How to Determine the Dimensions of the Range Hood That I Need

Determining the optimum dimensions of your range hood may seem difficult, but I’m here to get you through the process as painlessly as possible.

You know you need a range hood and you definitely want one that performs well. At the same time, you also don’t want to over-dimension and spend more than you have to. Finding one in the right size takes a little work, but is not too hard if you follow these steps.

Measure Everything

You can never have too many measurements. Before you go shopping, you should carefully measure several things in your kitchen.

  • First, measure the dimensions of your range top. It is generally recommended to go with a range hood that matches the dimensions of your range. Some experts would say your kitchen hood must be one size bigger. For example, if your cooking range is 30 inches wide, your ventilation hood should be 36 inches wide, overhanging by three inches on both sides. This allows the hood to catch all of the grease, odors, and fumes; while also not being larger than necessary.
  • Next measure the amount of room you have above your range. If you are building your kitchen from scratch or doing a complete remodel, this is less critical. On the other hand, if you have cabinets already installed, you need to know the available space.
  • Carefully measure the distance from your range top to the ceiling so that you can later take into account the required height between your hood and cooktop as well as the remaining height to your ceiling, this is more important in case of chimney hoods.
  • You want to make sure that your installation height corresponds with the manufacturers recommendations. Failure to comply with this could mean that your hood is not powerful enough and in such cases you may have to buy a hood with a higher CFM. Add 100 CFM for every three inches above the recommended maximum height.

Summing It up with Some Actual Numbers

To make the entire process simple and straightforward, let’s sum up what we’ve learned in a format that is easy to execute.

Determining the Width

Measure the width of your cooktop and as a minimum requirement look for a range hood that matches that width or at most pick one that is one size larger, that is 3 inches wider on each side.

Determining the Minimum Height

Begin measuring from the top, either the ceiling (canopy hoods) or the underneath of the cabinet for under cabinet installations. Measure the distance from this point to your cook top, let’s call this A.

Minimum range hood height = Measured distance (A) - Maximum allowed distance between hood to cooktop.

Determining the Breadth

This is simple. Measure the depth of your cook top and subtract 2 - 3 inches. In some cases, if you have a powerful range hood or a hood with a good capture canopy you can also move in a bit more than 3 inches.

How Important Is It? Can I Fudge the Number a Little?

The short answer is no. The size of your range hood is very important. If you have a range hood that is to small you are risking odors and even toxic gases being left in your kitchen.

If you go with a range hood that is too big the consequences may be less significant, but still apparent. You may spend more than is necessary or worse; your new range hood may look disproportional in your kitchen.