Range Hood vs. Microwave Vent: Which is Best for You?

A freshly remodeled kitchen with a classic touchThe kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where you spend a majority of your time cooking meals, conversing with friends and family, and planning the next holiday event. With all the heavy foot traffic each day, your kitchen can quickly become one of the most worn down spaces in the home. When you cook on any type of stove, particles of grease, food, water, and smoke evaporate into the air. If not filtered properly, the air quality of your home can diminish and can begin to smell of last night's dinner. 

Thankfully, the professionals at KDI Kitchens have the solution. With our kitchen renovation services, we can turn your kitchen back into a comfortable place to enjoy home cooked meals and great conversation—starting with your ventilation. Take a look at the difference between range hoods and microwave built-in vents to determine which is the right for your kitchen needs.

Range Hoods

Any time you cook in the kitchen, grease, smoke, and oil have a way of providing a signature scent to the air—sometimes even setting off the smoke detectors. In order to eliminate these thick and potent odors, proper ventilation is necessary. A range hood is an appliance typically mounted above ranges or cooktops that help to capture, filter, or vent out cooking grease and steam above your cooking surface. With an integrated fan, range hoods are able to remove these inevitable gasses at a much quicker rate than other generalized vents and fans.

Range hoods are available in two options: ducts or ductless. When the range hood is connected to a duct system, all of the air and smoke that is sucked up by the fan is directed to a vent that leads outside of the residence. Most of the time, this duct system is built into a building's wall, ceiling, or floor. In contrast, ductless range hoods don't need ductwork because they simply filter and scrub the air and recirculate it back into the home.

Do I Need a Range Hood?

Range hood vents have evolved over the years, now coming in various shapes, sizes, and colors. You can easily adapt this cooking necessity to the aesthetic of your kitchen—even opting for a custom-built range hood from a contractor.

For those that find themselves in the kitchen more than any other area of their home, a range hood may be the right option for you. Range hoods have a higher cubic feet-per-minute (CFM) rate, which is the rate at which your ventilation system can move. If you frequently fry, sear meats, or sauté, a range hood will be a great benefit to your air quality and cooking conditions. If you’re considering installing a range hood vent into your kitchen, keep the following in mind:

  • Power (CFM)
  • Sound
  • Lighting

Microwave Vent

In a majority of homes, the microwave is installed above the stove and range. This is due to the fact a microwave usually has a built-in ventilation system on the bottom, assisting when you fry, steam, or sear food. Microwave vents are recirculating, meaning they have a built-in exhaust fan that filters and recirculates the air back into the kitchen. 

Microwave vents are a space and time saver. Instead of having a microwave take up valuable counter space, it is mounted above your range. While you cook on the stove, you may use the microwave to defrost ingredients and ventilate smoke and odor, both of which contribute to making the process of preparing dinner a less challenging endeavor.

Though microwave vents do the same job as a range hood vent, they don’t work as well at removing odors, grease, and steam from the kitchen. Not to mention they are particularly louder than most range hoods. You’ll be required to clean the vent out more frequently, causing a larger inconvenience to your time.

KDI Kitchens Can Help You Find the Best Ventilation Option

Hood range vents and microwave built-in vents both have their pros and cons. The deciding factor between the two will depend on the overall aesthetic you’re trying to achieve and the functionality of your kitchen. If you aren’t much of a chef and use the stove for minimal tasks, a microwave vent may be the most functional option for you. In contrast, if you consider yourself the next Betty Crocker of our generation, a hood range vent will better suit your needs.

Regardless of which you decide upon, KDI Kitchens is here to assist you. Our professionals understand what it takes to bring a kitchen remodel dream to life and will offer our expertise in any way possible. With our free kitchen design services, we can transform your kitchen into the perfect entertaining space. If you’re ready to take the leap and remodel your kitchen, contact KDI Kitchens for all your redesigning needs.

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