Whether you’re someone who spends a majority of their day in the kitchen thinking about their next culinary wonder or an amateur still trying to figure out the ropes in the kitchen, regardless you have to acknowledge the ease that range hoods bring with them. Not only do they keep your kitchen free of grease and grime in the long term, but they also protect you from inhaling fumes from your own cooking.
However, it may be possible that you’re not getting the most out of your range hood for a variety of reasons, even after you’ve spent a fortune purchasing one. A largely ignored facet of owning a range hood is the fact that it has to be an appropriate height away from your cooktop.
But how will you know what height you should install your range hood over your cooktop? Here’s a complete guide on the ideal range hood installation height and what distance they should be installed from your cooktop depending on a variety of factors.
What Is the Standard Range hood Height?
As you might expect, there is indeed an ideal height for your range hood that you need to keep in mind during the installation process. Having your range hood over a certain height might impede the working of the range hood – in that it won’t draw air away from the cooktop.
The maximum height you should consider for your range hood over your cooktop is 36 inches – and similarly, the minimum height you should consider for your range hood should be 28 inches. If the height of the range hood is any less and it’s closer to your cooktop, then you run the risk of your range hood being damaged.
Does Range hood Height Vary For Gas and Electric Cooktops?
If you’re wondering whether your range hood height should vary depending on gas or electric cooktops, then the answer is yes; they actually do. While electric cooktops still need to be vented, the height of your range hood above stove in terms of an electric cooktop can be slightly lower than that of a gas cooktop.
For an electric cooktop, you can expect to mount your range hood at a height of anywhere from 20” to 24”. Similarly, a gas cooktop has to be mounted at a slightly further distance than an electric cooktop – at a distance of 25” to 30”.
This is mostly owing to the fact that in electric cooktops, you don’t run the risk of flames potentially damaging your range hood – while that can be a definite issue with gas cooktops on the other hand. This is why gas cooktops are installed higher than electric cooktops are.
What Happens If You Install Range hood too Close to the Stove?
1. Compromised Working Space
The first thing that you’ll need to consider if your range hood is too close to your stove is that it will possibly interfere with the layout of your kitchen and subsequently your cooking experience. If your range hood is too close to your stove, you might be compromising a little working space above your cooktop. If your range hood hangs a little too low, you might not be able to handle tall pots all that well.
While it largely depends on the individual’s preference, it is best to allow yourself ample working space in the kitchen – something that can be achieved if you aptly space out your range hood height above gas stove.
2. The Hood Will Require Frequent Cleaning
Understandably, once you understand how a range hood functions, you’ll comprehend why you need to clean the grease off your range hood often if you position it too close to your gas stove.
With your cooktop being too close, your range hood will absorb all the grime, impurities, and grease, in general, more frequently and thus get greasier more often. You will thus have to clean your range hood every fortnight, as opposed to the regular monthly cleaning.
3. Might Incur Damage from High Heat
Once again, it is important to briefly understand how range hoods work in order to shield them from damage. Range hoods produce a high degree of heat whenever they function, which means that they can lead to inevitably damaging your stainless steel exterior of the range hood, as well as its internal components.
If your range hood is too close to your stove, the heat is much higher and the range hood can incur damage much faster. The internal components such as the motor of the range hood may have to work at a higher intensity, effectively cutting down on its lifespan exponentially.
What Happens If You Install Range hood Too Far From Your Stove?
1. Inefficient Venting
As one would expect, situating your range hood too far from your stove or cooktop may result in inefficient venting. The buildup of greasy air and smoke in your kitchen might get too much, simply because your range hood is located too far from your cooktop to absorb any of these efficiently.
This can further result in numerous problems such as you having to invest in a makeup air kit to allow for ventilation in your kitchen – something that completely defeats the purpose of having a range hood in the first place.
2. Increased Strain on the Vent Motor
As mentioned before, the vent motor is the part of your range hood that is responsible for sucking in the impurities of the air – and if your range hood itself is located too far from the cooktop or stove, then it will naturally result in the vent motor not being effective enough to fulfill its purpose.
This will further result in you using the vent motor at higher speeds, which will reduce its longevity exponentially leading to you having to replace the vent motor more frequently.
3. Potential Grease Buildup from Escaped Fumes
Naturally, the rest of your kitchen will start to bear the brunt of your range hood not working effectively. The fumes that are not sucked in by the range hood will then start to settle all around your kitchen, building up the grease in your kitchen rampantly.
The capture area of the range hood will be greater, meaning that the vent motor will have to work at intense speeds in order to function properly – however, even this will not be enough to prevent your kitchen from being affected by the greasy fumes that the range hood will not be able to contain.
What Factors Influence Suitable Range hood Height?
1. Type of Cooktop (Gas vs Electric)
When you’re looking for potential range hoods for yourself, it is important to go into details of the installation process of the sort of cooktop you’re going to pair it with. Gas cooktops and electric cooktops, with different processes, usually mean different installation requirements for their respective range hoods.
As mentioned before, gas cooktops may require you to position your range hood slightly further than range hood height above electric stove, owing to the way the former works. While the range hood itself does not show any variations or specifications for gas cooktops or electric cooktops, they do have different mounting requirements.
2. CFM Rating
CFM, or cubic feet per minute, refers to the intensity of the range hood’s power. While the easy conclusion might be to get a range hood with a high CFM, it does not work similarly for all kitchen spaces.
For smaller spaces, it is best to get a range hood with lower CFM than larger kitchens. Often times, an over-the-range microwave suffices venting requirements of a small kitchen. Additionally, since we’re talking about range hood heights, it indicates that the higher your range hood is located from your cooktop, the more CFM it needs to have. Naturally, this means that range hoods with higher CFM need to be installed at a greater height, and vice versa.
3. Size And Location (Indoor/Outdoor) Of the Kitchen
As mentioned before, external and spatial factors also affect the kitchen hood height. If your kitchen is on the smaller side and more compact, your range hood can be mounted closer to the cooktop than if your kitchen was larger.
Similarly, indoor cooktops require higher intensity and thus less distance from your range hood to work efficiently. Outdoor cooktops can be more easily damaged by the high flames from grills and thus need to be set up around 36” to 42” away from your cooktop.
4. Preferred Type of Cooking
While this might largely be an approximation, it is important to consider which cuisine you use your cooktop most frequently for to settle on a standard range hood height. Some cuisines call for higher amounts of heat or more oil – and can thus require your range hood to work more intensely.
This will only be possible if your range hood is mounted closer to your cooktop because it can vent out air faster and more efficiently. Contrastingly, if you opt for oil-free and low-intensity cooking, then you can choose to mount your range hood a little further. If you’re inclined towards high heat cooking, it is also advisable to vent your range hood outside, either through the roof or an interior wall.
While owning a range hood can make your experience in the kitchen more seamless and clever than ever before, it comes with its fair share of considerations that you need to make before purchasing and installing one.
Specifically, your range hood height above cooktop can exponentially affect your experience in the kitchen – so if you want to make the most out of your experience, something as simple as mulling over the height of your range hood over your cooktop can make all the difference!