A kitchen without a rangehood is like a bed without sheets. It’s not the main event but makes everything else work together for the better. In this blog, we’re going to look at what a rangehood actually is and how it works plus some questions to ask when making a decision about your next rangehood purchase.
What does a rangehood do:
A rangehood is the filtered ventilation system that hangs above the cooktop. It has the huge responsibility of clearing the air of steam, oil and smoke while you cook. From frying an egg to boiling water, making stir fry or accidently burning the life out of something, the rangehood’s role is critical. A good rangehood will suck all the steam, oil and smoke from the air before it lands on your benchtop, cabinet doors, walls, etc. It reduces the amount of time you’ll spend cleaning your kitchen, will reduce the food smells in your soft furnishings, clothes and hair after cooking fish or curry and after you burnt the first batch of cookies, it’ll clear the air so no one will know! Sounds like a good investment to me!
So, what styles of rangehoods are available?
The canopy rangehood is exposed to the kitchen and is not covered by a cabinet. The stainless-steel flue can be seen to go up the wall and through the ceiling. The canopy part of the rangehood spreads out over the cooktop and houses the filters and control buttons. Some canopy rangehoods don’t have a flue but use a filter system instead.
Because a canopy rangehood is not covered by a cabinet, it becomes a focal point in the kitchen. It tends to attract the eyes attention as it breaks up the straight lines of the overhead cabinets and creates a “wow” factor so its important to keep them clean on the outside. This will involve a stepladder and good cleaning products as the whole flue will need wiping (right to the ceiling) and you don’t want to be left with streak marks.
Canopy rangehoods can be purchased to go against the wall or hang freely from the ceiling over the island bench.
The undermount rangehood is designed to hide inside an overhead cabinet so it can’t be seen from the outside. This maintains a simple, seamless feel as the cabinets run across the kitchen. The flue is hidden inside the cabinet as well so no part of the rangehood is exposed. This makes cleaning easier as the cabinet front can be wiped just like the rest of the kitchen cabinet door fronts.
A pull-out rangehood is similar to the undermount however there is a small horizontal panel at the front that is exposed. This panel pulls out towards you and extends the rangehood. The doors of the cabinet that houses the rangehood are shorter than the ones either side of the rangehood so there is some break in the visual line. Cleaning a pull-out rangehood is, again, like an undermount but with the addition of needing to clean the top of the pull-out component. This can easily collect oil so regular cleaning will prevent the build up (and save your cloths!).
The downdraft is a newer rangehood concept on the scene and seems to be attracting a lot of attention. Since kitchen trends have simplified in style, the concept of having no overhead cabinets at all is increasingly popular. The downdraft rangehood is built into the bench behind the cooktop or in-between the burners of the cooktop and sucks the steam and oil down into itself. This allows for no overhead cabinet restrictions. The splashback could run smoothly to the ceiling or there could be a floating shelf running across or even empty cupboards ready for regular storage. Cleaning is easy enough by wiping.
What functions and features you need to consider:
Below is a list of things to consider when making your rangehood selection. These things will all have an impact on the efficiency of the rangehood you choose in your home with your cooking style. Just like every person is different, so is every rangehood and the purpose for which it was designed.
- Size – Should usually be equal to or greater than the cooktop.
- Types of filters – Mesh or baffle. Consider the pros and cons of each and which is most appropriate for you. Be sure to check the cleaning options as most mesh filters aren’t dishwasher safe.
- Suction power – A lot of factors will affect the power of the suction. Consider the height over the cooktop and what style of cooktop you’ve chosen (gas or induction, etc). Probably the most important thing to consider is your style of cooking as certain food types (wok cooking for example) require much more power.
- Colour and lights – Stainless steel, clear glass, black glass, colour enamel? Lighting is also important. Strip or downlight LEDs vs halogens.
- Motor location – on-board or off-board. Motor location can also affect suction power and noise. For example, having an off-board motor means you can increase suction while reducing noise.
- Ventilation – can you vent outside through the wall or ceiling or do you require (or prefer) ductless vents which work through a filter that catches the oil and steam inside the rangehood? The last image in the canopy section above is an example of a ductless ventilation rangehood however you can get all different kinds.
The kitchen industry is a big one! There are many things to know about and choose while designing your kitchen and selecting the right rangehood is just a small part. It will, however, make a huge difference to how your kitchen functions so it’s important to talk to your kitchen designer about what style is best for your design and lifestyle. Our kitchen showrooms feature a number of different styles of rangehoods so why not visit either the Eltham Showroom or the Blackburn Showroom to see how a rangehood can affect a space overall.