I’m deep into a few kitchens right now, and as I’ve been working on their ranges and ventilation, I thought it’d be a good topic to cover on the blog. There’s a lot to think about (I can’t cover it all in this post), but at least I can help you get started.
Always, always ask your local appliance expert for the latest recommendations, especially as COVID shortages continue. You might change your mind (or even be forced) to find alternatives, and that’s ok.
Blessed are the flexible, for they won’t get bent out of shape…
So let’s cover the basics from a design perspective.
Swoopy, big range hoods usually just fit traditional kitchens (the ones with fancy crown moldings and more detailed cabinet doors).
Metal, square linear ones fit the streamlined, modern kitchen. Sticking one into a kitchen that is more traditional because “you think it’s cool” isn’t cool. It just looks funky.
And then there’s the matter of what goes around the triangular range hoods. How will you design the cabinets around them, and will tile need to go to the ceiling (and if tile, where does it start and stop)?
And what is your budget? Because you can find a beautiful, handmade one for 10K pretty easily.
You’ll need to wrestle with those details first.
Once you have a handle on what style fits your kitchen best, we need to jump into the technical stuff.
What does CFM mean, and why does it matter?
Certified foot massage?
Cats fart most?
When we say CFM for a range hood, it stands for cubic feet per minute and it is the standard rating for range hoods and bathroom fans. It is how powerful the fan moves air.
So what should you pick?
It depends on your range type (electric or gas?) and how often you burn your food (I’m kidding on the last part….sort of). It is important to think about if you cook a lot, or if you bring takeout home and eat your food with chopsticks while you stare at your beautiful, unused kitchen. But I’d make sure you have the minimum CFMs since resell is always something to have in the back of your mind. (Always have an exit strategy people!)
If you have an electric range, all you need to do is multiply the width of your range by 10. So if you have a 36″ range, you should have a hood with 360 CFM (minimum).
If you have a gas range, you need a fan with a little more “umph”. If this is the case, add up all the BTUs of your burners and then divide by 100.
Here’s a word of caution though: GETTING TOO MUCH CFM IS ALSO A PROBLEM.
If the fan sucks too much air, it can create a negative air pressure which has to be mitigated with expensive air return systems. Buyer beware! On older, “leaky” homes it isn’t as much of an issue, but in our tighter, new homes, it is. Get something in the right range (pun intended).
One last thing: those microwaves with fans? They don’t do anything but recirculate the air. Plus they aren’t a desirable design option. Avoid if possible.
That’s the very basic of the basic, but I hope it helps as you hunt for the right one.
Have any other questions?
Send them to my contact page, and it might get turned into a blog post!
Until next time……