Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Four Questions to Ask Yourself When Replacing Your Range Hood

by Melissa Bullard
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

As the kitchen increasingly becomes the heart of the home, homeowners and remodelers are seeking ways to decorate and reface kitchen cabinets so that the kitchen isn't just a utility room, but a welcoming gathering place as well. From cabinet frames that look like furniture to built-in espresso machines, homeowners are trying to increase the elegance and liveability of their kitchens, and range hoods are being incorporated into this trend. Gone are the days when the range hood was made to blend in, or just a feature on the bottom of the built-in microwave. But before you rush out and purchase that style you've always wanted, consider these four questions.

Four Things to Consider When Replacing Your Range Hood

  1. Where is your stove located? Obviously, a wall range hood is not an option if your stove is located on a kitchen island or peninsula. In this case, you need a range hood that hangs down from the ceiling, or, if your peninsula has overhanging cabinets, you need one that attaches to the bottom of them.
  2. Vented or recirculation? Vented range hoods take in smoky, greasy air and blow it through a duct to the outside of the house. If you already have a vented range hood, you should be able to replace it. However, if your current range hood is a recirculation hood, then you have to decide whether you are going to replace it or buy a vented range hood and install a duct to the outside of your house. This option is typically more expensive, but is a must if you consistently fry foods or cook things that create smoke.
  3. Where do you entertain? Range hoods move air in cubic feet per minute (CFM), and typically the higher the CFM, the greater the capacity for the removal of air and odor. However, you must also take into consideration the number of sones, or units of perceived noise, produced by the range hood. If you entertain often in your kitchen, you probably want a lower sone rating.
  4. How are your DIY skills? While it is possible to do all the ductwork yourself, remember that proper ductwork is absolutely essential to the effectiveness and efficiency of your range hood. You need the proper materials and accessories, and if you're not absolutely confident in your own ability, it may be worth it to hire a professional.

Once you've considered the utilitarian questions, you're ready to go out and find a range hood that fits best with the style of your kitchen.

About the Author
Melissa Bullard earned a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, then a Master's Degree in Spanish Language and Literatures from the University of Nevada, Reno. She has taught writing, literature, and Spanish classes, and is currently working as a fre

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