How Can I Make My Range Hood Quieter?

June 01, 2023 8 min read

Dealing with a noisy range hood can be a source of frustration for most homeowners as the noise can be really disruptive. The range hood is a crucial kitchen tool when cooking which means it often cannot be turned off during cooking. This leaves most homeowners having to figure out the complex challenge of working around a loud range hood. This situation is far from ideal when performing such a delicate task as cooking.

Pinpoint the definite reason for the often loud ruckus from your range hood can vary widely which further complicates the problem. These range from running the hood at maximum fan speeds to improper installation. If you haven't given up hope yet and are still on the hunt for effective methods to quieten your range hood then you are in luck. Below we will discuss some practical tips and strategies that will aid you in reducing your range hood's noise level. If you manage to accomplish this you will foster a more serene cooking environment for you and everyone around the cooking area.

Causes of Range Hood Noise

Understanding the causes of range hood noise is important because what is considered loud or quiet is subjective. Loudness can vary depending on personal preference but there is a general guideline with range hoods. A range hood that produces noise above 60 decibels (dB) is usually considered loud but a quiet range hood is expected to operate below 50 dB.

Range hoods can produce different types of noise with humming (low hum from the vent hood blowers) being the more familiar noise associated with them. Other sounds like rattling or buzzing sounds are usually caused by vibrations from loose parts. Whistling or hissing on the other hand are sounds associated with the ductwork of a range hood.

However, the most common source of excess range hood noise is often the fan motor. If the motor is not adequately lubricated and has stiff bearings, it will produce a loud humming noise. Other fan motor noise can be caused by loose parts or an unbalanced fan which creates a rattling or buzzing sound.

Ductwork can contribute to range hood noise especially if the ducts are too small. This will cause the fan to work harder which results in a very noisy exhaust fan. Also, If the ducts are clogged with debris, it can cause the fan to work harder which creates further noise.

To identify the noise source in your range hood, listen closely while it’s operating to pinpoint which part of the hood is generating the noise. The motor may need to be lubricated if the noise comes from the motor. If the noise is caused by vibration, tighten any loose parts or adjust the fan balance. If the noise comes from the ductwork, check for obstructions and consider upgrading to larger ducts.


How Can You Make Your Range Hood Quieter?

Range hoods are pretty loud, with many external or internal factors contributing to this, and balancing these factors can go a long way in reducing the noise level from your range hood. First, the noise level of most range hoods is measured in sones, a linear measurement of sound.

A range hood with a noise level above six sones is already quite loud, but you can make it quieter with these steps.

1. Soundproofing Your Range Hood

Soundproofing your range hood is the process of adding materials like acoustic foam or fiberglass insulation to the interior of the hood. The materials have sound absorption features and will absorb the sound waves generated by the metal interior of the range hood. This absorption of sound greatly reduces the noise level from the hood creating a quieter cooking area.

Here's a step-by-step guide for soundproofing your range hood:

  1. Turn off the power to your range hood.
  2. Remove the range hood's filters and any other removable parts.
  3. Measure the interior dimensions of your range hood and purchase enough soundproofing material to cover those dimensions. You can use various materials, such as acoustic foam, mass-loaded vinyl, or fiberglass insulation.
  4. Cut the soundproofing material to fit the interior of your range hood.
  5. Apply adhesive to the back of the soundproofing material and place it inside the range hood, covering as much surface area as possible.
  6. Repeat this process until the entire interior of the range hood is covered in soundproofing material.
  7. Reinstall the filters and any other removable parts.
  8. Turn the power back on and test your range hood to ensure it works correctly.

2. Regularly Clean or Replace Your Filters

Regularly cleaning or replacing your range hood filters can significantly reduce the noise level in your range hood. Clogged filters force the fan to work harder, producing more noise. Cleaning or replacing the filters regularly ensures that the fan works efficiently and reduces noise.

Here's a step-by-step guide for cleaning or replacing your range hood filters:

  1. Turn off the power to your range hood.
  2. Locate the filters on your range hood. They are typically located underneath the hood, in front of the fan.
  3. Remove the filters from the range hood.
  4. If the filters are made of stainless steel or aluminum, wash them in hot, soapy water. Scrub any stubborn stains with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse the filters thoroughly and let them dry completely before reinstalling them.
  5. If the filters are made of charcoal or paper, they cannot be cleaned and must be replaced. Purchase the correct replacement filters for your range hood.
  6. Install the cleaned or new filters back into the range hood.
  7. Turn the power back on and test your range hood to ensure it works correctly.

3. Install an External or Inline Blower

Installing an external or inline blower can significantly reduce the noise level of your range hood. External blowers are mounted outside your home and can be used with a ducted range hood to exhaust air outside. Inline blowers, on the other hand, are installed within the ductwork and can be used with ducted or non-ducted range hoods.

Since the blower is located outside the home or within the ductwork, it reduces the noise produced by the range hood. External or inline blowers can also provide more powerful ventilation, improving your range hood's overall performance.

Step-by-Step Guide to Install an External or Inline Blower

  1. Turn off the power to your range hood.
  2. Determine the appropriate location for the external or inline blower. For external blowers, choose a location outside your home that is away from windows and doors. For inline blowers, choose a location within the ductwork that allows easy installation.
  3. Install the ductwork that connects the range hood to the external or inline blower. Use metal ductwork for optimal performance.
  4. Install the external or inline blower according to the manufacturer's instructions. This will typically involve mounting the blower and connecting it to the ductwork.
  5. Connect the blower to the range hood using the appropriate wiring and hardware.
  6. Turn the power back on and test your range hood to ensure it works correctly.

4. Adjust Your Ductwork

When the ductwork is too small or has sharp turns, it can increase the airflow resistance, which makes the range hood work harder and produce more noise. Adjusting the ductwork can increase the airflow and reduce the noise.

Adjusting the ductwork can reduce the noise level of your range hood and improve its overall performance. Properly sized and installed ductwork can also prevent the buildup of grease and other debris that can cause blockages and reduce the efficiency of your range hood.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Turn off the power to your range hood and disconnect it from the ductwork.
  2. Inspect the existing ductwork to determine if it is appropriately sized and installed.
  3. Use a measuring tape to measure the diameter of the ductwork. If it is too small, replace it with a larger one that matches the size of your range hood's exhaust outlet.
  4. Ensure the ductwork is installed as straight and direct as possible. Avoid sharp turns, angles, or other obstructions that can reduce airflow.
  5. Seal any gaps or leaks in the ductwork using metal tape or duct sealant.
  6. Reconnect the range hood to the ductwork and turn it on to test its performance and noise level.
    Smooth galvanized metal ducting helps to reduce noise and make your range hood quieter.

5. Install Exhaust Timers and Heat Sensor

Installing an exhaust timer and heat sensor can make your vent hood quieter. Exhaust timers and heat sensors are designed to automatically turn on your range hood when needed and turn it off when done cooking. This can reduce the overall operating time of your range hood, which can lower the noise level.

Installing exhaust timers and heat sensors can reduce the time your range hood operates, lowering the noise level and saving energy. This can also help prevent the buildup of moisture, mold, and bacteria in your kitchen by quickly removing excess steam and cooking fumes. Heat sensors can also provide added safety by automatically turning on the range hood in case of a fire or high heat.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Choose an exhaust timer or heat sensor compatible with your range hood and electrical system. You can find these products at home improvement stores or online.
  2. Turn off the power to your range hood and disconnect it from the electrical source.
  3. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to install the exhaust timer or heat sensor, making sure to connect the wiring correctly and securely.
  4. Mount the exhaust timer or heat sensor in a location that is easy to access and visible.
  5. Reconnect the range hood to the electrical source and turn it on to test the timer or sensor's operation.

Maintaining Your Range Hood

Proper maintenance is vital in preventing noise from developing in your range hood. Regular maintenance tasks can keep your range hood running quietly and efficiently for years.

Here are some routine maintenance tasks you can perform to prevent noise in your range hood:

  1. Clean or replace filters: Dirty or clogged filters can reduce airflow and cause the motor to work harder, resulting in more noise. Clean or replace your filters regularly to prevent this from happening.
  2. Clean the fan blades and motor: Dust and debris can accumulate on the fan blades and motor, causing them to become unbalanced and produce noise. Regularly clean these components to prevent this from happening.
  3. Check for loose parts: Vibration from the motor or fan can cause parts to become loose over time, leading to rattling or buzzing noises. Check for loose parts and tighten them as needed.
  4. Lubricate moving parts: Over time, the fan motor and other moving parts can become dry and produce noise. Lubricate these parts regularly to keep them running smoothly and quietly.
  5. Check the ductwork: Make sure your ductwork is properly installed and free of obstructions. Clogged or improperly sized ducts can cause the fan to work harder and produce more noise.

You can keep your range hood running quietly by performing these routine maintenance tasks. Follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule for get even better operational sounds.

Final Thoughts

A loud range hood will without doubt a nuisance for homeowners which can even discourage their use. But as you have read above, there are several solutions that can help make it quieter. We have covered the major causes of range hood noise but regular maintenance tasks such as cleaning or replacing filters, lubricating the fan motor, and tightening loose parts can prevent noise from developing in the first place. To save you the hassle of operating in a kitchen with a noisy hood a much-needed upgrade is often the ideal solution. You can get the best custom hoods with silent operational sounds at Moderncopper, this will ensure your cooking is done in a space with a good level of serenity.