Do I Need a Range Hood: How to Choose the Best Range Hood

Do I Need a Range Hood: How to Choose the Best Range Hood


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Picking the right range hood mount type is an important part of building or renovating your kitchen. You’ll want to find the best finish and style to match the decor and theme of your home, but what type of mount should you use? Finding the most suitable mount installation is an essential part of picking a hood and can be daunting, as there are multiple options to choose from. Here are some of the most known mounting styles as well as some of our favorites in each. 

What are the Different Types of Range Hood Mounts?

1. Wall Mounted Range Hoods:

Wall-mounted range hoods are one of the most common mount types. Just as its name suggests, the range hood is mounted directly to the wall above the range to capture fumes from cooking. Wall mount range hoods come in a variety of different finishes so it’s easy to find the perfect match, no matter what style your kitchen is.

ZLINE Wooden Wall Mount Range Hood in Walnut - 400 CFM and 700 CFM Options (373RR-RD/RS)

(Best Range Hood) ZLINE Wooden Wall Mount Range Hood in Walnut (373RR-RD/RS) - white background

One of our current favorites is the ZLINE Wooden Wall Mount Range Hood in Walnut. It brings elegance and power to the table with its hand-finished wood walnut paneling and a powerful high-performance 4-speed motor. It's also simple to clean thanks to its dishwasher-safe stainless steel baffle filters.

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2. Under Cabinet Range Hoods:

Under cabinet range hoods is one of the best range hood mount types for those who want to seamlessly integrate their cabinetry and appliances together. These range hoods are similar to wall-mounted except there is no chimney, making them recirculating.

ZLINE Recirculating Under Cabinet Range Hood in Stainless Steel (RK523)

ZLINE Recirculating Under Cabinet Range Hood in Stainless Steel (RK523) - white background

One of our favorites is the ZLINE Recirculating Under Cabinet Range Hood. It is made with durable 430-grade stainless steel and has ZLINE’s lifetime motor guarantee. What we love the most about this range hood is the fact that it’s a recirculating hood, which eliminates the need for any ductwork and keeps the above cabinets free for whatever you might need.

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3. Range Hood Inserts:

If you want to customize every aspect of your kitchen, including making the range hood one-of-a-kind, then a range hood insert is an easy solution. An insert allows you to have your own custom-made hood built, and then add in your insert to make it functional. If you’re interested in creating your own cover range hood, check out our blog where we walk you through building your own DIY range hood cover here.

ZLINE Ducted Wall Mount Range Hood Insert in Stainless Steel (695)

ZLINE Ducted Wall Mount Range Hood Insert in Stainless Steel (695) - white background

We suggest the ZLINE 28" Ducted Wall Mount Range Hood Insert for those looking to get a highly efficient yet wallet-friendly insert. This insert is designed to fit seamlessly into your custom hood and provides robust performance all while remaining very quiet. It has an easy-to-use control panel and also meets current make-up air requirements which can be required in some small kitchens or kitchens with poor ventilation.

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4. Island Range Hoods:

Some kitchens feature a layout where the range or range top is placed in the center of a kitchen island. In cases like this, an island range hood is the best range hood mount type. Since the range hood isn’t located near any walls, this hood is mounted directly into the ceiling and is sure to be one of the most eye-catching pieces in your kitchen.

ZLINE Convertible Vent Island Mount Range Hood in Stainless Steel & Glass (GL14i)

ZLINE Convertible Vent Island Mount Range Hood in Stainless Steel & Glass (GL14i)

Our favorite island mount is the ZLINE Island Mount Range Hood in Stainless Steel & Glass. It features a stainless steel finish and a glass hood that will complement any modern homestyle. Its powerful motor will keep your kitchen fume-free and its built-in LED lights will ensure you have no trouble cooking at any time of the day.

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5. Ceiling Mount Range Hoods:

In certain kitchen designs, where the range or cooktop is positioned at the center of a kitchen island, a ceiling mount range hood becomes the optimal choice. These range hoods are specifically designed to be mounted directly into the ceiling, creating a striking focal point in your kitchen. As they are not situated near any walls, these hoods offer unrestricted views and allow for a more open and spacious kitchen layout.

Forno Arezzo - 44 in. Ceiling Mounted Recessed Range Hood with Perimetric Heat, Odor, Gases, and Steam Air Capture (FRHRE5312-44)

Forno Arezzo - 44 in. Ceiling Mounted Recessed Range Hood with Perimetric Heat, Odor, Gases, and Steam Air Capture (FRHRE5312-44) - white background

The Forno Arezzo is a popular option for those looking for a ceiling mount range hood. One of our favorite features is the remote control. Since this range hood is installed in a hard-to-reach area, having the remote makes it easy to use!

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6. Downdraft Range Hoods:

Downdraft range hoods feature a discreet design that remains hidden when not in use, providing an unobstructed view of your kitchen. When activated, they rise from the countertop to efficiently capture and exhaust smoke, steam, grease, and odors downwards. This downward ventilation method offers a sleek and minimalist aesthetic, ensuring that your kitchen's design remains uninterrupted.

Faber Scirocco Lux Downdraft Range Hood With Size Options In Stainless Steel (SCLX3015BKNB-B)

Faber Scirocco Lux Downdraft Range Hood With Size Options In Stainless Steel (SCLX3015BKNB-B) - white background

The Faber Scirocco Lux Range Hood is one of our favorite downdraft range hoods. It features a fingerprint-resistant finish ensuring a clean and polished look at all times. It also comes equipped with a powerful motor that effectively eliminates cooking fumes, keeping your kitchen air fresh and clean.

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How to Find the Best Range Hood Height

The ideal height for a range hood depends on factors like kitchen characteristics and cooking habits. Generally, indoor range hoods should be installed 30”- 36” above the cooking surface, matching or exceeding its size. Outdoor range hoods perform best when installed 36”- 42” above the cooking surface to effectively capture smoke, steam, and odors. It’s essential to consider the range hood's size, power, and, for high ceilings or island cooktops, the need for a chimney extension. Following manufacturer guidelines and assessing your kitchen's requirements can guide you in determining the optimal range hood height.

Best Range Hood for Short Ceilings

ZLINE Convertible Vent Wall Mount Range Hood in Stainless Steel & Glass (KN4)

ZLINE Convertible Vent Wall Mount Range Hood in Stainless Steel & Glass (KN4) - white background

We love this ZLINE range hood because it’s easy to install and has an easy recirculating conversion process. This ZLINE range hood and many others have adjustable chimneys meaning you can shorten or lengthen them to properly fit your ceiling height. However, if you’re looking to shorten or elongate even further than the adjustable chimney, you have the option of purchasing either a short kit or a chimney extension. However, it’s important to note that these range hood accessories are nonreturnable/nonrefundable. You can find this ZLINE Wall Mount Range Hood short kit here, which is meant for ceilings with a height of 7–8ft.

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Do I Need a Short Kit?

If your ceiling heights are anything below 8ft, you may want to consider investing in a short kit. If you have low ceilings or limited space, a short kit can improve performance by reducing the distance between the hood and the cooking surface, enhancing smoke and odor extraction. Evaluating your kitchen ceiling height and distance to the cooktop are important factors to consider, as well as consulting manufacturer recommendations when deciding if a short kit is needed for optimal range hood performance.

Best Range Hood for High Ceilings

ZLINE Convertible Vent Wall Mount Range Hood in Stainless Steel (KL2)

ZLINE Convertible Vent Wall Mount Range Hood in Stainless Steel (KL2) - white background

This ZLINE range hood is a great model but doesn’t have a hefty price tag attached. Similar to many other ZLINE range hood models, this KL2 has an adjustable chimney, meaning you can shorten or lengthen them to properly fit your ceiling height. However, if you’re looking to shorten or elongate even further than the adjustable chimney, you have the option of purchasing either a short kit or a chimney extension. However, it’s important to note that these range hood accessories are nonreturnable/nonrefundable. You can find this ZLINE Wall Mount Range Hood chimney extension here, which is meant for ceilings with a height of 10–12ft.

Explore Chimney Extensions

Do I Need a Chimney Extension?

If your kitchen ceiling height is anything over 8ft, you may need to consider purchasing a chimney extension. A chimney extension can offer advantages like improved ventilation, better smoke, and odor extraction, and enhanced overall performance. Evaluating your kitchen ceiling height and distance to the cooktop are important factors to consider. Consulting manufacturer recommendations will also aid in deciding if a chimney extension is needed for optimal range hood performance.

Chimney Calculator

What is CFM?

CFM (cubic feet per minute) is a measurement for range hoods, indicating their air-moving capacity. It determines ventilation power and the ability to effectively remove smoke, steam, grease, and odors. A higher CFM rating signifies a more powerful and efficient hood, but it's important to consider factors like kitchen size, cooking style, and cooktop heat output. As a general guideline, a range hood should have a minimum CFM rating of 100 CFM per linear foot of the cooktop. Balancing power is crucial to avoid excessive airflow and negative pressure, so consulting a professional or manufacturer's guidelines is recommended for selecting the appropriate CFM rating for your specific kitchen and cooking requirements.

What is Ducted vs Ductless?

Ducted and ductless range hoods are two primary types of ventilation systems used in kitchens. Ducted hoods vent air outside through ductwork, while ductless hoods use filters to trap grease and odors before recirculating cleaned air back into the kitchen. Ductless hoods are easier to install and suitable for kitchens without exterior wall access, but they are generally less efficient in removing heat and humidity. The choice between ducted and ductless hoods depends on factors like kitchen layout, available ventilation options, and personal preferences for convenience and effectiveness.

No matter what mount style your kitchen needs, The Range Hood Store offers a wide selection of finishes and styles of each of these types of range hoods. Contact us if you need assistance with finding the best range hood for your kitchen, as our Customer Service Department is ready to help with any questions that you might have!

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