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Kitchen Planning: When is a Range Hood Needed?

Range Hood in Small Kitchen

For commercial kitchens, exhaust hoods and ventilation systems are clearly mandatory. However, even many smaller kitchens benefit greatly from the addition of a range hood, regardless of whether or not they are required to have one by law.

Range hoods are useful for collecting moisture, grease, and other airborne contaminants and filtering them out of a kitchen. Here is a guide to whether or not your kitchen is likely to reap benefits from a range hood, and which types of hoods to consider:

  • Vented and ducted hoods: these are likely useful if you do any significant amount of cooking at all! Ducted hoods sweep the polluted air outdoors, ridding your kitchen of any contaminants produced by cooking. These are useful to keep a functional and safe kitchen.

Practically speaking, ducted hoods are most useful with a kitchen whose range sits along an exterior wall. The duct can be easily routed from the rear of the range hood through the building’s wall.

  • Ductless hoods: The ideal fit for the home chef on a budget! These range hoods do not channel contaminated air outside of a kitchen or building, but instead filter it through charcoal and re-circulate it into the kitchen. Obviously these require regular maintenance, i.e. changing the filters on a regular basis to ensure the air is cleaned.

These are not as effective as ducted hoods at keeping kitchens clean and safe, but are a pragmatic and cheaper buy. Ductless hoods are also usually easier to install than ducted hoods.

  • Downdraft systems. These are an ideal option for those who are adding in new ranges altogether. Downdraft ventilation systems are usually built into ranges, and are typically located near the stove top, around the burners. This is not as efficient as a ducted hood, either, as sometimes downdraft systems will diminish the range’s ability to heat food consistently. However, higher-end downdraft systems are available, and many of them will avoid such problems.

There is another form of downdraft system—the pop-out variety. Pop-out downdraft systems, as the name suggests, are housed inside the framework of a range until the user presses a button. When the button is pressed, the ventilation system pops out from the range to about eight inches above the surface, where it begins ventilating air a safe distance from the range’s heat production.

For all your exhaust hood and commercial kitchen ventilation needs, HoodMart is ready and willing to help out! Find the kitchen parts you need at our online store today.

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