range hoods..with/without

Elraes MillerOctober 20, 2012

I have been looking at kitchen photos of range hoods. It eludes me regarding how many do not have them. Is there a standard for "with or without"? Some of the ranges are obvious downdrafts, but more than less are not. And they are of all types, open coil, smooth tops, gas.

The use of a range hood is obvious to me, but why do so many not even have one? And I can't wrap my mind around shelves put up behind the ranges.

This question is whether I can lose the range hood and what options for design behind the range are possible. I've had it with the over the range MW and am moving the range over, out of the way of the MW. My range is a smooth top, more than once I have worried about dropping something on it when taking an item out of the MW. Plus the problem of two cooks, one at the stove and one having to access the MW at the same time. Do not want to remove the MW, it is great and no reason to change out. The range will be next to the MW.

Thanks and hope this is an understandable writing.

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Kitchens without range hoods are for the people who do not cook. That's a fairly large percentage of the population anymore.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 12:28PM
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Elraes Miller

Gads, I can't imagine spending so much money to build beautiful kitchens and never cook in them. Reality of keeping up with the neighbors or hoping to sell?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 12:43PM
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It's more than just "not cooking".

Many people insist they don't need a hood - even though they do cook. However, as someone who grew up w/o a hood and whose mom still doesn't have a hood, I can tell you that you definitely need a hood if you cook at all - even if it's to just boil water.

I remember cleaning the walls, cabinets above/next to the range, and the ceiling periodically - and we still couldn't keep up with the "gunk" that formed over time. "Gunk" is the term I use to describe the result of dust/dirt/etc. that settles and sticks to damp or greasy surfaces and "dries" there. Over time, it becomes very difficult to clean/remove.

As I mentioned above, some GWers insist they have never had and don't need a hood, but having grown up in a home w/no hood, I can't understand that position!

If you look at most of the "non cook" kitchens here, they have hoods. Some people have "show kitchens". They don't cook and don't want to cook. In some cases they have someone else cook for them, in other cases they eat out a lot. (In the former case, the kitchen is used, just not by the owner.)

In many (not all), money is not an object so it isn't a big deal to spend a lot of money on a room that you can make look so nice and show off the "cool" gadgets you have.

Regardless, a real hood would be a big deal to me. If I were buying and the house had no hood or an OTR MW hood or a recirculating hood (or even one of those useless builder-grade hoods), I would have to subtract from my offer the $$ it would take to install proper venting or, if needed, to re-do the kitchen. But, many (if not most) non-GWers probably wouldn't think about it until it was too late - when they discover the gunk hidden by a coat of paint or the gunk that develops over time.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 1:26PM
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I was being a bit facetious. Of course there are people who cook without hoods too, but then there are people who actually like to scrub their walls and ceilings. In a perfect world, the two sets have the same members. In reality, more people occupy the first group than the second, and quite a few of that group still doesn't understand the science between floating oil molecules from even boiling cabbage and the dirt accumulation in the home.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 1:42PM
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Besides cleaner walls and ceilings, I have a lot less dog drool on my floors when I fry bacon, now that I have real ventilation.

Where I live, externally vented range hoods are now code-required on all new builds and significant renos. New home construction is now much tighter and energy efficient than ever, and proper venting is required to prevent unhealthy build-ups of particulate matter and moisture (leading to mold growth) generated by cooking.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 3:02PM
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Elraes Miller

Thanks to all for answering this silly question. I knew the answer, but was intrigued with so many photos without a hood. Right now my MW does nothing in the scheme of things, when on or off the rising steam and oil from front burners heads to the cabinet above and is drying out the finish. Tuning the MW fan on just sends it further up. Probably another question somewhere about having an over the stove MW.

When first writing I have the hood and a decorative cover. Moving the stove over is causing a balance issue with the cabinet layout. A personal issue as I'm a bit too visual.

And yes I remember the old stove at home and mess requiring clean up...all the way to the ceiling.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 11:23AM
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I have an OTR Micro that I have installed in our coffee area we installed it below the short cabinet that we relocated when we remodeled the kitchen. I love it & we call it the coffee/breakfast area. I think if you search others have done this as well. We installed a chimney style hood between 2 new cabinets. Best choice we made.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 12:15PM
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The last 4 homes I've lived in had OTR microwaves. The first 2 weren't even vented outside, so I almost never turned on the vent as it didn't do anything. I almost never fry and and the ranges were not high powered ones, so not having a real vent didn't seem to cause any problems.

Now in my current house I again have an OTR microwave. But the idiot who owned the house prior to us replaced the standard electric range with a gas Viking, but he didn't put in a vent hood!! So I have this ridiculously high power range that puts out a huge amount of heat and this stupid OTR microwave. It does vent outside, but barely. The microwave gets so incredibly hot when I use the burners that the trim is cracking. For the first time not having a proper hood is a real problem.

Between that and the horrible tile counters with huge grout lines, I cannot wait to take a sledgehammer to this kitchen.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 12:36PM
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We planned to add a hood after the reno. Has to do with codes. If we vent over 400 CFM, need to add a Make Up Air system.
I went induction and then retro fit a 350 CFM (but boosts to 450 shh!)
This is minor compared to many - but since no gas, and I don't fry, felt is was adequate .

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 6:28PM
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Our OTR MW is so loud it is unusable. We cook almost every night. The gunk that builds up, even on shelves across the room, is so hard to clean!

A2gemini, we also went with induction. Don't forget the much smaller amount of radiant heat to deal with too, in addition to no gas. Hoping we can use a similar CFM hood. Do you find it adequate?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 7:00PM
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