Kitchen range hoods are an essential component of your Katahdin Cedar Log Home’s ventilation system. The ideal time to shop for a range and corresponding hood is before your build begins, because high-powered blowers often require larger diameter ductwork to meet code.
Your Hood Has an Important Job
Range hoods work to keep odors and aerosolized grease from collecting inside your home and help maintain healthy indoor air quality (IAQ). Range hoods are available in different power ranges, sizes and noise levels.
- Power — The blower fans on range hoods are rated by cubic feet per minute of air removed (cfm). A higher cfm will suck out a higher volume of air. The sizing is important when comparing the BTUs or amount of heat produced from your cooktop. A general rule of thumb for sizing is for every 100 BTUs allow for 1 cfm. For example, a range producing 90,000 BTUs would need a range hood that has a 900-cfm rating. Check your range’s technical specifications for the recommended cfm rating for your model. If your range includes at grill top, boost the cfm as grills can produce a lot more smoke and grease than other cooking.
- Size — Most experts recommend sizing the range hood larger than the size of the cooktop. For example, a 30-inch range would need a 36-inch hood; a 36-inch range might need a 42-inch hood. Again, check your range’s technical specs for the ideal size of hood. Those specs will also include the ideal height the hood should be installed.
- Noise — Another factor is the noise level of the hood. Noise levels in range hoods are measured in sones. High powered hoods tend to have higher sone ratings, but others can be quieter. For an example of how sones compare to other sounds in decibels, here’s a simple guide: normal conversation rates about 60 decibels which equals 9.5 sones. A washing machine can make 70 decibels of noise which equals 19 sones. One way to cut the noise of a hood fan by as much as 40% is to mount the fan outside the home, either on the wall or on the roof, rather than house it within the hood. This is more costly and requires more planning than installing a pre-manufactured hood with the blower fan inside.
Two-part Hood Fans
For custom hoods, kitchen designers opt for a two-part hood fan, where the blower fan unit is housed in a custom hood design, which could be metal, sheetrock, wood or any other durable surface. The hood can be framed out with one by four lumber and clad in just about any material. This option allows you to select the blower fan needed based on cfm rating and noise levels and open the door to custom design to match your décor.
Consider “Makeup Air” in Your Ventilation Equation
In well-sealed and insulated Katahdin Cedar Log Homes, the balance of air inside the home needs careful calibration, with a kitchen range hood that removes a volume of air balanced with appropriate intake of fresh outside air. Ideally a relatively balanced air pressure inside the home is optimal for efficiency and IAQ. So, it’s important to include your HVAC contractor in discussions about your kitchen hood specifications.