If you've already renovated a kitchen or are just beginning the process, you know how overwhelming the details can be. Our Fittings and Material Spotlights are quick guides to basic kitchen fixtures to familiarize you with terminology, pros and cons, and relevant reader reviews. Today we look at chimney-style range hoods, both wall-mounted and island hoods.
About Range Hoods: The primary purpose of a range hood is to ventilate your kitchen to remove the smells, steam, smoke, and heat that result from frequent cooking. By doing this range hoods also help absorb and trap grease so that it doesn't build up on your cabinets and appliances.
When purchasing a range hood, you'll want to consider the speed and loudness of the hood. The speed is measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute) which determines the rate at which the hood replaces air. The higher the CFM, the more air it will move, but the louder it will be. Noise volume for range hoods is measured in sones. Other features to compare by brand, according to Consumer Reports, include food-warming capabilities, auto extend and retract, filter-maintenance indicators, halogen lights, electronic controls, and the auto start/speed heat sensor.
For more on life with and without range hoods, see this post: Do You Have a Range Hood? And Coping Without.
Range Hood Style: Chimney Hoods
Distinctive Features: Chimney hoods have a canopy (or hood) above the range with an internal fan to catch fumes, steam, and smells which are then pumped up a flue (chimney) to the ceiling and into a vent. Chimney hoods can be either wall-mounted above a range where there are no cabinets, or else installed freestanding above a kitchen island. They can be ducted or ductless.
Installation: In the absence of kitchen cabinets, wall chimney hoods mount with exposed vent stacks on the wall. Island chimney hoods mount to and vent through ductwork in the ceiling. It's particularly important for island hoods to buy one that is at least six inches wider than the cooktop, due to the fact that there are no wall cabinets alongside the hood to help funnel fumes. If you have extra high ceilings, you may have to order a custom chimney hood to account for the extra space.
Major Brands: Broan, GE, Kenmore, NuTone, Viking, Whirlpool, Vent-a-Hood, Wolf, and Zephyr.
Pros: Most stylish options available; often serve as a focal point of the kitchen.
Cons: Requires more space; usually more expensive than under-cabinet models, professional installation recommended.
Price range: Hugely variable depending on brand and style.
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