Vented Vs Non Vented Range Hoods | Which Is Right For Your Kitchen?

Recirculating VS Vented Range Hoods

Kitchen range hoods have been in use for generations now. The traditional ventilation styles essentially serve one purpose: to ensure sufficient air and freshness in the kitchen. Though the simple ventilation techniques were useful, the present-day advanced ventilation technologies make the process more efficient. There is a wide range of ventilation options available in the market, from vented range hood to ductless ones that have the same use but the varying range of speed, energy source, efficiency, and suitability. 

The key is not just about having ventilators but about having the right ventilators to freshen up your kitchen space. Smoke, steam, and foul air are the constant irritants for anyone spending hours in the kitchen. With the variety of options available in the market, selecting the perfect kitchen ventilator to suit the layout is challenging. We have already covered different types of range hoods in another article, but we get into more detail in this article. Do not worry; this article shall guide your way thoroughly into finding the ideal system for cleaning and refreshing the air in your kitchen. 

What Are the Different Types Of Kitchen Ventilation Systems? 

What Are the Different Types Of Kitchen Ventilation Systems?

1. Range hoods  

The range hood is one of the ventilation styles available in various models: under-cabinet hoods, wall-chimney hoods, island hoods, and other over-head hoods. As per their name, they are installed in the bottom of the kitchen cabinet or over the gas stove. They could be installed on the walls or even attached to the ceiling for hanging just above the stove. A number of these overhead hoods have light panels attached to the base facing the stove, increasing the indoor lighting in your kitchen. The range hoods can be vented or unvented, that is, with duct or ductless in style. 

2. Over the Range Microwaves 

Ever imagined getting 2-in-1 benefits of the microwave with a ventilation system available in one device? Well, the equipment- Over the Range Microwave- is meant to deliver the benefits! They come in varying sizes and a wide range of innovations, but what one may find as the characteristic feature of this device is the built-in venting fan beneath the microwave space, which sucks out all the steam and smoke from the cooktop or range under it. It also saves counter space. However, there is a certain variety with vented and non-vented hood designs available with the Over the Range Microwaves.

Also Read: Island Range Hood Reviews

3. Downdraft Venting Systems

Another known variety of range ventilation, the downdraft system, is mainly found as supplementary air cleaners in areas requiring extensive ventilation. The system is installed beside or behind the cooking stove. After that, the air is pulled out through a duct that eliminates the air into the floor. They are not significantly visible at their location of insertion or installation. They can be retracted for the time they are not in use. Important to note that the system’s range hoods may not perform extremely heavy-duty cleaning of the air in your kitchen.

What is the Best Kitchen Ventilation System?  

Range hoods are hands down the most effective way to ventilate the kitchen air within a short period. The power of range hoods is measured in CFM, which estimates the volume of air in cubic feet cleaned per minute. Given that the minimum CFM of the range hood is somewhere around 300, you may estimate the power of cleaning that range hoods have. 

They are available with several designs and various features from lighting and touch-control panel to voice control and even auto clean. Chiefly there are two dominant variants of range hoods, ductless and ducted. Some of the modern-day ventilators are convertible from ducted to ductless and vice versa. A ductless range hood is inexpensive and comparatively easy to install than a ducted one, yet when we talk of better safety, health, and cleanliness, a ducted range hood may seem more efficient.

What are the Types of Range Hoods? 

What are the Types of Range Hoods?

1. Vented/Ducted Range hoods 

As the name suggests, the vented or ducted range hood has a duct that expels the fumes, smoke, and steam out of the kitchen. It exhausts the air from the kitchen completely out of the house, allowing fresh air to flow in from around the room to ultimately refresh and recirculate clean air inside the kitchen.

Ducted Range Hoods are quite tricky to install due to their bulky size. Vented range hoods are also essentially expensive since you need to pay for the duct and its installation and maintenance. However, expelling the toxic air inside your kitchen completely is better in several instances for ensuring better health and safety. 

The toxic elements in the kitchen air may range from bacteria and germs to carbon monoxide and other harmful gases. Since it does not recirculate the air, the system does a more heavy-duty operation of sucking out volumes of air and throwing them outside your kitchen ceiling.

Also Read: Cosmo Range Hood Reviews

2. Non-vented/Recirculating Range Hoods

Recirculating Range Hoods basically filter the kitchen air through the system and recirculate the cleaned air in the kitchen. It has carbon charcoal filters that absorb toxic elements and grease, germs, and odor from the kitchen air without expelling the air outside your house. 

A ductless range hood sucks oily and foul kitchen air via the baffle or mesh filters. This sucked air is passed through charcoal filters where dirt and grease are trapped, and the strong odors are neutralized. Any ventless range hood is mountable on ceilings, walls, and even over the counter. This is cost-effective and costs relatively less than a ducted range hood does. 

Suppose you are residing in a rented apartment; a ductless ventilator would require no reconstruction of the kitchen and can be fitted without tunneling the air out. They need significantly less energy since their fans do not perform as hard. If you are interested in ductless range hoods, look at our reviews on some of the best ductless range hoods.

Recirculating Range Hood Vs Vented: Which is Superior?  

Venting the air out of one’s kitchen is far preferable to recirculating the air in the room over again. The vented range hood expels steam, fumes, heat, and odors out of your home environment, which is one of the best ways to retain a healthy and safe atmosphere inside the kitchen. Most of the time, the grease particles in the kitchen air are inefficiently cleaned by clogged ventless range hoods, which accumulated in the walls and surfaces of the kitchen, discoloring the interior and making it look ugly. 

While the ductless range hoods are less effective and not as powerful as the vented or ducted ones, ductless hoods save a lot of energy and fit almost any space. At times installing a vented range hood becomes impossible because of the kitchen’s location and design that does not allow the duct to run past the ceiling or walls. On the other hand, ventless range hoods can clear the indoor air of kitchens with any kind of layout. They are also inexpensive and easier to install. 

What Eventually Matters While Selecting A Range Hood for your kitchen? 

What Eventually Matters While Selecting A Range Hood for your kitchen?

1. Size 

The hood size is a crucial factor to consider while making a purchase. When you buy a ducted range hood, you might also have to consider redesigning your kitchen if there is no exhaust hole available already. You can choose from ducted, ductless, and convertible designs that fit the space you dedicate to the installation. Generally, the range hood’s face must be as wide as the stove you cook on. Most range hoods have a 30-33 inches design to cover a standard cooktop. In case you need a wider or larger range of ventilation, you can get it customized.


The configuration of your choice of range hood may vary according to your need and the kitchen space. There is a wide variety to choose from. Wall mount range hoods are for installation above the stove, replacing the cabinetry. They have a chimney shape with visible vent stacks, giving an industrial decor to your kitchen. If you have a cooktop in your kitchen, you can go for island range hoods fitted to the ceiling to hang firmly over the counter and vent past the roof. Under-cabinet range hoods, Professional-grade range hoods, and Microwave range hoods are the other variety available. 

Also Read: Golden Vantage Range Hood Review

3. CFM Rating 

The manufactures refer to the power of the vented range hood in terms of CFM or cubic feet per minute of exhausted air. The higher the CFM value, the greater the strength of the vented range hood in cleaning the kitchen air in the shortest interval. To find the required CFM for your kitchen, divide the British thermal units (BTU) of your stovetop by 100, and the value shall indicate the exact CFM that your chosen range hood must have. If you operate on a cooktop with 30,000 BTU output, you need a range hood with 300 CFM. Don’t confuse the efficacy of your range hood with CFM measures alone. 

4. No: of Fan Speeds 

Typically, a range hood may have any number of fan speeds between one to six. Some customers argue that having two speeds is ideal since it allows one to control the hood slower or faster depending on the workload. While this may sound valid, some agree that greater numbers of speed levels allow finding the precise speed that provides effective and smooth operation. Since our kitchen activities may range anywhere between the extremes of fast and slow, there should be at least three fan speed levels.

5. Noise

The noise produced by the range hood is essential to consider since you may not want to disturb your entire family and even neighbors while operating in the kitchen. To give you an estimate of the sound produced by a range hood, let’s learn about sones. Your refrigerator produces at least one sone of sound, whereas an average person-to-person conversation is about four sones. A range hood makes a maximum of 65 decibels which is 13 sones and is tolerable in the kitchen. Generally, it has been observed that the greater the CFM, the larger the noise output.

Verdict: Ducted or Non-ducted range hoods? 

Modern-day families’ relationship with the kitchen has been strained in many ways, given the hectic lifestyle of the earning individuals leading to an outright reduction in the time a family spends together or indoors. However, no one can deny the importance and health benefits of home-cooked food. Especially due to the pandemic, not only did we realize the significance of relying heavily on home-cooked meals, but we have also somehow found enough time at home to garner our inner chefs. 

Finding the best range hood for your kitchen depends on several aspects such as space, budget, installation charges, and so on. After having discussed the significant aspects above, I personally believe that ducted range hoods are far superior in performance to non-ducted or ventless range hoods. The installation is expensive and requires the help of a contractor to set it well; however, this may act up as a one-time investment for efficient ventilation in the kitchen. So if you’re looking for a winner, vented range hoods take the cake if you compare vented vs non vented range hoods.

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