Do I Need a Range Hood Over My Stove?

Do I Need a Range Hood Over My Stove
by John Carlucci - October 11, 2022

If you are renovating your kitchen, you are likely asking if a range hood is necessary.

The majority of home construction rules do not mandate the installation of a range hood over a stove or cooktop, but you should verify that your area is not an exception. Even though it's not needed by law, you should carefully consider forgoing a hood completely.

The purpose of range hoods is to gather oil, moisture, and cooking aromas from the air, but not all hoods are made equal. Here is a brief summary of the kitchen ventilation solutions that you should consider:

Vented or ducted hood

If you cook frequently, you will certainly want an outdoor-venting hood. A ducted hood actually transfers the contaminated air outside, eliminating all sorts of cooking-related air pollution. Fresh air is taken in from the outdoors, maintaining the cleanliness of the kitchen's air and avoiding cooking aromas and grease particles from spreading throughout the house, particularly to the kitchen cabinets.

If your range and hood are adjacent to an external wall, ducting is easiest; the duct may exit the rear of the hood and pass through the house wall. For a range against an inner wall, the duct can ascend into the soffit above the cabinets or between the ceiling joists before exiting through the closest external wall. Ventilation ducts should never terminate inside an attic or other enclosed space, regardless of where they are installed.

Ductless hood

A ductless range hood comprises a fan with a charcoal filter that absorbs grease particles, smells, and smoke, as opposed to a ducted range hood that exhausts air to the outdoors. Air is recirculated in the kitchen after being filtered with charcoal. Regularly cleaning or replacing the hood's filters is necessary.

Ductless hoods are not as good at cleansing the air as ducted hoods, but they are often less expensive and easier to install.

Downdraft systems

Downdraft systems are often integrated into the range; they are frequently situated on the cooktop near the burners. This sort of ventilation system is not especially effective, and culinary forums are full of complaints about the fans' tendency to suck heat away from the food being made.

The second sort of downdraft system is the pop-up design. This vent will raise 8 to 10 inches above the cooking surface upon pressing a button. Finished cooking? By pressing a button, it will vanish again.

Both types of downdraft units employ fans to draw air through a filter, into ductwork that runs beneath the floor or above the cabinets and, often, outside. Downdraft vents are great for kitchen islands and peninsulas due to their camouflage appearance. The pop-up style downdraft ventilation system is more efficient than the flush mount type, but neither is as successful as updraft (range hood) ventilation systems for removing cooking-related pollutants.

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