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Home > Projects & DIY Toolkit > Buying Guides > Range Hood Information Buying Guide

Range Hood Information Buying Guide

There's nothing like home cooking to fill your kitchen with delicious aromas. But cooking can also produce grease, moisture, and smoke that permeate rooms.

But before you start dining out every meal, you might want to consider installing a range hood. Select a range hoods provide ventilation for air circulation and odour removal. Selecting range hoods with a light will also provide an additional light source in your kitchen.

Like other appliances, there are basic models and others with all the bells and whistles. Lowe's is happy to provide this range hood information as a service to you.

Choosing a Range Hood: Understand Common Features

Fans are either rotary (like a traditional-bladed fan) or centrifugal (barrel-shaped). A centrifugal fan will move more air and is quieter to operate. This type will also perform better if you have ducts. Select a range hood with rotary fans for less expense. You may want to choose a range hood fan with variable speed controls.

CFM-Cubic feet per minute is used to rate and compare air movement, whether it's a leaf blower or a range hood. Choosing a range hood with higher CFM results in more air moved.

Noiseis measured is sones. A sone is roughly equal to the sound of a refrigerator running. Normal conversations take place at about four sones, city traffic rates up to around eight. Use sones to compare units, but be aware that the higher the CFM, the higher the sone rating is likely to be.

Automatic shutoffcan be preset to shut the fan off after a specific time.

Heat sensorsautomatically speed up the fan or sound an alarm when they detect increased heat.

Lightingis also a part of some hoods, with one or two incandescent or halogen bulbs.

Installation considerations

Proper size-for efficiency, the hood needs to be at least as wide as the range or cooktop. Units will mount either on the wall or under the cabinet — some are adaptable to mount either way. When selecting range hoods, measure your cooking surface before going shopping. Always read the specified requirements for the proper mounting height.

Exhaust-since the idea is to remove air, the best range hood is only as good as its exhaust system. There are three configurations:

  •   • Vented or Ducted-Requiring ductwork to channel the exhaust outdoors.

  •   • Non-vented or Duct-free-With washable and replaceable filter(s) to clean and return the air to the kitchen.

  •   • Combination-can be used with or without ducts.

Where will the range hood be located?

If you select a ducted unit, the exhaust must be vented to the outside, never directed to the attic or basement. If your range hood will be mounted on an exterior wall, the exhaust ducts will be shorter and therefore more efficient. If you plan to install the hood on an interior wall or island, keep in mind the longer distance and consider a more powerful unit.

Proper installation of ductwork is critical to the efficiency of the range hood. While many individuals choose to hire a professional to install their ductwork, you can purchase materials and accessories to do it yourself. Always read the manufacturer's specifications carefully.

Range hoods are available in many styles, from hideaway models to brushed metal units.

If you have upgraded your range or cooktop, especially to a larger size, upgrade your range hood as well.


Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes and local regulations change; therefore, Lowe's assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Please visit our terms of use.

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