Kitchen Upgrade: How to Select the Best Range Hood for Your Cooking Needs

Tired of cooking smoke and grease lingering in your kitchen after whipping up tasty meals? Is your cooktop surrounded by a dated, noisy range hood that’s past its prime?

Upgrading your range hood provides real benefits that make cooking at home more comfortable and enjoyable. This guide will walk you through how to choose the perfect model to match your space, cooking style, and budget.

We’ll look at smart design factors, recommend top brands to consider, and answer frequently asked questions. Follow these tips and you’ll be ready to install a range hood that clears the air and makes your time at the stove more pleasant from the start. Let’s get cooking!

Key Considerations When Selecting a New Range Hood

Range hoods may seem pretty straightforward, but there are a few important factors to weigh before deciding:

Determine the type you need. Wall-mount chimney hoods, under-cabinet models, downdraft, island, insert hoods, and more. Choose what fits your cooktop and layout.

Carefully measure your existing space. Note the height, width, and depth of the area the range hood will occupy. It should cover the cooktop/range width at a minimum. Standard height is 18-30 inches above the cooktop.

Calculate the airflow (CFM) required. CFM indicates cubic feet per minute of air ventilated. Typical homes need 400-600 CFM range hoods. Larger, commercial-style kitchens call for 700-1200 CFM models.

Decide on ventilation method. Ideally, range hoods vent outside which requires ductwork. Many allow recirculating through filters, but these need regular replacement.

Mind the noise levels. Check product specs for decibels (dBs) or sones. Under 6-8 sones is pleasant. Larger fans will be louder. Some have noise-reduction features like multiple blower speeds or insulated lining.

Compare sizing and dimensions. Match the hood width at minimum to your cooktop width. Note the height and depth – larger hoods tend to be more powerful.

Assess available controls. From simple switches to touchpads, remotes, or WiFi connectivity. Choose what’s convenient for you to operate.

Check filter types. Baffle filters or mesh grease filters are common. Look for stainless steel or aluminum construction and easy access for cleaning.

Our Top 5 Picks for Best Range Hood Brands

Here are the top brands that consistently earn high marks for performance, features, value, and reliability based on expert and customer reviews:

1. Zephyr – Best High-End Designer Range Hoods

For cutting-edge style and power up to a whopping 1200 CFM, Zephyr leads in luxury range hoods like their typhoon curved island models. Excellent quiet performance and features like remote controls, tri-level lighting, and customizable inserts make them a dream.

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

This brand offers the best value for money across their wide range of ducted and ductless range hoods. Their 400-600 CFM models under $300 like the Broan 41000 series are consistently top sellers that last for years.

3. KitchenAid – Whisper Quiet Chef Connect Range Hoods

KitchenAid makes gorgeous, effective range hoods like their Architect Series that operate at little more than a whisper. Their 400 CFM models have handy Chef Connect features like app control, auto-on, and built-in task lighting.

4. Cavaliere – Powerful Commercial-Grade Wall-Mount Hoods

Serious home chefs turn to Cavaliere’s styles like the SV218Z2 for robust 650-1200 CFM suction power. These pro-style stainless range hoods have commercial-grade 4-speed blower fans and are designed for optimal efficiency.

5. Cosmo – Best High-Powered Curved Island Range Hoods

For an ultramodern kitchen island look, Cosmo’s curved range hoods make a dramatic style statement while delivering 1200 CFM of venting power. The touch controls and removable grease reservoirs offer convenience, and their prices deliver great value.

Frequently Asked Range Hood Buying Questions

To wrap up the key range hood considerations, here are answers to some of the most common buying questions:

What CFM do I need for a range hood?
For the average 8-12 foot home kitchen, look for around 400 CFM. Larger kitchens, commercial ranges, and serious cooks need 600+ CFM for sufficient ventilation.

What is the best brand of range hood overall?
Based on value, performance, and reliability, top brands are Zephyr, Broan, KitchenAid, Cavaliere and Cosmo. Shop brands with proven reputations.

How loud are range hoods? Will it sound like a jet engine?
Excessive noise can be an issue, especially with higher airflow models. Seek range hoods with noise levels under 6-8 sones. Well-designed ones minimize noise through features like multiple fan speeds, insulation, and quiet motors.

Do range hoods need to vent outside or can they recirculate?
Venting outdoors through ductwork is ideal since it removes smoke, grease, and odors. But recirculating models with good filters can also work well for casual cooking. Just plan on filter replacements every few months.

How far should a range hood be from the cooktop?
The standard distance is 18-30 inches above the cooktop burners. Always match the hood width to the cooktop width at a minimum for proper ventilation.

How much does it cost to install a range hood?
If you have existing ductwork, basic installs start around $150-200. Adding ducting could add $100-300 to the cost. Consider pro installation unless you’re highly handy.

Breathe Easier While You Cook

With this guide’s advice for evaluating your space, airflow needs, noise, and features, you have the info you need to select an ideal range hood. Investing in a quality model that’s sized right for your kitchen will reward you with crisp, smoke-free air during stove-top cooking.

Look at top brands like Zephyr, Broan, and KitchenAid when comparing options. Check reviews from home chefs for real insights. Follow our tips and you’ll have confidence you’ve chosen the perfect range hood upgrade for your cooking style. Bon appetit!

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