The placement of your range hood is a critical decision point when outfitting a new kitchen, or simply replacing your old, outdated, model. By determining the optimal height for your new kitchen hood, you can be confident that you are getting the optimal performance and reliability out of your new investment.
They serve a critical purpose in your kitchen, ventilating fumes and odors released during the cooking process. The proper height of your hood, in relation to the cooktop, ensures that your range hood can keep your kitchen healthy, safe, and odor free.
There are several factors you need to take into consideration when purchasing and installing a new exhaust system in your kitchen. Obvious things like the stove type, for instance, whether it is gas or electric will influence what range hood height will be ideal for your setup, but other less thought about items need to be factored in as well.
In general, a typical installation height is 20 to 24 inches above the cooktop for electric stoves and 24 to 30 inches for gas stoves. Note that these are general averages and it is crucial that you look-up your range hood manual.
One item likely not thought about by many, is the ideal height in relation to the height of the person most likely to be cooking. The last thing you need is a hood that gets in your way. This is something you will most likely discover after the installation is complete, if not carefully considered beforehand.
Possibly the most important factor is the CFM, or cubic feet per minute, of the unit you will be installing. Depending on the capacity of your range hood, you may be able to install it at a farther distance or install it closer for less powerful models. Do not install lower than the recommended minimum height because the minimum height is defined by safety tests, whereas the upper limit is based only on performance.
The installation height is something that needs to be thought about both during the kitchen design and while shopping for a new range hood. Generally speaking, if you can remember to examine a few steps during your range hood installation, you can make an informed decision.
- While shopping for a range hood go into the process knowing you will be searching for range hoods designed specifically for your cooking application, gas or electric. Every manufacturer will recommend different installation procedures.
- When laying out your kitchen cabinets consider the amount of space you will need for your desired kitchen hood. If you are replacing an existing model with cabinets already installed, make sure you know how much space you have available before you go shopping.
- Consider the CFM needed for your desired height. If you want to increase the distance between the cooktop and the bottom of the range hood, you are likely going to need an increased CFM. Some sources recommend adding 100 CFM for every 3 inches above the maximum recommended height.
It is always suggested to follow the manufactures suggested installation procedures. By following the installation guidelines provided in the product manual, you can be assured that the kitchen hood is working at the peak efficiency it was designed for.
If for some reason you must deviate from the recommended instructions, such as limited space, or simply because a lower hood is likely to get in your way, you will want to carefully consider the effect a change in distance will have.
At best, a machine installed at the wrong height is going to reduce the benefit you are hoping to receive, increasing the chance of grease and oil buildup, and an inability to remove odors created as a byproduct of cooking. The worst case scenario is a fire if the hood is too close to the cooktop.
Range hood installation height may seem like one of the less important things to consider in your kitchen, but the wrong decision can have lasting effects.