Many modern kitchens come with a range hood over where the cooker is, which helps to keep the kitchen cleaner and fresher by drawing in air from outside.
As well as making you feel more comfortable, it also keeps food odors away from other rooms of the home, so you can confine these to the kitchen alone.
One dilemma that weighs on the minds of range hood customers is the height at which it sits above the cooking surface.
After all, you don't want it to go too low or too high - the first option will mean you won't have enough space to carry out cooking activities, and the second option will mean that your range hood may not be as effective as it could be.
You need to strike the right balance between the two for best results. The best range hoods for your home are those that fit into your existing design scheme and suit your lifestyle.
This will be determined by factors such as size, exact location, and how often you intend to use it. We will discuss these factors in more depth in this article, where you can find out just how high your range hood should be.
Why Does Range Hood Height Matter?
A range hood's height can make a huge difference to the way you live and work in your home. In order to get the most out of it, it is important to know exactly where it should sit.
There are a few distinct reasons why a range hood needs to be placed at the correct height. These include:
- It allows you to cook effectively. When a range hood is placed below the cooking surface, it prevents smoke and steam rising upwards towards the ceiling, which means that you can cook without having to constantly clean your ceiling.
- It allows you to enjoy a better dining experience. By placing the range hood above the cooking area, you can eat comfortably without feeling like you're sitting too close to the stove/oven.
- It improves airflow. The higher the range hood, the more fresh air enters the room through the vents, helping to remove stale or unpleasant smells. A good rule of thumb to remember is that the higher the range hood fan, the more effective it will be.
Minimum And Maximum Useful Heights
If you've never bought or had a range hood installed before, it is useful to understand what an ideal height would be for the general majority.
It is accepted that there is a maximum and minimum height that most people consider appropriate for common widths and other dimensions.
You might notice that some range hood manufacturers recommend heights of up to 36 inches, but this may well be unfeasible for your specific circumstances.
If you're looking for something lower than that, then there's no point buying one that's higher than 28 inches; it would not give you any added benefit and may just get in the way.
These measurements represent the standard industry maximum and minimum, so it is best to stay somewhere between the two.
Unfortunately, there isn't a definitive guide that works for every kitchen, so it really depends on your individual situation on a case by case basis.
Therefore, you may have to spend time working out what would be best for you, using the below guide as a basis.
What Is An Ideal Range Hood Height For My Kitchen?
If you're looking for a new range hood, there are numerous things to consider. We have briefly mentioned things like the size of the unit and how they can affect the height, so it's time to explain these factors in more detail.
Generally speaking, taller units are easier to clean. This is because you are able to reach into corners and around appliances such as sinks. When cleaning them, you have a better view of everything underneath.
They are also more versatile than shorter ones, because they can cover more space and offer excellent ventilation potential. Larger range hood dimensions necessitate a higher position.
On the other hand, smaller units are easier to maneuver and are generally less expensive.
You will only need to buy one if you want to keep a small size range hood indefinitely, but if you plan to get a bigger model later on, then you'll save money by going with a standard range hood to begin with.
The location of the range hood is important when choosing its overall size. In certain situations, you might want a smaller unit, while others call for a much larger one.
If you have a small space, look at island hoods that can be placed on or near an island unit. You may also want to consider a freestanding model if you plan on using it regularly.
For larger spaces, you’ll need something bigger and more powerful. When shopping for a new range hood, look for models that offer multiple fan speeds.
These allow you to adjust the speed to suit different conditions. If you cook with gas, then you should opt for a gas-powered unit, whereas electric models are usually quieter.
Of course, the ceiling height is an important factor in how much space is available in general, and also how high your range hood can be.
Older-style houses are likely to have higher ceilings, whereas they will probably be lower in more modern houses. After all, installation of range hoods shouldn't interfere with other fittings in your house such as the ceiling joists.
There are many different locations where a range hood can be fitted, including under the sink, over the sink, next to the hob, near the wall, etc.
Think carefully about your kitchen layout and try to envisage a sensible place for your vent hood to go.
Type Of Cooker
Range hood requirements differ depending on the type of cooker you have in your home.
While it's good to have a range hood with any stove, it doesn't have to be as powerful for an electric cooktop as it does for a gas cooktop, since you won't be dealing with open flames.
A range hood is also needed for different things if you're using a gas range, as the heat coming off the pan will suffice to warm up the room and so they won't have to take care of that.
However, if you plan to use a wood burning stove or an electric range, then a range hood will help to maintain a steady temperature throughout the cooking process.
Type Of Hood
To cater for changing fashions and demands in the kitchenware industry, there are many types of hoods available on the market today. Your hood type will depend on your needs and preferences when purchasing.
The first step is to decide whether you want a free standing unit that sits above the counter top (or underneath), or a built-in unit that goes into the cabinet itself.
Free standing units are generally easier to install because they don’t require drilling holes into the cabinetry, while wall-mounted range hoods come with their own mounting brackets which make installation much simpler.
When it comes to the type of range hood, there are two main ones:
- Conventional range hoods - These are designed to work with standard hobs. These are ideal if you only plan on using your cooker occasionally and are not planning on doing any heavy duty cooking.
- Power range hoods - These range from low power to high power. Typically, these are used by people who do a lot of cooking and want to remove all odors and fumes from the air. Powerful hoods usually cost more but are designed to sit further up your ceiling height.
Purchasing a quality range hood can be expensive, but we recommend investing in a model that offers maximum performance and features.
This way, you'll get the best value for money. If you really can't find something to fulfill all your current needs, you may have to consider getting a custom vent hood made.
An indoor range hood is a very useful and even vital piece of equipment to have in your home.
If you install one where there was none before, you will find that your kitchen ventilation improves almost instantly, and the kitchen air stays fresher for longer.
This is invaluable when you are carrying out any food work, whether it's induction cooking, electric cooking, or other cooking habits - you can deal with all cooking fumes easily.
It is important that you get the range hood installation height right, as the wrong height could decrease the efficacy of your appliance.
Generally speaking, the maximum height for indoor hoods to sit comfortably is 36 inches from the cooktop surface, while the minimum is taken to be 28 inches.
It is a good idea to look at any kitchen cabinets above countertop height that you have, as you may be able to fit in a cabinet hood as well.
These may differ depending on the type of range hood you have, but they're good guidelines to follow nonetheless.
For example, custom range hoods can be made to work best at a variety of heights, and island range hoods will probably have fewer obstacles that they need to avoid.
Our best advice is to always pay close attention to your range hood installation manual, as this will tell you exactly how you should proceed when fitting your kitchen hoods.
Custom hoods are a separate issue, as the maker may suggest an alternative minimum distance and maximum distance to stay within - ask them to explain the correct distance for your cooking space if you are still unsure.