A properly selected range hood does more than just ensure efficient air flow—it also enhances the overall appearance of your kitchen. “While its primary function is to remove odors, steam, and smoke from cooking, the range hood has become an important design element in modern kitchens,” explains an educator and appliance expert. With various high-quality options available, choosing the right one can be challenging.

“From a design perspective, there are four main types of ventilation: wall hoods, island hoods, liners, and downdrafts,” notes a project manager in ventilation. “Wall hoods are the most common and are directly mounted to the wall, often featuring a decorative chimney or soffit to blend seamlessly with the cabinets or ceiling.” Unsure about what to look for in a new stove hood? Consider this advice from industry experts.

Capture Area

The coverage provided by a stove hood over the cooking area is known as its capture area—a crucial consideration when choosing a model, according to Schutte. “For effective smoke and steam management, range hoods should be at least as wide as your cooking surface, with an additional six inches to maximize coverage,” he advises. Additionally, Schutte recommends that the ventilation system extends at least 24 inches deep to cover all top burners below. “An optimal capture area, considering both width and depth, is key to ensuring an efficient ventilation system,” he emphasizes.

Hood Power

The power of a stove hood is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), and it’s crucial to choose one with a fan or blower that meets or exceeds the requirements of your cooktop. “The appropriate blower should match the BTU output of your cooking appliance,” explains. For gas-powered stovetops, divide the BTU by 100 to determine the required CFM for the hood. “CFM requirements are more flexible for electric cooking,” she adds.

Motor Placement

The placement of the blower motor plays a significant role in the noise level of a stove hood. “The farther the blower motor is from the hood itself, the quieter the system will be,” he explains. Remote or in-line blowers typically offer the quietest operation.

Mounting Height

Installing the hood at the correct height is essential for optimal efficiency. “Mounting it too high may affect suction, while mounting it too low may restrict space for cooking underneath,” she advises. Most range hood brands recommend a clearance of 24 to 36 inches between the stove and the hood, so ensure accurate measurements when selecting a hood.


For kitchens with tall ceilings, a duct cover extension accessory may be necessary to extend the hood. “It’s best to keep ductwork short and straight,” she advises. “Use smooth metal ductwork and maintain a consistent duct size throughout to prevent airflow reduction and noise.” In cases where venting air outside is not feasible, duct-free or recirculating hoods can reintroduce filtered air into the kitchen. “However, regular filter changes are essential for optimal performance,” she notes.