.
Featured with stainless steel baffle filters, insulated double wall panels, and superior exhaust rates will make this exhaust hood the perfect choice for any industrial kitchen! Also, this hood comes with 9 size choices!
We highly recommend this exhaust hood for any commercial restaurant’s kitchen that requires reliable, powerful, and long-lasting function.
Best For Large Coverage: Zline 48” Wall Mount Range Hood
When a smaller range good won’t just cut it then it’s time to move focus to the larger ones and I proudly represent Zline’s 48” wall mount range hood!
This ducted hood is equipped with 4-speed options which are included with a timer and automatic shut-off and you can use this as a duct-free as well by simply installing the charcoal filters that come with the hood.
Also included with blower and fan already installed so the installation process is a breeze and with the 760 CFM and 48-inch size the fumes can’t fight with this range hood!
The best part about this range hood in addition to the size and power is the material. Constructed from 430 stainless steel this is highly corrosion and heat resistant so it’ll work with any range plus operating this hood is quiet and will save you from a lot of headaches! Without forgetting this hood has 4 different size choices alongside 7 styles!
We highly recommend this for those who have a larger range and need the size with powerful suction power and durable construction!
Best Low Profile: Kobe Rax 30” Under Cabinet Range Hood
If you are looking for a small range hood with really powerful functions then Kobe Rax 30” will assist you with that and that’s for sure!
Constructed from commercial-grade stainless steel with a satin finish will give this hood a beautiful look alongside absolute durability and long life years.
This will blow your mind because you wouldn’t expect these specs from a slim hood like this. This range hood will operate at 750 CFM and the noise is around 40 decibels! That combination isn’t usually found especially from ducted hoods.
Other perks are two LED lights, easy to clean and install design, 3-speed settings (low, medium, high), and such a strong exhaust when the high setting is used that your neighbors will smell your delicious meals for sure! This hood has 3 different size choices as well.
We highly recommend this range hood for those that have limited space or just want a slender and casual hood with unbelievable power!
Best Auto Cleaning: Hauslane 30” Pro Performance Auto Clean Range Hood
This range hood will clean itself, you heard me right! But that’s not certainly the only incredible feature because there’s so much to this under-counter hood that you wouldn’t believe.
This innovative hood has an auto-clean function which turns water into steam that will dissolve cold grease and when that is done water will be sprayed to get the hood completely clean from that greasy steam.
Equipped with a touch control panel with a digital clock so you can keep your cooking times on point. You can also select the speed from the 6 options that it is included and turn on the LED lights for optimal cooking pleasure.
Another amazing feature is that this range hood truly is low maintenance. In addition to the auto-clean function, you can effortlessly clean the filters by simply removing the panel and wipe. This hood has 2 models, one with a baffle filter and one with a panel filter.
We recommend this low-maintenance range hood for homes that want a versatile hood with minimal cleaning and a modern user experience.
Best For Kitchen Island: Cosmo 30” Island Mount Range Hood
Kitchen island hoods are truly exceptional because they aren’t the usual sight in any kitchen and especially this European-designed island range hood will blow your mind.
This hood has an efficient airflow of 380 CFM and with the 3-speed options, you can choose the best one for that specific situation. Therefore this hood will take care of any cooking task that a home could have.
Equipped with 4 energy-efficient LED lights with high lumen lighting so you can see better at night, also the durable easy-to-clean filters can simply be placed in a dishwasher! Also, the modern design offers an LCD touch screen with a digital clock!
The best part about this island hood besides the beautiful design and powerful airflow is the material- Constructed from high-quality stainless steel this appliance will stick with you for years and the manufacturer offers a huge 5-year warranty on top of that!
We recommend this beautiful hood for anyone with an island countertop that is looking for the best range hood for that purpose.
Best For Food Truck: Captive-Air 4′ Trailer Mobile Low Profile Exhaust Hood
Thinking about starting a food truck or already have one that needs a little updating? Captive-Air’s exhaust hood will keep the truck’s air fresh at all times!
This ETL-approved exhaust hood is specially designed for industrial food truck businesses and that shows. This hood will endure 600°F(315°C) temperatures so cooking all day with your grill or range won’t harm this appliance!
Additional perks are the removable stainless steel filters, easy to clean grease cup, installation hardware, and incredibly durable construction material which is 430 stainless steel! 430 stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion and heat so it is the perfect choice for commercial use and food trucks.
This exhaust hood is 4′ long and is included with two hood filters, however, the same model comes with 7 different size options and the largest is 10′ long with 7 hood filters! Therefore Captive-Air has any kind of a truck covered!
We highly recommend this exhaust hood for food trucks that need to keep the air fresh and interior comfortable at all times.
Best Looks: Akdy 30” Wall Mount Embossed Copper Range Hood
Looking for a distinctive range hood with an exceptional design far from the steel ones which are 95% of the market? Well, check out this Akdy’s wall mount range hood!
This retro-styled hood isn’t just beautiful but is packed with great perks! This hood has 3-speed levels to choose from and even when using the highest speed, the volume won’t exceed 60db!
It is also included with LED lights for an optimal cooking experience and a baffle filter that can be easily removed and washed in the dishwasher! No need to get your hands grease and handle rough chemicals.
This copper-colored hood has an airflow of 343 CFM so it will perform well from any tasks at home, however, this isn’t an industrial exhaust hood so keep that in mind.
Thanks to the wall mounting and ducted function your home’s air will forever remain fresh and odor-free! This hood comes with a light brown color option as well!
We highly recommend this hood for any home that wants to stand out from the crowd without any need to bargain for quality and efficiency.
With our educating range hood guide and recommended hoods you should be able to find one for your needs without problems. If you don’t already have a range hood and are cooking without one you shouldn’t stop because it will eventually seriously damage your health and kitchen. Keep the air flowing and you’ll be just fine!