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What Kind of Range Hood Goes with a High Ceiling?

June 07, 2023 6 min read

High ceilings are becoming increasingly popular in modern homes as they create a feeling of spaciousness and airiness. However, this trend has unintended practical effects when choosing a range hood for a high-ceiling kitchen.

Most high-ceiling kitchen spaces are often large, with considerable air volume. This makes it challenging to locate a range hood that complements the kitchen's high design, is unobtrusive, and effectively vents the stove.

This article will discuss the different range hoods suitable for high ceilings, including wall-mounted range hoods, island range hoods, and downdraft range hoods. We will also provide tips for choosing the right range hood based on your kitchen size and layout, ceiling height, available ducting, and aesthetics.

Let’s dive in.

Types of Range Hoods Suitable for High Ceilings

The first decision you'll need to make when selecting a range hood is whether you want a ducted or ductless hood. Ducted range hoods vent outside your home, while ductless range hoods filter the air and recirculate it back into the kitchen. Ducted range hoods are generally considered more effective at removing smoke, steam, and cooking odors, but they require ductwork installed in your home. Ductless range hoods are easier to install, but they may not be as effective at removing all cooking odors or with gas cooktops.

There are many methods for venting a kitchen with a high ceiling, but the following four are the most commonly chosen ones. A high-ceiling kitchen space may be vented from the top (island canopy range hoods), over a wall (wall-mounted range hoods), under a cabinet overlooking the cooking range (under-cabinet range hoods), or from under the cooking range itself (retractable downdraft range hoods).

Types of Range Hoods Suitable for High Ceilings

Here is an explanation of all four:

1.   Island Canopy Range Hoods

Island range hoods are range hoods that hang down from the ceiling, directly covering a central cooking range or cooktops on a kitchen island or peninsula. They are robust and sometimes decorative range hoods with a broad venting base over a central cooking area.

These range hoods are perfect for kitchen spaces with no overhead cabinetry and a cooking range in the middle of the kitchen. They usually vent directly through the ceilings via ceiling ducts.

Most island canopy range hoods have mounting extensions and powerful blowers for ceiling spaces over 12 feet high. These allow easy placement and sufficient venting power to cover the kitchen.

2.   Wall-mounted Range Hoods

Wall-mounted range hoods are usually powerful vent hoods attached to the wall above a cooking range and have the traditional look of a fireplace chimney.

They are often the focal point of the kitchen, and their bell-shaped or pyramid chimney hoods are located where over-the-range cabinets are in most kitchens. The units connect to ducts in the walls and can be vented outdoors or recirculated internally. They are a great option if you have a lot of wall space above your stove.

Wall-mounted range hoods work well in high-ceiling kitchens since the fume hood covers the whole cooking range. This allows the venting fan to extract all pollutants released when cooking effectively.

3.   Under-cabinet Range Hoods

Under-cabinet range hoods are just as their name implies; they are range hoods installed under an overhead cabinet. They are not often associated with high-ceiling range hoods but can do the job like any other range hood.

Under-cabinet range hoods are ideal for smaller kitchens since they conserve space and often do not need a ducting network to vent the kitchen. They have smaller profiles and less venting power and are usually not recommended if you have a high-powered gas cooktop, but they are functional, with good CFM levels that allow them to clear most high-ceiling kitchen areas.

Primarily, these are ductless range hoods that employ filters to clean the air in the kitchen; however, there are convertible ones with duct outputs for homeowners with an external ducting system. With its hood covering the cooking range, an under-cabinet range hood will capture the cooking-generated smoke, heat, vapor, and pollutants. This will limit their spread and keep the kitchen air cleaner.

4.   Retractable Downdraft Range Hoods

Retractable downdraft range hoods are integrated with the cooking range and have an extractor vent hood that rises above the cooktop. They retract inward and align with the cooking range when not in use, making them excellent space savers.

Retractable downdraft range hoods are concealed behind the countertop and vent downward instead of drawing air upwards as other range hoods do. Their motors are powerful enough; they pull smoke and cooking odors down and out of the kitchen through a duct that runs through the floor.

Retractable downdraft range hoods are the perfect solution for high-ceiling kitchen spaces where you cannot duct up or mount an overhead hood on the wall or ceiling. Their strong venting power and proximity to the cooking surface allow them to clear most pollutants effectively.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Range Hood for High Ceilings

To choose an effective range hood system for a kitchen with high ceilings, you need to consider the following:

1.   Kitchen size and layout

The size and layout of your kitchen are essential when choosing a range hood for a high ceiling. The size of your kitchen will determine the power of the range hood, and the layout will influence its effectiveness.

A large kitchen will require a powerful range hood with a higher CFM but an open-concept kitchen may need a quieter range hood to avoid disrupting conversations and activities in other areas of the home.

Also, a wall mount or under-cabinet range hood may be suitable if the cooking surface is near a wall or in a corner. However, if the cooking surface is on an island, an island-mounted range hood may be required to provide proper ventilation.

2.   Ceiling height

Ceiling height is crucial when choosing a range hood for a high ceiling. A high ceiling can make it challenging to effectively remove smoke and cooking odors, requiring a range hood with a higher CFM rating to provide sufficient ventilation.

For example, a ceiling 9 feet or higher may require a range hood with a CFM rating of at least 600 or higher, while a ceiling 12 feet or higher may require a range hood with a CFM rating of at least 900 or higher.

It is also important to note that the mounting height of the range hood above the cooking surface will affect its effectiveness. A range hood mounted too high may not effectively capture smoke and cooking odors, while a range hood mounted too low may obstruct the cook's view or cause head bumps.

3.   Ventilation power and noise level

When selecting a range hood for a high ceiling, ventilation power and noise level are critical factors. Ventilation power is measured by the CFM rating, which indicates the volume of air that a range hood can move in a minute. A higher CFM rating is essential for a high-ceiling kitchen as it helps to remove smoke and cooking odors effectively.

While selecting a range hood with a higher CFM rating ensures better ventilation, it can also increase the noise level. Noise level is measured in sones, with lower sone ratings indicating quieter operation. Range hoods with a higher CFM rating tend to produce more noise, so choosing a range hood that balances ventilation power and noise level is important.

  1. Ducting

Proper ducting is crucial to ensure optimal range hood performance and to prevent the accumulation of harmful gases in the kitchen. Ducting refers to the ventilation system that allows smoke and cooking odors to be extracted outside of the home instead of circulating back into the kitchen.

When considering ducting for a high-ceiling kitchen, choosing the correct duct size that matches the range hood's CFM (cubic feet per minute) rating is important. A duct opening that is too small can lead to inadequate ventilation, while a large range hood duct can cause excessive noise and decreased efficiency.

Another consideration when selecting ducting is the distance between the range hood and the outside exhaust vent. A longer distance between the two can impact the ventilation power and increase noise levels.

  1. Aesthetics

If you are planning a kitchen renovation with a high ceiling, it's important to consider the range hood from the very beginning stages to ensure it fits the design and style of the space. This is because your range hood's aesthetics often plays an essential role in creating a cohesive and stylish look in your kitchen. You might opt for a range hood with a sleek and minimalist design if you have a modern kitchen. On the other hand, if your kitchen has more space and traditional style, you might prefer a range hood with ornate details and a more decorative look.

The material of your range hood is another factor that can affect its aesthetics. Stainless steel is a popular choice for modern kitchens, as it has a sleek and contemporary look. On the other hand, copper can add warmth and texture to your kitchen and is a popular choice for traditional or rustic styles. Different materials like wood and glass can also create unique and eye-catching range hood designs.

Final Thoughts

A high ceiling in the kitchen doesn't make it impossible to vent and clear it properly. It requires considering the factors above and selecting a range hood system that checks all the necessary boxes.