Range Hood Buying Guide

Why do I Need a Range hood?

Range hoods are basically exhaust fans for your kitchen, which are designed to remove excess smoke, steam, grease and fumes while you cook. A good rangehood will keep your kitchen — and the rest of the house — clean and smelling fresh.


What Size do I Need?

Measure the area you have to work with above your stove or cooktop. The rangehood should cover the entire cooking area. They generally come in sizes between 600mm to 900mm.


What type of Range Hood should I get?

  • Fixed: The most common type, fixed rangehoods generally cover the entire stove area. They do not extend out, or retract back. They have a large filter.
  • Slide-out: Often referred to as “retractable” rangehoods, slide-outs extend out over the entire cooking area when needed. They can retract when not in use, saving space.
  • Canopy: Once only seen in commercial kitchens, canopy rangehoods are more popular than ever in Australian homes. They look great and can be mounted on the wall or above a kitchen island.


What about Smoke-Free Options?

The layout of your home can have an effect on how your rangehood vents the smoke and fumes from your kitchen. Make sure that you check which type of venting option best suits your home.

  • Ducted: Vents smoke and fumes to the outside of the home through ducted piping. They are harder to install, but they are the most effective means of removing cooking vapours completely. Keep the ducting as straight and short as possible, and never duct into the attic or another room.
  • Recirculating: Passes dirty air through a filter (usually made from carbon) before returning it back into the kitchen. Grease and oil particles are removed by a metal filter, which needs to be cleaned (or possibly replaced) regularly.


Is Suction Important?

  • Rangehood power — the air extraction rate — is measured in m³/hr. Rangehoods with air extraction rates over 600m³/hr are in the more powerful range. As a rule of thumb, canopy rangehoods are the most powerful, while slide-out (retractable) rangehoods are the least powerful.


Are There Different Types of Fans?

  • Rotary fans are traditional blade fans. Centrifugal fans are barrel-shaped, move more air, are quieter and perform best in ducted systems. Whichever you choose, go for variable fan speed.


Is it Loud?

  • The level of noise made by rangehood is measured in Sones. Ask for a demonstration to get an idea of how noisy each rangehood is.


Do I Need a Filter?

  • If you choose a recirculation rangehood option, the filters you use will have a big impact on reducing odours. Some charcoal filters are specially designed to reduce offensive smells.


Does it look Good?

  • There are a number of finishes, including glass and stainless steel. Make sure that the exterior surface is smooth and doesn’t have any crevices for easy cleaning. If you’re after a sleek industrial look, then you should consider a canopy rangehood.


What about the Lighting?

  • Ensure that there are enough lights on your rangehood. The more light you have, the easier it is to judge the timing of your cooking.


Do the Controls Matter?

  • Check that the controls are easy to reach and understand.


Is it Automatic?

  • Thermostat control will switch the rangehood on automatically when it detects that the temperature below the rangehood is too high. An exhaust timer will automatically switch the rangehood off after a certain period of time.


Is it Easy to Install?

  • Recirculating rangehoods can be relatively easy to install for someone with DIY skills, provided there is a power point nearby. If not, you’ll need an electrician. Ducted systems require knocking holes in the wall for the piping, so it’s best to get a professional to install it.


How Much does it Cost?

  • While ducting is an extra expense, it’s important to note that replacement filters on recirculation rangehood can cost up to €100 per year.

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