I think a more appropriate question would be, “how could you live without a range hood?” A range hood is highly under appreciated, and is probably the most crucial appliance in your kitchen.
It will protect you and your family from many things that you probably never even thought of. If you take a peek into your kitchen and realize you are without a range hood, here are some reasons why you should immediately change that.
- Air Quality: The primary function of a range hood is filtering harmful pollutants from the air. A range hood is designed to draw in these potentially harmful inhalants and either filter them out, or direct them out of the home.
- Carbon Monoxide: It isn’t a mistake that carbon monoxide detectors are located near the kitchen. The main sources for carbon monoxide poisoning are heating equipment, appliances and household cooking. A detector will warn you of a problem, why not stop it from happening in the first place?
- Excessive Heat: Too much heat in the kitchen is never a good thing, especially for the cook who must stand there. A range hood can not only reduce the risk of a fire, but will keep anyone from having to breathe in excess steam or smoke, which is bad for the lungs.
Let’s not forget the basic, yet just as helpful features that a range hood offers.
1. Additional lighting source
2. No more greasy film covering your kitchen
3. The added resale value a range hood adds to your home.
That is just the beginning, as there are more benefits that could be mentioned here. Furthermore, let’s not forget the added benefit of having a stylish range hood to add to the beauty and décor of your kitchen.
Range Hoods Types
When choosing a range hood for your kitchen, you don’t just have to take into consideration the brand, cost, noise level, efficiency or appearance, but also the type. In fact, this is often the most important factor, since range hoods come in a variety of different variations, each with very big differences. For the most part, the type of range hood you choose depends on the size and specifications of your cooking area.
Ducted vs ductless range hoods
First off, range hoods can be separated between ducted range hoods and ductless range hoods. Essentially, ducted just means that the hood has outward ventilation for the exhaust, while ductless means that all the air is recirculated. Obviously, the ducted type is the better choice given the harmful effects of range exhaust and we would advise every household to get this one first, if they can. In some living situations, however, it isn’t possible to ventilate kitchen exhaust outside, in which case a ductless range hood is the next best thing.
Island range hoods
Island range hoods make up a popular type as well and are fairly common. If you have a large kitchen with the range in the center and not along the wall, then you’ll need an island range hood to hang over it without touching any walls, hence the island description. It should be noted, however, that island ventilation is often more expensive to install.
Under cabinet range hoods
For those of you who have cramped spaces above your range stove, with cabinets for storing all kinds of ingredients, and kitchenware, there’s a different innovative variety: under cabinet range hoods. These hoods do exactly what the name suggests and are perfect for saving space. Some more modern models even slide-out electronically and retract when you’re finished cooking. Besed on other top kitchen hoods reviews, the under cabinet range hoods are ideal for people with small houses or appartements.
Range hood insert
If you have a custom made canopy above your range, and need a fully functional ventilation system, then a range hood insert is for you. Also known as a power pack, an insert basically refers to the process of embedding the ventilation system into a custom structure immediately above the range including a blower. A range hood liner on the other hand does not include the blower because of different installation applications. These types are just as effective as any other range hood, and sometimes better. You have the opportunity to customize your ventilation system even more with these options to better suit your needs.
Wall mount range hoods
Then we have what must be the most common type wall mount range hoods. Range hoods are usually mounted on the wall, both because the range is typically located next to the wall and because it’s often cheaper to do so.
Downdraft range hoods
Although not technically a range hood in the hood sense, downdraft ventilation is another possible way to remove kitchen exhaust from your range. Think of it as a reverse range hood, in that it’s located next to or behind your range burners and sucks exhaust down. More difficult to install and less efficient than traditional range hoods, it’s nevertheless worth mentioning.
Over the range microwave
Lastly, we have another inconspicuous type of ventilation unit, the over the range microwave variety. Similar to the under cabinet range hood, this ventilation appliance is located below a microwave, rather than just standard kitchen cabinets. For people who still want the convenience of having a microwave right above their range stove, this is the perfect type.
However, since the over the range microwave unit occupies much less space and must be integrated below the microwave appliance, it’s also far less powerful than many of the other above range hood types, including the common wall mount hood or the island range hood. Much like the under cabinet style, the microwave range hood hybrid is only suite for less powerful ranges or very cramped kitchens. Otherwise, it’s far better and often essential to go with a powerful hood with a higher CFM rating and more hood capacity.
There are of course more styles, but these are the most important and popular types of range hoods you’ll find.
Features To Compare Range Hoods
For many, when choosing a range hood their considerations are the power of its blowers, the hood size or capacity, as well as the type or design. Modern day range hoods are outfitted with so many other important features, that you need to think about also when buying one. Below is an overview of some of the most important features to look for in any range hood.
Having a lighting system in a range hood is a really important aspect to consider, since you need plenty of light to cook in the kitchen, also a hood can often block light from the ceiling. Almost all range hoods are equipped with lighting, either with incandescent or halogen lights, placed above the cooktops to provide plenty of illumination when using your range. Some hoods are even equipped with heat lamps to keep your food warm.
With the introduction of newer models, range hood manufactures have started providing their products with innovative features, such as access controls located on a digital LED display. Many hoods have this kind of digital display, which is perfect for easily choosing your desired blower setting, setting a timer, turning off the lamps, etc. Other models offer a variety of knobs and toggle switches. Depending on the style and usability of the controls, this is something you don’t want to overlook when purchasing your hood.
One of the biggest problems with any range hood is the amount of noise that it makes. When those 900 CFM blowers get switched to the highest setting, they can often sound louder than a vacuum cleaner. This is why it’s very important to look at a range hood’s noise level, measured in ‘sones’ , before buying one. The lower the sone rating, the lower the noise. One sone is about as loud as a normal refrigerator in operation, and for each additional sone things get exponentially louder; that is to say, 2 sones is twice as loud as 1 sone, 3 sones twice as loud as 2 sones, and so on.
Even though the automatic shut down feature has been introduced in other devices and appliances for a long time, it’s a relatively newcomer to ventilation systems. It’s important since it automatically shuts the range hood off, when many of us might have forgotten to do so. As a result, you save electricity, once all the exhaust has cleared. This feature isn’t provided with every range hood, but most at least include a timer, which can be used to more or less accomplish the same task.
Rather than have you adjust the fan speeds all the time, advanced range hoods do the work for you. That’s why many of them come with heat sensors, which automatically change fan speed depending on how much heat is detected and how much range exhaust is being produced. This is an excellent and useful feature that will help you concentrate on cooking and not on messing with the range hood itself.
Sure, a digital LED display is nice, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a remote. That way you can turn the device on or set the timer without even touching it. However, not all range hoods come with a remote, only certain brands offer this feature, so it’s important to check before hand, if this is a feature you like.
A timer is an essential feature for any piece of cooking equipment, range hoods included. In this case the timer comes in handy when you only want the hood to ventilate for a short while and then turn itself off automatically. You can also use it while you are cooking and it keeps your hands free and attention on the actual range itself. It is also recommended to keep your blower running for several minutes after cooking, so with this feature you can set it and forget it.
California Title 24
Beyond all the technical features, another really important requirement for any appliance or range hood is whether it meets the necessary efficiency standards. One such standard is called California Title 24, which has been established to reduce energy consumption. As far as range hoods are concerned, it basically stipulates that the hood uses a duct size greater than 4 inches and have high efficiency lamps, as well as power efficient exhaust fans. Fortunately, most new range hoods fulfill this requirement, but it can’t hurt to check with the manufacturer.
Energy Star is one of the commonly known symbols embossed on many electronic products. It is also probably one of the most admired international standards adopted by energy efficient product manufacturers. This standard first originated in the US, but later earned global recognition as an international mark of energy efficiency. Basically, if a range hood is stamped with Energy Star approval, then you can expect it to be around 20-30% more energy efficient than non-Energy Star certified hoods.
UL (Underwriters Laboratories)
Underwriters Laboratories, simply known as UL in the home appliance industry, is an independently operated safety science company recognized globally. The organization has been working towards the promotion and planning of safe living for more than a century. It’s one of the largest non-profit organizations working with the application of hazard-based safety and safety engineering along with more than 20 billion UL Marks around the world. For a range hood, a UL safety certification means the product has passed certain tests and can be determined safe to use.
With modern day, feature-filled range hoods, all of the above factors are just as important to consider as blower capacity, or type, when buying a new range hood.
Best Range Hood In The Market 2018
Broan QS230ss is a 30 inch under-cabinet range hood with stainless steel finish. This model belongs to the Broan QS230 series, which has other 4 models such as QS230ww, QS230bl, QS230aa and QS230bc. They have the same specifications and are just different in colors. Compared to the previous model Broan QS130ss, QS230ss has a unique feature of exclusive DuPont Teflon. It makes this range hood easier to clean up than QS130ss. Another difference is that this model use centrifugal blower not the axial blade. The centrifugal blower not only improves the suction performance but also lowers the hood’s noise.
- Brightness: Due to dual bright halogen bulbs, quite a few customers told they liked the illumination of QS230ss. This model has three brightness settings, which can provide you both soft light and focused high visibility. Even some customers bought QS230ss for its illumination feature.
- Fan: It also has three settings: low, medium and high. Although the fan speed at low and medium settings isn’t as powerful as at high setting, it is strong enough for general use. Most customers mentioned its functionality on high and it did move a lot of air. Customers give its excellent functionality 5 stars.
- Easy to clean: Thanks to the Teflon coating and dishwasher-safe screens, QS230ss is much easier to clean than the models of the QS130 series. It makes your washing a breeze.
- Quiet performance: The normal sones of this model could reach 0.9. So many customers told they hardly noticed of noise at the low setting. However, many customers mentioned it is a little loud on the medium and high setting.
- On medium and high setting, it is a little loud.
- Two charcoal filters are not included.
- Two halogen bulbs are not included.
- Although many customers expressed its installation is simple and easy, you need to read the instruction before installation.
- A few customers found a problem that the hood exhausted the air through the top vents. The reason why this happened was the installer didn’t install the baffle correctly. If you have the same problem, you need to read the steps 7-10 in the instruction to make sure the baffle is rotated correctly. When it is rotated correctly, you can hear a “click” sound.
- You don’t have to use halogen bulbs. If you don’t like halogen bulbs, you can use regular-based bulbs.
Range Hoods Capacity
What is hood capacity?
Sure, range hoods come in different shapes and sizes, but how do you determine how effective they are? Well, through capacity, which is the amount of air and exhaust that a hood can ventilate, generally measured in CFM, or cubic feet per minute.
Factors to consider
On average, it’s suggested that you have a range hood with around 400 CFM for a wall mount model and 600 CFM for an island type. The island type needs to work harder to capture all the range exhaust, which necessitates the higher CFM rating. Beyond just the type of range hood you have, other important factors include the size of your kitchen as well as the length of your duct work which ventilates all the exhaust outside (larger kitchen areas and extensive duct work require more ventilating power naturally). But of course the most important determinant in the actual amount of hood capacity that you need is the range itself and also your cooking habits.
If you have a large heavy duty professional range stove, but rarely plan to cook with it or turn more than one burner on at once, then you can get away with a lower capacity. But, on the other hand, if you plan on fully using your range, then you definitely need to plan ahead when selecting your hood. Usually, the more heat and power that your range offers, frequently measured in BTU, the more hood capacity you require.
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and it is a unit of measurement used to measure the amount of heat given off by your range burners. To be precise, an increase of one BTU raises the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Electric ranges, by contrast, are typically measured in watts, but it’s easy enough to convert the two units between each other for comparison purposes. This leads to the next fact, that electric ranges typically have much lower BTU ratings than gas ranges and therefore require less range hood capacity as well.
If you’re not a pro cook, and have a fairly standard 20,000 BTU range, then you can probably get away with the CFM guidelines for wall mount and island range hoods that we mentioned earlier (those with 12,000 to 16,000 BTU ranges can get away with even lower CFM). For those who are professional chefs, or want to be and want to heat their pans and boil water much faster, then they will typically need a more powerful range hood to deal with their more powerful stove. That’s where it can make sense to opt for range hoods with a CFM of 900 or higher.
Must be ASHRAE 62.2 compliant
One final consideration with hood capacity that deserves mentioning is the ASHRAE 62.2 standard. ASHRAE 62.2 is a minimal standard in the US for air quality inside your home. It consists of three different parts, the ventilation of the entire house, the local exhaust, and source control. When purchasing a range hood, it is obviously essential to ensure that it is ASHRAE 62.2 compliant. Basically any hood sizing that allows for 100 CFM and is quieter than three sones will meet the requirements. Therefore, it’s important to check before purchasing that the hood meets these requirements.
The ideal range hood capacity depends on a number of external factors, all of which you need to consider before actually going out and buying one.