Range Hoods - FAQ

You probably have a lot of questions about buying, installing or even maintaining a range hood. Check out some of the questions that we are frequently asked:

Common Questions on Buying a Range Hood

PICKING THE SIZE OF MY RANGE HOOD

You first need to decide whether you’re buying a range hood for outdoor cooking (Grilling, etc.) or for installing within your kitchen.

Indoor: It’s always recommended that your range hood should be one size larger than your cooking range and thereby overlap it by around 3 – 6 inches on either side for maximum coverage. For instance if you’re cooking range his 30″ you’d be best off buying a 36″ range hood.

Outdoor: For outdoor purposes it is recommended to buy ranges that are two sizes larger than the cooking range. So, if you’ve got a 30″ range hood it would be wise to opt for a 42″ range hood or bigger.

SHOULD I CHOOSE A DUCTED RANGE HOOD OR NON-DUCTED?

If you’ve got an option you should definitely opt for a Ducted Range hood as they’re definitely the best option in most cases. Ducted range hoods get rid of the fumes, smoke, hot air as well as humidity and hence keeps your kitchen cool and lively. Non-ducted hoods on the other hand just recirculate the air only getting rid of fumes and smoke. Your kitchen doesn’t feel “fresh” but is surely free of oily fumes.

Also, you would need to replace the filters in case of non-ducted hoods at least once or twice a year. If you fail to do so, they won’t perform well. Moreover, as the filters fill up the efficiency of absorption decreases too. Check out this page if you want to know more about recirculating range hoods in detail.

You would be better off if you could buy range hoods that are convertible and can be used both as ducted and non-ducted hoods. This would be ideal when you don’t want the hot/cool air from your home to escape.

UNDERSTANDING CFM AND SONE RATINGS

CFM – Cubic Feet per Minute. It’s basically the volume of air that leaves your kitchen in cubic feet every minute. As you’ve figured out, the higher the number the more air can be passed through the filters or exhaust within a minute. So if your kitchen is prone to a lot of fumes you should opt for a range hood with a high CFM.

Sones – A sone is nothign but a system of measurement for sound just like pound is to weight. Just to help you get a better understanding of what the sone levels mean here’s a small comparison:

1 Sone – Running of your Refrigerator

4 sones – People chatting whole heartedly

For more examples, check out Wikipedia.

WHAT ARE CONVERTIBLE RANGE HOODS

As you’ve probably already figured out, convertible range hoods are hoods that can be installed in different ducting modes. The most common are ducted and non-ducted installation as well as variations in the size of the ducting tubes that you need to use.

Usually all the parts needed for a convertible range hood are provided in the box. But, if a hood is basically manufactured to vent, you would need to buy charcoal filters additionally. Just make sure before you place your order.

Installation queries and doubts

HOW TO CONTROL BACKDRAFT THROUGH THE KITCHEN EXHAUST

If you’re installing a range hood which vents to the external environment, you’re definitely going to worry about temperature losses (Either warm air escaping or the other way around). Most of the top Range Hoods come equipped with a Backdraft Damper to prevent air from the external environment from entering your kitchen. However, if your range hood doesn’t have one, you should look out for a Backdraft Damper to suit vents of your dimensions.

HOW DO YOU DECIDE THE CFM OF A RANGE HOOD

There are plenty of factors that govern the power that you would need for effective exhaust, such as:

  • The output of your Cooking Range
  • What you cook and how often you cook.
  • The size of the hood.
  • The length as well as general configuration of your range hood.
  • It also depends on whehter your food is oily and releases a lot of fumes.

WHAT KIND OF DUCTING SHOULD I USE FOR VENTILLATION

It’s always wise to use metal ducting. But even among metal ducting you would have to pick between the flexible metal duct and smooth metal duct. Some people may say the flexible ducting is better for obvious reasons. But, if you think of it scientifically you would realize that every bend makes it harder to get the air out. Therefore, for best results and efficiency it would be wise to pick a smooth metal duct.

WHAT SIZE DUCTING SHOULD I USE

Usually ducting is measured in terms of it’s diameter and the unit used is inches. You should make sure that the ducting you pick is equivalent to the pipe or exhaust of the range hood so that it’s a perfect match.

You would be able to use something a bit larger, but anything smaller would be a hindrance. Your first choice should definitely be an exact match metal duct though.

WHAT IS THE IDEAL LENGTH OF THE DUCT WORK DURING INSTALLATION

The shorter the better as this would require less power to get the air out of your kitchen and into the atmosphere. Therefore, you should ensure that you take the shortest path possible.

Also, avoid any 90 degree turns as more power needs to be consumed in order to get the job done. 45 degree bends work the best. To further increase performance it would be suggested to use a wall cap or roof.

CAN I LET THE DUCTWORK INTO THE ATTIC INSTEAD OF GOING THROUGH A ROOF OR WALL?

This being one of the most common questions, it surprisingly has a simple and definite answer – NO! You should never let the exhaust into a closed room (Open windows don’t count) as that would result in a build up of sediments of oil.

AT WHAT HEIGHT SHOULD I MOUNT MY RANGE HOOD?

The ideal height to place a range hood is around 24″ – 30″ above the cooking range as this gives the range hood maximum catchment area and most of the impurities are are directed in through the hood.

MOUNTING THE CONTROLS AWAY FROM THE RANGE HOOD

It would be great to have the hood controls in a spot that’s easy to reach rather than walking up to the hood each time. Since they’re just electrical connections, this shouldn’t be a problem at all.

However, you should know that most manufacturer warranties are null and void if you modify these connections. So, you better think twice before you do this on a new range hood.

Maintenance of your Range Hood

WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO CLEAN THE SURFACE OF A RANGE HOOD

Most of the range hoods are comprised of stainless steel and the best way to wash them would be to use soap, water and a clean cloth and wipe along the direction of the polish lines.

You need to make sure that you dry it up well and while wiping dry use another wet cloth and wipe in the same direction in order to maintain the shine. Use plain water while rinsing just to get rid of all soap particles that may still be left behind. There are a few people who also apply a bit of an oil coating in order to make the shine stand out.

Make sure that you use only mild detergents as heat from the cooking range could tend to react with some detergents which would then lead to paint losses.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD THE ALUMINUM FILTERS BE WASHED

Usually Aluminum Grease Filters are dishwasher safe which makes maintenance really simple. You just need to wash them once a month or so, but it really depends on the amount you’re using your range. Make sure that you use a mild detergent and it should be free of phosphate.

If you do happen to use a phosphate detergent it may result in a loss of shine and color of the filters. Of course this isn’t going to hamper the performance, but aesthetic looks count as well – right?

MAINTENACE OF BAFFLE FILTERS - WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE

Baffle filters have been manufactured for high end use and therefore you wouldn’t need to wash them very often if you’re using it for domestic purposes. You just need to wash them using a good detergent and water whenever you feel that the surface of the baffle filters have accumulated a lot of oil.

HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO REPLACE THE FILTERS ON MY NON-DUCTED RANGE HOOD?

There’s no straight forward answer to this question as it would depend on a lot of factors. The most important among them include the frequency of use and it also depends on the amount of fumes that are emitted.

Most charcoal filters need to be replaced anywhere between 3 – 6 months of use. However, there are filters that come along with an indicator nowadays. They are a lot better as the color of the indicator changes and lets you know when they need to be replaced.


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