Range hood sticker shock!

daburdAugust 13, 2014

We are in the throes of this kitchen remodel and trying to select a 30" range hood.

I thought narrowing down the range was hard - but the range hood has been even worse!

We have narrowed down to a chimney style 30" hood because we think that will look best. We have a small kitchen, but one which will allow venting directly to the ceiling. We have a 30" Capital Culinarian manual clean oven on the way, and so are looking at hoods with at least 1000 CFM of air movement.

Because the kitchen is small and open to the small living room and small dining room, we REALLY want to try and invent in a hood that is quiet.

We greatly prefer to have an external blower for noise reduction. In our search, the chimneys with an optional external motor are Viking, Wolf, Modern Aire and Prestige. There are a few more expensive brands also, but any of the above will set us back at least $3500 with a motor, ducting and installation.

That is quite expensive!

So I turn to the expertise of my fellow Gardenwebbers:)

Is the choice really "$3500, or else compromise with less CFM or an internal motor"? Or can we have it all for less money in an option I haven't come across yet?

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1000 CFM is not needed for a 30" range, even one as powerful as the Culinarian. 600 should be fine. External blowers cut down on motor noise but NOT on air noise, which is the majority of the sound produced by a hood. You reduce air noise by exhausting less air. Face the facts, if a hood is loud, that is good. It is doing its job. A quiet hood isn't doing much of anything. Remember that the majority of the time you will be running on medium or lower speeds, or have it off. The super loud high speed will only be on when you burn something or for those few minutes you are running the stove at its maximum capacity. If this were my kitchen I would go with a 600 CFM internal blower.

How are you going to replace all this air that you are exhausting out? Will it be coming through a dedicated makeup air damper, your water heater flue/chimney, an open window, or through other cracks and crevices in your house? If you have determined it is safe to forgo makeup air, how is code enforcement in your area? Will you be able to pass inspection?

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Wed, Aug 13, 14 at 21:00

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 8:57PM
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The other thing I wanted to add is that if I were putting this setup in my kitchen I would go for a 36" hood instead of a 30". On such a powerful range you really want that extra capture area. It would probably be quieter than the small hood as well because of the larger surface area of the filters/baffles.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:07PM
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Based on my observations of my hood, the depth of the hood (including effective filter and/or capture area) is FAR more important than overhanging the sides. Little spills over the sides of my 30" hood, but not until high speed does a vast majority of front burner steam/smoke get sucked under and into the shallow design. If I could choose just one dimension to increase, it would be depth without a split second of thought. If I could choose to increase both dimensions, I'd give it considerable thought and would quite likely stick with 30", because to me an extra six inches of width often tends to look top-heavy over a 30" range. (And, as I said, very little spills over the sides as it is.)

The majority of ventilation noise is not from motor noise, and not from the air movement through the baffles, hood and duct itself. It's from the fan blades beating on the air. Distance yourself from that and you'll distance yourself from the noise.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:40PM
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I agree with foodonastump. I have a 30" 600 CFM hood over my 30" range and the width is not an issue particularly with flanking cabinets. My only regret is that it's not deeper - I do get some grease on the outside front of the hood. I mostly run the hood on low and it's not noisy. Occasionally I do put in on medium or high - high is loud but I don't need to use it very often.

It used to be that in most locales 600 CFM didn't require make-up air but things may have changed - you need to check your local codes.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 11:21PM
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Foodonastump makes a good point about depth and I agree that it is probably more important than width. Yet it is still good practice to get a wider hood, though not necessary. Function over form. All I'll say is that my friend has a 600 CFM external blower and it is only negligibly quieter than my 600 CFM internal blower. Certainly not worth the price premium to go external. After he was over at my house and heard mine he wished he had saved the money and kept it simple. As you start to get to the higher CFM levels, such as indoor grilling, external might start to make sense. But for less powerful ventilation requirements... not so much. The other issue with external blowers is servicing. If it dies someone is going to need to go climbing on your roof instead of simply pulling down the hood and replacing. If you are dead set against internal blowers, an inline blower in the attic if possible could avoid that.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 9:37AM
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I think your choices are good, but I would recommend you go with the greatest capture area you can manage, both on each side and in front of the cooking area. I would also stay with at least 1000CFM.

I have a 1200 CFM ModernAire hood over a 30" Capital Culinarian.

The capture area is about 15" deep and 30" wide, and the hood is 24" deep and 36" wide. To me, the hood does not seem too large. I intentionally incased the motor and exhaust pipe, short though it is, in cabinets to lessen their visibility.

I really like the ModernAire capture area and easy cleanup.

Having a hood deeper than 24" would, I think, present real problems for a tall cook, but I would not want one any less wide or deep than what I have.

I have only had my CC for a couple of weeks, but with the old JennAire I usually ran the hood at full blast when I am doing something spluttery or smoky. I certainly did so when I was breaking in the new Chef King griddle on the CC, and later when I loaded the entire top with grilling veggies and meats.

I would not want any less hood power than I have. But I don't often run it on high. For heat and steam, low to medium is enough, and the noise is noticeable, but not a problem then.

It vents straight out through the exterior wall behind the stove so an exterior motor was not feasible. My family room is adjacent and entirely open to the kitchen. Even when the hood is on high, noise is not a problem except right at the stove. Only really a problem when someone wants to talk to the cook who is stir frying under the hood.

My suggestions:
1. Add the additional 6" width if you can. Not needed between the cabs, but awfully nice to have along the 12" or so that extends beyond the cabs where there is nothing except suction to channel the splatter and steam upward.
2. As FOAS suggested, choose a hood with a deep capture area.
3. If I had to sacrifice something, I would sacrifice the external motor. But I would try hard to keep it.
4. (BE SURE TO READ THE EDITED NOTE BELOW THIS ITEM!) Our home is old and large and MUA is not needed at all. Furnace and water heater, both gas, are downstairs in the basement. If your home is small and tightly built, MUA might be necessary and can be quite pricey. Others can comment, but I think you might be able to try without it (unless laws prevent this) and add it later if it is needed. If you notice a problem, you can perhaps just slightly open a window when you need the hood on high for an extended time? I have seen this recommended.

Edited to add this:
The post which follows mine tells why my number 4 above is BAD ADVICE. I am leaving it instead of deleting it to emphasize this. Thank you, hvtech42!!!!

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 11:32

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:03AM
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"Furnace and water heater, both gas, are downstairs in the basement"

How close the appliances are to the hood does not matter. If you have a tight house... the easiest path for air to come in might just be their flues or the chimney, even if they aren't right by the stove!

"I think you might be able to try without it"

That is bad advice. You do not want to find out you need it after your house is full of soot and carbon monoxide.

"you can perhaps just slightly open a window"

A lot of the time that will work. But again, you do not want to wait until it's too late to find that out.

Many of you may wonder why I'm so passionate about makeup air and oversizing hoods. I have seen the aftermath of someone installing a 1200 CFM hood without doing their homework. It was not pretty and I would not wish it on my worst enemy.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:21AM
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I would only add that my recommendation is that one should aim for a full power capability of an actual 90 cfm per square foot of aperture area (so once the size is selected and the real aperture area determined, the flow rate is easily calculable). Note the weasel-word "actual." The actual flow rate depends on the fan/blower performance as a function of restriction (best to get a copy of its fan curve) and all the restrictions in the loop from the area above the burners to outside via the hood and ducting and back inside via whatever paths supply the make-up air (there is always MUA, but it might not be from where you want it from, and its path may be very restrictive).

So, for example, if the OP settled for a 3 ft by 2 ft aperture hood (this would probably be bigger than that in exterior dimensions, then the desired flow rate would be 6 square feet times 90 cfm/sq. ft. or 540 cfm. With thick edges on a 3 x 2 ft hood, this value will drop, and with only 2.5 ft of width, drop further.

Next is the hard part, estimating losses through the path, with the largest ones being the baffles (maybe 0.1 in. w.c.) and the MUA (could be anything from 0.03 to 1 in.) and then finding what flow one gets on the fan curve of the blower that has been tentatively selected. Or, for this example, take a wild guess at the net of the above and choose a blower that has a zero-static-pressure flow rate in the 750 to 900 range depending on how restrictive the MUA is perceived to be (use proportionately lower value for hood apertures smaller than six square feet).

As noted near the top of this thread, for a small hood, 600 cfm rated flow might be adequate, but it depends on a lot of things, and when there is smoke spillage, a blower performing near the lower end of the desired range will take longer to clear the air.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:33AM
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Thank you for correcting my erroneous advice. I will NEVER suggest that again. It gives me chills to think of the possible consequences of that uninformed advice.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:40AM
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There really are arguments for going both ways. I think if your house can handle one as was the case for Bellsmom a high CFM hood is fine. And actually, they do have a big advantage: a 1200 CFM hood set at half speed should be quieter than a 600 CFM at full speed. But since your original post was about sticker shock all I was trying to say was that you probably didn't need that power.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:44AM
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Thanks all for the feedback.

I can spend around $2000 for the hood installed to give an idea. I was anticipating the need for MUA and budgeting $500 for the damper and install. So about $1500 remains for the chimney, motor (if external) and install.

My cabinets (much like the photo that Bellsmom shared) are going to flank the area outside the oven leaving only the 30" above the range for the hood. I would love to go 36", but I can't afford to give up the cabinet space.

hvtech42 recommended 600CFM internal chimney, which can be had for well within my budget. I do some smoky cooking (i.e., searing meats in a pan) and want to experience the pleasure of not having smoke smell lingering in the kitchen afterwards. I don't have a good perspective on whether I really need 600CFM or 1000CFM. But going by the rule of thumb of 1CFM per 100 BTU/hr, I've targeted at least 920 CFM for the Culinarian so I don't later regret having too small a hood.

If I ultimately need to compromise, it will be on sound. Since the range hood will only run a few minutes a day, I could compromise on quietness (as opposed to smoke-clearing effectiveness or looks) if my budget is simply too low. The external motor idea may simply not work for $1500.

So at around 1000CFM, chimney, stainless I see this Proline hood within my budget. It's 24" depth like Bellsmom's.

Based on peoples' experiences with high powered cooktops does the capture area seem like it would be effective or should I really pursue 27" given that I can't go wider than 30"? Any general experience with Proline hoods that may be interesting? Thanks again for all the good feedback, it is really helpful!


    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 12:56PM
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I just checked in at Trevor Lawson's Eurostoves site to look for some info and I see the following 10% off sale on three interesting range hoods: Capital, Euro, or ModernAire Hoods. I am familiar with Capital and ModernAire hoods, but not with Euro Hoods.
The image cuts off in my view and I am not sure just what is involved nor what restrictions may apply.
You might want to check it out. I have been very impressed with Trevor for his knowledge and generosity here on GW.
I am going to post this separately as well. Might be a great deal for some of us.

Here is a link that might be useful: Eurostoves 10% off on selected Range Hoods

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 17:33

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 5:25PM
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Be very aware of what your local code requires w/r/t make up air. Our local code requires conditioned (i.e. heated) make up air if the hood CFM is greater than 400. Getting the ducting plus inline heating for MUA was approaching $2000+. Just for the MUA system!

We are in Michigan, so if you are in a warmer climate you hopefully don't have to deal with the heated MUA issue.

We scaled back the hood to a Zephyr Roma with a system that chokes the CFM to 390 to pass local inspection.

I'd bet that you won't need more than 600 CFM for a 30 inch range unless you are running all burners for very long stretches at a time.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 2:16PM
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"We scaled back the hood to a Zephyr Roma with a system that chokes the CFM to 390 to pass local inspection"

390 is a bad idea on a Culinarian. It is plenty for a standard range. Do it right or don't do it at all.

"Our local code requires conditioned (i.e. heated) make up air if the hood CFM is greater than 400. Getting the ducting plus inline heating for MUA was approaching $2000+. Just for the MUA system!"

Are you sure about that? All the IRC (which is adopted by most local codes) says is that there needs to be makeup air over 400. Most just save the install and operating costs of those tempered MUA systems and deal with the blast of cold air the few minutes their hood is on those high speed. OR they connect to their HVAC system making sure not to exceed the manufacturer's recommendation for minimum return air temperature.

Just be aware that the more you exhaust, the more of a pain makeup air becomes, especially if you are connecting to your HVAC system. You may even require multiple ducts and dampers.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 4:38PM
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This is a timely topic.

I am looking to install the Wolf 30" Dual Fuel Range and confused for a Hood. I am looking at the Wolf Pro Hoods, and interested in the 30" width but completely confused on what height or depth to go.

Will the 30" 22 Deep, 10" tall have enough CFM, or should I be looking at minimum 18" height? Does the extra depth make a huge difference?

Thoughts greatly appreciated,

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 4:51PM
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Wolf dual fuel is not nearly as powerful as Capital Culinarian. I would go deeper than 22" as the range is almost 30" deep which would result in terrible coverage for the front burners. 600 CFM should be fine.

However I would NOT recommend purchasing that range. Have you read about the oven porcelain problems? Plus it has anemic burners compared to ranges that cost the same price or less.

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Thu, Aug 21, 14 at 17:18

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 5:13PM
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I think another issue was that there was no adequate space in my kitchen to directly duct in makeup air. I don't think it is allowable to have untempered air ducting into other rooms in the house. Thus, our only option was decreasing our CFM so that we didn't need the tempered MUA.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 1:24AM
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A few points glossed over above: It is the hood aperture area, not the external dimensions, that needs to overlap the cooktop (or more properly the largest pan bases that will be used on any burners).

MUA can be introduced anywhere that has a free path to the kitchen. The goal is to introduce it to the kitchen in a way that does not cause drafts in the zone between cooktop and hood.

Heating the air in areas where that is necessary can be a project if the MUA flow rate is actually high. (See my posts commenting on flow rate losses due to various reasons.) The easiest for most is to use electric coils in the air stream, controlled by a thermostat, but boiler water heat exchanger heating can also be feasible.

At 600 cfm actual flow rate, heating the air mass 20 deg C will require roughly 7 kW, or a 30A, 240Vac circuit (like a dryer). [All values here are approximate.]


    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 1:22PM
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Please excuse my ignorance, and I, in NO WAY, criticize anyone's appliance choices... but, really/truly, are that many people such serious cooks that an ultra powerful range and hood combination are required? Here on GW as I read so much about Capital and similar brands, and MUA, and internal/external blowers, it seems that many home meals must require the capability and performance of commercial kitchen feats.

I use induction, because my area (all-electric) has no gas available. My Zephyr hood needs no MUA, other than an occasional open window to assist sucking when it's really cranking.

I've otherwise always cooked with gas, and can admit I have turned out complicated, exceptional meals with modest, residential gas ranges. So, help me... why the emphasis on such very high dollar, code-challenging, hand-wringing decision making for something that simply cooks a family's food?

Again, no offense intended!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 5:09PM
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I have the most minimal hood there is (I think), and I hardly ever turn it on. It did turn itself on when I left some beans cooking on high temp at lunch and forgot to turn them off when I went back to work.

I do all my grilling outdoors, and I highly recommend getting an outdoor smoker and a Kamodo style barbeque. The only time I refrain from cooking outdoors is when it rains, and that hasn't happened in several years, it seems, as we are in a terrible drought. I also have a portable fan in my kitchen, and I use it to blow air out the window on the rare occasion that I need to, such as when I burned the beans.

In Austin I had a vent that was more or less a hole in the wall (screened) with a small fan, and in my Culver City apartment, I had a covered hole in the ceiling that seemed to attract doves, as I could hear them cooing and could not figure out where they were for the longest time.

I am not understanding why powerful hoods are necessary, outside of a commercial kitchen. If you do not have an outdoor area available, that might be part of the reason, however. Are there other reasons, or is the hood an essential part of the decor/design? How often do you turn the vent on?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 5:37PM
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I replaced this summer a 600 PCM kobe hood as part of my kitchen remodel. I am soo glad with my choice, I went with a Spagna Vetro 36 inch chimney hood (PS31-36) for about 700 CAD. It has been 2 months and I don't miss the much more expensive 30 inch Kobe hood one bit... Easier too install, squirrel cage motor, not noisy at all. the sides are lower so to trap any smoke on the periphery.

I think the same hood is sold under different names in the US.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 5:59PM
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"but, really/truly, are that many people such serious cooks that an ultra powerful range and hood combination are required?"

No. Nobody needs an ultra powerful range and hood combination and there is not much you can do with one you can't do with a cheapo range. However, it makes cooking a lot more fun. If you'll enjoy and it and have the money, why not?

"I use induction, because my area (all-electric) has no gas available"

Really/truly are that many people such serious cooks that induction is required? I cooked successfully on a $300 coil top range for many years. It did the job just fine. Talking about this stuff in terms of what we NEED is ridiculous and does nothing to help the OP.

"I do all my grilling outdoors"

That's a great strategy. I see from your profile that you have lived in California and Texas. Not everyone is lucky enough to live in a climate where that is enjoyable year round. Most people don't want to be standing around outside while it's below freezing.

"I am not understanding why powerful hoods are necessary, outside of a commercial kitchen"

Even if you aren't indoor grilling, these ranges put out a lot of heat. People who own them tend to cook more and use more burners simultaneously leading to more grease, odor, and steam. Many of the prostyle ranges are wider than 30 inches and thus have more burners, meaning greater ventilation capacity is desirable. I do think that ventilation CFM is often over-spec'd, however powerful hoods have their advantages. Plus running them at lower speeds is quieter than running a lower capacity hood at full speed.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 10:40PM
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1. Is the hood an essential part of design?
In my new kitchen, which is really pretty small, it is as nearly invisible as I could make it and retain the capture area and efficiency I wanted. In that limited space, I did not want to sacrifice storage space or create an altar, just an efficient cooking area.

2. How often do I USE the full 1200 CFM power?
The full power not daily, but for sure when I am "griddling"--as yesterday, when I seared SVed steaks. Just a quick, very high heat sear on both sides. I turned on the heat under the griddle to preheat it, but initially forgot to turn the exhaust on and noticed the oily steam and smoke rolling up and out around the hood. Drat!! Flipped the exhaust on high, and all of the visible stuff was sucked into the hood which stayed on high for less than ten minutes.
The fan also goes on high when I am cooking with the wok. (I love the Capital Culinarian's wok grate, by the way.)
So maybe on average I use the full power two or three times a week for fairly short periods.

3. Grilling?
I have a lovely BGE on the deck, but it doesn't call to me when the outside temp is 100 and the house blocks air circulation. Yes, I could have seared the steaks out there, but bringing the grill to high heat for just a few minutes of searing would have been inefficient and unpleasant. And, for that matter, grilling is not really pleasant when the temp outside falls below freezing and ice covers the deck, as it does for several months a year.

4. Could I get by with a 600 CFM fan? With a 400 CFM fan?
Hey, I "got by" with essentially no fan and absolutely no exhaust for years. With a lower powered fan, I would have to run it at full tilt much more often. And as hvtech pointed out, it would be MUCH noisier than mine which can often be set on medium to low.

5. How often do I turn the fan on?
Frequently twice a day, almost always at least once a day, especially in hot weather. Basically, in hot weather anytime I am creating heat or steam or oily smoke. In the winter, when heat and humidity are actually desirable inside, usually only for oily smoke or odors or when I have multiple burners going or the oven on for a longish time or high temperature.
Yesterday, it was on twice. At dinner on high while I was searing the steak and earlier when the oven was on 450 for over an hour, I had the fan on medium to pull much of the heat out of the kitchen. It was over 100 degrees outside on our west-facing deck where a large L-shaped wing of the house captures the late sun's heat, and I didn't need extra heat in the kitchen.

Once a week it is on medium for about 40 minutes when I roast coffee. I noticed the first time I did this without turning on the exhaust there was a smoky haze throughout the whole house. With the fan on medium, there is NO visible smoke in the house and far less of the coffee odor (which I would not mind, by the way.)

My old exhaust fan was a recirculating one that was here when we moved in. It might have caught some of the vaporized fat, but very little (when I cleaned it, there would be nearly nothing on it). Of course it did nothing for heat. I used it very seldom--only sometimes to more or less limit the oily smoke from high heat cooking--searing, wok, that sort of thing.

The point: hvtech made it well. Neither a powerful range nor a powerful exhaust (or, for that matter, any exhaust at all) is necessary for good cooking. But they sure are nice to have. Nothing is lost (except $$) by having both, and for me, much is gained.

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Sat, Aug 23, 14 at 9:45

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 9:36AM
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Once the trolls appear, a website has come of age.

The function of kitchen hood ventilation is primarily to remove grease that would otherwise coat walls, and secondarily to remove odor. These functions apply whether the ventilation is in a restaurant or residence. It is up to the owner (in case of a residence -- commercial uses are controlled by code) to determine the degree to which he will minimize grease and odor. If one had a poor sense of smell, rarely entertained guests who had a good sense of smell, and liked to repaint often, then the hood requirements would be much less than if one is very particular about odor and hates to paint; viz., me.

In the many hood topics that have appeared on this forum in the past 7 years that I have observed, the goal of many of us has been to provide information that will allow the original poster (OP) to decide what is needed for full cooking effluent removal. It is up to the OP to decide how closely to that goal he can reach given cost, space, kitchen and attic configuration, aesthetics, sight lines, etc.

Statements incorporating "don't need" assertions are probably invalid unless the exact details of the OP's finances, olfactory sensitivity, house design, and cooking style are fully understood.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 9:57AM
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