Next to blowers, filters are also another vital component of any range hood. These filters capture much of the grease, smoke and other contaminants from any range exhaust and prevents them from clogging up your ventilation ducting. Of course, this also means that they get dirty and have to be cleaned regularly. Not all filters are the same either, and we’ve listed some of the benefits and advantages for the most popular filter types and materials.

Aluminum Mesh

Aluminum Mesh is one of the most popular types of filters at present. Companies value the durability of aluminum mesh, as well as its dust, grease, and particle-trapping capabilities. But the best part is that these meshes can be slid into multi-layered aluminum sheets then staggered and expanded with several dirt and dust holding baffles for extra effectiveness. In other words, they can be easily layered on top of each other and are therefore some of the best at capturing contaminants.

Stainless Steel Mesh

If you plan on doing some major cooking, using all your range burners and producing massive heat, then it’s recommended to use stainless steel mesh. This kind is produced with high quality metal, which provides excellent resistance against alkali, corrosion, acid and heat. However, it also depends on the quality you choose, as stainless steel mesh is constructed with four types of metal ranging from Type 304, Type 304 L, Type 316 and Type 316 L. This kind is best for heavy duty cooking.

Charcoal Filters

Charcoal filters are for recirculating systems and is considered best for cleaning and eliminating chemicals like nitrates, sodium and their reactions. Since these filters with charcoal are known to trap carbon-based impurities. It is also considered one of the best filters available for minimizing cooking odor and keeping the kitchen clean and tidy by capturing grease. However, it does come with its disadvantages, since you’ll need to change the filter about every 9-10 months, after all the bonded sites are filled.

Baffle filters

As the name implies, baffle filters use baffles and curves, rather than mesh, to extract grease and other contaminants from any range smoke. They are very effective, with companies claiming their baffle type filters capture 90% of all grease. They do look more stylish with their single piece of metal form. This type of filter is what is used in most professional style kitchens. Baffle filter systems are made of high grade stainless steel, and are easily removed for cleaning. They can be placed in the dishwasher for super easy cleaning. It is no wonder why these filters are considered the best filter option. The downside is that not every range hood is made to accept baffle style filters.

Baskets

Baskets, also know as basket shaped filters, can be used in both ducted, as well as ductless hoods. These filters are called baskets, since they are designed in a basket shape to provide additional space for an increased filter area, along with extra space for the blades of the fan. The baskets can be removed conveniently and washed often, which is another one of their strengths.

Oil cup

Some hoods are fitted with cups to accumulate all the collected waste oil and help the filters to purify the air, without allowing any air containing oil content to pollute your ventilation system or kitchen. These filters are specifically designed for those who like cooking food with a lot of oil. The oil cup filters collect the oil in to a cup and also make it easy to clean whenever required.

Each one of the filters we’ve discussed have their own strengths and advantages. For instance, the charcoal type is best for clean air, but requires a lot of maintenance, while the oil cup is a good idea for any intensive cooking involving oil. With that said, aluminum mesh filters are the most popular, but baffle filters are the best according to professional chefs since they provide the most reliable and high performance service over the long run. Stainless steel mesh filters are more effective than their aluminum counterparts, but they’re also more expensive as well. As always, be sure to consider the above points before selecting a range hood filter.