How to Choose the Best Vent Hoods for Your Kitchen

Posted: March 3, 2017

Adding a new gas range or rangetop to a kitchen is a big decision that many consumers spend countless hours researching online and in appliance stores, but many times they fail to consider the ventilation system and everything that goes along with it.  To have a pro-style ventilation system that is able to keep up with the power of the appliance under it, there are a few things that need to be considered early in the shopping process.  Let’s look at the Top 8 Factors to Consider When Adding Pro-Style Ventilation to a Kitchen.

Consider Your Budget

Although you can find ventilation hoods that cost only a few hundred dollars, they most likely won’t give you the performance you need with today’s powerful pro-style ranges.  Planning early for the ventilation system you need will avoid unexpected expenses in your remodel.

Custom Wrangler Style Hood in Matte Black with Custom Strapping from Prizer Hoods

Hood Size and Capture Area

It’s not just the total CFM’s, which we’ll cover later, that are important it’s the size of the hood itself.  Brands like BlueStar recommend a hood be 6” larger than the cooking appliance to maximize the hood’s capture area.  This area should cover most of the cooking surface of the appliance and is extremely important in funneling the heat, smoke and grease towards the blower for removal from the kitchen.

Installation Height of the Hood

How high the hood is off of the cooking surface just might be as important as the capture you just read about.  If the hood is too high, any smoke or heat could just go out around the edges into the room.  This is why BlueStar recommends installing the hood 30” – 36” above the cooking surface.  This height range will allow your hood to work efficiently and still be at a comfortable height for you to cook below it.

What’s a CFM?

CFM’s are the measurement of how many cubic feet of air a hood’s blower can remove from the kitchen in minute.  Determining how many CFM’s you’ll need is directly related to the total number of BTUs that your cooking appliance can produce.  A recommendation from the Home Ventilating Institute is to divide the total BTUs of the stove by 100.  Using this formula, a gas range that can produce 100,000 BTUs would need a hood with at least 1,000 CFMs of power.  Factors such as altitude, length of the duct run and duct width may require the need for more CFM power.

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Choosing an Externally Venting Hood or Recirculating Hood

You have two choices when it comes to venting your pro-style appliance.  First you can choose to vent externally which is when the dirty air is removed from the home through ducting that runs outside.  This is the most efficient venting system and will remove all of the heat, smoke and grease from the kitchen.  Unfortunately this isn’t always an option which is why BlueStar and other manufacturers offer recirculating systems.  In these systems the air will pass through the filter system and then be recirculating back into the kitchen.  The grease will be removed from the air but the heat and any smoke will get pushed back into the room.

Size of Your Ducting

You’ve installed a pro-style ventilation system with all of the power you need, but now it needs somewhere to go.  If you’ve chosen to vent externally than this is where the size of your duct work comes into play.  Even though an 8” duct will work, we do recommend at least a 10” round duct be incorporated into your ventilation system.  This will provide more than enough space to effectively and efficiently remove the “dirty” air from your kitchen.


Do you Need a Make-up Air System?

The entire subject of make-up air can seem intimidating but it really isn’t.  Essentially for any air that is removed from the kitchen you need a way to replace it which is where the make-up air system comes into play.  Your local building inspector and appliance dealer will be able to let you know if you’ll need to add one of these systems your kitchen.

Customization Options

There are almost endless styles and options to choose from when selecting a ventilation system for your home.  BlueStar offers dozens of styles along with over 1,000+ colors to choose from.  Looking for something custom?  Then you’ll want to check out our Prizer Hoods line of hoods that offer an almost endless array of customization options.


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