AirKing Lasko B-Air Blue-dri

To duct or not to duct – what type of range hood should I purchase?

While there are hundreds of different styles, forms and features to choose from when it comes to a type of range hood, there are basically two to choose from – ducted or ductless (recirculating).

A ducted type of range hood will exhaust the air through a grease filter then to the outside of the home through ductwork attached to the range hood. A ductless range hood will pass the air through a grease and odor filter inside the hood and recirculate the air back into the room. Now, which is better? Without a doubt a ducted range hood is far superior to a ductless one. Ducted range hoods will completely remove the contaminated air from the home and provide much better indoor air quality.

So why would anyone use a ductless range hood. There are two reasons why. The first reason is in certain applications running ductwork to the outside is just not logistically possible. This is especially true in large apartment/condo complexes. In these situations having a ductless range hood is better than not utilizing anything.

The second reason is not as good of one. Installing ductwork in a home is an added cost, so unfortunately if the builder or home owner is trying to cut costs a bit, they will not take the extra step to run the ductwork. The good news is that if this was the case, ductwork can be added fairly simply if you have attic access. Easy ways to tell if you have ducting or not are to first open the cabinets above your hood. If you see ductwork, you have a ducted range hood. The other way to tell is to turn your range hood on and feel if any air is blowing back into the kitchen. If it is, you have a ductless range hood.

If you have a ductless range hood and are able to run ducting to the outside, we would highly recommend doing so. While this might be a project a handy homeowner can accomplish we do caution that you will be cutting a hole to the exterior of your home. If not done and sealed properly, this could lead to water leaking into the home and causing damage. Air King always recommends consulting a professional if you are unsure about any aspects of the installation. To learn more about Air King’s selection of kitchen ventilation solutions visit the Range Hoods section of this site.

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