Your Guide to Finding the Best Kitchen Stove Hood

Kitchen Remodeling
Additions and Remodels
Decoration and Design
By Dikran Seferian September 24, 2021

People who merely cook at home because they have to stay fed will probably not give too much thought to their stove hood. However, if gastronomy is more of a way of life to you, then you’ll probably be spending a lot of time in your cooking area. Whether you want a range hood just for its function or a more stylish design that fits the kitchen of your dreams, there are several you can choose from. Investing in a type of hood that fits your culinary needs will allow you to prepare endless meals with peace of mind and joy in how good your kitchen looks.

How to Choose Your Stove Hood

Since you're probably looking for a range hood that complements the overall design of your kitchen, you may want to get acquainted with what you’ll be investing in to make sure it meets the minimum requirements. To do this, bear in mind the actual purpose of stove hoods, which is to regulate smoke, temperature, and smells in the kitchen. According to the International Mechanical Code, a venting system must be provided for all appliances in your house that emit any gases, odors, heat, smoke, and fumes. To ensure a proper installation consider hiring a licensed contractor, in addition to ensuring follow-up maintenance.

Kitchen Stove Hood Designs

Wall-Mount Range Hoods

Keeping it Simple With Wall-Mount Stove Hoods

Keeping it Simple With Wall-Mount Stove Hoods

One of the most popular oven hoods is the wall-mount range hood, which is typically installed where a cabinet placed above the stove would be. This traditional design will allow you to save a lot of space while also serving as an element of minimalist industrial design. Usually, these hoods include a chimney system that allows for ventilation; they’re sometimes referred to as wall-mounted chimneys.

Range Hood Inserts

Power Packing Your Range Hood to Work With Your Kitchen Design

Power Packing Your Range Hood to Work With Your Kitchen Design

If bare range hoods aren’t your cup of tea, you could invest in a range hood insert. Also known as a power pack, this design essentially involves a custom-built cabinet that accommodates the hood. The power pack also serves as a ventilation feature for the hood itself. Additionally, you can design the hood cover so that it matches the rest of your cabinets. For example, you can custom design beautiful molded cabinetry with a similarly designed hood insert. The end result would be an installment that serves its purpose as a ventilation powerhouse while providing elegant unobstructed aesthetic value. 

Under Cabinet Hoods

Space Management Solutions for Your Kitchen

Space Management Solutions for Your Kitchen

Another widely-used kitchen hood is the under cabinet range hood. If you already have a cabinet built atop your stove, you may not want to remove it and you don’t have to. An ideal solution would be to have a hood inserted beneath your cabinetry. This design would allow you to manage your countertop space efficiently too.

As with most cooktop solutions, under-cabinet hoods are available in both ducted and ductless variants. The former would normally make use of the cabinet above it to hide the ductwork. Alternatively, you could run the ducts through the wall behind it, as you would with most other hoods.

Island Range Hoods

Going Luxurious With an Island Cooktop

Going Luxurious With an Island Cooktop

Many spacious kitchens will feature their stove center-stage, on the kitchen island. And where your stove goes, your hood follows. In this design, the hood is attached to the ceiling instead of the wall. Island range hoods are available in a variety of modern designs and materials including copper and ceramic. While this type of range hood can be on the pricier side, you’ll definitely get your money's worth with its chic and contemporary style you can show off.

Custom Range Hoods

The Most Seamless Fit With a Custom Designed Range Hood

The Most Seamless Fit With a Custom Designed Range Hood

The best way to satisfy the aesthetic needs of your particular kitchen is to design a custom range hood. Instead of having to build a cabinet to fit your stove hood, why not custom-build the hood itself? The added advantage to this option is that the design possibilities are limitless, and often, gorgeous. Unlike range hood inserts, you don’t need to adhere to a specific shape. This is where you can unleash your creativity — as long as the design is practical, of course. 

Unique Designs for a Custom-Made Kitchen Hood

Unique Designs for a Custom-Made Kitchen Hood

For instance, you can even realize a fun idea like a Super Mario-esque pipe-shaped hood suspended from the ceiling. If your cabinetry is painted in a dark color, a brilliant choice of material for this design would be a copper stove hood. If you’re going for a rustic style kitchen, Z-Line has a variety of wooden range hoods and chimneys to match the setting. Their Designer Wooden Crafted KPLL sets a calm mood with a maximum noise level of only 41 decibels.

Ductless vs Ducted Range Hoods

Instead of evacuating air from your cooking area to the exterior of your house, a ductless system uses a filtration system to clean and recirculate it. Better versions of ductless range hoods filter the air through activated charcoal. You’ll mainly find this variety in under-cabinet hoods. Ducted hoods, on the other hand, tend to be more effective and expert-recommended; the air passes through a filter before being expelled outwards through ductwork installed in the wall or the ceiling in the case of island stove hoods.

Down-Draft Stove Hoods

If your cabinetry doesn’t allow for a range hood, or if you simply don’t have the space for it, you can go for something called a down-draft stove hood. This type of stove ventilation system is even available in a sleek, pop-up version that retracts from plain sight when the stove is not in use. The downside of this kind of hood is that it’s not always very practical. Naturally, smoke rises and conventional range hoods simply catch it from where it is headed. Down-draft stove hoods, however, attempt to catch the steam from the back. As stylish as they may be, these innovations may struggle in functionality. But then again, if you’re not much of the home-cooker, having something stylish is better than having nothing. Broan’s retractable Elite RMDD Rangemaster rises high enough and has substantial power to catch as much smoke as possible. 

Range Hood Maintenance 

When your vent hood is no longer clearing the smoke properly even at its highest setting, then it might be time for some maintenance. Other issues that might warrant maintenance are excessively loud humming from the motor or malfunctioning features. The latter may be due to a fault in the control panel, requiring professional intervention.

Stove Hood Filters

Depending on the type of cooktop hood you have, you’ll find one of two types of filters — a metal or a charcoal filter. If your hood features a metal filter, simply remove it and soak it in a degreasing solution. Make sure to rinse it and let it dry completely before reattaching it to the hood. Charcoal filters, on the other hand, may need to be replaced on an annual basis at the very least. 

Cleaning Vent Filters to Maintain Optimal Conditions

Cleaning Vent Filters to Maintain Optimal Conditions

Cleaning Your Oven Range Hood

You also want to clean the range hood itself from time to time. This task is pretty simple and straightforward; when the range hood and the stove are turned off and cool to the touch, use a non-abrasive cleaning solution to give them a good scrub until they’re squeaky clean. As for the vent, inspect it throughout for any buildup of grease; neglecting to do so may lead to blockages in the vent, potentially posing a fire hazard. 

Although the kitchen exhaust fan is a fairly durable piece, it might still require the occasional cleanup in order to maintain its prime condition. When ignored for too long, the motor will eventually give in to humidity and grease. Consider inspecting it every now and then for signs of deterioration.

Tip: You can test your range hood vent by holding a small piece of newspaper under it; if the vent sucks it up and holds it in place, you're good to go.

Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian