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The Complete Guide to Types of Kitchen Range Hoods

January 24, 2023 6 min read

The kitchen area in most homes is often the source of sweet aromas from deliciously prepared meals. But those sweet aromas are offset by the strong smell of smoke, fumes, and waste. Using range hoods in the kitchen is often the most reliable way to clean and maintain the kitchen air by eliminating these unpleasant smells and pollutants.

Choosing the ideal range hood for your kitchen is a vital home design or kitchen renovation decision made difficult because of the confusing number of range hoods available. A basic guide on range hoods is essential to help you find a quality range hood.

This article is a comprehensive introduction to anything and everything range hoods. It includes an overview of the various ventilation categories, types, and factors to consider when choosing a decent range hood for your home.

So, let’s dive in.

Major Range Hood Ventilation Categories

All kitchen range hoods fall into one of three major ventilation categories:  ducted, ductless, and convertible range hoods.Here's an overview of them.

Ducted Range Hoods

These kitchen range hoods filter and vent out odors and particles via pipes and ducts. They are also known as external venting systems since they vent outside your home through ducts that run through your ceiling or wall.

Ductless Range Hoods

These are range hood systems that do not have any external venting systems. Instead, the suction fan draws in air, cleans it by passing it through a baffle, mesh, or charcoal filter, and recirculates. They have the advantage of being much smaller but are generally considered less effective than their ducted counterparts.

Convertible Range Hoods

These range hood systems combine the features of both ducted and ductless range hoods, ideally like the perfect range hood. They are calibrated to either vent outdoors or recirculate the air indoors. It combines the best of both systems and offers greater flexibility when choosing a range hood system.

Types of Kitchen Range Hood Systems


There are several kitchen range hood styles and designs, from the visible and imposing to those hidden from view and others made to blend in with the stylistic décor of the kitchen.


But no matter the design variation, all kitchen range hoods can be classified into five distinct types:wall-mounted chimney, island canopy, under-cabinet, retractable downdraft,and custom range hoods.These are the five significant classifications of kitchen range hoods, and we will explain their features and differences.


Wall-Mounted Chimney Range Hoods

Wall-mounted chimney range hoods sound like a mouthful but are one of the most popular kitchen range hoods. They are bell-shaped range hood systems with a chimney section mounted on the wall above the cooktop or range.

They are fastened to the wall with a visible funnel-shaped vent hood in the area designated for cabinets. These are usually ducted range hood systems with simple and fast venting features. They extract odors and fumes and vent them straight up or out the back of the kitchen wall. Newer models have additional features like adjustable venting speed, LED lighting, hand sensors, and perimetric ventilation.


Island Canopy Range Hoods

Island Canopy are ceiling-mounted range hoods with very high venting surface areas. They can feature ducted, ductless, or convertible ventilation systems and are set immediately above the cooktop or range.


They are one of the most complicated range hood systems to install and form a hanging island over your cooktop, hence the name. They are usually bigger than your stove or range and work by creating a pressure vacuum above your cooking area to suck odor, grease, and smoke. They have features like perimetric filter systems, LED lighting, auto shut-off, and variable speed controls.


Under-Cabinet Range Hoods

These are ducted or convertible range hood systems fitted directly beneath existing cabinets. They conserve space and easily blend in with your kitchen décor.

They are small, compact range hood systems positioned directly underneath the cabinets above your cooktop. They use in-built suction fans to extract fumes, grease, and vapors during or after cooking. Additional features include built-in lights, multi-fan speeds, and automatic exhaust timers.

They provide sufficient venting and are popular among homeowners looking for a simple range hood system. The ducting or piping system for an under-cabinet range hood can is concealed in the upper cabinet or walls.


Retractable Downdraft Range Hoods

These sleek and attractive range hoods add an integrated and modern look to your kitchen. They work horizontally and typically employ ductless or converted venting systems.

They are commonly installed in pop-up or retractable countertops and vent through a series of ducts beneath the floor. Unlike other systems that extract fumes by drawing air upwards, a downdraft range hood pulls air and odor downward and from the sides of your cooking area. They try to capture smoke, vapors, and odors before they rise into the kitchen environment.


They offer easy integration and minimalistic interruption to kitchen decor and are a great option for low-ceiling kitchens, especially those with space constraints.


Custom Insert Range Hoods

Custom range hoods are for individuals who prefer stunning, well-crafted custom-built hoods with excellent ventilation power. They come in various sizes, forms, and finishes and are fashioned from marble, stainless steel, and ceramics. Depending on the custom range hood, they can be ducted, ductless, or conventional.

They are traditional range hood systems and often have large hoods with range hood inserts that can rapidly carry large volumes of air. They have features like multi-control, additional lighting, and noise dampers.

These are ventilation systems for folks who desire elegant operational devices that enhance or blend in with their kitchen decor. They provide endless style, color, and art design choices and are often classified as the best range hood money can buy.

How to Choose A Range Hood For Your Kitchen

To accurately select a range hood for your kitchen that will check the functionality box and fit nicely within your kitchen, these are the factors you have to consider.

1.    Size and Space

Size and space are essential when selecting a range hood for your kitchen. The size should correspond to the available space in your kitchen, and the vent hood must also cover the width of the cooktop or range to which it is expected to clear. A well-fitted range hood will provide optimal ventilation in the kitchen.

2.    Venting Strength

The venting strength or the airflow capacity of a range hood is the measure of air it can extract in a minute. This is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) and largely depends on the power and speed settings of the range hood's suction fan. The industry standard is 100 CFM of suctioned air for every 12 inches of the expected cooking area.


3.    Heat Resistance Rating

Cooking areas in kitchens are usually high-temperature zones, so any range hood installed there must be heat-resistant. They must be designed to cope with the extreme temperatures and smoke from your kitchen stove. This is usually calculated based on your stove burners'BTU (British Thermal Units) value. A high BTU rating from your cooking burners will require a brand or model range hood rated for high resistance.

4.    Venting System

The venting systems that remove suctioned air and odor from your kitchen or recycle them are also important factors when choosing a range hood system. Your range hood must have a properly installed venting system to perform at its best. Be it ducted, ductless, or conventional, the venting system should match the range hood in functionality and power.

5.    Price

Price is essential, and you should examine the cost of any range hood you want to install before selecting. Before getting a range hood for your kitchen, examine the cost of acquisition, materials, installation, and maintenance.


Selecting The Perfect Range Hood

Kitchen range hoods are excellent additions to any modern kitchen that facilitate much-needed improvements to its ‌air quality. Additionally, its functionality should weigh more than the look of the hood when making your decision. Don't get me wrong, having a white or black range hood with clean tapers and arches is definitely okay, but the core detail of your search that should come first is its venting ability. There are several available options, and the goal is to ensure you find the best range hood to improve your home's air quality.