Are you one of those whose idea of perfect me time is all about cooking delicious dishes and then serving them for the family? Do you enjoy flaunting about your culinary skills by practicing them in the kitchen? Alternatively, are you just tired and irritated with the whole affair of kitchen cleaning after preparing each meal for the family? The stubborn smell that persists in your kitchen even after repeated thorough cleaning – does that infuriate you? Or do you just want to upgrade your kitchen to the next level by incorporating modern solutions to the art of cooking? Well, all these questions have a single answer, which starts and ends with an under cabinet range hood.
The dishes that you prepare in the kitchen might steal hearts but the entire cooking process lets out a lot of smoke and fumes which can result in poor air quality. Moreover, heavy cooking can also lead to the production of grease, which might stick to the kitchen walls and make it unhygienic. Thus, to avoid a kitchen full of unpleasant smoke and odors, the immediate step that you can take is installing a range hood. This will not keep your kitchen clean but also add to the level of hygiene maintained in your house.
A range hood is an unique appliance that certainly makes the kitchen a better place to cook. It is one of the most useful fixtures, which keeps the kitchen clean by preventing it from unwanted smoke and fumes arising due to heavy cooking. Moreover, the range hood also vents out or filters the oil-infested air, which keeps the kitchen free of grease. Installing a range hood in the kitchen comes with many benefits including an aesthetic impression to it.
A range hood has a variety of types depending on the mechanism it follows for purifying the air in the kitchen. Moreover, these electrical appliances can also be categorized depending on their location of installation. This means that a kitchen hood can primarily be installed over the cooking surface, under the cabinet or adjacent to the cook top. The under cabinet range is the most popular and commonly used among all. The buyer needs to analyze and consider a number of options and factors before going in for the purchase. Buying the best under cabinet range hood can be a strenuous task.
This guide is a dedicated compilation of all the relevant information that the buyer needs to know before he or she ventures into the confounding world of range hoods. Starting from the why to what and how of range hoods, this guide explains it all. Before going straight in for the purchase, it is advisable for the buyer to go through this guide in order to make the best and the most apt purchase for his or her kitchen.
Table of Contents
- What are the Different Types of Range Hood Available?
- Best Under Cabinet Range Hood – Everything You Need to Know
- How to clean the cabinet range hoods?
What are the Different Types of Range Hood Available?
A range hood has become an essential appliance for modern cooking. It does not help in the process of cooking itself but it definitely helps to keep the kitchen clean. It is one of the most useful fixtures, which a chef can have. A range hood actually incorporates the mechanism of an exhaust fan or chimney. It absorbs the air full of toxic contaminants and purifies it. There are a wide variety of range hoods available in the market and can be listed down as follows.
1. Wall Mount Range Hoods –
The wall mount range hoods, as the name suggests are generally wall mounted in place of the kitchen cabin over the cooktop. These range hoods are usually ductless but also come in convertible and ducted models. Ducted or ductless they provide the model generally has an exposed ventilation stack which gives it an aesthetic look.
2. Island Range Hoods –
The island mount hoods are generally mounted on the top of peninsular or island cooktops and runs a ventilation system through the kitchen ceiling. As the island mount hood is an isolated system, a common recommendation about it is that the hood must be at least six inches wider than the cooktop as because it lacks cabinets on its adjacent sides to drive the smoke towards the hood. Buyers can refer to the COSMO 668ICS750 as one of the best range hoods.
3. Range Hood Inserts –
The range hood inserts is a kind of range hood, which is opted for at the time of interior decorating the kitchen. It is customized to blend in with the kitchen decor.
4. Under Cabinet Range Hoods –
A under cabinet range hood is the most popular hood type. It takes its place above the cooking range below the cabin. Thus, along with improving the quality of kitchen air it also enhances the kitchenette look. All under cabinet range hoods come in two types – ducted range hoods and ductless range hoods. A ducted hood consists of a duct that drives the polluted air and other contaminants out of the kitchen. On the other hand, ductless range hoods absorb the toxic air from the kitchen, filter it and then recirculate the air in the kitchen. A ducted hood is majorly preferred over a non-ducted one. However, both the styles of under cabinet range hoods are equally effective and useful. Buyers must take a look at the Broan Nu-Tone BCSQ130SS to understand more clearly.
5. Professional Grade Range Hoods –
A professional-grade range hood is the one specially designed for professional culinary practices like that in restaurants.
6. Microwave Range Hoods –
These are a counterpart of the over-the-range microwave, which comes with air venting technologies. They also have ducted and ductless types. However, these range hoods are not as effective as the original range hoods.
These are the broad categories of the range hoods. Buyers should go through the description of all the types of range hoods in order to get a better understanding of the product. Among all the types of the range hoods that have been discussed above the most popular, affordable, and suitable range hood is the under cabinet range hood. It is preferred by most households and is also immensely effective for home-based kitchens.
Best Under Cabinet Range Hood – Everything You Need to Know
Let us now look at an under cabinet range hood from all aspects. Buyers might wonder whether they want to opt for a different type of range hood for their kitchen. However, most households consist of a cabinet and a free space under it which might be perfect for an under cabinet range hood. This article attempts to delve deep into the potential reasons which make an under cabinet range hood more preferable than others. This Kitchen Vent Hood seems like a perfect example for the same.
Why should we choose an Under Cabinet Range Hood?
There are a variety of range hoods depending on the use and the place of installation. For instance, if you are designing your new house from scratch then a range hood insert might be a suitable option. On the other hand, having a cooktop peninsula will match with a wall mount island range hood. However, the most common, effective, and easily installed range hood is the under cabinet range hood. Let us explore the reason why an under cabinet range hood is considered the best.
- Keep the Air Fresh and Uncontaminated – The best under cabinet range hood enhances the hygiene level of the kitchen by filtering the air inside the kitchen or by driving the contaminated air outside the kitchen. The under-cabinet hoods make the entire cooking process easier by improving the ventilation system and keeping the kitchen free of unpleasant odors.
- Enhances the Look – A stainless steel under cabinet range hood improves the aesthetic look of the kitchen. The sleek design of the fixture makes the kitchen look like pro-graded with new-age technology.
- Stainless Steel Design – The range hoods come in a variety of materials like bronze, aluminum, silver, nickel, and glass. However, the most efficient among all of these materials is stainless steel. A stainless steel body protects the appliance from rust and corrosion and increases its life expectancy.
- Adding to your property value – Installing a range hood certainly increases the property or the real estate value of your house. Houses generally come with refrigerators and cabinet ranges. However, a house that has an under cabinet range hood installed will definite hike the price of the real estate.
How to buy the best cabinet range hoods?
There are numerous varieties, shapes, and sizes of cabinet hoods available in the market. However, the buyer has to give his or her best shot while making the purchase. This is possible only when he or she makes an informed decision. Here we have provided a list of all the factors that should be considered by the buyer before purchasing an under cabinet range hood.
1. Size of the Hood
The size of the hood is an important consideration before going in for the purchase. In most cases, if the kitchen is not being redecorated, the range hood has to fit in within a given space that is under the cabinetry. It is recommended that the hood should be as wide as the cooktop. A normal cooking range does not exceed a width of 30 inches. Thus, 30 inches under cabinet range hoods are widely used in household kitchens. However, kitchens that incorporate custom-made designs might prefer larger models.
2. Ducted or Ductless Model
The ducted range hood is an effective setting as it vents out all the grease, oil, and dust particle-laden air through the ductwork. However, the installation of ducted range hoods is a complicated task and not all kitchen layouts deem suitable. It should be noted here that the right design of cabinetry and duck work are just not enough for the installation. Professional help is required for the installation, as the vent needs from the kitchen needs an exterior outlet to let out the pollutants from the kitchen.
Moreover, ducted under cabinet range hoods come in sleek models which lets the user slide out the shallow hood and make use of the upper range cabinets. Thus, the range hood, when not in use, does not form an obstacle for accessing the upper range of the cabinets.
On the other hand, the ductless range hood do not require an exterior ventilation system. A ductless hood absorbs the polluted air from the kitchen, filters it, and recirculates the air in it. A ductless range hood is not as efficient as a ducted one. However, a ductless range hood is cheaper and does not involve a complicated and strenuous installation process. The Broan Nu-Tone 413004 seems like a perfect example for a ductless cabinet hood.
Nonetheless, a convertible range hood is also available in the market, which comes with a portable recirculating kit that allows you to convert your very own ducted hood into a ductless one. The Broan-NuTone F403004 looks like the perfect example of a convertible range.
3. Cubic Feet per Minute Ratio
The term CFM stands for cubic feet per minute. It is the unit of measurement for the air moving in and out of the kitchen space. To put it more simply, a powerful cabinet hood comes with high CFM capacity. The kitchen ventilation system is measured in terms of CFM. This is one of the most critical factors, which the buyer needs to consider.
A recommended method to determine the CFM power required in your kitchen hood is by dividing the total British Thermal Units (BTU) of the cooktop by 100. For instance, if the unit output of the cooking range is 30,000 BTU then the buyer should consider purchasing a cabinet range hood with 300 cfm.
The buyer should be mindful about the fact that high CFM only ensures faster ventilation but provides no guaranteed efficiency in capturing fumes and smoke from the stovetop and replacing or recirculating with toxic-free air. Thus, buyers should not focus on CFM as the only feature for buying the best under cabinet range hood.
4. Fan Speed
The fan speed is another important factor that the buyer must consider. Generally, an under cabinet range hood comes with a range of fan speeds between one to six. However, models flaunting more than two fan speeds should not influence the buyers. This is because a range hood with a fan speed of two will enable the user to opt for a faster speed at the time of cooking and a quieter and lower speed to continue the air ventilation even after the cooking is over. Thus, a cabinet range with a fan speed of three is apt.
5. Thermostat control
Buyers who previously owned a microwave range hood might have enjoyed the feature of a thermostat control which automatically switches on the fan when the temperature under the hood increases. However, buyers should not look for a thermostat control in an original range hood as it might make lead to accidents.
Under-cabinet range hoods have a visual appeal and might give your kitchen the look of a centerpiece. The best under cabinet range hood comes in stainless steel and certainly enhances the look and value of your real estate property. Moreover, stainless steel helps to keep the cabinet range hoods rust and corrosion-free. They are also easy to clean and maintain.
7. Noise Level
The noise level generated by a range hood is generally measured in sones or decibels. The buyer might wonder how much sound one sone makes. Well, the sound produced by a normal refrigerator is around one sone. An average conversation produces around four sones of sound. An optimal noise level that is easy on the ears at the time of cooking would be anything below 13 sones or 65 decibels. If you opt for a powerful cabinet hood with higher CFM then you have to deal with louder noise produced by the appliance.
8. Installation procedure
The installation procedure for a ductless hood is simpler and does not require professional help. However, a ducted range hood involves a complicated installation process. The duct has to be connected with the vents, which are generally present at the top or behind the range hood. It is done with professional help.
Crucial Features in the Best Under Cabinet Range Hood
Along with all the factors that has been discussed above, the buyer must also be aware about the crucial product-related features. These are the features which some of the best under cabinet range hoods have.
- Exhaust timers – An exhaust timer or an auto-shutoff timer is an automatic switch that turns the fan off after some time. Generally, an auto-shutoff timer has a default setting of 15 minutes.
- Inbuilt lighting – The cabinet hoods generally come with a variety of lighting options. However, the bright LED lights are an ideal choice because they are energy efficient and require replacements less frequently. So, buyers must go for a range hood that features beautiful bright LED lights.
- Filters – Different range hood products come with different filter options. The buyer must be aware about these filters so that he can make an informed choice. The filters can be broadly divided into three categories namely the baffle filters, the mesh filters, and the charcoal filters. The baffle filters are made up of metals of improved quality like the aluminum, mild steel, or stainless steel. The baffle filters are the most popular choice. Moreover, stainless steel, which comes under the category of the baffle filters, is easy to clean and maintain. The mesh filters are made up of layers of metal mesh stacked together. The mesh filters are difficult to clean. The charcoal filter do not require cleaning. Charcoal filters are the best as far as cleaning is concerned. However, charcoal filters require replacement every three to six months.
- Indicator lights – The indicator lights is another unique feature of a best range hood. These indicator lights automatically turn on when the filters need a replacement.
- Wi-Fi enabled – The best range hoods are available with the option to be controlled by your smartphone or smart home system.
These are the factors and the range hood features that more or less should be present in the best kitchen hoods. The buyer must be mindful about all these pointers before going in for the purchase. However, the quest of buying the perfect range hood does not end here. This is because a perfect buy does not end without knowing how to maintain and longer the life expectancy of the product. The FOTILE JQG7522 will definitely give the buyer an idea about the best kitchen hoods.
How to clean the cabinet range hoods?
An under cabinet range hood will certainly have a longer life expectancy if it is cleaned properly and regularly. It does not matter what type of hood you are using as long as you are cleaning it correctly. Here are some tips to keep the best range hoods clean.
- Fan and Motor – The fan is always exposed to harmful amounts of grease, dirt, and heat from the combustion in the kitchen. This might damage the fan and should be cleaned regularly with a de-greaser to maintain the hood efficiency. However, if cleaning the fan does not solve your problem then one must consider replacing the motor.
- Proper inspection of the Vent – If a buyer selects a ducted appliance then the vent should be cleaned regularly. This is because oil, grease, shoot, and other dust particles might clog the openings of the vent making it difficult for the vent to draw in smoke and fumes. Moreover, this also increases the risk of accidents. If the buyer is not able to clean the vent himself then he or she should look for a professional.
- Cleaning the filters – The filters are in charge of sucking in all the contaminated air along with the grease which make them unfit for use real fast. The kitchen hood might have mesh filters, charcoal filters, or baffle filters. Both the mesh and baffle filters are made up of metal and can be removed easily. Once removed they should be kept in a de-greasing solution for some time. This will help the grease to get off the filters and then it must be cleaned with lukewarm soap water. Next, after a thorough cleaning with normal water and drying the filters completely, they can be reattached. In the case of a charcoal filter, it cannot be cleaned and needs to be replaced at regular intervals.
- Clean the fixture – While cleaning the cabinet hoods one must switch off the cooking range and make use of a de-greaser or a house cleaning spray which is of the non-abrasive variety. This will help maintain the stainless steel outlook of the appliance. Moreover, the LED lights and electrical components should not be sprayed directly with the cleaner. Cleaning the hood regularly will maintain its visual appeal for a long time.
- Diagnose the Problem – A ducted range hood is an electrical appliance which is constantly taking in smoke and grease-worn air and replacing it with clean air. This might affect its functionality. If in spite of being in the best mode the hood is not being able to clear the fumes in the kitchen then the vent needs to be cleaned immediately. If the fan or the motor makes loud noise or hums when switched on then either it needs cleaning or an immediate replacement. moreover, if a push button on the fixture does not seem to work properly then there must be an electrical issue which needs to be fixed by a professional.
- Preventive measures – The primary step in the maintenance of any electrical appliance starts from going through the manual enlisted with all the do’s and don’ts of the product. The buyer should make it a ritual to clean the fan and the vents regularly. Moreover, usage of the hood at the highest setting constantly will reduce its life expectancy drastically due to overheating. It is important to take care of the appliance in order to make sure that it takes care for you.
1. Why you should hire a professional for installing your ducted kitchen hood?
A ducted kitchen hood often involves configuring an exterior pathway to drive the smoke and fumes outside your house. Moreover, the ducts have to be connected to the vents and this requires expertise intervention. Nonetheless, hiring a professional saves both time and money. The buyer also does not need to worry as excellent service is provided by the professional and the professional also helps the buyer to take the right decision in case of any issue. The most crucial benefit of having a professional do the installation work is that he guarantees convenience.
2. Does the ductwork of a mounted range has to be above the ceiling?
Yes, the ductwork of a wall-mounted range has to run above the ceiling. In case the ductwork is not already done above the kitchen ceiling then it might be an expensive affair. Sometimes installing such a range hood might not be possible in such a case.
3. Should the kitchen hood be wider than the cooktop?
Yes, it is essential that the kitchen hood should be wider than the stovetop at least by six inches. This means that the hood should have an extension of three inches past the cooking range on either side.
We have successfully arrived at a point where we can certainly think that we are prepared to go in for the perfect purchase. This guide holds a lucid compilation of all that a buyer needs to know before he or she ventures into the market for buying the best under cabinet range hood. The factors, features are the essential pointers that should be considered for understanding and arriving at the right appliance selection. Moreover, the hood maintenance tips have also been provided to make the buyer aware about the ways to increase the life expectancy of the product. Lastly, it should be understood by the buyer that an electrical appliance would only last long when it is not mishandled, overused, or kept dirty. That is the key to a healthy and long-lasting product. Wishing you all the best. Happy purchasing!