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January 24, 2023 6 min read
Building or remodeling a kitchen requires making tough decisions that get harder as you add more appliances. This is especially significant when selecting a kitchen ducting system, as choosing between a ducted or ductless range hood for your kitchen is always challenging.
If you are having trouble deciding, you can take a deep breath because you are reading the best article to help you. This article provides a complete analysis of the two major range hood venting systems, which are either ducted or ductless.
But before comparing both, let's take a moment to refresh our memories on range hoods and get an overview of the ducted and ductless models.
Range hoods, commonly referred to as ventilation or exhaust hoods, are kitchen appliances that help reduce smoke, foul odors, or grease in the kitchen air. They are often built above the cooking area, covering the stove or cooktop. They have powerful suction fans inside that suck in any airborne grease, smoke, fumes, or steam.
Range hoods help create a well-ventilated kitchen area and vastly improve the indoor air quality of the kitchen. They are essential kitchen devices due to the constant fresh cooking environment they help provide and the added safety value of having a less polluted space.
Range hoods come indifferent shapes and sizes, each with its own set of advantages, but they are categorized into two types: ducted and ductless.
Ducted range hoods are one of the most common and efficient kitchen range hoods. They constantly keep the kitchen air pollutant free by vacuuming the air around the cooking area and expelling it outside.
Ducted hoods are connected to ducts or pipes in your kitchen wall, ceiling, or floor. They suck in air that contains airborne particles, vapors, or smoke and expel them outdoors via vents or pipes.
They are external ventilators or superior versions of kitchen exhaust fans because everything drawn into their hood gets released outdoors. It is quite common to find a ducted hood in large kitchens that require vent hoods with more power to rapidly clear all the smoke, dirty air, and grease generated when cooking.
Ductless range hoods are range hoods that have no external ducts connected to them. They are recirculating ventilation systems that improve the kitchen's air quality by constantly cleaning and redistributing the air around the kitchen.
Rather than releasing airborne kitchen pollutants outside, they pull in polluted kitchen air, filter it, and return it to the kitchen. Ductless range hood systems rely on degreasing, activated charcoal, or mesh filters to clean any air the suction fans bring in. They do not use a ventilation duct and have no link to any external vent.
Ductless hoods are suitable for any chef or homeowner with a light cooking style. They are commonly used in homes with few or no piping systems and are not as powerful as ducted hood systems.
Comparing both systems and declaring one superior would be over the top. Both range hood systems can effectively serve most kitchens and are very popular, but in certain case studies, one system trumps the other.
The best way to effectively show how both systems stack against each other is to list the pros and cons of installing either range hood in your kitchen.
Ducted range hood systems are much more popular and offer noticeable advantages over ductless range hood systems. Below are some pros and cons of installing a ducted range hood.
But not everything is rosy with installing a ducted range hood system. Some of the notable disadvantages are below.
Ductless range hoods have functional advantages that make them very attractive to homeowners. They are more modern and sophisticated and have perks, as shown below.
The pro list is extensive, but installing a ductless range hood system has some notable drawbacks, as shown below.
No charcoal or mesh filter can properly handle heavy grease or oil-based cooking, which limits the functionality of any ductless hood.
The comparison you should make when deciding which system is the best for your kitchen should fall along the following lines:
It is self-evident that commercial kitchens that produce tons of grease with a high volume of smoke will be best suited for a ducted range hood system. But residential kitchens with lighter cooking habits and low cooking odors will do fine with a ductless hood system.
Installing a ducted system incurs a considerable financial cost, especially if you are freshly installing the duct system. To save cost, installing the cheaper ductless range hood system might be a budget-friendly alternative.
Ductless systems have modern features, are eco-friendly, and have flexible installation processes, which are attractive properties for some individuals. Others prefer the imposing look, efficiency, and practicality of ducted systems for their kitchen. It all boils down to every individual's taste.
Both systems have excellent features that make them perfect, but both also have difficulties associated with installing them. Personal taste, practicality, and price all play a role in selecting a suitable range hood system. The range hood that checks those boxes is the best one for you. If you can't settle on a choice, then find a brand that offers a recirculating hood with features from ducted and ductless range hoods.