Range Hood 101: Your Complete Guide

One of our most popular and diverse product lines here at Cosmo are our range hoods. Range hood terms may seem confusing at first, but we’ve compiled a complete guide to master this appliance. These hoods can be a beautiful focal point in your kitchen that provide just as much functionality.


The main purpose of range hoods is to get odors, smoke and fumes away from your kitchen when cooking. This can be done in one of two ways, ducted or ductless. A ducted range hood should have ductwork from the kitchen all the way to the outside of your home. A non-vented or ductless range hood utilizes a filter and recirculates the air back into the kitchen. Often, the kind of range hood you choose will depend on the kitchen. A ducted range hood completely removes smoke and smells while a ductless build may be less effective in doing so.

Installation Types

You’ll come across mainly three different kinds of range hoods based on their installation method–under cabinet, wall-mount and island mount. An under cabinet range hood is mounted to the cabinets above a range. The wall mount doesn’t require any cabinetry as they are installed on the wall. Finally, an island mount goes directly to the ceiling and suspends mid-air. All three of these options can be ducted or ductless, depending on the kitchen.


The standard width of range hoods are 30 or 36 inches wide. There are some pro variations that go wider and can handle larger quantities of smoke and fumes. If your kitchen allows for it you should always have a range hood that is equally as wide as the range underneath. Bigger tends to always be better.

Strength & Noise

You’ll come across the term CFM when looking at range hood airflow strength. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute and generally the higher the number the more air the hood can vent. A general rule you can follow is you should have 1 CFM per 100 BTU of the gas range underneath. If you do a good amount of cooking try to have a range hood with at least 350 CFM. The downside of a higher CFM would be the noise the hood creates.


When checking for features, look at fan speeds. You’ll want a range hood with at least 2 speeds for low quieter venting and high but noisier venting. Another useful feature is an exhaust timer which automatically shuts off the hood after a set period of time. Built-in lights come standard in most range hoods, but the type of lights can vary greatly. Look for range hoods with light replacements that are easy to find in the future.

At Cosmo, we carry a wide array of range hoods to meet your every need. You can see our complete catalog here.

Sources: Apartment Therapy

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