Posted on: 24.10.2022 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

You should take significant measures to maintain the quality of your indoor air. One of the best ways is to ensure that you frequently ventilate the moist air from your kitchen, but does this mean you need to install an exhaust fan in the kitchen?

Kitchens do not need exhaust fans since there is no code that requires you to install them. However, kitchen exhaust fans play a role in maintaining indoor air quality and to some extent, protect the health of the occupants of the house. They expel moist air and odors that arise during cooking.

The rest of this article will delve into the importance of an exhaust fan in the kitchen in great detail. It will also address other related topics such as how kitchen exhaust fans work, the type of range hood to choose, and how to optimize the use of your range hood.

The Importance of an Exhaust Fan in Your Kitchen

While cooking is essential for everyone, it can be hazardous to your health if not done with caution. When you cook, the stove releases toxic gases and ultra-fine particles into the air, circulating throughout the building and releasing them to everyone around.

In addition, it releases oils, fats, and greases into the air, which then settle on surfaces such as cabinets and walls. Over time, the oils form a grunge layer. Without a kitchen exhaust, you may have to endure persistent odor and even expose yourself to health problems such as asthma.

You may also need to constantly change curtains and wipe down your furniture and surfaces to remove the smell of food that accumulates with each cooking session. Additionally, you can prevent grease and smoke from accumulating on walls and ceiling by installing a kitchen exhaust fan.

A range hood also helps regulate the temperature in the kitchen. Every time you cook, the ovens generate a lot of heat. Without adequate ventilation, the high temperature leads to increased moisture in the kitchen.

Once the kitchen temperatures drop, the moisture collects as water on walls and surfaces. If you don’t clean up the water, there is a high chance of damaging food, countertops, and surfaces.

Additionally, it can also lead to the growth of mold. Condensation is a big issue, whether or not you are cooking. Therefore, you need to install a suitable exhaust system that can alleviate such a situation.

Previously, it was easier to control such problems by opening windows and relying on gaps in walls and floors. While the approach was not entirely efficient, it was functional. However, such a hit-and-miss approach may not work for modern houses as they are sealed to ensure energy efficiency.

How Does a Kitchen Exhaust Fan Work?

Your kitchen exhaust fan, also known as a range hood or vent hood, is operated from the top of the stove. Before diving into how it works, you should understand that there are two types of range hoods, ducted and ductless. But how do both work?

Ducted hoods are the most common types of exhaust fans. However, some kitchens may limit their installation as they require transporting the air out of the kitchen. For this reason, you can only install them in specific areas of the kitchen.

The range hood requires ducts that are connected to a duct to transport the dirty air and foul odor from the kitchen to the outside.

The exhaust fan effectively eliminates the moisture in the kitchen that arises from increased humidity and steam from cooking, a feat that ductless fans cannot achieve. You can either leave the installation to a professional or perform it yourself if you have sufficient experience.

Ductless range hoods, on the other hand, do not exhaust air out of the house. Instead, they filter the air they suck in and redirect it back into the kitchen. The range hood uses carbon and charcoal filters to clean the dirty air before blowing it back into the kitchen.

Unlike their counterparts, you can install them anywhere as they do not require ducts to transport the air out. However, you will need to clean the filters periodically and replace them annually to extend their lifespan.

A ductless fan is easy to set up as it does not require any ductwork or channels. You can follow the installation guidelines provided with your exhaust fan.

Here is a video on installing a range hood:

Do kitchen exhaust fans need to be vented outside?

The main purpose of installing a kitchen range hood is to get rid of the lingering cooking odors from the stove and the excess hot air from the kitchen while cooking. However, you can choose whether to install either a vented/ducted or a non-vented/ductless range hood depending on your needs and preferences.

A vented hood is more energy-efficient when it comes to power consumption. Its fan does not blow too hard since the hot gases are directed outside, and the ducts let in fresher and less humid air. This way, you can save even more on your electricity bill.

On the other hand, non-vented range hoods require more power to blow out, clean, and blow back the hot air. Hence, you may end up spending more on your electricity bill. However, with advancing technology, you can find many non-vented exhaust fans that do not require significant power consumption.

You may also find that installing a vented system is highly impractical, most of the time, especially if you live in a condo or apartment. This is due to the need for a ductwork system to transport the gases outside. You may have to renovate your apartment to install the ducts in the ceiling or even within the walls.

Moreover, it may not be viable if you have a small kitchen. Fortunately, you can install a non-vented range hood as it can fit into any space and work in all types of kitchens.

You can install a range hood with a venting connection if you do not want to constantly worry about its maintenance. While the installation may require some effort, it can take several years before a repair is necessary. In a ductless range hood, however, it’s a different story.

A ductless range hood requires a lot of maintenance, especially through cleaning the filters to remove the accumulated grease and dirt and replacing them annually.

As you can see, neither the vented nor the ductless exhaust fans are perfect. Each has its pros and cons. Therefore, your choice boils down to your needs and preferences. You can use either vented or non-vented exhaust fans.

Getting the Most Out of Your Range Hood

Always make sure to install your range hood close enough to the cooking surface. Only then can the suction of the fan effectively draw in all cooking gases and invisible particles circulating in the kitchen.

However, it should not be too low as it can be a hindrance while cooking. It is highly recommended to install it 24 inches (60.96 cm) above the stove.

Many stoves come with appropriately attached range hoods. However, be very careful when installing a freestanding range hood. Make sure it is large enough to effectively cover the cooking area and precisely the right size so you don’t bump your head on it while cooking.


An exhaust fan is essential for improving indoor air quality in your kitchen. While it is critical to have an exhaust fan in a commercial kitchen, different rules apply in a residential kitchen.

However, you can choose to install a range hood with or without a vent pipe, depending on your preferences. Consider and research both options carefully before making your decision.

Also, pay close attention to the size of the hood, its performance, design, and the fan’s noise level before purchasing.

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