Both home cooks and professional chefs can sometimes make a huge mess in the kitchen. This is because grease, heat, moisture, and smoke are inevitable when cooking.
Unfortunately, these particles can linger in your kitchen space and lead to stinky household odors.
Thankfully, an under-cabinet range hood can save the day! It can provide proper ventilation for your home’s kitchen and usher unpleasant smells out of your home.
In this article, we’ll help you find the under-cabinet range hood that’s right for you.
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How to Select the Best Under-Cabinet Range Hood | Top 5 Cabinet Hoods for Your Cooking Area
What Is an Under-Cabinet Range Hood?
An under-cabinet is a type of range hood that’s installed–you guessed it right–under your kitchen cabinets.
Its size is commonly the same as your cooktop since its primary function is to catch and minimize the accumulation of heat, odors, and smoke coming out of your stove. It has a powerful fan that pulls the air from the cooktop and sends it out of your kitchen.
Apart from under-cabinets, there are also other kinds of range hoods, such as:
- Range hood inserts
- Downdraft range hoods
- Wall-mounted range hoods
- Island range hoods
- Chimney hoods
- Microwave range hoods
- Professional grade range hoods
Each type has its own design and benefits.
For instance, if you want a beautiful centerpiece in your kitchen, you may want to install an island range hood. On the other hand, if you want to maximize the cupboards above your cooktop, then an under-cabinet is the right hood for you.
How Do I Choose an Under-Cabinet Range Hood?
To help you decide which features and specifications of under-cabinet range hood would best match your kitchen layout, you must consider the following important factors:
Kitchen Ventilation and Duct System
The primary function of an under-cabinet range hood is to maintain clean air and safe ventilation in the cooking area. Depending on the size of your kitchen space, you have two options to achieve these goals:
One way to clear the air in your room is to send it outside with the use of fans. These fans push the contaminated air along with ductwork, which is usually installed against the wall or in the ceiling of your house. This type is also called “ducted range hood”.
On the other hand, there are recirculating range hoods, which are not connected to ducts. They’re also known as “ductless range hoods”, and they don’t have to push the air outside.
What they do instead is clean the air and get rid of stinky odors using strong filtration. Then, they pump the filtered air back into the room.
This type is ideal if your kitchen has no sufficient space to install ducts.
CFM stands for “cubic feet per meter”. This refers to how much air an under-cabinet range hood fan can move and exhaust every minute.
This feature plays a major role in efficiently venting kitchen air to the outside. The greater the CFM, the quicker the fan can spin, and the more air the range hood can move.
You’d want a 100 CFM for every foot of your cooktop width. For example, if your stove measures 30 inches or 2.5 feet, you’d need a hood with 250 CFM. Simply put, that’s 100 CFM multiplied by 2.5 feet.
A lot of under-cabinet range hood brands provide a six-fan speed option. However, you may find that a three-speed is already adequate for your kitchen space.
What’s important is that there are low to high settings available in the range hood to meet your various cooking needs. These speed controls are also a big help in keeping your kitchen’s ventilation systems and helping your range hood operate quietly.
Some range hoods tend to be excessively loud. That’s why when evaluating your options, you may want to look at the range hood’s noise level.
Higher CFM may mean more power. But there’s a trade-off–the range hood is also more likely to create louder noise.
Range hood noise is measured through sones and decibels. Usually, the levels range from one to seven sones.
With this, you may want to look for the quietest model available for the CFM and fan speed you need.
Your under-cabinet range hood should, of course, fit in the available space in your kitchen.
Generally, it must have at least the same width as your cooking range. But ideally, it should be a couple of inches wider on either side so you can maximize its power.
The most common dimension for an under-cabinet range hood is 30 inches. But you’ll also find ones that measure 24, 36, and 48 inches.
Keep in mind that the position of your range hood is also important as well as its distance from your cooktop.
If you’re using a gas cooktop, your under-cabinet must be 24-30 inches away from the range. Meanwhile, if you’re using electric or induction, your hood must have a clearance between 20 and 24 inches above your cooktop.
Several range hoods have light panels or bulbs located under their hood. These lights are directed toward the gas cooktop.
You may want to choose this style of under-cabinet range hood, as interior lighting may add convenience while you prepare your meals. The spotlight may also help you easily spot dirt and stains hiding in the dark corners of your burners.
You have the following lighting options to choose from:
- Light-emitting diode (LED)
- Bright halogen bulbs
Some under-cabinet range hoods accommodate easy installation. But the entire process depends on the style of range hood you’ll purchase.
If you prefer a range hood that’s straightforward to set up, you may opt for a ductless model. This is because a ducted range hood may cost more and maybe more complicated to install since you need ductwork.
Just like range hoods, filters also come in different kinds. They help clean the air effectively and efficiently, given that they’re replaced regularly.
Here are some range hood filters that typically come with under-cabinets:
- Residue cup: This filter accumulates and catches grease and oil. It must be hand washed using hot water and soap.
- Aluminum mesh: As its name suggests, this type uses fibers and aluminum to catch air contaminants. It can be washed using either a dishwasher or by hand. You may reuse this filter several times.
- Charcoal filter: This kind usually comes with ductless range hoods. You must replace this type of filter twice a year.
Added Property Value
Do you know that range hoods can be considered an investment for your home?
In case you’re planning to sell your house in the future, having a range hood in the kitchen is one of the standards that a lot of home buyers are searching for. With this, you may want to maximize your kitchen upgrade and choose an under-cabinet range hood with professional styling.
You may want to opt for a hood with a finish that draws attention and works well with your kitchen design. Additionally, you may want to select a material or color that complements and balances your kitchen layout.
Since a vent hood may boost the real estate value of your property, some buyers would even be willing to pay more, especially if it’s aesthetically pleasing.
Some under-cabinet range hoods offer additional built-in features that you may also want to consider, such as:
- Heat sensors: Some brands automatically adjust the power of their range hood’s blower once the temperature rises in your kitchen.
- Exhaust fan timer: After preparing your meals, some under-cabinet models automatically shut off their exhaust fan. This way, you don’t have to wait for the range hood to finish filtering the air before you switch it off.
- Electronic controls: With today’s technology, some range hood options come with a remote control and digital panels. They can even be compatible with your smart devices! With this, customizing the settings is just push-of-a-button away.
What Are the Best Under-Cabinet Range Hoods?
Here are some of the best 30-inch range hoods that you may want to check out:
If power is your priority, then this range hood is the most ideal for you. Among the under-cabinet range hoods on the market, this IKTCH model is one of the most impressive. With a power of 900 CFM, you’ll definitely be astounded by its performance.
It’s able to produce this much power because of its dual-motor system. This is why no matter how strong or heavy the grease and grime are, you can count on this under-cabinet range hood.
But with 900 CFM, you may be expecting that this model would create much noise. Surprisingly, it has an ultra-quiet mode, which can keep the sound to 60 decibels. With the strength of its motors, this is a reasonable noise level.
What’s more, it looks sophisticated with its stainless steel finish. Additionally, it incorporates high-level technology with its digital screen. With this feature, you can touch the controls or use a remote control to manage the lights and fan.
On the other hand, if aesthetics is your prime concern, this Cosmo range hood is one of the most visually appealing under-cabinets. Its modern yet minimalist design will surely stand out and complement the other elements in your kitchen.
Apart from its looks, it also boasts a power of 500 CFM with a noise level of 54 decibels.
The good thing about this range hood is that you can make it either ducted or ductless. You just have to purchase some separate parts together with the main hood.
If you want to have a taste of some of the best duct systems available out there, this Broan range hood is perfect for you. It makes sure that air flows smoothly and leaves easily through the hood with its quality ductwork.
You have two exhaust options with this under-cabinet–one at the back and one on top of the hood. This gives you flexibility in operating the range hood, in addition to its two fan speeds.
This under-cabinet also has a simple yet attractive stainless steel finish, which is easy to install for a ducted range hood. It’s lightweight, comes with incandescent lights, and uses aluminum mesh filters.
Meanwhile, if you prefer a ductless under-cabinet, this model, also from Broan, rises above the rest. It provides a two-speed fan that removes smoke and odors through recirculation.
This range hood uses charcoal filters, which are easy to replace and economical. It also accepts up to 75-watt incandescent lighting, which is enough to brighten up your kitchen.
If you’re having doubts about buying a range hood because of its power consumption, then worry no more. This model from Broan is energy star certified, meaning it promises to give you energy efficiency. It reduces electrical output by providing LED bulbs and low blower settings.
But don’t underestimate this machine’s capability. Just because it’s energy-efficient doesn’t mean it performs weakly.
It provides a 250 CFM, which can still effectively eliminate smoke from your cooking area. Plus, it’s relatively quiet at 33 decibels due to its controlled blower speeds.
Under-cabinet range hoods don’t only improve indoor air quality; they’re also essential in keeping your lungs healthy as you cook.
However, with so many options on the market, choosing the best range hood may be hard.
As much as possible, select the model that fits your personal preference the most. Consider the factors discussed above, and focus on your kitchen needs as well as your own cooking methods, lifestyle, and goals.
And remember, the most ideal under-cabinet range hood is different for every home cook and professional chef.
Apart from an under-cabinet range hood, do you already have the other must-have kitchen appliances? Visit our page to ensure that you haven’t overlooked any essential kitchen tools and gadgets.
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