Your guide to buying
a range hood

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Step 4. Other important things to consider

You've come to the last page of this range hood buying guide. Here we will shortly look at other important features you might want to keep in mind when picking your future range hood. 

Range hood size

Range hoods come in different sizes, because not everyone has the same amount of space in the kitchen. They generally come in sizes between 24 and 60 inches, with step sizes in 6 inch increments. What you need to do is measure the width of your cooking surface, write it down, and compare it with the width of your potential range hood. To effectively capture the odors, oils and fumes, the range hood needs to be AT LEAST as big as the cooking surface. Ideally, the range hood is at least 3 inches wider on either side of the cooking stove.

Range hood installation height

Range hood installation height is something a lot of people seem to forget. The importance of the range hood installation height comes down to this: the higher you install it above your cooking stove, the more powerful your future the range hood will need to be to effectively capture all the smoke, fumes and grease. However, it shouldn't be too low, since you don't want the range hood to block your view. That's why the ideal range hood installment height will usually be between 26 and 30 inches above your cooking stove. But, be sure to check the manufacturer's recommended installment height, as they have tested their product extensively for the ideal height for maximum performance. If for some reason you want to exceed the recommended range hood 

Range hood too damn high

Yeah, that looks a bit high.

installment height, it will loose efficiency in capturing the air pollutants resulting from cooking. For each additional one inch higher, you will lose around 100 CFM of range hood efficiency. 

For most range hood models, the range hood's installment height won't be a problem, as most cabinet's are installed at the same height. Chimney range hoods, however, are installed directly against your ceiling. That's why most range hood manufacturers will specify a maximum ceiling height. (You've measured your ceiling height during step 3.3; question 7 in your PDF.) Luckily, most manufacturers also sell 'chimney extensions,' which is an extension for the long neck-like part of the range hood. So if your ceiling height exceeds the manufacturer's recommended maximum ceiling height, be sure to buy a range hood chimney extension.

How noisy?

The loudness of a range hood is an important feature you will have to consider when buying one, though it might bother some people more than others. We at don’t like to feel as if we’re standing in the middle of a hurricane when we’re cooking.

Good luck cooking like this.

How loud a range hood is, depends on how powerful it is. To be more specific, it’s generally a trade-off: the more powerful the range hood, the noisier it is. The loudness of sound, as most people will know, is measured in decibels. However, when it comes to range hoods that’s not the case. The loudness of range hoods are measured by an internationally recognized measurement unit called a 'sone.' The higher the amount of sones, the noisier the range hood is. In contrast to decibels, sones have a linear value, which means that 4 sones are twice as loud as 2 sones (which isn’t the case with decibels).

To get an idea of the loudness of a sone, consider the following:

  • 1 Sone is about as loud as a refrigerator hum in a quiet kitchen.
  • A normal conversation between people takes place at 1-4 sones.

There’s no formula for the perfect sone/CFM balance, because it totally depends on the range hood manufacturer’s ability to make it as silent as possible. If you really don’t want too much noise during cooking, pick a range hood with an adjustable fan speed. If you will use it on a lower setting, it will generally also have a lower production of sones.


If you’re looking for a commercial grade range hood but want to minimize the noise as much as possible, you could also opt for either an external blower (outside of the building) or a remote/in-line blower (positioned inside the duct itself or at the terminal fitting). But, since the air is still being sucked through the filter, there will always be a certain amount of noise. Don’t expect a library-like silence.


Having enough light while cooking is obviously very important. You’ll want to actually be able to see your food. Since your range hood will be the main light source for that light, it will need to be able to produce enough of it. For that reason, it's generally better to have two lights in your range hood, rather than one. There are also differences in the type of

pre-installed lights. Range hoods will come with one of the following types of lights installed: incandescent, halogen, fluorescent or LED. We'll shortly take a look at these different types of lighting.

Incandescent bulbs

Incandescent bulbs are the traditional light bulbs, invented by Thomas Edison. Inside the bulb, a wire is heated up, which gives off light. Their biggest problems are that they give off heat, use much energy and don't give off a lot of light. Luckily, you won't come across a lot of range hoods with incandescent bulbs.

  • Lifespan: 750 to 1000 hours (long-life bulbs up to 2500)

Halogen lights

Halogen lights are advanced versions of the incandescent lights. There's a wire (filament) inside the gas filled bulb, which is heated and gives off light. What's more advanced about them is that they use tungsten wire (instead of mercury) and are smaller, cheaper and lighter. They generally give off a bright and crisp white light. Since it's still an incandescent light, it will give off heat (4x more than normal incandescent bulbs) which might turn into a fire hazard.

  • Lifespan: 2250 to 3500 hours

Fluorescent Lights

Fluorescent Lights. These are tubes which are filled with an inert gas (usually argon) an a little bit of mercury to create light when you run current through them. Since manufacturers are able to fiddle with the types of gas, you can get them in a variety of color light.

  • Lifespan: 10.000+ hours


These are the most energy-efficient ones. Instead of a wire (which can burn out), they use something called a semiconductor to create light. They're generally a bit more expensive to buy, but they will use a fraction of the energy the other lights use. Aside from that, they will last you a lot longer than the others.

  • Lifespan: 30.000+ hours

We at prefer LEDs for their energy-efficiency and long lifespan. If your range hood comes with another type, but you want to replace them with LED lights, be sure to check with the manufacturer before you do so. You might unknowingly void your range hood’s warranty. You’ll also want to do some research online, because some LED lights might give you a narrower illumination spread and/or a different color and brightness.


Question 10: Choose a type of lighting and put a check mark next to your preferred type of lighting on the PDF.


Checking how easy it is to clean the range hood is a much overlooked part of the purchase process. When picking out a range hood, it's not the first thing that would cross your mind. However, the ease of cleaning your range hood will become more important the longer you will have it in your kitchen, because a hard-to-clean range hood will start to annoy you more and more. So, what should we look for? Check if the surface of the range hood contains a lot of nooks and crevices, filth might accumulate in those places more easily compared to range hoods with a relatively smooth surface. You might also want to check other people’s experiences with cleaning the aluminum mesh filters or the stainless steel baffle filters.

Guy cleaning

Price of replacement Filters

His fate is in your hands.

If you are looking for a non-ducted range hood, you'll have to replace its charcoal filters from time to time. For as long as you have this particular range hood, these filters are a recurring expense. Do check the price of them before you buy the range hood, as some filters are pretty expensive. Depending on the brand and model, replacement charcoal filters will cost you anywhere between $5 - $70. You can compare it with printers: the printer itself might be really cheap, and after getting one you’ll think that you’ve  got an 

amazing deal on it. Its only when you want to buy a new ink cartridge that you find out printer ink is more valuable than gold and that you'll need to take a second mortgage on your house to stock on printer ink. So, before buying the range hood itself, check the price of the replacement filters.

That's all folks!


Congratulations! You've finished the guide to buying a new range hood. Now you will be able to make an informed decision when picking your new range hood. Be sure to save your PDF, so you will have all the important information handy. To make life easier, we at have picked out (in our opinion) the best range hoods currently on the market. Check out the articles below! If this guide has been useful to us, please consider sharing it with others, and perhaps even supporting us with a cup of coffee. :)

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As you probably know already, cooking islands generally require a different kind of range hood (most range hoods are meant to be installed against your kitchen wall). To save you time researching different range hoods, we have made a top 3 of the best cooking island range hoods. 

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