As most of your friends have a range hood in their kitchen (and sometimes a second one over the barbeque) you are now thinking about getting one for your kitchen as well. The big question, however, is whether you need a range hood or not.
Nowadays it is widely accepted that for various reasons a home’s kitchen should have a range hood. The reasons range from aspects like the clean air that will keep your family healthier, to the less maintenance your kitchen’s cabinets and floor will need. Some local authorities are also starting to make it mandatory to have a hood in the kitchen. So, yes, you need a range hood.
In this article, we’ll help you to understand why you need a range hood by discussing the pros and cons of a hood in the kitchen. Then we’ll look at whether you need a ducted or ductless range hood. We’ll also answer a few of the most frequently asked questions in this regard.
Pros of range hoods
Let’s start by looking at some of the pros of having a range hood in the kitchen.
1. The hood cleans the air – leads to better health.
Cleans, purifies and freshens the air
Range hoods improve the air quality not only of your kitchen but of the rest of the home as well. When a hood extracts the air, it removes pollutants and simultaneously freshens the air.
If you use your range hood on a regular basis, you are regularly purifying the air and ventilating your kitchen. By purifying and ventilating the kitchen’s air you are creating a healthier home for yourself and your family.
Less potential “pests”
When a room, like your kitchen, is ventilated regularly there will be less buildup in the room, and this cuts down on potential bacteria growth.
A well-ventilated room without leftover debris and dirt is “pest-unfriendly.”
Less fumes and chemicals in the air
Smoke and steam associated with cooking can also affect your breathing. Extracting these fumes is important for people with asthma and allergies.
Cooking is also known to produce chemicals that produce carcinogens. Your cooking can also expose you to gas fumes like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and formaldehyde.
Without a range hood, those harmful fumes could be a risk to your health. These fumes can over time lead to irritated skin, coughing, nausea, headaches, dizziness, and even lung cancer.
2. A hood makes home maintenance easier
The hood traps grease and other residue produced by cooking that would have stuck to your cabinets, walls and floors if the hood hasn’t been working. If you use the range hood every time you cook you’ll have a lot less scrubbing to do cleaning the cabinets and floors.
And remember, over scrubbing and the use of wrong cleaners might lead to discoloration of your cabinets. When a range hood is effectively used, it helps you to keep your kitchen cabinets clean and in good condition.
Thus range hoods help cut down on your weekly cleanup time and can also save you money on cleaning material.
3. A hood prevents annoying false smoke alarms
If you don’t have a range hood or are not using it when you are cooking, the excessive fumes from your cooking can trigger the smoke alarm. Then you have to leave your cooking and try to shut the alarm down. By the time you’ve shut down the alarm and fanned out all the fumes, your cooking might be ruined!
A range hood allows you to quickly suck up any fumes and odors, guaranteeing a pleasant cooking and dining experience.
4. A hood doesn’t leave lingering odors
Without a range hood, there is always the possibility that you will still smell the previous night’s food when you wake up in the morning. And if it has been a strong smell, it can linger the whole day.
Smells lingering in your home can also easily be absorbed by your curtains and furniture and over time your home will not smell fresh and clean. A range hood will prevent bad odors from staying around.
5. A hood can make it comfortable to serve meals in your kitchen
The high levels of smoke and steam when you are cooking can make your kitchen an uncomfortable place to eat. You don’t want to serve your family meal in a steamy and sweltering kitchen.
With a range hood there would have been no, or at least lesser steam in the kitchen that can make your kitchen the number one choice for family meals.
6. Cook with confidence
Whether you are cooking every day or only now and again, you probably love to try new recipes from time to time. A working range hood, allows you to enjoy steaming, poaching, stir-frying, and every “out of the ordinary” dish you want to prepare.
With the hood, you don’t have to worry about excessive steam or odors in your kitchen, and even oily dishes will not leave a residue on your kitchen cabinets and floor.
7. A range hood can add to the beauty of your kitchen
Range hoods have come a long way in recent years and nowadays they are designed to not only be effective but also to highlight the design of your kitchen. You can choose models from a large island range hood to a small, simple model. Depending on your budget you can find literary any form and size.
They also come in different colors, and they are paintable. So, you can change the color to fit in with your kitchen’s color scheme.
8. A hood can provide additional lighting for food preparation
Modern overhead range hoods offer additional lighting for food preparation and cooking with built-in lights. The additional lighting also makes it easier to see where to remove grease and grime after cooking.
Nowadays, the lighting features can range from very basic to state-of-the-art lights, depending on which model you choose.
9. A hood is a good investment in your home
According to real estate experts, an upgraded kitchen is one of the key points when selling a house. An attractive kitchen with modern appliances and a range hood fitting into the kitchen’s color scheme will add major resale value to your home. Thus, choosing the right range hood can make a big difference in the look and feel of your kitchen and will add value to your property.
Cons of range hoods
Like any device you purchase, range hoods have many pros, but unfortunately, also cons. The pros are the features that will entice you to install a hood in your kitchen, but you most probably want to weigh them up to the cons before you make your final decision.
But even if you already have a hood installed, it is always good to be aware of the cons. If you are still in the process of deciding whether to install a hood or not, you have to look at the pros and the cons.
We list here some of the most important cons to be taken into account.
1. Hoods might produce too much noise
A very strong and large range hood might make a loud noise. It is the blower fan that causes the noise. The blower of a strong hood rotates too hard to clean all the smoke and hot fumes during the cooking process.
When installed in a very large place like a restaurant’s kitchen the noise is acceptable, but it will be annoying in a small home kitchen. By being aware of this con, just ensure that you don’t purchase and install a too large and strong hood. Determine what is needed for your kitchen and don’t go overboard!
But even a small range hood’s fan makes a noise. So be prepared that when you are using your hood there will be extra noise in the kitchen.
2. Hoods can be expensive
Kitchen range hoods are usually expensive. However, the price of range hoods depends on several factors and the more special features the hood offers, the more expensive it will be.
As with the noise factor, the best way to work around this con is to only acquire a range hood with the features you really need in your kitchen. Talk to other people who have hoods in their kitchens and try to determine what the features your hood must have are and what features will never or rarely be used.
3. Hoods can be challenging to install
Whether you are installing a small or a very large range hood you normally will need at least one other person to assist you. The hood has to be fitted correctly and the wiring has to be professionally done.
Although the installation of a smallish hood is a DIY job, it will be easier if you have “extra hands” to assist. When you want to install a large and strong hood, it is always better to get a professional company to do the installation for you. Just remember, that will cost you extra.
4. Using a hood causes a higher energy bill
For the comfort and other positive features you’ll experience with a range hood in your kitchen, you have to be prepared to receive a higher energy bill. The fan will be the main user of energy as you don’t have to use the hood’s lighting all the time.
But remember, as with the previous cons we’ve discussed, the stronger and larger the hood, the higher the energy bill. So, don’t install a hood that is too large for your kitchen and offers features that you’ll never be going to use.
5. Range hoods require maintenance
Although a range hood makes the maintenance of your kitchen easier because there is less dirt and messy material on your kitchen cabinets after cooking, the hood itself needs maintenance from time to time. This maintenance cost can be quite high when something breaks down.
A ducted or ductless range hood?
Now that you’ve decided that you are going to install a range hood, you have to decide whether it should be a ducted or a ductless hood.
A ducted hood moves the air completely out of the kitchen. It must be connected to a duct with pipes so that the airborne particles can be carried away from the kitchen to the outdoors.
A ductless hood doesn’t need to vent to your home’s exterior and is ductless. They operate by filtering the air they suck in and then blowing it back into the room – essentially a recirculation process. The filter contains activated carbon or charcoal to remove odor and smoke particles from the air.
When do I need a ducted range hood?
You need a ducted range hood if
- you cook 4 or more times a week,
- you cook food with strong odors,
- your smoke alarm goes off often when you coo, and
- you’re concerned about the amount of smoke and poor air quality in your home.
When Do I need a ductless range hood?
You need a ductless range hood if you
- live in an apartment or condo,
- don’t have the room for ductwork,
- cook less than 3 days a week, and
- can’t afford a ducted range hood.
Q: Is a range hood necessary for a gas stove?
A: Yes, you need a hood for a gas stove as gas stoves produce intense heat and smoke.
Q: Is a range hood necessary for an electric stove?
A: Yes, but it does not need to be as powerful as a range hood for a gas stove.
Q: Do I need a range hood for my BBQ?
A: Yes, if possible – it is advisable. BBQ grills produce a heavy amount of smoke, grease, and heat.
It is widely accepted that range hoods are a must in a home’s kitchen despite the cons associated with it. But to get the right hood for your kitchen, you should carefully choose the correct one for your home. You should evaluate the size of your kitchen, the size of the cooktop, and the amount of cooking that you do at home.
We hope this article will help you to make the right choice!