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How Does a Range Hood Work – Explained in Detail

How Does a Range Hood Work
Written by Isabel Fernandez
Last Update: June 21, 2023

Range hoods came as an immense relief to rid the kitchen of smells and smoke when cooking. The improvement in air quality is a boon for health reasons.
Range hoods have mushroomed in popularity in recent years. Their invention goes back to 1926 when Theodore R.N. Gerdes applying to patent range ventilating hoods that employed a fan to suck up escaping fumes. In 1928, Lloyd W Ray filed a patent for a stove hood designed for hotplates and stoves used in hamburger stands. This range hood separated the grease from the vapors and oil, with the hot air being transported away.
Range hoods available today are electronic with innovative features like thermal sensors, remote control, and noise cancellation.

How Does a Range Hood Work?

All range hoods have an electric fan that sucks up the hot air and gases from the cooktop by using the Bernoulli principle.

How Does a Range Hood Work?

Different Parts of a Range Hood

Different Parts of a Range Hood


How Does a Ducted or Vented Hood Work?

Ducted hoods are standard. Some kitchen designs can, however, may place limitations on where they can be installed. This is because the vent fan sucks the air from your kitchen and expels it out.

How Does a Ducted or Vented Hood Work

They are more efficient in getting the steam and humidity out of the kitchen as they are not recirculating the air but getting it out completely.

Keep in mind that the more the number of turns in the ducting or the more the air has to travel places, the more substantial is the burden on the fan. If elbows are to be included in the ducting, they should not be more than two. Within 18” of the hood, do not include any bend. This creates a higher resistance in the duct and impairs efficiency.

The duct is usually of stainless steel when it is wall surface mounted. When inserted into the walls, PVC may be used.

How Does a Non-Vented/ Duct-Free/Recirculated/Ductless Range Hood Work?

How Does a Non-Vented/ Duct-Free/Recirculated/Ductless Range Hood Work?

Ductless hoods do not vent the fumes outside the home. Since the air is not expelled, it is filtered and recirculated back into the kitchen. The filters are of charcoal or activated carbon which absorbs the contaminants. The filter is located within the hood on the blower.

They are cleanable and so need replacement every 150 hours of cooking. Of course, cooking habits play an essential role here. The charcoal filters are generally expensive.

Ductless hoods have greater freedom of installation. They can be reinstalled in a different location if you so wish, and if you are moving out, you can take it with you. They are economical, require less power and are incredibly quiet.

The charcoal filters cannot filter out grease and smoke fully. The kitchen is never completely smoke-free, and grease can build-up on kitchen surfaces.

How Does a Convertible Range Hood Work?

Convertible range hoods can be ducted or duct-free. There are quite a few convertible range hood models. Some of these are:

  • Under-cabinet hoods- These are the most common of convertible range hoods and are installed on the underside of a cabinet above the cooking range.
  • Wall-mount hoods- These are quite like under-cabinet hoods and the only difference that instead of the underside of a cabinet, they are wall mounted.
  • Island hoods- These are installed above the hot plates on the kitchen island
  • Downdraft hoods- These fit into a counter next to the cooktop.

How Does a Convertible Range Hood Work

It can vent through the wall or the ceiling using a duct. A convertible range hood can be converted to a ductless hood where the air is filtered and blown back into the kitchen. Exhausts are mounted on both the top and the rear. To operate in the duct-free mode,

Summing It Up

A range hood has great utility. It provides a pleasant, cool cooking environment without pollutants such as smoke and fumes getting into your eyes. Your kitchen is always clean, free of bad odors and surfaces of cabinets, countertops grease-free. Most importantly, it is vital for the safety of your family by eliminating health hazards. Do not hesitate about having one installed. The type is your choice depending on your budget and the layout of your kitchen.


1. Do I really need a range hood in my kitchen?

Ans: It is mandatory in some residential areas. You will need to check on that first. But installing a range hood is highly recommended for your health. Also, you can cook in comfort without smoke and other irritants in your eyes.

2. How does an under-cabinet range hood work?

Ans: These types of hoods are exactly located as the name says it; under the cabinet located over the range. They can be either ducted or duct-free.

3. How to know if my range hood’s really working?

Ans: There is a simple test to determine if the hood is drawing air. Hold a piece of paper under the hood after turning it on. If it is sucked up to the grill, the range hood is working fine.

About the author

Isabel Fernandez

A Beloved Wife with A Culinary Degree

Hi, I’m Isabel. Let me utter a few words to describe myself. I am not into cooking as a professional. Then why did I pursue institutional education in this field? To be honest, I didn’t want to be a typical woman who cooks to eat without putting much sense to the culinary factors. My husband and I’ve been conscious of our food habits (of the taste actually) since the time we tied the knot. Our primary goal has always been to tongue delicious and nutritious recipes. Although I’m not a nutritionist, I do care about those life-saving agents. I got immensely familiar with dishes, especially the ones based on meats and the different tools and ingredients that make what our senses desire the most. Do you want my experience to guide you through any of these? Follow my posts on this website!

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