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How to Choose a Range Hood: Ideas & Styles

by Don's Appliances

The KitchenAid KVWB606DSS wall mount hood above a cooktop

At a Glance:

Why Range Hoods Are Important

"Before You Purchase a Range Hood

Under Cabinet Range Hoods

Wall Mounted Range Hoods

nsert Range Hoods

Downdraft Range Hoods


Why Trust Us?

Many homeowners find excitement in shopping and purchasing new ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers, and cooktops. Yet an appliance that is often overlooked in the kitchen is a range hood. What might seem like an unnecessary part of the kitchen is quite valuable and needed in any kitchen or cooking space. Range hoods help to keep the kitchen air clean as they properly ventilate smoke, fumes, and grease. While we won’t be discussing ductless range hoods, ducted vs ductless range hoods, island range hoods, or ceiling mount range hoods, we will be covering quite a lot about more common range hood ideas and types.

Below we will talk about why range hoods are important in the kitchen (and in the home) followed by things you should consider before purchasing a new range hood. Then, we will discuss each type of range hood (under cabinet, wall mounted, insert, and downdraft) while featuring a brief appliance review under each category.

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Why Range Hoods Are Important

 A woman using a KitchenAid wall mounted range hood  

As we briefly mentioned, range hoods are important for keeping the air clean throughout the whole house and especially in the kitchen. It is a must that gas stoves be ventilated with a proper kitchen exhaust fan. If you are wondering why, here are a few reasons why range hoods are important.

Range hoods help with allergies

For those who struggle with allergies, asthma, or any other respiratory issues, having a properly installed range hood in the kitchen that is used regularly can be a tremendous help. Fumes and smoke will suck up into the range hood instead of dispersing throughout the whole house.

Range hoods enhance air quality

If there is one major benefit of range hoods, it is to enhance the air quality in the kitchen and throughout the home. Unless a range hood is properly installed and working to pull impurities and pollutants out of the air during the cooking process, fumes and smoke will disperse throughout the kitchen and home. 

Range hoods help prevent mold growth

You may not think about range hoods helping to prevent mold growth but they certainly do! Moisture that leaves pots and pans during the cooking process rises into the air and creates humidity in the kitchen. Without a well-working range hood, this humidity can cause bacteria to build up resulting in mold growth. 

Related: The Best Range Hoods

Before You Purchase a Range Hood

It is important to have a decent understanding of range hood features before making a purchase. Here are a few things to consider when deciding on what range hood to purchase.


Other factors to consider include:

CFMs. CFM stands for ‘cubic feet per minute,’ which measures how much air is being exhausted per minute. If you want a more powerful range hood, you’ll want a range hood with higher CFMs. 

Cooking Location.  Range hoods can be installed in different ways, so knowing where your range hood will be in the kitchen is important so that you can purchase the right type of range hood.

Lights. Would you prefer to have lights in your range hood for cooking at night or for a nice evening light in the kitchen? This is something to consider before purchasing a range hood.

✱ Range Hood Size. Obviously, the size of range hood that you need is important to know ahead of time. Depending on your range size, you’ll need to decide between a 30 inch range hood, 36 range hood, or 48 range hood.

Related: LuxeAir Range Hoods Overview

Under Cabinet Range Hoods

Under cabinet range hoods are installed underneath the existing cabinetry located above your cooktop. This is a great range hood style for homeowners that want to keep cabinets that are already installed above their cooktops. For those who don’t have cabinets above their cooktop, you wouldn’t want to purchase this type of range hood. 

Whirlpool® 30" Stainless Steel Convertible Under Cabinet Hood

 Front view of the Whirlpool UXT5530AAS range hood

Shop This Whirlpool Range Hood

The Whirlpool stainless steel under cabinet hood features a 400-CFM blower, two halogen work surface lights, and three speed settings. With a push of a button, you can turn on the task light or the night light of the range hood. Within the range hood is a charcoal odor removable filter and grease filters for ventilating grease, fumes, and smoke. 

Featured Whirlpool UXT5530AAS review: We have had this range hood for a year and couldn't be happier. This range hood is easy to clean with the Whirlpool SS cleaner. The lighting is excellent and the fan works very well. We mostly use the low setting because the others aren't needed.”

Wall Mounted Range Hoods

Wall-mounted range hoods are installed on the wall above the range or cooktop. They usually sit about 2 to 3 feet above the range. This is a great range type for homeowners who don’t have cabinetry above their range and want to make a statement. However, if you have limited cabinet space and want to avoid dipping into wall real estate, consider another range hood style.

KitchenAid® 36'' Stainless Steel Wall Mount Hood

 Front view of the KitchenAid KVWB606DSS wall mount hood

Shop This KitchenAid Wall Mount Hood

The KitchenAid stainless steel wall mount hood features a 4-speed electronic glass touch control, removable filters, halogen night light, two LED task lights, and a 585 CFM motor. One of the features that really stands out on this wall mount hood is the Automatic Turn On function. This function automatically turns on when it detects high heat. It also turns on the Power Boost Function which turns the fan on to its highest speed for five minutes. Use this poweful kitchen range hood with a stove between 30” and 36” wide and with a total BTU output of 65,000.

Insert Range Hoods

For homeowners that prefer a more customized and subtle look, insert range hoods are a stylish choice. Insert range hoods are installed inside cabinetry rather than on the bottom of cabinetry (like under cabinet range hoods). 

Broan® BBN1 Series 30" Stainless Steel Insert Range Hood

 Front view of the Broan BBN1303SS 30” insert range hood

Shop This Broan Insert Hood

This 30” insert range hood from Broan is designed with a Max Blower with 300 CFM of circulation, LED overhead lighting, and aluminum filters that are dishwasher safe and easy to clean. Homeowners can easily install this range hood into their cabinetry. In fact, EZ1 clips are included which makes it simple for even one person to install. 

Featured Broan BBN1303SS review: “The Broan stainless steal insert is very light weight and easy to install. The vents are removable and washable without needing to replace. The lights are not bulky and are well hidden. Very nice modern design.”

Downdraft Range Hoods

Instead of being installed above the cooktop, downdraft range hoods are installed behind the cooktop. These subtle range hoods sit in a vertical fashion behind the range for a subtle and appealing look.

Broan® Elite 36" Stainless Steel Downdraft Range Hood

 The Broan Elite RMDD3604 36” downdraft range hood

Shop This Broan Downdraft Range Hood

With a subtle and compact design, this downdraft range hood from Broan has a chimney that, when activated, rises over 9.5 inches. Homeowners can adjust the blower speed with the adjustable control and then easily wash the filters by hand or in the dishwasher. There is a Heat Sentry option that will automatically kick the blower up to its highest speed when there is excess heat. This is a must-see for homeowners who prefer not to disturb the sightlines of their kitchen with a large hood.

Featured Broan RMDD3604 review: “If you're looking to eliminate smoke, grease and smell in your kitchen, BROAN is it! Powerful external blower that is quiet and yet very effective! Thank you Broan!”

When it is time for you to replace your old range hood or purchase a range hood for your new home, make sure to stop in at Don’s. Not only does Don’s carry a multitude of brands and appliance models, but we’re also capable of delivering your items, installing them, and repairing products when needed. Don’s offers homeowners a friendly service that you can’t always find at big box stores. That’s what sets Don’s Appliance apart, so shop one of our Pittsburgh appliance stores near you to experience the difference.


Here are a few more tips to remember while you shop for a new range hood

What size range hood for a 30-inch cooktop?

For a 30-inch cooktop, it is best to purchase a range hood that is between 36 and 42 inches wide. A range hood should be at least six inches wider than your cooktop width (three inches on each side).

What size range hood for a 36-inch cooktop?

For a 36-inch cooktop, it is best to purchase a range hood that is at least 42 inches wide.

What’s the ideal range hood distance from cooktop?

When installing your range hood, it is good to install it between 20 to 24 inches above your cooking surface if you have an electric range. For those who have a gas range, you should install your range hood between 24 to 30 inches about your cooking surface.

Why Trust Don’s Appliances?

Founded in 1971, Don’s Appliances is a family-owned, independent appliance retailer based out of Pittsburgh, PA. Don’s has since expanded to 10 locations selling, delivering, installing, and servicing all major appliance brands. Large enough to offer competitive pricing yet small enough to continue offering the “white glove” service we pride ourselves on, our focus is always on the customer experience — from the first step into a showroom to the purchase transaction to well after your new appliance has been installed.

When our customers are remodeling or building a new house, Don’s has all the expertise, product knowledge, inventory, brands, displays, and services to meet and exceed your needs. And in the event an appliance breaks, we are there, right on time and with the right product, delivery, installation, and service.

Shop Range Hoods at Don’s

Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today, and shop range hoods online at Don’s Appliance. Our friendly experts are always happy to help you find the best range hood for your kitchen — whether you call us at 866-544-1711, email us, or use our online chat feature. Better yet, stop by any of our Don’s Appliances Pittsburgh, PA warehouse locations. Visit us today!

Learn More: Are Gas Appliances Safe?