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Different Types of Kitchen Vents or Hoods for Stoves & Ranges

Updated on March 15, 2011

Choosing a vent or hood for your kitchen will largely depend on what type of range you are working with, how big the kitchen is, and how you want the air to be removed. Ventilation systems in kitchens are needed to remove actual particles in the air, and remove odors and gases that build up when cooking.

The most simple types just filter the air: simply a way to trap large particles floating up without actually removing the air at all. The most sophisticated takes professionals to install ductwork and they work to remove the air from the cooking area. Here are some to consider if you are thinking of re-installing or changing your range, or transforming your kitchen into something different.

  • Recirculating Vents:
    These types can be installed easily by the homeowner and are very inexpensive. The major downside is that it does nothing more than trap particles from the air as the food cooks. It helps to filter the air via vents or traps, but the air recirculates back into the kitchen. If heavy cooking isn't an issue, then small kitchens may work well with these types, but realize the air remains inside the kitchen.
  • Downdrafts (Below Range):
    These types look like small vents on the sides of the burners or the stove itself. These are perfect for kitchens that have an island cooktop but no room for an actual duct or hood to be installed above it. The air is sucked down below rather than above to remove the cooking air. These help to remove air and odors during cooking but also keep the overall look of the kitchen intact. Some downdraft ventilation systems have a vent that raises up when needed instead of being flush to the range.
  • Hoods with Above Ductwork:
    Hoods with attached ductwork above the stove are the best at removing air from the kitchen when cooking. They can be installed on both island and wall-mounted stoves and ranges. For gas ranges, these are the best at removing cooking odors and particles from the air.

Remodeling Your Kitchen? Here's Some Helpers


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