Adding a Range Hood? Ask Yourself These Key Questions First!

New homeowners going through kitchen upgrades these days will more often than not add a range hood, according to a recent study done by Houzz. However, when you have a number of options to choose from, things can get overwhelming. If you are one of these homeowners, use this post as a guide and make everything a little bit easier for yourself.

kitchen design with hood range

Do I Need a Range Hood?

In short, no. They aren’t required by any building codes or safety regulations and are therefore not absolutely a must-have in your kitchen.

When we design kitchens at In Stock Kitchens, the range hood is usually an extra add-on if the budget allows for it.

An important question to consider is, what’s the current state of natural ventilation? If you have lots of big windows around the kitchen space, a range hood may not be necessary. Additionally, you should consider how often you cook and what you will be cooking. A lot of people microwave the majority of their meals!

Do I Want a Range Hood?

Although you may not see the smoke the steam while you’re cooking, oil particles actually get spread through the air. In other words, the grease from the pans slowly covers the room, unless you have a suction to get rid of that air. If you’re a serious chef, you definitely want a powerful range hood.

Where Should My Range Hood Go?

Seems like an obvious question, but one that often times needs to be answered. The range hood should go directly above the source of potential steam and smoke. However, what most people don’t know is that range hoods need to ventilate, so we always recommend placing them by a nearby exterior wall. The less distance air travels to get outside means the less powerful your system will have to work in order to be successful. This ultimately saves homeowners money on energy, equipment, and utilities.

Types of Range Hoods

Standard Over-Range Hoods.You are able to choose from two standard range hood forms: undercabinet hoods that are partially enclosed in cabinetry or a wall-mounted unit with no surrounding cabinetry. You can run these through the ceiling or roof, or also vent back through the walls.

Island range hoods also fall into the standard category. These types, however, are much less likely to have any cabinetry surrounding it. If an island does include a range and range hood, it is often featured in the room.

island kitchen range hood

You can find high-tech looking range hood styles that are much less intrusive into the kitchen space and make a very unique and interesting statement. Although these are still standard over-range hoods, they usually use a more powerful suction. As a result, a more airy feeling and headroom while you cook your meals.

Built-In Over-Range Hoods.These hoods are typically disguised in kitchen cabinets, which avoids the range being a focal point of the kitchen design. In nature, these hoods are generally not finished and look ugly, so they will need to be covered to hide all of the insides. Although you may not be able to uncover the panels, you can easily swap them out should you change your kitchen cabinet style.

built-in over-range hoods

Pop-Up Vents.These vents are also referred to as the “behind cooktop hoods” or “downdraft vents” because they aren’t really hoods at all. They are smaller, slimmer vents that apply suction directly at the source of smoke and steam and pull it into the floor rather than the ceiling. The name “pop-up” comes from the fact that the vents “pop-up” into place only when needed and are then drawn back down into the counter when not in use.

Pop-up vents are most appropriate when the ceiling over the range is incapable of housing ventilation ducts.

Although they seem visually appealing and provide a very open feel, pop-up vents are by far the least powerful option. More serious chefs may find the pop-up vent to be insufficient in meeting their needs.

pop-up range hood

Microwave Combo Hoods.Range hoods can also be combined with microwaves to handle two different functions in a very small space, which is very ideal in a compact kitchen design. The combo unit typically has about the same power as a standard hood, but the microwave combo hood is better for small home cooking or for those who use the microwave a lot.

microwave combo range hood

Style Ideas

Homeowners can integrate their range hoods in many different ways without being paneled. Try selecting a white unit over black to stainless steel. This allows the unit to blend much cleaner with the white cabinetry and provides a really nice atmosphere and feel. Also, don’t be afraid to have the range hood differ from the rest of the design. As long as it is not mismatched with any other appliances, you should be good to go.

different color range hood

If, however, your kitchen includes a lot of stainless steel, a simple stainless steel hood will simply blend in with the rest of the kitchen décor.

stainless steel range hood

You also can add a really specialized backsplash that runs just from the range to the range hood is a great way to avoid grease stains. It also brings together some beautiful detail that becomes one main feature in the kitchen.

If you don’t mind sacrificing storage space, a big up and comping trend is the skip he upper cabinets and allow the range hood to be a sole feature. The room feels huge, you can add beautiful details at eye-level, and you have a ton of open space.

main range hood with no upper cabinets

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