A range hood can be contemporary or traditional, ductless or ducted, located over a center island like this one, or wall-mounted.
A quality kitchen ventilation system plays a significant role in the indoor air quality of the home, drawing stale air filled with grease, odors, and moisture out of the room. A range hood’s noise level, power, and efficiency are often overlooked, but décor choices and technology have combined to bring good ventilation to the forefront of kitchen design.
Hoods and Ventilation Range hoods are crafted from a variety of materials including copper, stainless steel, natural woods, ceramic, and tile. Finishes, shapes, and models range from stark modern to faux French, provinicial, and country. Trims and finishes can be customized, so it’s not unusual for homeowners to have custom hoods installed and purchase the ventilation system separately as a hood insert.
A ventilation system or range hood can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands. Abbaka, a Swedish company, has one range hood system that sells for $10,000. Some high-end range hoods feature smart technology that can turn them on automatically when heat is detected, and others that feature auto shut-offs, alerts when the filters need to be cleaned, or 24-hour modes that keep the hood running at a low-power output to refresh household air.
Ventilation Ducts and Filters Good kitchen ventilation should draw out stale air, remove grease and odors, and reduce moisture. A properly powered and sized range hood is placed over the cooktop to draw in stale cooking air and fresh air from the the rest of the house. “The hood creates an air current, and draws from wherever the air is coming from,” says Matt Avery, Sales and Marketing Coordinator for Faber, an Italian range hood company. “Any smoke, moisture, or bad air in the kitchen or adjacent rooms should get pulled into the hood and, ideally, exhausted to outside the home.”
Most kitchen ventilation products are wall or ceiling-mounted updraft systems concealed in a hood. An updraft system draws air and moisture up into the hood and exhausts it outside via ducts and vents. A ductless or recirculating updraft system draws air through a grease filter and often a charcoal filter to eliminate odors before recycling it back into the room. These recirculating hood systems are placed over the cooktop and are effective at catching grease and odors but inefficient at removing moisture from the air.
Downdraft, or proximity, systems do not involve overhead hoods. They draw air down into the system, which is installed in the cooktop or an adjacent cooking surface. Downdraft systems are always exhausted or ducted.