November 22, 2023 13 min read
Choosing the right range hood blower for your kitchen is a critical decision when it comes to creating an efficient and effective ventilation system. A blower is a crucial component in range hoods, and with several blower types available on the market, it's essential to understand their distinct features and benefits in order to make a well-informed decision.
In this guide, we will explore different types of range hood blowers available on the market today, discussing their features, benefits, and limitations. By understanding the various options, you can make an informed decision when selecting the right blower for your kitchen.
Now, let's delve into the fine details of blowers and explore each range hood blower type to determine which best suits your kitchen ventilation needs.
A range hood blower is a critical component of a range hood system responsible for extracting airborne contaminants, smoke, odors, and grease generated during cooking. The primary function of a range hood blower is to create airflow and suction and capture the pollutants at the source, preventing them from spreading throughout the kitchen and the rest of the house.
The working mechanism of a range hood blower involves two key components: the fan blades, which generate the airflow, and the motor, which powers the rotation of the fan blades. The fan blades are designed to create a pressure difference when rotated, resulting in air movement. As the air passes through the blower, the rotating fan blades increase the velocity of the air, creating a suction effect.
Range hood blowers utilize different types of fans to facilitate the extraction of air and pollutants from the kitchen. The main types of fans used in range hood blowers are:
Centrifugal fans are a popular type of range hood blower fans known for their high efficiency and powerful performance. They are commonly used in under-cabinet and wall-mount range hoods and are designed to create a high-velocity airflow using centrifugal force. It consists of an impeller, which is a rotating wheel with curved blades enclosed in a housing or scroll.
Axial flow fans are designed to move a large air volume at lower pressures. They feature a propeller-like design, with blades that rotate around an axis to push or pull air parallel to the shaft. Axial flow fans are ideal for range hoods used for residential kitchens or situations where the focus is on moving a large volume of air rather than overcoming high resistance in the ductwork.
Mixed flow fans combine the features of both centrifugal and axial flow blowers. They have an impeller design that combines axial and radial flow characteristics. Mixed-flow fans generate moderate pressure while maintaining a high flow rate. They are commonly used in applications where a balance between pressure and airflow is required, such as over-the-range microwaves, HVAC systems, and cooling of electronic equipment.
Crossflow fans, also known as tangential fans, utilize a long, narrow wheel with many curved blades. The wheel draws air in parallel to the axis and then forces it to change direction by 90 degrees, resulting in a broad, uniform airflow. Crossflow fans are particularly effective in range hoods with extended hoods or canopies that cover a wide cooking area.
Regenerative fans, called side channel fans, operate based on the regenerative or radial impellers principle. These blowers use high-speed rotating impellers with multiple blades to create pressure differences. As the impellers spin, the air is drawn in and expelled through an outlet. They are commonly used in range hood blower units where there is a need to overcome higher resistance in the ductwork or when operating in systems with longer duct runs.
There are several types of range hood blowers available in the market, each with its advantages and applications. Let's explore some of the notable ones in great detail:
External blowers, often referred to as remote blowers, are located outside the kitchen or living space in separate areas like the attic, basement, or exterior wall. They often have strong airflow capacity and are ideal for large kitchens or those with intricate ductwork systems. Additionally, locating the blower motor outside the cooking area significantly diminishes the noise produced during operation, resulting in a quieter and more pleasant cooking environment.
An inline blower, also known as an in-line fan or duct fan, is a type of range hood blower installed within the kitchen ventilation system's ductwork. Unlike other blower types, which are integrated into the range hood or located externally, the inline blower is specifically designed to be mounted within the duct.
The primary function of an inline blower is to boost the airflow within the ductwork and overcome any resistance or pressure drop caused by long duct runs, bends, or other obstructions. By enhancing the airflow, the inline blower ensures that the ventilation system maintains a strong and consistent airflow.
Built-in blowers, also known as internal blowers, are integrated directly into the hood itself. Unlike external blowers located outside the kitchen, built-in blowers are designed to be concealed within the range hood structure. This integration offers several advantages, making them a popular range hood venting option.
Recirculating blowers, also known as ductless blowers, are a type of range hood blower that operates by filtering and recirculating the air within the kitchen instead of venting it outside. They are often found in ductless range hoods that push the polluted air through a series of filters and release it back into the kitchen space.
The main components of a recirculating blower include the fan, filters, and a ventilation hood. The fan is responsible for drawing the air from the cooking area into the blower unit. The air then passes through one or more filters designed to trap grease particles, odors, and smoke. These filters typically include a mesh or baffle filter to capture grease and charcoal filters to absorb odors and other airborne contaminants.
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When selecting a blower type for your range hood in the kitchen, there are certain factors that you should consider to ensure that you choose the right one. These factors include:
The size of a kitchen plays a crucial role in determining the type of blower that should be used in a range hood. In a compact kitchen, where space is limited, and there might not be enough room for large or powerful blowers, it's best to opt for a compact blower. Inline or under-cabinet blowers are often suitable for small kitchens due to their compact design and lower CFM (cubic feet per minute) ratings.
A medium-sized kitchen offers more flexibility in terms of blower options. The choice will depend on cooking habits, the appliances' heat output, and the kitchen's overall design. Internal or inline blowers, as well as insert blowers, are commonly used in medium-sized kitchens. While large kitchens typically have a greater volume of air that needs to be ventilated, and more powerful blowers are required to handle the increased airflow, so external or remote blower systems are ideal for large kitchens.
The kitchen layout determines the placement of the range hood and the available ventilation options. There are various kitchen layouts, including open, galley, U-shaped, L-shaped, and island kitchens, and each layout has its unique ventilation challenges.
In kitchens with an open layout, where the cooking area is not enclosed or separated from the rest of the living space, inline or remote blowers are commonly used due to their ability to minimize noise levels in the kitchen. A closed or galley kitchen layout typically has walls or partitions separating the cooking area from the rest of the house. In this scenario, both internal and external blowers can be suitable options, depending on the size and ventilation requirements of the kitchen.
U- and L-shaped kitchen layouts typically have more contained spaces, allowing for better ventilation control. Moderate to high-powered blowers may be suitable depending on the size and specific requirements. Finally, island kitchens have a range or cooktop situated on an island, which poses unique challenges for venting. Remote blowers mounted on the roof or walls may be necessary for effective venting in island kitchens.
Different cooking habits and frequencies generate varying levels of smoke, odors, and heat, directly impacting ventilation requirements.
If your cooking habits primarily involve occasional light cooking, such as simmering, boiling, or sautéing, a few times a week or less, you may not generate a significant amount of smoke or odors. In this case, a lower-powered built-in or inline blower can adequately handle the ventilation needs for light cooking. Moderate cooking activities like grilling, stir-frying, or baking most days of the week often produce moderate levels of smoke and odors. A built-in or inline blower with higher airflow capacity can handle the ventilation requirements effectively.
If you frequently engage in heavy cooking, such as deep frying or wok cooking, or use high-heat cooking methods or commercial cooking scenarios, such as in restaurants or catering businesses, you generate a substantial amount of smoke, grease, and odors. A powerful blower is necessary to eliminate these contaminants effectively. High-powered built-in blowers or external blowers are suitable options for heavy cooking.
The noise level of a blower is an important consideration when selecting a range hood for your kitchen. Excessive noise can be disruptive and unpleasant, particularly in open-concept kitchens or homes where the kitchen is adjacent to living spaces. Different blower types have varying noise levels, and choosing the appropriate blower depends on your preference for a quieter kitchen environment.
Inline blowers are typically quieter than other blower types and are known for their noise reduction capabilities since they are situated away from the kitchen and closer to the exterior. Built-in blowers produce moderate noise levels, depending on the specific model and power capacity. External blowers can generate considerable noise due to their high airflow capacity, but like remote blowers, they are often equipped with noise reduction features.
When selecting a blower, it's essential to review the manufacturer's specifications, including the noise rating in decibels (dB). Additionally, consulting with professionals or reading user reviews can provide valuable insights into the actual noise levels experienced by users.
Cost considerations are essential when choosing a blower for your range hood. The price of the blower is influenced by various factors, including its range hood type, power capacity, features, and brand.
Internal blowers are typically the most affordable option among blower types as they are integrated into the range hood and require less complex installation. The cost of internal blowers can range from $100 to $500, depending on the CFM rating and additional features like variable speed settings or noise reduction technologies.
External blowers are generally more expensive than internal blowers due to their higher power and quieter operation. The cost of external blowers can range from $500 to $2,000 or more, depending on the CFM rating, motor efficiency, and noise reduction features.
In-line blowers are often more costly than internal blowers but less expensive than external blowers. Their price range typically falls between $300 and $1,500, depending on the CFM rating, noise level, and the need for additional accessories like dampers or insulation materials. The length and complexity of the ductwork installation can also influence the cost.
The price range for recirculating blowers can typically range from $100 to $500, but it's important to note that these are approximate figures and can vary based on the specific product and retailer.
Choosing the right range hood blower is crucial for ensuring adequate kitchen ventilation because it directly impacts the performance of the entire ventilation system. A well-designed ventilation system with the right blower type not only enhances air quality but also aids in controlling excess heat, moisture, and grease buildup.
Homeowners should understand the importance of selecting the right range hood blower for their kitchen, as investing in a suitable blower type is an investment in their well-being and the long-term performance of their kitchen ventilation system. So, let's prioritize proper range hood blower selection and reap the benefits of a healthier and more efficient cooking environment.