Island Ductless Range Hood
What are Ductless Range Hoods?
A recirculating hood just as the name suggests, is one that doesn't exhaust air outdoors or to an Attic/Basement (with open windows of course). Instead, it just recirculates the air around your kitchen. The stale/polluted air is passed through charcoal filters which purify it by getting rid of all fumes, odor and any kind of smoke that's emitted while you cook.
Why choose Recirculating Range Hoods?
There are plenty of reasons why people would opt for ductless range hoods rather than their ducted counterparts. Some of the reasons could be:
- Ductless Hoods are cheaper – Short term costs (No duct installation charges, but you do have to pay for charcoal filter replacements).
- Energy efficient – They don't have to be very high CFM so as to throw the air through the duct out to the exit.
- During the winters when you'eturned on your heaters you wouldn't want the warm air escaping from your kitchen through the ducts. Backdraft dampers help when not in use, but when in use you're going to be sending out warm air from your home.
- Perfect for remodeling where you do not want to install vents
Guide on picking the best Non-Ducted range hood for your kitchen
When picking a range hood for your kitchen there are quite a few factors to consider. Among the many, we've decided to focus on the major aspects:
Let's be frank. There are hundreds of models to choose from and you're going to want to create a shortlist. One of the best ways to get rid of a huge chunk of the pie is by deciding on your budget. Make a wise decision here. Range hoods are rather large investments and are going to be with you for years, so don't be stingy and get a horrible one. If you're short on funds, it would be wiser to save up for a few more months before you take the plunge.
What kind of filter do you prefer?
There are three kinds of filters that are used in recirculating range hoods:
- Charcoal Filters
- Baffle Filters
- Mesh Filters
They are going to be needed in all recirculating kitchen hoods as they are responsible for getting rid of odor and absorption of fumes, etc. You have no choice here. You do have a choice when it comes to the other two though. Charcoal filters need to be replaced and the other one either Baffle or Mesh doesn't have to as long as you maintain it well.
Usually manufactured of Aluminum or Stainless Steel and in some cases mild steel, they work by forcing the greasy air to pass through them haphazardly, quickly changing direction as it rises. However, grease being heavier (more viscous) than air, it cannot change direction as quickly as the air which results in it collecting on the baffles. From here it trickles down and collects in a tray that needs to be cleaned every few months or so. They can be quite large and not fit in dishwashers at times and are also more expensive than mesh filters.
Mesh filters are basically a group of many fine metal mesh layers placed one behind another. The greasy air is passed through them and it collects on the minute pores as it passes through. Here too, there's a tray that collects the grease. However, the grease tends to clog the pores a lot easier in this case and you would have to clean the filters every other week. On a positive note, range hoods with these filters are usually a bit cheaper.
It goes without saying that you're going to want your range hood to look good and probably enhance the looks of your kitchen. There are plenty of models to choose from, and they usually come in different styles. There are plenty of similar models that only look different, so you don't have anything to worry about in this regard.
CFM power of the recirculating hood
CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) is the measure of power of your range hood. The ideal CFM that you require would be based on various factors such as the size of your kitchen, the volume of food you cook, the kind of food you cook, the length of the ducting, the number of burners and more. It's a complicated calculating process and that's why we've built an online calculator for you. Check out our kitchen hood CFM calculator.
The CFM determines how long it takes for all the air in your kitchen to pass through the range hood. An ideal CFM for most homes would be around 300.
Every range hood produces noise when the motor and fan run. However, some of them are louder than the comfort threshold and can turn out to be a real annoyance in the kitchen. Therefore when picking your range hood make sure that you take a look at the noise level. For home use the ideal sound level would be around 4 sones or a bit higher as that's the level of regular human conversations.
Check for size before you buy
A new addition to the list, we've added this because we had a few people contacting us asking us if we knew where they could get extensions for their Wall and Island mount hoods. Before you place an order you need to measure the area over your cooking range. The ideal range hood covers all your burners, if not the entire cooking range.
If you've got a cooking range with 4 burners, you should make sure that the range hood moves far back to cover the back ones completely and at least a small percentage of the front burners. Check the height of the cooking range from the spot where you intend to place the recirculating range hood. Keep it high enough to be no hindrance to you while you cook but not too high as it would lead to a larger probability of fumes escaping the hood.
With the increase in the number of features of your recirculating kitchen hood, the price is going to rise as well. But, if you're looking for the best, you should try and find range hoods with the following features too:
- Lighting - Most range hoods have halogen or LED lighting and have a low and bright version which can be used as per the need
- Fan Speeds - The more fan speeds the better as then you would be able to adjust it to exactly what you need, there's no waste of electricity this way.
- Auto Switch-Off - Not many recirculating range hoods come with this feature. Basically you can set a time wherein the range hood switches off on it's own after your set time.
- Heat Sensors - Some models also have heat sensors that are capable of increasing and decreasing the fan speed as needed based on the amount of heat they detect in your kitchen.
The Final Say - Should you proceed with a Recirculating range hood?
One of the main reasons as to why people choose recirculating range hoods is because they're cheaper and you also save on the installation of ducts. This is a wise choice for many as the savings would allow them to buy a range hood with better features. But, if you're looking for efficiency it's always better to buy a cheaper hood and install ducting as this would save you on your power bills too. However, if ducting is completely out of the question you should buy a recirculating hood keeping in mind the air flow rate, noise and of course - the filtration!