Shopping for range hoods is not an exciting as shopping for the rest of the appliances in your kitchen but it no less important. A range hood is a motorized fan system that mounts above your range or cook top and keeps your kitchen air smelling clean and free from smoke, steam and grease. Because kitchens have so many different layouts and ventilation needs, there are many designs of range hoods to choose from. Finding the right one for your needs is critical if you want it to work correctly.
When choosing your range hood you must know where the duct work for your vent will be. If your cook top is on the outside wall of your kitchen, chances are your duct runs right outside the wall. If your cook top is located in the center of the kitchen or on an inside wall, running the duct work make be costly and many builders just tell the consumer to use an un-vented model. This means that the greasy air never leaves the house it just goes through a charcoal filter. Obviously this is not the most desirably system but it may be necessary with your kitchen layout.
One of the most popular kind of range hoods are the over the range models. Styles run from the simplest one button models to combination microwave hood models. The most basic models contain a simple 2 speed fan and a socket for a light bulb. The more deluxe ones will generally have a more quiet variable speed fan and multiple lights with covers for easy cleaning. The last type of over the range hood is a combination microwave hood. These combination models are real space savers. They can be installed anywhere that a range hood can be installed and have the fan and light built right into the bottom of the microwave.
If you have an island that houses your range or cook top, your vent would have to be ducted down or if there is no room for duct work, you need to go un-vented. One of the most popular range hoods in an island are the downdraft grill models. This is a range or cook top that has a built in grill with a powerful motorized vented fan pulling the smoke directly out of the house. Grill models are only available in vented configurations. If you cannot have a vent, another option is a motorized hood that rises up above the cook top when it’s in use and then lowers back down into the island when it’s turned off. These are available in vented and un-vented models. If you are using granite countertops, it’s important to tell your installer your plans before you order your counters so you get a proper fit.
The last type of range hood are the custom hoods. These can be made of copper, powder coating or made from the same cabinetry that is used throughout the kitchen or to complement the finest travertine tile. There are lots of choices and styles available for custom hoods. It is simply a matter of putting together the right color and combinations of detail to match the rest of your kitchen decor.