Ventilation Hood Options for Your Kitchen

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for Direct from the Designers

Kitchen ventilation is more important than many homeowners realize. The hood over your range or cooktop pulls away steam and smoke before they can dissipate throughout the house. That means the hood removes excess moisture, soot, grease, and cooking odors that would otherwise stick around and settle on surfaces. If you don’t want to have to clean more than necessary or deal with lingering smells, it's a good idea to invest in kitchen ventilation that addresses the cause at the source.

But what kind of hood is right for you? It depends on your cooking style as well as the size and layout of your kitchen. Here’s how the five major types compare!

KitchenAid 30" 1000-Watt Microwave Hood Combination

The KitchenAid® 30” 1000-Watt Microwave Hood Combination has a three-speed, 400 CFM ventilation fan to capture smoke, steam, and grease. The microwave also impresses with a sensor that automatically adjusts the time needed to cook, reheat, or defrost so you don’t have to guess. Cleanup is made simple thanks to the interior CookShield Finish and exterior PrintShield™ Finish!

Over-the-Range Microwave Hoods

When kitchen space is at a premium, many people choose to prioritize countertop space and move the microwave into the cabinetry. Placing it over the range offers two functionalities for the space of one, because the underside can house a vent fan to perform the duties of a regular hood! You’ll find a lot of variation in this category between the features of the microwave and the vent fan, so make sure to explore all the options and consider the height and breadth of the unit as well as the features that make the most sense for how you use your kitchen.

One thing to keep in mind about over-the-range microwave hoods is that they are a ductless solution—that is, they capture steam and smoke and then recirculate the air back into the kitchen after it’s gone through a filter. This setup is ideal for many because you don’t have to worry about the layout of your kitchen to install vents to the outside, but ductless hoods are less powerful. If you like to cook up a storm, it’s a good idea to choose any of the other types of hoods, which can be ducted or recirculating. Many even give you the choice within the same product!

KitchenAid 36" Slide-Out Hood

The KitchenAid® 36” Slide-Out Hood is a chic take on traditional venting. When not in use, it tucks away to be flush with the cabinets. Don’t be fooled by its streamlined construction—this hood comes with a 65,000 BTU rating, bright LED task lighting, and powerful boost functions that vent faster when necessary. It can also be installed however you like—with ducted ventilation or a recirculating system.

Under-Cabinet Hoods

Don’t need a big, flashy hood? An under-cabinet hood takes up the least amount of space of all the updraft varieties. They are especially common in small kitchens where cabinet storage space needs to be preserved, but you’ll also find them in larger kitchens. Homeowners who want to draw attention to other features in their designs often select under-cabinet hoods because they are unobtrusive and can even be hidden completely on the underside of cabinetry in some cases.

Whirlpool 36" Chimney Wall Mount Range Hood

The Whirlpool® 36” Chimney Wall Mount Range Hood has a strong geometric silhouette that’s perfect for contemporary or transitional design schemes. In addition to providing ample ventilation and lighting, it operates at a relatively quiet 7.5 Sones at maximum speed when configured to vent outside and can be wired to operate from a standard wall switch for ADA compliance.

Wall-Mount Hoods

If you want your hood to stand out a bit more and your range or cooktop sits against the wall, consider a wall-mount hood. They come in a variety of traditional and modern styles and typically fill space from the capture area up to the ceiling. Once you get into this category, you can find extended sizes and more powerful ventilation—which is exactly what you need for the larger, commercial-style appliances that are so popular these days. This more prominent type of hood comes at the expense of cabinet space, of course—that’s why wall-mounted hoods are seen most often in larger kitchens. There are still compact models to match smaller ranges, though!

Whirlpool 36" Curved Glass Island Mount Range Hood

The Whirlpool® 36” Curved Glass Island Mount Range Hood offers the same features and functionality as the wall-mounted hood mentioned above, but it provides completely vertical ventilation and takes center stage in the kitchen. The curved glass canopy creates an effective capture area while allowing you to see through for a more open, spacious feel across the cooking area.

Ceiling-Mount Hoods

Also known as island-mount hoods, ceiling-mount hoods are made for islands and peninsulas where you can’t affix ventilation to cabinetry or the wall. They also come in extended sizes, and it’s a good idea to select a model wider than your range; without the solid border of the wall, steam and smoke can escape in all directions. A wider canopy helps mitigate this concern, as does a more powerful fan. That’s why you’ll often see higher-than-standard cubic feet per minute (CFM) ratings in this category.

JennAir Euro-Style Stainless 36" Accolade Downdraft Ventilation System

The JennAir® Euro-Style Stainless 36” Accolade® Downdraft Ventilation System extends out from the countertop when you need it and disappears when you don’t! The large, 10” ducted installation allows for efficient exhausting and quieter operation. If you want exceptionally strong ventilation, look no further—this system can be paired with a 1,200 CFM high-performance blower!

Downdraft Hoods

Perhaps updraft ventilation doesn’t do it for you? Some people want completely clear sightlines across their kitchens, and this is where downdraft ventilation shines. Rather than sucking steam and smoke up from above, downdraft hoods pull it down. This goes against the natural movement of hot air, so these models have stronger fans to compensate. There are two main types of downdraft ventilation—some are designed to pull air down into the level of the countertop and others have a telescoping design that comes out of the countertop only when you need to use it. Downdraft ventilation is only compatible with cooktops (not ranges) due to the mechanical components underneath—you can even purchase a downdraft cooktop that includes its own built-in ventilation!

Take a look at Whirlpool®, KitchenAid®, and JennAir® if you’re in the market for great kitchen appliances including ventilation hoods! You’ll find all major types across these brands, so you’re sure to find a solution whether you need ductless or ducted installation and a low-profile or high-impact design. Feel free to reach out to their customer care teams if you could use some help selecting the perfect ventilation for your kitchen!

Therma Tru Doors For House Plans Online