Choosing a range hood is an opportunity to create a dramatic focal point in your kitchen — or, if you go for a subtler style, a way to support the overall look of your kitchen. With the potential styles of range hoods — from oversize to barely there — nearly limitless, it’s helpful to know some basics so that you get the range hood right.
First, it’s important to remember that a range hood is a kitchen appliance, with an important job to do. Read on for a summary of what you need to know about power, noise and sizing before you pick a model. And then we’ll look at some fun range hood options to fit a variety of decor styles.
1. Reasons for a Range Hood
Questioning why you should have a range hood may seem silly, but for individuals who do not cook a lot at home or have very busy schedules, it's a legitimate design question, especially if the range hood you would like falls outside of a standard option for a range hood.
Older homes are synonymous for inefficient range hoods, and some of them don't have one at all. Changing out a range hood in a kitchen remodel may seem pricey, but it is well worth the investment. Over time, as a range hood is used in cooking, it can build up grease. This happens specifically when cooking meat based items. As the food is cooked, it releases the grease into the air and is sucked out through the fan. This grease builds up and can become a fire hazard for current and future homeowners.
2. Why Power Matters
The power of the range hood fan is essential in functionality. Range hood fans that have a higher powered motor are usually more expensive, but the difference in air quality is astounding. Each fan is rated with a CFM, or Cubic Feet per Minute. The CFM of a standard range hood fan is between 110 to 250. The larger your kitchen, the more power is necessary to suck out the unwanted air. Higher end models are usually more expensive and have a CFM of 600 CFM.
You may ask yourself, "Do I really need that much power?". The answer depends on what you cook and how often you cook. If you tend to cook very fragrant foods, or you cook bacon or sausage every Sunday morning for breakfast, then you should get a higher powered range hood fan. If you cook light dinners, and not very often, then you can get away with a less powered fan. It's important to think about how often you cook throughout the year and not just on a monthly or weekly basis. Do you host parties often? Do you host every Thanksgiving or Christmas? If the answer is yes, then you should consider a higher powered model, as the motor will also last longer.
3. Sizing the Range Hood
The size of the range hood is important because it should cover the entire cooking area. For example, if you have a 6-burner cooktop, but choose a 26"-30" standard range hood fan with a smaller motor, it will struggle to remove the smells and grease from cooking out of your home. The range hood should be centered over your cooktop area, and should be placed no higher than 30"-36" above your cooktop. The higher the power of the fan, the more space you can have between the fan and the cooktop, but it should still not exceed 36", otherwise you will compromise its efficiency. If the design of your kitchen calls for range hood that goes to a vaulted ceiling, you can buy extenders to be able to reach those heights. It's not a bad idea to have the range hood fan extend several inches over the side of the cooktop as well, should your cabinet design allow for it. One thing to keep in mind though, is that if your range hood fan is over 600CFM, your AC unit will have to be able to accommodate the uptake in air, as it will suck out the air conditioned air if kept on for too long.
Another benefit of having a properly sized, higher powered range hood fan is the noise output. Typically the lower the CFM on a fan, the more noisy it is. It makes common sense really, that you do get what you pay for when it comes to range hoods.
4. Style of Range Hood
So, the most important question of all! What style of range hood should you choose. You may have your heart set on a stand alone range hood or a copper range hood, but the cabinets you want do not mesh well. This is where having a competent designer becomes vital to your design planning. They have the experience to know what will work best with your Kitchen style.
A. Stainless Stand Alone
E. Custom Metal Range Hood
If you live in the Northern Virginia area and you’re interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page.