Kitchen Upgrade: How to Choose the Best Range Hood for Clear Air and Comfort While Cooking

Does smoke and steam overwhelm your kitchen every time you cook up a tasty meal? Are you stuck with a noisy old range hood that barely gets the job done? Upgrading to a new high-quality range hood makes all the difference in keeping your cooking space clear and comfortable.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through how to select the ideal kitchen range hood for your needs. We’ll cover important factors to consider like size, power, noise, and features. You’ll also find recommendations for the top 5 range hood brands on the market.

Follow these tips and you’ll be prepared to install a range hood that eliminates odors, grease, and humidity so you can enjoy spending time cooking. Let’s get started!

Key Factors When Choosing a New Kitchen Range Hood

Replace that outdated or underperforming range hood with a model that improves your cooking environment. Here are the most important elements to evaluate:

Determine the range hood type for your space. Wall-mount chimney, under-cabinet, island, downdraft, insert, or other designs based on your kitchen layout and cooktop.

Carefully measure available space. Length, height, depth. Hood should be same width or slightly wider than your cooktop or range. Standard install height is 18-30 inches above the cooking surface.

Calculate required airflow (CFM). CFM is the ventilation power. While high-end restaurants need major airflow, 300-400 CFM suits most home kitchens. Larger spaces may need 500+ CFM models.

Pick ducted or ductless ventilation. Ducted vents smoke outside optimally but needs ductwork. Ductless recirculates through replaceable filters. Both work.

Mind the noise level. Look for quieter models rated under 6-8 sones. Larger, more powerful fans tend to be louder. Seek designs with noise reduction features.

Assess available speed/airflow settings. Multiple fan speeds let you adjust ventilation power as needed. Look for at least 3-4 settings.

Compare filter types. Options like baffle filters or mesh grease filters. Seek easily removable, dishwasher safe filters for convenient cleaning.

Here are the top range hood brands consistently highly rated for quality, features, and value:

1. Zephyr – Gorgeous, Powerful Designer Range Hoods

Zephyr leads in luxury range hoods like their artistic hurricane wall models. With strengths up to 1400 CFM, whisper quiet fans, customizable inserts and workmanship, and handy remote controls.

2. Broan – Top Seller for Reliable, Affordable Range Hoods

Broan offers the best bang for your buck across a wide span of durable and easy to install ducted and ductless range hoods. Their 400-600 CFM models under $300 like the 41000 series are tried and true.

3. KitchenAid – Beautiful High-Efficiency Range Hoods

KitchenAid is beloved for their premium architect series kitchen appliances, and their range hoods like the sleek under cabinet designs match with gorgeous 300-400 CFM efficiency and Chef Connect smart features.

4. Cavaliere – Commercial-Grade Powerhouse Range Hoods

Serious home chef? Cavaliere’s rugged high-CFM stainless range hoods like the SV218Z2 bring pro-level power and convenient touches like removable grease reservoirs. A pricey but powerful option done right.

5. Cosmo – Modern High-Performer Range Hoods

Cosmo excels at ultra-modern curved island range hoods that combine cutting-edge style with robust 1200 max CFM airflow. Their futuristic features like touch controls and permanent filters make a statement.

Answers to Common Range Hood Questions

Here’s a quick overview of answers to frequently asked range hood buying questions:

What CFM level is best for most kitchens?
For average 8-12 foot home kitchens, 300-400 CFM models suffice. Larger spaces or commercial stoves need 500-1200 CFM for serious ventilation.

What are the differences between ducted and ductless designs?
Ducted vents air outside requiring ductwork. Ductless recirculates through replaceable filters. Both work well for most homeowners.

How loud are range hoods? Can I find a quiet model?
Seek models rated under 6-8 sones for pleasant operation. Larger fans and higher CFMs often mean more noise, but many designs minimize this through multi-speed fans, sound dampening materials, and insulated exteriors.

How far should the range hood be mounted above my stove?
The standard distance is 18-30 inches above your cooktop burners. Match the hood width to the cooktop width at a minimum.

Should I hire a pro to install my new range hood?
Installation can be complex, especially for ducted models. Consider hiring a professional unless you are very experienced with electrical and ductwork.

Choose a Range Hood That Clears the Air While Cooking

A high performing range hood that’s properly sized for your kitchen makes a huge difference in keeping the air clean while cooking. Use this guide to shop range hood brands like Zephyr, Broan and KitchenAid with confidence.

Focus on identifying the right CFM power, noise level, and features that suit your space and needs. Invest in the right model and you’ll breathe easier during every meal you cook at home.
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