Kitchen hoods that attach to the ceiling are called cooktop or island hoods. These hoods generally vent cooktops or ranges that are in the center of the room on an island or countertop where a wall-mounted venting fan is not practical. Other options are available for venting an island range as well.
The fans inside the hoods may be two different types. The centrifugal fan is the most powerful of those types. This kind of fan resembles a squirrel or hamster wheel. It moves a substantial amount of air, depending on the size, and can handle pushing air through long duct runs.
Axial fans look much like ceiling fans with blades and a center hub. This fan is less expensive than a centrifugal fan but does not move as much air. A fan needs to move 40 cubic feet of air per minute (cfm) for each linear foot of range top. Therefore, a standard size range needs a fan that moves at least 120 cfm of air. If the fan is at the top of the ductwork, it will need to be even more powerful, so an axial fan may not do the job.
Range hoods are becoming more varied with sleek, modern profiles and less obtrusive designs. They can be found in brass, copper, steel, stainless steel, wood finish, tempered glass accents and powder coat finishes in many colors. The sump, or hollow cavity, that holds the air until the fan can blow it out is getting slimmer and sleeker. While this works for design purposes, it does not always give the best performance. Ensure the manufacturer has adjusted for the diminished capacity in the design of the blower.
For those who want to avoid the cost, look or interference of a range hood extending from the ceiling, a ceiling hood that is recessed into the ceiling can be an ideal solution. You'll need plenty of attic space above for a large centrifugal fan. Take into account the height of the ceiling, and install a hood large enough to handle the smoke. According to kitchen designer Peggy Deras, smoke or steam from a cooktop spreads 3 inches for every 30 inches that it rises. Therefore, the higher the ceiling is away from the cookstove, the wider the ceiling hood should be. You can build an extension from the ceiling in which to install the fan.
Retractable Range Hoods
Many homeowners dislike the look of a large hood. Retractable hoods have "wings" that extend out from the sides of the hood when it is in use. These wings cover extra stovetop space to capture all the smoke and steam but retract when the unit is not in use for a sleeker profile.
One alternative to the ceiling hood is a pop-up downdraft vent. These eliminate the need for an overhead hood and instead vent the air downward and out. Downdraft vents flush with a cooktop generally do not offer enough power to adequately vent the air, so pop-ups are preferable, especially for gas stovetops.
- Photo Credit Kitchen image by armanxo from Fotolia.com
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