Range Hood Inserts: What Are They and Why Are They Important?

By: Reylord Ayop

Some hoods may be purely decorative; like a wood hood. In this case, you will need a range hood insert.

What are range hoods? 

Hoods are the ventilation system over your cooktop. Your range hood might span 3 inches beyond your cooktop on each side, to optimize proper ventilation. 

Island hoods need more range coverage. Therefore, they should reach 3 to 6 inches beyond your cooktop on each side. Island hoods, unlike wall-mounted hoods, have more exposure to the air in your kitchen on all sides. This will help vent oil, grime, and other particulates outside your home; you’ll want more coverage.

What are ventilation hood inserts?

Hood inserts are specially designed ventilation unit that fits inside a decorative hood. The insert contains a blower, speed controls, and usually lights.

The blower is the fan that draws the air over your cooktop up into the hood insert to ventilate.

range hood
Zephyr-Blower insert for a wood hood

What is the difference between ducted and ductless ventilation?

Range Hoods (Ducted): Range hoods that exhaust your kitchen air via ductwork to the outside of your residence, are ducted hoods. This is the best option for getting the most filtering for grease, smoke, grime, and other impurities removed from your kitchen.

Recirculating Range Hoods (Ductless): If you can’t vent your hood to the outside, a ductless hood might be the way to go. You may not have passage to the ceiling or authorization to install custom ductwork that vents to the exterior if you live in a condo or apartment. If that’s the case, a recirculating hood might be your best option. 

These hoods take in the air from your kitchen and purify it with charcoal filters before recirculating the purified air back into your kitchen.

What is CFM (cubic feet per minute)?

The CFM is the cubic feet per minute rating. This is critical when selecting a range hood or hood insert. The higher the CFM of your range hood, the more frequently you cook. A higher-CFM rating hood is an ideal choice if you cook a lot of fatty, spicy, fried, or Asian meals that generate a lot of heat and aromas. It is also a great option if you have a highly powerful cooktop, such as a dual gas range.

Typically a hood with a high CFM rating, professional series hoods will often pull 900 CFM or more from the air. Because gas cooktops emit intense heat and you may want to consider a higher CFM for your hood insert.

 If your duct system has two or more elbows, you should use a professional hood with a higher CFM. The extra power will compensate for the increased resistance caused by your ductwork’s twists and turns.

Will my hood insert be noisy?

The CFM determines how loud your range hood is. Sones, a unit of measurement for loudness, is utilized to measure range hood noise. At their highest level, excellent range hood products create a maximum of 7-8 sones, similar to regular conversation. 

The single or multiple blowers in your range hood provide most of the noise, with some noise coming from air flowing into the hood and via your ductwork. 

Because the blower will be within your range hood, if you utilize a local blower, your hood will make more noise. Consider installing a remote blower within your ducting, further off from your range hood, if you prefer a quieter kitchen. 

We always recommend consulting with a professional who specializes in hoods and hood blower inserts. It is important to have your kitchen cabinet layout finalized; this will help you to decide what the best option is for your hood insert. Hood specialists are trusted professionals and will advise you on the best CFM hood insert you will need for your new kitchen!