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What Type of Kitchen Hood Vent Do I Need?

A kitchen hood vent keeps the air in your kitchen clean and safe to breathe. In the market for a new one? We have tips to help you choose the right vent.

Nothing tastes better than a home-cooked meal – but that doesn’t mean your house should smell like that meal long-term. Without a functioning kitchen hood vent, your home may end up smelling like smoke, grease and yesterday's leftovers. Installing a new vent or replacing an existing one will keep the air fresh and clean. Wonder which hood vent is best for your needs? Read on to learn about the various types of kitchen vents available.

Understanding the Different Kitchen Vent Types

There are several different kitchen vent types available. But before you run out and buy one, you'll want to consider how each model will vent the air. Here are the most common vent categories:

  • Vented Hoods: If you want to remove odors from your kitchen entirely, a vented, or ducted hood may be the best choice. Vented hoods rely on updraft ventilation to circulate air. These hoods use a fan to vent smoke and odors to the outside, leaving your kitchen smelling fresh.
  • Downdraft Hoods: What if you don't want to give up valuable cabinet space to install a hood vent? A downdraft hood may be a great compromise. This style resides behind the cooktop instead of above it. These hoods are low-profile, and some telescopic models hide from view when not in use. Downdraft hoods suck fumes out of the air and expel odors out of a duct.
  • Duct-Free Hoods: Duct-free hoods (or recirculating hoods) are typically more affordable than downdraft or vented hoods. In addition, no-vent hoods are ideal for smaller kitchens and require less preparation to install.

Do Kitchen Hoods Have to Vent Outside?

Do kitchen hoods have to vent outside? No, they don’t. Kitchen extractor hoods without vents simply filter and recirculate indoor air. Duct-free hoods have enhanced filtration systems, designed to remove odors from the air before it is recirculated in the home. Unlike a ducted hood, duct-free hoods do not remove hot air from a kitchen, meaning less temperature control. Consider your options carefully, before selecting a new kitchen hood.

Which Kitchen Hood Vent Type is Best?

Which of these options is best? The answer depends on your needs and budget. They all help control odors, but duct-free hoods recirculate air and don't control heat or humidity. Vented hoods, on the other hand, effectively remove grease particles and steam from the room. If you don't already have a duct in your kitchen wall or ceiling, installing a vented model may be cost-prohibitive. In this instance, a cheaper non-vented hood may be a better choice. But keep in mind, with a non-vented hood, you'll need to replace the filter two to four times a year.

Before installing a new hood, remember, The National Electrical Code requires a dedicated circuit for kitchen vent hoods. If you need a dedicated circuit installed, our friends at Mr. Electric® can help.

A Closer Look at the Different Hood Styles

Once you determine if a vented, duct-free or downdraft hood is best for your cooking needs, you'll need to select a kitchen hood vent style. Consider these options:

  • Under-cabinet Hoods: The most commonly installed hood vents are under-cabinet hoods. This type attaches to the cabinet above the range, and both are available in vented and non-vented models. Under-cabinet hoods have a competitive price point.
  • Wall Chimney Hoods: If you want your kitchen vent to become a focal point, a wall chimney hood may be right for you. This style attaches to the wall behind the range and features a chimney-shaped venting flue. An internal fan pumps air through the flue and into a vent. While most chimney hoods have ducts, you can also choose a non-ducted model.
  • Microwave Hoods: Do you have a microwave installed above your range? If so, it probably came equipped with a microwave hood vent. These hoods rely on an exhaust fan to filter the incoming air. However, instead of venting outdoors, microwave hoods recirculate the air back into the kitchen. While it may not vent as well as a range hood, a microwave hood will remove unwanted odors. 
  • Kitchen Island Hoods: If your kitchen island houses the range, you'll want to install a hood vent above it. Unlike other styles, kitchen island hoods hang from the ceiling above the island. They exhaust grease and steam outside the home. Since these hoods vent through the ceiling, ensure you can access an exterior wall or roof to install the vent.

Say Goodbye to Kitchen Odors

If your home suffers from lingering kitchen odors, choose Rainbow International. Our professional odor removal services banish irritating scents and smells for good. Request an appointment online or call (855) 724-6269 to get started.