Are you interested in buying a recirculating kitchen range hood?
You have found the right website.
Owning the right ventless range hood is an important step to having a healthy indoor air quality and to remove unwanted odors.
In this expert buyer’s guide, you will learn…
- The top #1 best rated ductless range hood of 2019
- How ductless range hoods work
- Wiring a non-vented range hood to the electrical system
- Why ductless range hoods are so much easier to install
- The main features and differences between self-venting range hoods
Let’s get started with this guide!
Our Top 3 Best Ventless Range Hoods
- Cosmo 5MU30 30-in Under-Cabinet Range Hood 200-CFM
- Broan-NuTone 413004 Range Hood, 30-Inch, Stainless Steel
- Cosmo UC30 30-in Under-Cabinet Range Hood 760-CFM Ductless Convertible
What is a Ductless Kitchen Range Hood?
A ductless range hood is simply an exhaust fan (similar to bathroom exhaust fan) that is placed above a kitchen cooktop or stove.
Range hoods are used to minimize cooking odors, fumes, smoke, and grease from being inhaled or spread throughout the home — creating a much healthier home environment.
A recirculating range hood uses a charcoal filter that absorbs the cooking fumes and grease, and then sends the exhausted air back into the home.
The charcoal filter will have to replaced periodically, but is very easy to do.
Most self-venting range hoods are “convertible” hoods which means to make it ventless, you will have to purchase a charcoal filter separately.
The controls for a ductless range hood are very simple and basic.
Usually there are a few settings for the fan speed (such as low, medium, and high), and there will be a control for the lighting.
Non-vented range hoods are meant to be turned on manually when you are cooking anything that will cause smoke or fumes.
What Are The Benefits of a Non-Ducted Range Hood?
Ease of Installation
Probably the biggest benefit of a ventless range hood is the ease of installation.
A “through the wall” vent used by some range hoods has a number of components such as a metal vent, an exterior vent cover, and the wall holes.
Just cutting into an exterior wall and piping a metal vent pipe all the way to the kitchen stove can be a very difficult job to say the least.
Installing ductwork to the outside may involve cutting into a brick wall, or even cutting into the roof.
A recirculating range hood avoids the mess of installing an exterior vent and can same a large amount of time and grief.
Ventless range hoods can sometimes be installed in less than ten minutes.
It can literally be as simple as a few screws and simply plugging the range hood into an outlet.
Read Also: Improve Indoor Air Quality With HVAC Ultraviolet Lights
Avoid Carbon Monoxide Hazards
Also, because the range hood is self-circulating, you won’t have to worry about creating a negative air pressure problem inside the home.
If your kitchen range hood is sucking out air and putting it outside (the vented type) it may cause pressure problems and even create a carbon monoxide hazard.
If you have natural gas appliances such as a gas-fired furnace, and you install an overly powerful “exterior vented” range hood, it may literally cause your furnace to spill it’s exhaust back into the home — a problem known as backdrafting.
But with ductless or non-vented range hoods, this isn’t a problem that you will have to consider, because all of the air is self-circulated back into the home (rather than going outside).
Indoor Air Quality
If you have ever cooked anything without a working range hood, you know how unhealthy the air can become.
According to Environmental Health Perspectives, the three main pollutants released from cooking are carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter.
In fact, these indoor pollutants can be significantly higher on the inside of our homes than we will ever experience outside.
I used to live in a small apartment with a broken range hood, and whenever I cooked steak — smoke would fill the apartment and choke me.
You can imagine how unhealthy inhaling smoke, grease, and cooking fumes into your lungs can be.
Of course, this doesn’t include the annoyance of cooking smells to your neighbors or other home occupants.
You don’t want these particles into your lungs, trust me.
With a typical outdoor vented range hood, there is also potentially significant energy losses because you are expelling conditioned air to the outside.
Besides the problem of sending conditioned air to the exterior, the long vent hose can be a source of air leakage.
Especially with today’s highly energy efficient homes, a ductless range hood may be a much more energy efficient choice.
How To Install a Self-Venting Range Hood?
A wall mounted ductless range hood is installed by using a few screws and securing it underneath a cabinet (above the stove) as well as the wall behind it.
If the unit comes with a plug, you simply have to plug it into a wall outlet, which is usually the receptacle in the cabinet above the stove.
If the unit is hardwired, it will have to be wired into to the electrical system—an electrician is recommended.
There are also devices called “pigtail plugs” which can be purchased so a range hood can simply be plugged in to an outlet if the non-ducted range hood was made to be hardwired.
How To Pick The Best Re-circulation Range Hood?
Picking the best ductless range hood for a kitchen involves a few key choices such as price, strength of the fan (the CFM rating), ease of installation, and aesthetics.
If you have a large cooktop or stove, you will want to have a non-vented range hood with a higher fan strength so it will eliminate all of those cooking fumes.
However, if your kitchen is small or standard-sized, and your oven is also normal sized, I would recommend going with a non-vented range hood in the 200-300 CFM arena.
For aesthetics, I always prefer the stainless steel look, but if your existing appliances are black, I would definitely go for a black ventless range hood to match.
Where To Buy The Best Ductless Range Hood?
The best place to buy a ventless range hood is Amazon due to a wide selection of range hoods, great prices, and fast delivery.
I mean, who wants to drive to a Big Box store when you have some time off?
With Amazon, you can read the reviews, carefully read the specs, and know that the range hood will be delivered within a few days.
What Are The Best Ductless Range Hoods? (**2019 Review)
Here is our best budget friendly ductless range hood to remove cooking fumes.
This Cosmo brand hood is 200CFM and is installed underneath a cabinet or against a wall.
It has a 3-speed fan and comes with two LED lights.
This model comes in 30″ and 36″ with a slim profile.
A brushed stainless steel hood, it is stylish and easy to clean.
- A quiet range hood (less than 56dB at max speed)
- Comes with two bright LED lights — energy efficient
- 200CFM so it is strong enough for most home cooks
- A very affordable price
- Will have to purchase a Carbon Filter separately to work as ductless
- Uses a standard 3-prong plug so to hardwire requires a bit more work
- Comes with four drywall screws which may not be very strong
Here is another budget friendly self-venting kitchen range hood for all of your cooking needs.
This stainless steel 30″ range hood can be made ductless with the addition of a charcoal filter.
It uses a 75 watt bulb for great light (an LED bulb can also be used).
The hood comes with a protective light lens that evenly distributes light so you can see clearly what you are cooking.
This unit is made to hardwire into your electrical system.
- 2 speed fan
- Stainless steel finish
- Air is vented upwards towards the ceiling
- Light bulb not included
- If you wish to use an outlet, you will have to install a pigtail plug
- Poor instruction booklet
Here is our premium choice for a self-circulating kitchen range hood that looks amazing.
This stainless steel range hood has a European style that is sure to turn heads.
The hood is a powerful 760CFM’s, and comes with a 3-speed fan.
The filter baffles are also stainless steel that gives it a professional chef look.
- A powerful fan that moves 760 cubic feet per minute
- Stainless steel filter baffles for a unique look
- Can be made ductless with a carbon filter purchase
- Comes with electrical plug
- Some users have complained about noise
- Requires more work if you wish to hardwire the hood
- 25 pounds so it may require two people to install
- A unique European look with stainless steel filter baffles.
- It moves air at 760 cubic feet per minute, twice as powerful as standard hoods — greatly reducing cooking fumes.
3. Ease of Install
- Comes with a plug so no wiring required, just plug it into a receptacle.