I love to take creative license when it comes to hood design in a kitchen. There’s nothing that’s more of a focal point…being at eye level, not obscured by an island. You can really make a statement with a gorgeous hood. With that said, they’re not just for looks – their function is easily more important. If you’ve spent a pretty penny renovating your kitchen, it’s critical to get a hood with the proper amount of cfms to handle your range’s BTU’s. These terms might be foreign to you – if so, you’re not along. BTU’s are British Thermal Units and it refers to the power of your range or cooktop. The higher the BTU’s the higher the cfms needed. Cfms are the cubic feet per minute that the air flow of your hood is calculated. Basically it’s about removing smoke, odors and grease during cooking.
Not all hoods are created equal. The size, power, depth over the cooktop are all key factors, plus there’s the whole internal, external, and inline blower option that makes most peoples’ eyes glaze over. In a nutshell, the part that everyone refers to as the hood doesn’t always refer to the blower – the part that does all the work. With an internal blower, the guts, or fan that does all the work is inside the hood you see in the kitchen. With an external blower, the guts or fan, is outside your house on the wall or on the roof. And with an inline blower, it’s inside the ductwork somewhere between the inside and outside of the house. External blowers and inline blowers are quieter due to their location, but many companies have made great strides at making internal blowers quieter.Regardless of style or looks, you can get most hoods with different blower options. Above and below you’re seeing a chimney style hood, both with internal blowers, but they could easily have been done with external blowers.
Below you’re seeing two different style custom hood ‘inserts’ which are both the same thing on the inside, but with a different exterior. Both have internal blowers and liners that are covered in either stainless steel or plaster. Totally different looks but with the same function.
Undercabinet hoods vary from chimney style hoods in design and looks only. A chimney style hood may still vent horizontally, and the chimney cover can be for looks or for function. Here, this undercabinet hood could vent horizontally, or vent up through the cabinet above.
Basically you have a ton of options on the market today. Start with your performance needs and then the look your after and then find out from your supplier which brand best fits your needs.