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Hood Buying Guide

A comprehensive hood buying guide that will give you all the information you need on how to buy a new hood for your kitchen.


Getting Started

If you are someone who likes to cook and spend a lot of time in the kitchen you will know that using a cooktop or the top burners on your oven can produce a lot of heat as well as steam. Having a good hood above your units prevents heat, smoke, moisture and grease from permeating throughout your kitchen, or worse, your home. There are three configurations: Vented (Ducted), Non-vented (Duct-Free), and Combination.

When it comes to the right size for efficiency, the hood needs to be at least as wide as the range or cooktop. This will also protect cabinetry from heat and smoke damage. Units will mount either on the wall or under the cabinet. When selecting range hoods, it is best to have already measured your cooking surface before choosing a unit. Always read the specified requirements for the proper mounting height.

Before purchasing a range hood you should familiarize yourself with the new and innovative features hoods have to offer. Also, it's important to know that a gas range will require a hood with a higher CFM (cubic feet per minute) than an electric range. For an in-depth explanation on CFM, see below. For additional help contact our knowledgeable sales staff at 888-228-5800.

Choosing the right hood for your cooktop or range:
Not all hoods can be used efficiently on both gas and electric ranges. An Electric range will require less CFM than a gas range. Therefore a range hood of up to 475 CFM is more than adequate. The proper hood for a gas range will depend on the gas range's BTU. For every 100 BTU's you need 1 CFM from your range hood. Therefore a gas range with 45000 BTU's requires a range hood of about 450 CFM. This assumes the worst-case scenario - all burners on at the same time and in their highest setting. Note: Professional style range hoods require greater CFMs

Types

Vented (Ducted)
Requirs ductwork to channel the exhaust outdoors. The best range hood is only as good as its exhaust system.
Non-vented (Duct-free)
Uses washable and replaceable filter(s) to clean and return the air to the kitchen.
Combination
Can be used with or without ducts.

Features

Blowers
some hoods do not come with standard blowers they are separate accessories which can be internal (housed along the run of ductwork) or external (mounted on an outer wall or roof).
Fans
Cubic Feet Per Minute is used to rate and compare air movement, whether it's a leaf blower or a range hood. Choosing a range hood with higher CFM results in more air movement.
CFM
Cubic Feet Per Minute is used to rate and compare air movement, whether it's a leaf blower or a range hood. Choosing a range hood with higher CFM results in more air movement.
Noise
Noise is measured in sones. A sone is roughly equal to the sound of a refrigerator running. Normal conversations take place at about four sones, city traffic rates up to around eight. Use sones to compare units, but be aware the higher the CFM, the higher the sone.
Automatic Shutoff
A timer can be preset to shut the fan off after a specific time.
Heat sensors
Sensors automatically speed up the fan or sound an alarm when they detect increased heat.
Lights
Lights are also available on hoods, with one or two incandescent or halogen bulbs.

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