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Range hood for a builder grade range?

Becky
January 10, 2019

I've read tons of discussions regarding hoods for high end ranges & cooktops, but haven't found much on what is needed for lower end ranges. I purchased a Kitchenaid 30−inch 4−element Induction Slide−in Convection Range With Baking Drawer Model #: KSIB900ESS. I looked through the installation manual and didn't see any requirements for a hood. I only saw a note that said, "if a hood or microwave hood combo is used, following the clearance recommendations of the hood/Microwave combo unit." I'm assuming this means the Kitchenaid has no minimum requirements/recommendations for the hood size. I want a hood that is vented to the outside, but I don't have a big budget for this. Do I have to have make up air if I vent to the outside or is that just required for the big ones? Is there a CFM threshold that triggers the need for make up air? My builder's recommendation is recirculating hood because then we don't have to worry about it, but I have been looking forward to having a hood vent to the outside instead of above my head--even if it is a low end hood. I love the look of wooden hoods. Are there any inserts that wouldn't require make up air? I've only ever had OTR microwaves, so as long as it is better than a microwave I'm a step ahead. I also don't cook with a wok or fry fish.

Comments (21)

  • kaseki

    Recirculating certainly avoids the make-up air (MUA) problem, but is useless unless sufficient filtering is included. This makes them moderately expensive. For this case, investigate the Vent-a-Hood ARS.

    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/2347276/vent-a-hood-ductless-ars-range-hood-update#n=65

    The real requirements on MUA are: (a) that it not lower the internal house pressure low enough to cause back-drafting of combustion appliances -- a safety hazard, and, (b) that it not significantly degrade the flow rate of the hood system due to the performance limit set by the hood blower's fan curve. (a) is more critical than (b) in most cases. Some municipalities set a blower rated CFM limit before deliberate MUA is required, others more directly address the problem vis-a-vis the combustion appliance situation. In some northern areas heated MUA is required.

    Note that the hood parameters required to capture and contain greasy effluent cooking plumes -- size and flow rate -- are determined by the pan temperature and the plume expansion angle, and do not depend on the price of the range.

    Becky thanked kaseki
  • weedmeister

    Most building codes I"ve heard of require MUA at or above 400 cfm for a hood. There are a several things out there in this size with rear or top venting.

    Becky thanked weedmeister
  • jhmarie

    I have a 390 cfm hood which vents to the outside and works fine for my very ordinary range and cooking. I do not understand why your builder is being a little difficult about venting to the outside. It is much preferable and should not be hard to do as you are in the building stage.


    I also have heard that over 400 cfm is the limit when "make up air" becomes an issue.


    The distance from the range top to the hood is usually what the hood manufacturer recommends, though a wood hood (or any combustable material) should be at least 30" up. A metal hood can be lower, but also keep in mind the head bumping factor:)

    Becky thanked jhmarie
  • Becky

    Kaseki, thank you. If I end up going with a recirculating hood, I'll definitely consider the Vent-a-hood ARS. That looks much better than the other ductless ones I've seen.

    Weedmeister, thank you for putting a number to it. I'll research a little more before I purchase a hood, but you've helped narrow down the search parameters for me.

  • Becky

    jhmarie, thanks. My husband and I joke a lot that if our builder is a custom home builder that will let you choose any flavor as long as it is vanilla. :) They're supposed to be the best in our area. The subs they use have all been top notch. However, I think the builder has more experience with spec homes, so things get tricky when we want anything outside their norm.

  • kaseki

    Generally, recirculating hoods are for the desperate living in city condos where holes in the wall or roof are out of the question. If at all possible, a duct to the roof or to a side of the house not occupied by a deck is greatly preferable.

    Becky thanked kaseki
  • iamtiramisu
    Please do the outside vented hood. Especially in a new build this should not be a big deal and imo, should be standard. We had a recirculating hood in our first house and that was the first thing I could not wait to change when we redid the kitchen. It made a whole lot of noise but didn’t do much else. The change to an outside vented (vented straight back/out the rear as we could not go up) was HUGE. Go outside vented, you won’t regret it.
    Becky thanked iamtiramisu
  • Becky

    We had a recirculating hood in our first house and that was the first thing I could not wait to change when we redid the kitchen. It made a whole lot of noise but didn’t do much else.

    I feel the same way about the OTR microwaves that we've had in the past. Even the vented one didn't do much except make noise. We've been looking forward to finally having a venting one! The only problem is we've had so many budget overages it is challenging to find a budget friendly hood. Since I've never had a hood, I didn't realize all the $300-1000 ones in the big box stores were all recirculating or weren't a complete package. I was under the impression I could get a decent vented hood for $1000. Shame on me for not looking at this stuff sooner. This might turn into a DIY install after we move in to the house.

    Am I missing something? Does anyone know of a vented hood that has everything for around $1000? I think my dreams of a wood hood w/ insert exceed my budget, so I'll be happy if I can get a simple SS one. My kitchen was designed so a hood would be the focal point between 2 windows. Now I'm really feeling stupid!!

  • iamtiramisu
    Becky - you can get a decent vented hood for around/under $1k, but it also depends on your definition of “decent”. Something that will function well/as it should without problems for many years? That’s my high level definition of “decent”, but yours may differ. Also depending on the look you want it can narrow down the choices/available options. Broan has some decent vented hoods for a decent price, but when you get into the inserts and more “pro” look the price jumps and not all the parts are included in the base price (blower, fan, etc.) Some here have used Kobe and Z-Line and I think mostly recommend them but don’t hold me to that as I could be recalling incorrectly. I ended up going with a Victory range hood, the Tofino model since we needed one that vented horizontally/straight out the back wall vs. up/out). They are out of Canada, but some will be quick to point out not all of their hoods are actually made in and some parts are made in China with the hood assembled Canada - just noting that in case someone jumps in to point that out and some made in China parts are a deterrent for you. For us, in a kitchen and family room remodel where we ran into a couple of very expensive unknown issues and had to make some adjustments to previous choices, it was the best bang for the buck. So while not as fancy/name recognizable as Vent A Hood, it had the look and features we wanted with the price we needed. They were very responsive and great to deal with and the hood has performed exceptionally for the last year. While one year isn’t a whole lot of time and I can’t personally speak to longevity, I am hopeful it will continue to work well for many years to come. Good luck in your search! I know it can be daunting and frustrating but in the end it’s worth the time and effort to keep looking.
  • mgotthold

    Check out the Zephyr brand hoods, which come in 30 and 36" wide versions. We went with the "tamburo" style, and it has worked well for our cooking needs. I recall they had several models in the $500-$600 range (and under 400 CFM max so make-up air isn't an issue.) Good luck! Our remodel included switching from a downdraft vent in the island to an outside-vented hood on the perimeter and it's one of the best parts of the entire remodel!

  • emho23

    You can definitely get a vented hood appliance for less than $1000. You can get a very nice wall mount one for $700 and a decent one from GE or Whirlpool for $350. The cost is installation, both for ducting and if you need to add makeup air. But I think it's pointless to get a hood at all if you don't duct it.


    I'm surprised no one has mentioned that you have induction. In my view, it is irrelevant that you have a "builder grade" range rather than a pro one. More importantly, you have induction rather than gas. Induction puts much less heat out into the air and obviously does not result in combustion gases in your living space. Of course there are more powerful and less powerful induction ranges, but the venting requirements are not the same as a gas stove, pro grade or not.


    I am wrestling with a similar issue right now FWIW. We are putting a 30" Jenn-air induction range in, and we are adding a 36" ducted hood for sure, because I cook a lot. I am wrestling with whether I want a 400 CFM hood (which will not require makeup air), or a 600-700 CFM one (which would require makeup air if the building inspector decides to enforce that part of the code strictly, which is not universally the case). I think 400 would probably do the trick for me (I have a 250 CM under cabinet one now with a gas stove and it's fine), but am debating nonetheless.

  • jhmarie

    I have a simple kitchen. I bought an unfinished wood hood, and stained it to match my cabinets. I bought one of the recommended by the hood manufacturer vent inserts. The unfinished simple woo hood was about $375 - it came with the necessary metal liner, but for some you need to order the liner, and I think that may be another $150. The vent insert was about $350. The labor for instal - which was a handy farmer friend, was about $250.

    I do not have a top of the line hood - but it suits my kitchen just fine. The vent insert has a removable grease screen and holder. I know baffles are preferable, but it works well. It is much quieter than my old fan, but not as quiet as a high end insert. It vents well.

    My kitchen is vintage and a tad French country, so I added some of those elements to the hood. The same hood stained or painted without those elements could be more traditional. My hood is oak because my kitchen is oak, but it comes in maple and some other woods too - maple would be best for painting. You could also just get the vent insert and the liner and have a custom wood hood made to fit.

    My kitchen:

    https://www.houzz.com/photo/110720042-my-pics-work-in-progress

    https://www.houzz.com/photo/109854029-my-pics-work-in-progress

    My hood:

    https://www.kitchensource.com/range-hoods/naclassic.htm

    There are many other styles available - some get very expensive.

    I used the Broan 390 vent insert.

  • jwvideo

    Expanding on what emho23 and jhmarie said, it is helpful to bear in mind that there's a difference between "the best possible," "optimum" and just "okay" (a/k/a what emho called "fine" or what I have called "acceptable compromises for the budget, design and circumstances.")

    Emho mentions wrestling with the issues. Many of us have wrestled with the resolving of choices of appliance compromises. At some point, we all wind up spinning and thinking "why is this so hard?" And if you think choosing a hood is hard, wait til you get to choosing a washing machine! LOL.
    So, let's try sorting through your preferences to see if we can make this a little easier for you to figure out.
    First, let's clarify what you meant when you said you "didn't realize all the $300-1000 ones in the big box stores were all recirculating or weren't a complete package." Are you thinking most are recirculating because the product tagline descriptions on the big box store websites rarely say a hood is "ducted?" The key here may be in knowing that almost all hoods at the big box stores will vent to the exterior by default but can be switched over to ductless. IME, the tagline descriptions in the product listings that say "ducted" or "ductless" are used only for the models that can't be switched from one mode to the other. If the tagline doesn't say one of the other, the hood is one you can vent to the exterior. Does this clarification maybe open up a wider range of choices for you?
    Second, you say you want a focal point hood on a wall between two windows. So, I'm thinking, maybe what you have in mind is a wall space without cabinets where you are looking for a pyramidal-shaped, wall mounted, canopy style of hood with a kind of chimney rising from the top of the hood. A hood with a canopy is a good thing because the canopy (as opposed to a flat base) is big assist in capturing the rising plumes of steam, heat and vaporized cooking effluents. A flat base can be acceptable if you have to do that route (as I did) but a canopy is better. With a good canopy, there is less concern with large numbers in the fan CFM ratings.

    As Kaseki has often explained here before (in excellent technical detail for those who want it), capture area is as important to hood efficiency as the fan power, and often more so. That likely gives you a much wider array of choices of hoods.


    Third, emho mentioned getting a 36" wide hood for the Jenn Air version of your Kitchenaid range. That reflects a standard recommendation here. The extra width enhances the hood's ability to capture cooking effluents (steam, aerosolized grease, etc.) which rise in an expanding cone. That brings us to the compromise in most less expensive hoods. Many are only 19" or 20" deep, front to back. Put a big pot of pasta water to boil on a big front burner on your stove and maybe some steam gets by the front of the hood. Neither the best nor the optimum design, but maybe okay for everyday living and cooking?

    Fourth, your builder's reluctance to install a vented hood in your kitchen might be understandable if the new house will be very tight, as many newly built homes may be. In that case, adding an unplanned-for hood may pose regulatory and practical problems. If your jurisdiction has adopted International Residential Code Section M1503.4 and/or International Mechanical Code Section 505.2, you might be able to avoid regulatory issues by simply choosing a hood with fans rated at 400 CFM or less But, there is still basic physics to deal with when the new house will be very tight.

    While you might avoid those kind of regulatory issues by choosing a hood rated at 400 CFM or less, and/or putting it in yourselves as DIY project, you've still got to look at the practical concerns.

    The biggest practical concern is one of safety. This concern arises when there are fireplaces or gas appliances from which CO can be backdrafted regardless of whether your range hood is rated below 400 CFM. You might avoid the CO backdrafting concerns if there are no fireplaces or wood-burning stoves and if the heating appliances have their own powered air intakes and exhausts sealed off from the rest of the house. However, a tight house still poses a practical physics problem akin to sucking air out of a closed box. (For that matter, I've seen a house so tight that the even bathroom fans didn't work well.)

    Where things can get really complicated (and therefore) expensive is when you have sought something like a LEED certification, or your builder is trying to meet the performance-based standards of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (e.g., ASHRAE ¶ 62.2), or the house is built in a state with it's own performance-based interior air quality standards such as those that Minnesota, Wisconsin and California have adopted. That means expenses for measurements and testing and maybe MUA expenses before adding an unplanned range hood to the design.

    OTOH, the builder may just be looking for a way to avoid dealing with the problem so as to move on to the next project.

    Or, maybe, all of the above.

  • Becky

    Thank for all the great advice! I really appreciate it.

    it also depends on your definition of “decent”. Something that will function well/as it should without problems for many years?

    Yes, that is my definition of decent, but preferable either all SS or wood w/ insert. I don't like the glass ones.

    They are out of Canada, but some will be quick to point out not all of their hoods are actually made in and some parts are made in China with the hood assembled Canada.

    I like to buy made in the USA products and have done so on a lot of my selections. If I can't afford to on 1 piece, I'm comfortable with that.

    EMHO, has your contractor given you any idea what the installation cost difference will be if you select a hood that requires makeup air verses one that doesn't? This is the stuff that is hard to get from my builder. His estimates have been so far off on so many things it is hard to put any faith in his new estimates. Even the "quotes" he gives us mid-construction are below actual costs and they try to bill more.

    mgotthold, I'll definitely check out the zephyr. It looks like some of theirs have a built in Airflow Control Technology that can limit the blower to meet code requirements, if needed. I wonder if that can be turned on an off so you can upgrade to makeup air and higher CFM if needed in the future?

    jhmarie, I love your kitchen! Do you recall where you got the wood hood? I'd love to find a place where I can buy the wood hood and insert, so I know they'll be more likely to fit.

    At some point, we all wind up spinning and thinking "why is this so hard?" And if you think choosing a hood is hard, wait til you get to choosing a washing machine! LOL.

    Ha! After using a front load washer for a couple of years in my last house, I'm going to see if I can get my old top load washer repaired! I might cry if I have to look for a new one!

    The key here may be in knowing that almost all hoods at the big box stores will vent to the exterior by default but can be switched over to ductless. IME, the tagline descriptions in the product listings that say "ducted" or "ductless" are used only for the models that can't be switched from one mode to the other.

    Thank you for the explanation. Maybe I've been too quick to rule these out of the running. The stress is making me crazy! I'm tired, over budget, behind schedule and the range hood might send me over the edge. :)

    The biggest practical concern is one of safety. This concern arises when there are fireplaces or gas appliances from which CO can be backdrafted regardless of whether your range hood is rated below 400 CFM.

    Yes, I have a LP fireplace in the next room and a LP tankless water heater in the basement. If it weren't for these, I'd just put in a hood and open the window, if needed. I don't want to risk any backdrafts with the appliances though. My last house had an open vent in the basement to the outside, which we never understood. I suppose that was the make up air system. It didn't have a damper though; it was just open to the outside.

    OTOH, the builder may just be looking for a way to avoid dealing with the problem so as to move on to the next project.

    This! They do what they do well on spec homes (so I'm told) but, their expectation for custom home owners is laughable at times. I'm trying to keep this at 400 CFM, so I don't have to rely on them to come up with a solution. When we venture outside their typical spec home selections, things spiral out of control.


  • jhmarie

    I bought my hood through Kitchensouce, though I think Amazon had it too. At the time, Kitchensource would give a $20 off next purchase coupon. I had bought my plate rail through them and used the coupon on the hood, then got another coupon with the hood that I used on the vent insert. I was not that impressed with the construction when I first got the unfinished hood, but after I stained and finished it, I was more pleased and the person who installed it thought it was really nice. I was not impressed because it is not as thick of wood as my cabinets in some areas. The frame part is. Then I realized since the thinner areas support no weight and have no function other than to hide the insert, I was OK. Also, it would have weighted a ton if it had solid half-inch wood throughout. It also came with the liner which was another savings.


    Another thing I found in my search for a wood hood - most of the home center stores can order unfinished pieces from the kitchen cabinet companies they display. I ordered the spice drawer unit unfinished through Menards. It is made by Shrock, a decent American cabinet company. The whole unit was solid wood and I was impressed. You can order an unfinished hood this way too. They were a little more expensive then Kitchensource - from $500 to $800 for the simple style hood I wanted and an additional $600 for the insert.


    This is the one I ordered:

    https://www.kitchensource.com/range-hoods/naclassic.htm


    This is the wood hood page - many are very expensive:

    https://www.kitchensource.com/range-hoods/d/woodhoods/


    You can also search "unfinished wood range hood cover" for other companies. If painting, order maple as it is a really good paint grade wood.

    Becky thanked jhmarie
  • emho23

    The specifics of MUA dramatically impact the price of installing it. In our case, we are renovating an old house that will never be airtight. So, I am not worried about backdrafting if we do a hood under 400 CFM, even though we have a wood burning fireplace and an oil powered boiler, because the house is leaky. For us, MUA is a code compliance issue.


    We have been told that it's very expensive ($5k plus) to add MUA if you want to bring in air that is conditioned (heated or cooled), but that if we do the MUA with unconditioned air then it's the cost of the MUA kit ($250 or so) plus the labor to install it. We would go the unconditioned air route and have the MUA enter the house in the basement near the boiler. That way, we would be bringing the MUA into a "semiconditioned" space, giving it time to come to temp before it enters the living areas.


    I'll be honest...some of the posts I read on here about range hoods seem insane, spending thousands of dollars for commercial power, optimal capture area, fancy brand names etc etc. I do not see the point. In my current condo I cook daily over gas, including all kinds of greasy stuff, and we have a 240 CFM Broan ducted under cabinet hood (12 years old and truly builder grade) and it is FINE. Does the smoke alarm go off sometimes? Yes. Would I pay $10k to prevent that? NO! In the end, for our current project I am going to buy a stainless, wall mount Zline or Whirlpool or Ancona hood from Lowe's or Wayfair and be happy.

    Becky thanked emho23
  • Fori

    The wood ones do end up costing more than plain stainless, once you include the wood part. But MOST (non-insert) hoods should be in your price range, as well as under 400 cfm.

    Becky thanked Fori
  • Anne Duke
    This is my vented to the exterior. It’s a Windster that I purchased from Pacific Sales five years ago for about $600.00. There are lots of options well below 1K. They all are noisy regardless.
    Becky thanked Anne Duke
  • Becky

    Thank you all again. I've decided the best solution will be to forward all your advice to my husband and let him make the final decision with a fresh set of eyes. :)

    jhmarie, thank you for the website! That is the only wooden hood site that I've seen break it all down step by step with Wood Hood + blower + insert to give you an all-in price.

  • Fori

    I have a Broan hood that looks very much like Anne's Windster, right down to the little rubber thingy stuck on it to make cabinet door bumps gentle. In the exact same spot!!

    Good luck, Becky. Building a kitchen is hard enough when you aren't also building the rest of the house! I do think it's worth insisting on a ducted hood, even if it's a wimpier one. :)

    Becky thanked Fori
  • emho23

    I need to correct my previous statement. It turns out that our HVAC updates can easily accommodate MUA with conditioned air, so we don't need to add it separately or use unconditioned air. Becky, you should talk to your builder about that.

    Becky thanked emho23

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