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What's Your Ideal Type of Range Hood?

by Bill Welles

When you begin a kitchen build or remodel, one important (and oftentimes overlooked) appliance to consider is a range hood. If you’re busy in the kitchen and you plan to use the stove for most of your daily cooking, then a range hood is an impactful appliance to throw into the mix.  

When you use your cooking appliance to prepare your meals, the smoke, scents, and particles released into the air may create a lingering cloud that will hover in your kitchen space if you don’t have some type of filtration system. A range hood, often referred to as a vent hood, will capture and transfer all the grease and unhealthy air out of the kitchen so you don’t have to deal with unpleasant odors remaining in your cooking space well after mealtime.   

You may be wondering about the options available for range hoods depending on your kitchen design. When it comes to your ideal type of range hood, there are great styles for built-in cooktops, ranges, and islands, so you can always find the right solution for your kitchen.

Under-Cabinet Range Hood  

The first model on our list is an under-cabinet range hood. This is one of the more common types of hoods available due to its affordability and compact size. This hood model is mounted beneath the cabinets that are set directly above your stove— ideally spanning the length of the stove so it can capture the heat and smoke while it rises and before it can make its way to your cabinets. Under-cabinet hoods are ducted through the cabinet above an exterior wall, so oils and grease will be unable to circulate through the kitchen. It's a simplistic yet versatile design that can be seamlessly incorporated into any kitchen style.   

Under-cabinet range hoods are easier to install and more affordable compared to other types of vent hoods. You can find models that are as equally stylish as they are functional. They can stand out in your kitchen design or they can blend in without drawing much notice; it all depends on your preference and what design will best suit your kitchen layout. One of our best-selling models is a Stainless Steel Under-Cabinet Hood from GE Profile (PVX7300SJSS). With a sleek appearance from every angle, you can clean quickly with little effort to remove smoke, grease, and odors.  

Wall-Mounted Range Hood  

If you’re interested in a vent hood but are worried about conserving kitchen space, a wall-mounted hood is the best space-saving option. You'll see a lot more modern kitchen designs with this type of hood installed over the stove in place of cabinetry—serving as a distinctive design element in your kitchen. The main benefit of the wall-mount is how the fan circulates air to eradicate odors and fumes and reduce any mold or bacteria from building up on countertops and other cooking areas.  

Wall-mounted range hoods are also referred to as wall-mounted chimneys because they resemble a chimney in shape. They are wider on the bottom with a narrow vent on top, typically spanning the full length of the stove so they can capture any steam or smoke that rises.  

This type of hood does a fantastic job adding a chic aesthetic to your kitchen space. Designers, contractors, and homeowners alike, are all known to use a wall-mount hood as the centerpiece of the kitchen. It's an appliance that can act as a trophy piece and add a strong presence to your cooking space. One of our favorite models is this Wall-Mount Hood from KitchenAid (KVWB406DSS).

Island Range Hood  

For the high-end, professional-style ranges, the island hood is best used for larger cooking appliances that are located on a kitchen island. This venting system can come in a variety of colors and design themes—adding a very sophisticated look to your cooking space. The island or aerial hood helps disperse steam and grease out of your kitchen to prevent damage to your cabinets by way of condensation and other contaminants. 

Island range hoods can be mounted above your cooktop and vented to the outside of the house. Ductwork will usually go through the ceiling and out through an exterior wall. Instead of venting through ducts in the wall, it connects in the ceiling and vents out the smoke from above. They are similar in design and appearance to the wall-mount hoods, but there are equipped for installation on spaces where the hood doesn’t have a wall to attach to.  

These tend to be a more expensive option, but they are designed with appearance in mind. If you are looking for a unique and eye-catching aesthetic, an island range hood might be your ideal model. If you’re planning on incorporating your stove as part of your kitchen island, check out this GE Profile Island Hood (PV977NSS).

Insert Range Hood  

If you don’t care for the design of the more common types of hoods, you have the option to include the effortless style of an insert range hood. Sometimes referred to as power packs, this type of hood can be added to existing cabinetry without having to clear out any space. Because it comes in a much smaller size and connects with parts already used in your kitchen, there is no need to alter the look of your cooking space.

Insert hoods provide the main function of a typical range hood, but they are easy to insert into your own design. You don’t need to focus as much attention toward incorporating the hood around your already existing kitchen design—it's a much more adaptable option that can play into your ideal aesthetic preferences.   

It's a flexible option that allows you to build a custom range hood cover to match your cabinet design, but after building and installation, it can be a pricier choice. The custom-built hood acts as the star of your kitchen and allows for powerful stove ventilation while maintaining a classy appearance to fit match your kitchen.  

This Monogram Custom Hood Insert (ZVC48LSS) is easily suited for a variety of appliances and provides the power necessary to capture the smoke and oily fumes produced by high-performance cooking equipment.  

Downdraft Range Hood  

Last, but not least, downdraft hoods are also a common model to install for kitchen islands. They are hidden inside the cooktop and pop up along the back of the range to reduce steam from a horizontal angle. This type of hood pulls the fumes down beneath the floor and out of the house. They are an excellent option for those who don’t want a larger overhead hood taking up space in their kitchen. This feature will help decrease mildew, peeling, and discoloration on floors and walls due to moisture. 

Downdraft hoods might not always be the most effective option available, but there are leading the charge for those who want their range hood to stand out visually, but also remain out of sight when not in use. The ducts located underneath the floor moves smoke and air downward against its natural upward flow, which is why this is a more difficult venting option for stoves.   

If you have a stove island and aren’t ready to take on the investment of an island range hood or don’t want to deal with the ductwork, downdraft ranges are a common alternative. If you think this might be the right option for you, take a gander at this Whirlpool Retractable Downdraft System (UXD8636DYS) that will allow for great smoke and steam capture while remaining flush with your cooktop surface.  

If you’re looking for your ideal type of range hood, this list should help you get started. If you need assistance finding the perfect hood for your kitchen layout or you’re unsure which model will best fit your cooking space, visit us at Spencer’s or give us a call. We’re always available to answer any questions and help you find the exact kitchen appliance you need.