What to look for in your next (or very first) range hood
The kitchen is a workshop where we whip up delicious dishes to feed ourselves and our families. Unfortunately, the cooking process results in some unpleasant side effects in our kitchens, including grease and odors, which bring about some rather undesirable smells. With the right ventilation, though, a great many of these unwanted odors can be removed.
It may not be a lot of fun, but the right kind of range hood is essential to keeping your kitchen smelling pleasant. The best range hoods are the ones that integrate best within your budget and the present design of your kitchen. For example, you can install an island fan to instantly attract attention towards itself, but it can turn out to be a bad idea if you already have pendants or chandeliers installed.
Once you figure out the design that you want, here’s a handy guide that will help you make sense of all the information listed on the spec sheet when you are trying to make up your mind about the various range hoods for sale.
Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM)
The first thing you need to look at is the amount of power required from your fan, and this is indicated by the term cubic feet per minute, usually abbreviated as CFM. The higher the CFM, the more air that can be removed in a minute.
The CFM you require depends on a variety of factors, mainly how often you cook, the size of your kitchen and the type of cooking range or cooking range top you are using. As a rule of thumb, a gas burner will require a range hood with a larger CFM than an electric cooktop, so keep that in mind when you look at range hoods for sale.
Many people only use their range hoods to a limited extent due to the noise. If you plan your buying decision right, you don’t have to be one of these people. Sones indicate the amount of sound that is produced by a fan as perceived by a person with normal hearing. Some manufacturers prefer not to provide the measurement in sones and use decibels (indicated by dB) instead.
Be advised though that all manufacturers do not conform to a standardized specification since the definition of “normal hearing” differs across the board. While the manufacturer will be willing to provide you with the sones of the available range hoods for sale, the only way to determine how loud it will turn out to be would be not to go by the range hood reviews and to request the retailer to turn it on for you.
You also need to look at the installation height, more technically known as the mounting height, of the appliance you are considering. This term refers to the gap between the burners on your stove and the range hood filter. The best range hoods for your situation will have a mounting height that is appropriate for your own height. Ask the retailer to demonstrate the mounting height before you make any commitment.
The location of the blower is another factor that contributes towards the noise. The loudest noise is created when the blower is located in the body of the appliance, and there is very little you can do about it.
You can reduce the noise by installing an inline blower, located midway between the duct run. It strengthens the blower power while at the same time significantly cutting down on any noise. If you have a larger budget, you could also consider an external blower, which results in an almost noiseless operation while at the same time reducing the amount of space used up in your kitchen.
You also have to remember that your options may be limited by restrictions imposed by your landlord or your municipality.
If you still can’t decide on the range hood that best suits your requirement, here’s a list of some of our recommendations. Our range hood reviews cover some of the best range hoods out there in terms of price, value for money, specifications, and convenience to help you find one that works best for you.
1. Z Line KB-36 Stainless Steel Wall Mount Range Hood, 36-Inch
- Four-speed motor equipped with auto-timer
- High-quality durable stainless steel design
- Targeted directional lighting
- Dishwasher-safe baffle filters
- Provides adequate coverage for a 36-inch cooking range
- Can easily be converted to ductless
- Easy, hassle-free installation
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Great value for money
- Great fan suction at all speeds
- Lights can be easily rotated according to your requirement
- Filters are washable
- Creates ample lighting for a large-sized cooking range
- Buttons require a great deal of strength to operate
- Baffles do not fit too well
- Noise is a bit too loud
- Minor niggles in cowling
- Prone to get dirty easily
- LED lights do not last beyond two years. Replacements are difficult to find
This range hood can be bought in most places for under 400 dollars. If you’re itnerested in it and want to read some realy reviews about it, check this page.
The Z-Line KB-36 range hood is an aesthetically pleasing model that will make a great statement in any kitchen you install it in, making it one of the best range hoods on our list in terms of design. It comes with easy-to-follow instructions and all the equipment you need to fit it in properly. At this price tag, it also provides great value for money, packing features that models that cost more than twice its price do not have. The LED lights can easily be adjusted, depending on your cooking direction, and no matter how low you set the fan speed, the suction is great.
The LED lights, while providing great lighting, are also prone to giving out easily with replacements notoriously difficult to find. The sleek silver body gathers dust and grime very quickly and needs to be cleaned out regularly. The biggest downside though is the buttons – they require considerable strength to operate and may be difficult to use for the physically challenged and the elderly.
2. XtremeAir PX02-W30 Wall Mount Range Hood
- Body made out of stainless steel
- Lights included
- Wall mount
- Touch-sensitive control panel with four speeds
- Dishwasher-friendly stainless steel baffle
- Efficient power fan that pulls odors out of any kitchen very effectively
- Noiseless operation
- Intuitive controls
- No sharp edges or dangerous corners
- Baffle filters are easy to remove and replace
- Easy installation
- Chimney holes don’t quite line up. Extra drilling required
- Originally included LED lights may not offer adequate lighting
- Backdraft damper is prone to a slight rattle
- LED lights do not last beyond two years
Availabe in most places between 500 and 600 dollars, which price tag makes it one of the more expensive hoods.
The XtremeAir Pro is aesthetically pleasing with a sleek stainless steel body that will add interest to any kitchen. Everything required for easy installation is included along with an easy-to-follow instruction manual. However, you will find that some additional drilling may be required as the chimney holes do not quite line up, so it is highly recommended to keep a drill handy when you begin the installation. The unit includes two built-in LED lights, which can easily be adjusted according to your cooking direction. However, this is not one of the best range hoods out there when it comes to lighting. The lighting is poor, and they tend not to last beyond two years, which means that you will find yourself having to look for new ones very soon after you make your purchase.
What is truly great about this particular model of range hood is the suction that it provides. It is great at sucking away all kinds of odors from all kinds of cooking, leaving even the smallest and most congested of kitchens odor-free in no time at all. The noise level is much lower than expected for a range hood with this kind of suction, and it is very easy to conduct a conversation even when the fan is on the highest possible setting.
3. Broan 413004 ADA Capable Non-Ducted Under-Cabinet Range Hood
- Comes with a protective lamp lens that helps distribute light evenly over the cooking range
- Installs as non-ducted only with charcoal filter
- Suitable for ADA-compliant applications
- Non-ducted filtration system
- 2-speed fan
- Four different colors
- Great value for money
- Simple and easy to install
- Does not occupy too much space
- Bulbs can easily be replaced with less energy-intensive options
- Could do with a design upgrade
- Material is flimsy
- Light and fan upgrades are very basic
In most places you can get it for under 100 bucks, making it one of the cheap range hoods.
The Broan 413004 is a simple case of “you get what you pay for.” At slightly less than $100, it is a bargain for those who do not wish to spend a great deal of money on a range hood. It does the job expected of it and that too very well, getting rid of odors in a very short amount of time. It comes with very easy installation instructions, minus the installation kit, so that it can easily be installed by anyone, regardless of their skill levels. The best part is that the setup does not occupy too much space, making it perfect for those with smaller kitchens or those who wish to utilize their kitchen space in some other way.
That said, it is evident that the makers of this range hood have been cutting corners. The material is flimsy and easily dented. The lights and fans provide only minimal functionality, doing exactly what is expected and nothing more. This is fine for those who only want the job done, but those who are expecting something extra are sure to be disappointed.
4. Broan QS130SS Allure Range Hood, Stainless Steel, 30-inch
- Designed for noiseless operation
- Two-speed fan
- Two-level light setting
- Lightweight durable steel construction
- Designed with easy cleaning in mind
- Easily affordable
- Can easily accommodate gas as well as electric cooking ranges
- Noiseless operation
- Easily installed
- Efficient exhaust
- Easily cleaned
- Standardized LED light fitting can accommodate any LED lights of the user’s choice
- Hood can easily be adjusted according to any setup
- Several sharp edges
- Material is flimsy and easily damaged
- Fan does not work efficiently at lower settings
- Very prone to dirt buildups
If you want to check the current price of this range hood, please click here.
This Broan range hood provides a noiseless operation – up to 50 percent quieter than comparable models – and comes with instructions that are easy to follow by even the less technically-minded users. The versatile design can be adjusted according to a variety of cooking range setups and accommodates both gas and electric cooktops. The stainless steel design is dishwasher safe and designed for easy cleaning, the main drawback being its sharp edges that cut the user’s hands if they are not careful. However, the design is flimsy and is easily damaged due to the poor quality material used. In addition, it is prone to dirt and grease buildups, which means that you need to clean it up more often. The exhaust efficiently removes cooking odors from the kitchen, which makes it great value for money but does not seem to have sufficient power to do so at lower settings.
5. Eureka 30″ European Style Stainless Steel Island Mount Range Vent Hood
- Island mounting version
- Body made from the highest-quality stainless steel
- Push control panel with three different speeds
- Great value for money
- One-year warranty
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- Low-noise operation
- Bright lighting makes it easy to see what you are doing on the stove
- Simple interface makes it very easy to use
- Very efficient at venting
- Complicated installation. Installation manual is not very detailed
- Material is flimsy
- Not easy to find replacement parts
- Poor customer support
- Light bulbs have poor life
- Prone to over-heating
- Not designed for tall users
This item is usually available for 300-400 dollars depending on where and when you buy it.
The Eureka 30″ range hood is an island-mounting variety that totally transforms the look of any kitchen. Made out of stainless steel, the design is not only aesthetically pleasing but also lightweight and easy to manage. Unfortunately, it is not at all easy to install and uninstall, and you may require some additional help when you set up this range hood. The installation manual is not very detailed and seems to assume that you already know what you are doing, so less technically-minded users may struggle with it.
The pre-installed light bulbs give off good light, so you can easily see what you are doing on the stove. However, they tend to have a poor life and will need to be replaced within a year. The fixtures are standard, so you can easily purchase replacement bulbs from your nearest hardware store. The rest of the parts, though, are a different story. The stainless steel used in the construction is flimsy and very poor quality, getting dented easily. Replacement parts are very difficult to find and, despite the one-year warranty, the manufacturer offers poor customer support. The difficult uninstallation process also makes it a hassle to ship the unit back to the manufacturer in order to reclaim the warranty.
If money is not a problem, we highly recommend the Z-Line KB-36 range hood. At slightly more than $350, it packs a powerful punch including many convenient features that are hard to find in models that cost more than twice. The stainless steel design, even if it does require a bit of extra cleaning, is very pleasing to look at and will add a great deal of oomph to any kitchen.
The Z-Line KB-36 comes with features that make it a breeze to use and clean, which is one reason why it comes with the best range hood reviews in the market. It provides excellent suction, no matter how low you set the fan speed, instantly ridding your kitchen of any unpleasant odors in no time at all. The attachments are all very easy to clean and are 100 percent dishwasher-safe, making cleaning convenient and hassle-free. The LED lights that are included with the unit can easily be adjusted to suit any cooking direction and provide more than adequate lighting for any kitchen design. It can also be easily converted to ductless by adding a charcoal filter so that it does not make a compact kitchen even more cluttered. Add to this the longevity of the unit, and you can be sure you have yourself one of the best range hoods out there.
Best value for money
For the budget-conscious, we would highly recommend the Broan QS130SS Allure Range Hood. This range hood does everything expected of it at this price point, and then some. It is one of the best range hoods for sale in terms of pumping odors out of the kitchen without requiring users to leave their doors and windows open. It is also very easy to install thanks to the extremely detailed and fully illustrated user manual included with the unit, which means that you can do the job yourself without paying a contractor extra money. The design is versatile and will go with any kitchen design and cooking range setups, so you don’t have to invest in extensive redesigns to accommodate this range hood.
The design is not very durable but perfectly acceptable for the price that you pay for it. The stainless steel design is dishwasher safe and designed for easy cleaning, which makes up for the fact that it is also prone to dust and grease buildups and need to be cleaned frequently.