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A Guide to Choosing Range Hoods/Vents

A good range hood captures airborne cooking grease and moisture, protecting the inner workings of your range and keeping walls and other surfaces clean. Options vary from vented to ductless and downdraft models, and from under-the-cabinet hoods to ceiling-mounted recessed vents. They typically vent air externally, but some, often used in apartments, have motors with charcoal filters that recirculate air internally.

Range hoods mounted under the cabinets are less intrusive than ceiling-mounted models. And now options are appearing for open kitchens with center islands.

The ceiling-mounted, recessed kitchen vent is a remote-controlled hood that’s inset in the ceiling, so that only a stainless-steel frame and panel is visible. Increasingly popular in Europe, they’re making their way into the US.

The downdraft stovetop vent is another discreet option that clears the air while keeping sight lines open. Popular on kitchen islands, downdraft vents are slim retractable designs inserted at the back or sides of stovetops. The venting draws smoke in and conducts it to the kitchen’s chimney, where fans send it out.

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