How to choose a new range hood

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Congratulations! You’re considering a range hood ventilation solution, and that’s a smart move. The fact is, the kitchen is a primary source of poor indoor air quality: excessive moisture, cooking effluents, smoke and grease particulates quickly infiltrate every room in your home. Indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outside air, which means powerful ventilation is critical to a more comfortable and healthier home environment.

Tell me about my range hood options

Your range hood must handle your cooking style and the type of appliance beneath it, whether gas or electric. Steam and smoke from high-heat cooking has to be contained. Whether your range hood is a focal point in your kitchen, or concealed in custom cabinetry, trust Broan—the leader in residential ventilation—to provide performance-matched solutions.
There are many different types of range hoods to best suit your cooking style, sense of style and installation needs. With a variety of design options, you’ll find a perfect match to your appliances, cabinetry and cooking style. Let’s talk range hood types.
Under-cabinet range hoods deliver excellent ventilation performance while preserving precious cabinet space. While they are the most popular range hood type on the market, Broan turns traditional design expectation upside down. Beautiful styles—in a variety of appliance-matching finishes—are paired with effective ventilation capabilities. Best of all, you’ll find the combination you need for the way you cook at an attractive price point.
Wall Mount
Some of our most visually striking range hoods—Chimney and Professional-style designs—mount to the wall and feature exposed flues or soffits. Most of these range hoods can be configured for both ducted or recirculating operation. Some can be used with powerful external blower options to handle the BTU output of the range below. With a broad selection available, you’ll find a perfect complement to the style of your range.
Today’s kitchen island is hub of activity from food prep to cooking to casual dining. And it’s often the entertainment hub as well. When your cooktop is in the center of it all, Broan gives you ventilation options that stand out or hide away. Choose chimney-style hoods suspended elegantly above the range, professional style hoods with broad soffits that help divide the space or downdraft ventilation that rises when you need it and hides beneath the counter when you don’t.
Think about having a powerful range hood that’s there when you need it and hidden when you don’t. Downdraft range hoods are perfect for islands or peninsula installations, providing the right amount of ventilation—literally at the push of a button. If you love an unobstructed view through your open kitchen, consider a hood that rises when needed, and retracts when not in use.
Think of a built-in power pack as a gift box without the wrapping paper. You get the features and performance you need but you choose what surrounds it. With a power pack, your cabinetry, tile work or other aesthetic preferences help your hood blend in with your kitchen’s unique design features. Insert a power pack to achieve all the benefits of powerful ventilation while maintaining full design control.
Broan manufactures range hoods suitable for outdoor installation when used in partially protected environments such as screened-in lanais or covered patios. They make all the difference, helping keep these spaces from filling with smoke and cooking effluents. Deep, robust designs handle high heat confidently, professional-style stainless steel baffle filters clean up easily, and halogen lighting illuminates the cooktop or grill brilliantly.
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Power Considerations

Matching the ventilation power of your range hood with the BTU output of your gas, electric or grilling appliance.
One of the most important things to consider when buying a range hood is the CFM of the hood’s blower. Capture effectiveness depends on having the right CFM. You can trust product ratings if they are HVI Certified. Let’s consider several ways to match hood compatibility with natural gas, electric and grill cooktops.
Determining blower CFM ability to cooktop BTU output.
First, your appliance owner’s manual will help you determine its BTU rating. Know that information first. For gas cooktops under 60,000 BTUs or electric cooktops, choose a blower with a minimum of 100 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) per linear foot of your cooktop width. For example, a 36" wide cooktop requires a blower with a capability of 300 CFM.
Other considerations:
  • To estimate the approximate CFM requirement for cooktops OVER 60,000 BTUs, choose a blower with 1 CFM per 100 BTU of cooktop output. Just add up the BTU output of all burners and then drop the last two zeros. For example, if total BTU output of the cooktop burners is 65,000 BTUs, choose a blower rated at a minimum of 650 CFM.
  • High heat cooking or aromatic foods will likely require additional CFM. Consult the range manufacturer for additional guidance. NOTE: Increasing the width of the range hood by 3" on each side is another way to address this issue—more coverage improves capture.
Additional CFM needs for a Grill or Griddle:
A cooktop grill or griddle requires an additional 200 CFM to your estimated CFM needs. For example, if cooktop BTU output requires a 650 CFM blower, add 200 CFM for a total blower requirement of 850 CFM. If the numbers don’t match perfectly, always round up to the next larger blower option.

Sizing your range hood, and mounting height considerations

Your kitchen layout and cabinetry will determine the best location for the hood. Cooktop surface area will determine the power of the exhaust fan to effectively clear the air. For example, if the bottom of the range hood is more than the recommended distance above the cooking surface, the more power you’ll need. That means either more blower power (higher CFM rating) or greater coverage (a larger range hood width).
Distance from cooking surface
For optimal performance, the distance from the cooking surface to the bottom of the range hood should follow the mounting height guidance in the hood instructions. Never install a Broan range hood less than the minimum recommended height above a cooking surface. To maintain hood performance at heights greater than the recommended range, use the following guidelines:
  • For every 3" increase in installation height, add 100 CFM to the minimum exhaust requirement and/or a minimum of 3" to the hood/liner width (this may require going to the next hood width).
  • Note, the lower mounting height is a hard minimum based on safety and reliability testing while the upper mounting height is a recommendation only. Mounting the hood higher is acceptable but capture will be reduced.
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Outdoor installation considerations and features

Specifically designed range hoods can be used in outdoor or partially protected environments such as screened-in lanais or partially covered patios. To keep these areas from filling with smoke and depositing cooking effluents on surfaces and furniture, an outdoor-rated range hood makes all the difference. Deep, robust designs handle the heat confidently, professional-style stainless steel baffle filters clean up easily, and halogen cooktop lighting illuminates the cooktop brilliantly. And trust Broan’s high-grade stainless steel to resist the effects of the outdoor environment.
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Ducting to the outdoors, or re-circulation?

Many Broan range hoods may be either ducted to the outdoors or configured to recirculate filtered air back into the kitchen. These might be referred to as “convertible.” For indoor air quality, ducting to the outdoors is always recommended, but some installations or retrofit situations make ducting to the outdoors impossible or impractical. For example, a high-rise condo may prohibit modifications that pierce the outdoor walls. A retrofitted range hood may not be able to be ducted due to mechanical obstacles. In such cases, a non-ducted “recirculating” installation is a best case option.
Proper Ducted Installation
Ducted installations provide the greatest benefits for eliminating cooking odors, moisture and smoke. To install a hood in ducted mode, it is necessary to connect a duct from the air outlet of the hood to a wall or roof-mounted termination vent.

To realize the full CFM capability of the blower, ducting dimensions must be equal to or greater than the exit port on the range hood. This ensures that airflow is not restricted. Restrictions result in lower CFM output, and a blower that works harder may produce more noise.

A well-ducted range hood minimizes duct length and avoids unnecessary turns that slow down air movement. Similarly, twists and turns in ductwork require the motor to work harder and subsequently louder.

Non-ducted/Recirculating Installation
When a range hood is installed in recirculating mode, the hood draws in cooking smoke and effluents to minimize grease and unpleasant odors. To do this, air is filtered through a charcoal filter before reintroducing it to the kitchen. This type of installation is simple as no duct work is required, but heat and moisture are not actually removed from the kitchen.
To ensure proper function, regular maintenance includes charcoal filter replacement and disposal as well as grease filter cleaning. For convenience, Broan mesh and baffle filters remove easily and may be cleaned in the dishwasher.
The term convertible refers to a hood that can be installed in different ducting modes. Typically, a convertible hood can accommodate 7” round ducted, 3-1/4” x 10” vertical or horizontal ducted, and non-ducted installations.
A convertible hood has both ducted and non-duct features built-in or the appropriate parts are provided in the box at the time of purchase. You have the option to install it either way, without purchasing additional special parts or kits. However, the charcoal filters needed for a non-duct hood may need to be purchased separately.

Internal and External Blowers Matched to Your Installation Needs

Most Broan range hoods come with an internal blower, that is, a blower mounted within the range hood. Some Broan range hoods may be configured with more powerful blowers that are mounted external of the range hood. Externally mounted blowers add greater power with reduced noise since the blower is mounted farther away from the hood itself. Take a deeper look at blower options:
External, Exterior-mounted Blowers
External exterior blowers—available in a range of powerful blower options—may be installed on a roof or on an exterior wall for the ultimate in quiet, high performance kitchen ventilation. The quietest sound level is achieved when the blower is mounted at least 10' from the hood location and incorporates one 90-degree elbow in the duct run. The aluminum exterior housing is weather resistant, bird and rodent-proof, and paintable to blend into the wall or roofline.
External, In-Line Blowers
In-line blowers are installed independently of the range hood, “in-line” between the hood and the exterior wall or roof termination vent. In-line blowers are typically installed in an attic space which puts distance between the user and the blower. This enables powerful exhaust ventilation with a lower sone level, completely hidden from view. Any Broan range hood that can use exterior blowers can be configured with an in-line blower. Suspension mounting eliminates vibration noise, and flexible duct design enables straight-through or right-angle connections, including a built-in damper.
Internal Blowers
Internal blowers are the most common type of kitchen ventilation power. Internal blowers are located inside the range hood and have variable speed settings to accommodate user preferences and needs when cooking. Broan internal blowers are designed for quiet, energy efficient operation and years of reliable service.

Efficient grease and air filtering

All Broan range hoods feature some type of filtration before exhausting to the exterior or recirculating back into the kitchen. Different hoods will have different filtration methods including dishwasher-safe aluminum or stainless steel mesh, professional looking baffle-style filters, or hybrids of both technologies. Ducted range hoods filter grease while hoods that recirculate air back into the kitchen also filter air through charcoal filters to adsorb cooking odors. Charcoal filters should be replaced regularly to ensure optimal operation.
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Range hood blower control

Sometimes you need a lot of ventilation power—other times just a consistent, gentle draw. Broan range hoods feature simple high/low switches to sophisticated variable-speed controls. You get the power you need at the touch of a button, and quiet operation as well.
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Remote and wireless control

Broan offers a wide selection of range hoods that can be operated remotely via a wall-mounted control with an optional wiring kit. Some models feature an optional wireless remote for the ultimate in operational convenience. Many hoods can be installed to comply with Sections 308 and 309 of ADA Guidelines, when used with appropriately mounted controls installed at 15” to 48” above the floor. Remember, control access should never require reaching over a cooking appliance.

Lighting types and levels

Broan range hoods feature a variety of illumination solutions including incandescent, fluorescent, halogen or LED lighting. Many hoods enable switching between various lighting levels, from a gentle, ambient night-light glow to brilliant lighting that illuminates the entire cooktop. Incandescent and halogen lighting casts a warmer glow while energy-efficient compact fluorescent and LED lighting provides a cleaner, cooler light.
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ENERGY STAR® certified products

Broan is making it easier than ever to go green with a growing line of ENERGY STAR® certified range hoods. This certification is achieved through both efficient lighting and state-of-the-art motor technologies. You’ll find many Broan range hoods meet the program requirements of USGBC®, LEED® and NAHB.