The range hood is an integral part of the kitchen, providing an effective way to ventilate the kitchen and creating a healthier environment by eliminating unwanted odor, grease, smoke, dust, and moisture.
When purchasing a range hood, or updating an existing one, there's a variety of accessories to consider. The right accessories will provide better air quality and less kitchen noise, while making your range hood as stylish, durable, and functional as possible.
The backsplash is a great way to add function and dynamic design to your range hood. Backsplashes protect the back wall from cooking splatter and easily wipes clean. It also adds style to your kitchen, allowing you to coordinate with the rest of your kitchen and home.
There are three different types of backsplashes to choose from: wall shields, individual tiles, and pre-assembled tile splashes.
Just be sure to measure the area where your backsplash will go so you know what dimensions to look for.
- Wall shields can come in different colors and materials like white, black, and neutrals, which are generally less expensive. Or you can find them in stainless steel, which is usually a bit pricier. You can also find wall shields with useful features, like utensil bars and storage shelves.
- Backsplash tiles come in a number of different colors and sizes with various designs to allow you to mix and match for a custom look.
- Pre-assembled tile splashes come in ceramic or marble and provide easy and convenient installation. They also tend to be more expensive than wall shields.
The blower is another vital range hood accessory, since all of the cooking contaminants collected in the hood are exhausted to the outside by this unit.
When buying a blower, determine the necessary CFM you need and what style range hood you have (wall mount, insert, island, or under cabinet). CFM stands for cubic feet per minute and refers to the amount of air a fan can move. Also, many blowers are designed specifically for use with certain ranges, so it's important to take note of this while shopping for a blower.
There are two types of ventilation systems to consider when buying a blower:
- Recirculating blowers are usually internal and are mounted on the interior of the house. They use a filter system to clean the air before circulating it back into the house.
- External blowers vent contaminated air outside the house through a series of vertical and horizontal ducts.
Additionally, external blowers come in two versions:
- In-line blowers are located within the house structure between the hood and the exterior vent cap.
- Exterior blowers can be mounted unobtrusively on the roof or outside wall of the house, depending on your appearance preference or to best suit the ducting requirements of the application. Exterior blowers generally have a safety screen to keep small animals and debris away from the blower and motor.
Many blowers come with a rough-in kit to simplify installation. Those that don't require the rough-in kit to be purchased separately. Furthermore, some blowers have built-in dampers, while others require the damper to be purchased separately. Final considerations include amps, hertz, duct size, dimensions, and weight for your range hood.
Duct covers feature multiple stylish options to cover unsightly ducting systems. You can find duct covers to match the style, size, and finish of your range hood. Some duct covers are only compatible with certain styles of range hoods, though. For example, one duct cover might be compatible with a wall mount range hood, but not with an island range hood. So, it's important to match the duct cover with the right range hood style.
You should also know the height of your ceiling, as most duct covers are specifically tailored to fit certain ceiling heights. However, if you find you have purchased a duct cover that does not properly fit the height of your ceiling, duct cover extensions which extend the height of the range hood are available.
The filter is an inexpensive but important part of your range hood. It traps grease, smoke, dust, and odor, prevents bacteria build-up, and protects the motor. Replacement filters are a necessary part of proper range hood maintenance. When purchasing a filter, you can choose a combination of style and power. Many filters specify which of range hood brand it fits, but it is possible to use filters with other brands if the dimensions are compatible.
There are two installations types when it comes to filters:
- Baffle filters are made of heavy gauge stainless steel for optimum performance and a professional look, although they do tend to be more expensive.
- Regular filters can be aluminum, charcoal, or carbon. There are also many options to purchase filters with special features. For instance, some charcoal filters change color when replacement is necessary. Other filters come with a light lens, while some are dishwasher safe.
If you're ready to stop worrying about changing filters, consider a self-cleaning range hood with filterless operation, or a range hood with an indicator light to let you know when it's time to replace your filter.
Hood liners provide a way to finish your custom hood and protect your cabinetry. Liners create a sealed, non-combustible perimeter around your hood, protecting its exterior base. Just find the specifications you need when choosing a hood liner. The liner and the outside cover must meet at the bottom edge of the metal liner in both width and depth. Conveniently, most hood liners allow depth adjustment of a few inches to provide application flexibility. Also, most hood liners feature a stainless steel finish, making them easy to wipe clean.
Other range hood accessories include downdrafts, transitions, controls/switches, pot rails, rough-in kits, and trim kits.