What does CFM mean for range hoods?

What does CFM mean for range hoods

Q. What does CFM mean for range hoods?

Quick answer: What does CFM mean? CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute, which measures the speed at which a range hood can suck in the air and move it (also known as airflow displacement). It's essentially how much power a range hood has.

Long Answer: You’ve probably looked at a few range hood models and kept running into the abbreviation ‘CFM.’ Since you’ve seen it repeatedly, you figured it must be important. Well, you’re right! So, what does CFM mean for range hoods?

The abbreviation CFM is an indication of the power of a range hood, which is arguably the most important feature when looking for a new range hood. Why? Because in essence, your range hood is there to move dirty air from one place to another. The higher the CFM, the better it will be able to capture the smells, smoke and oil particles and either move them outside or pass them through a filter. So, what does CFM mean? CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute, which measures the speed at which a range hood can suck in air and move it (also known as airflow

Power arm

displacement). To visualize it: CFM is the amount of cubes of air (a foot high, wide and long) the range hood could suck in per minute. The higher the CFM of a range hood, the more cubes of air it can suck in within one minute, and therefore the more powerful the range hood.

Is it important to know how much CFM you need? Yes, it's very important to know the amount of CFM you will need BEFORE you're going to shop for a range hood, because range hoods are generally made with a fixed amount of power. That means you can't pick a certain model and consequently pick the amount of CFM for it. You will have to figure out the amount of CFM your kitchen needs beforehand and pick a range hood model which matches that specific amount.

Now, a lot of us are immediately tempted to order the most powerful one. How impressive would it be to have a fancy commercial grade exhaust vent above our stove, right? Not only is it that a really bad idea, it’s actually dangerous.


What does CFM mean for range hoods? CFM is short for Cubic Feet per Minute, which is an indication of the power of a range hood.

FREE range hood buying guide

Check out our FREE GUIDE to buying a new range hood  to check how much CFM your range hood will need. (Includes a downloadable PDF on page 1).

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