5 Benefits of Standard Kitchen Range HoodS
For the purposes of this article, we’ll call any hood that isn’t a microwave a “standard” range hood. A standard kitchen hood would be a canopy, under-cabinet or retractable downdraft hood. When comparing a standard over-the-range hood vs. a microwave hood, consider these benefits.
1. More venting strength available
A range hood with strong venting capabilities helps clear the air while you create with messy techniques like frying, searing and sauteing. Standard range hoods tend to offer higher CFM Motor Class1 ratings than microwaves, which means they can often suck up more air per minute (cubic feet per minute). While some microwave hood combinations feature CFM ratings that are comparable to standard hoods, the highest CFMs available will typically be in a standard range hood, particularly a canopy, retractable or commercial-style hood. You can also learn more about how a range hood works with our guide.
Standard range hood: Typically 200 to 600 CFM Motor Class available. Some commercial-style models reach up to around 1200 CFM Motor Class.
Microwave hood combination: Typically 200 to 500 CFM Motor Class available.
1. Performance varies based on installation. Resources available at AHAM.org.
2. External Venting Widely Available
Many canopy and retractable downdraft hoods are ducted, which means they vent kitchen air out of the house through ductwork in the wall, ceiling or floor. Microwave hood combinations and under-cabinet hoods, on the other hand, typically come factory set to recirculate air, meaning they filter the air then push it back out into the kitchen.
3. High heat tolerance
If you have a commercial-style gas range, you may have a burner that puts out high BTUs. BTUs (British Thermal Units) measure the amount of heat a gas burner can produce. High-BTUS burners demand a vent hood that can handle that heat and clear the byproducts of combustion the range is capable of producing. Higher BTU burners also usually require a bit more clearance between the cooking surface and the vent hood.
Most standard gas ranges can be paired with a microwave hood, but if you have a commercial-style range with high BTU burners, you’ll likely want a standard range hood. Standard hoods usually have stronger heat tolerance than microwave hood combinations, and are often installed higher above the range as well. Canopy hoods and retractable downdraft hoods will often have the highest BTU ratings. Keep in mind that range hood installation requirements vary by design and may require different clearances. Check the installation instructions to ensure you choose the right hood for your space.
4. Style and Aesthetics
Some people use their range hoods to enhance the look and feel of their kitchen. Many canopy hoods feature modern, clean lines and shiny stainless steel that can add to the style of a contemporary kitchen. Some canopy hoods are more curvilinear, so may work better in a traditional-style kitchen. Under-cabinet hoods and retractable downdraft hoods are often hardly noticeable if you prefer a streamlined, minimal look.
5. Advanced Venting Features Available
You may find some features on standard range hoods that you won’t see on a microwave hood combination. For example, select KitchenAid® canopy and under-cabinet hoods offer Perimetric Ventilation which pulls air from the edges of the hood, speeding up the movement of air at the intake. Higher-end canopy hoods can come with automatic features that can sense what type of venting you need like Automatic Turn On and the Automatic Speed Setting by KitchenAid.