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Canopy Rangehoods Buying Guide

The purchase of rangehoods is often necessary. Designed to pull smoke and exhaust from a kitchen out of the home, it not only saves your cabinetry from a layer of grease but it also keeps the smoke detector from going off. There are numerous model choices available. Though features are limited, buyers should consider numerous makes and models to make a financially sound buying decision.

Key Factors to Consider

The first consideration is space. Though some models are space-savings, it is far less efficient and beneficial to purchase and install over-the-range microwaves with built-in rangehoods. These do not remove enough smoke and fumes from the space and may be less worthwhile for their expensive price.

Additionally, most buyer buy for the look of the device, which is not the right option. Rather, select a practical model instead of a stylish option (though some models do offer both.) Some models are pricy, ranging from $900 to $1000 but these do not necessary offer any additional benefits for their high price tag compared to other models.

What to Expect

Most importantly, buyers want to look for systems that test well. Some models are able to remove more smoke and fumes from the air than others are. Some operate at a much quieter level than others. Lighting, if available, may range as well.

What to Look For

When selecting rangehoods, select the type right for your space. This includes consider under cabinet hoods or canopies or wall mounted systems. You may also want to consider how they work. Some attach into the home's ductwork while others do not. Some vent directly out the back of the hood. Also, select a model that is about the size of the cooking surface. This provides ample coverage. You also want to avoid purchasing downdraft hoods, a unique type of model that has performed ineffectively in tests.


One of the main consideration factors when selecting these is the CFM rating. This is a measure of the cubic feet per minute of coverage the item provides. However, this is not the most important factor. In fact, some manufacturers have listed this as a feature of their product. However, this implies that more airflow means better or faster results, which is not necessarily the case. Rather, you want to ensure proper ability to capture smoke and to remove it is present.

Types of Rangehoods

Several types of rangehoods are on the market. Some offer far more flexibility than others. Often, individuals buy the same model they already have, but there is some flexibility and interchangeability in some models.

Canopy Rangehoods

Mounted to the bottom of the wall cabinet, these will feature ductwork inside a wall, soffit or the ceiling. Canopy Rangehood is a good one in most applications, but consider that most kitchen cabinets only come about half way across the stove. As such, these work to move steam and smoke away from the face of the cabinet and instead to the the suction end of the hood. It can take up significant cabinet space, though.

On Wall Rangehoods

On Wall Rangehoods does not connect to any cabinetry. Rather, it works as a chimney-like connection. This includes an exposed vent stack on the wall. This moves the ventilated exhaust outside.

Features to Look For

A range of features is available for rangehoods. The following are some of the most critical to invest in.

Airflow Ratings

As noted, most manufacturers tell you the airflow rate described in CFM ratings. The higher number does include faster ventilation, though this does not mean there is a guarantee of smoke capture.

Thermostat Controls

Some models now have a built-in temperature sensor. This can be a good thing because, as it senses the heat rising, it will automatically turn on and begin working. However, if a fire starts on the stovetop, this type of automatic turn-on can cause more air to be added to the fire, making it worse. Look for models you can manually turn on.


Some systems will have a timer. The timer feature can be a good feature because it will automatically shut off the system after a set number of minutes so you do not have to remember to do so.

Fans and Fan Speed

One of the key comparison features is the number of fans the system has and, most importantly, the speed. Most offer between three and six fan speeds. You will want a model that offers at least a two-speed option. However, numerous speeds do not add anything of real value to the system.

Top Brands

There are some brands better known than others. Consider the following.

  • Electrolux - A solid seller, it offers various configurations and type options. These are mid-range priced and are sold in most home improvement stores. The Nutone Line is lower priced whereas the Best by Broan is higher priced, though the quality is about the same.

  • Westinghouse - Mostly under cabinet and wall chimney models, most are low to moderately priced. Expect expensive models to offer additional features, which may or may not be worthwhile.

  • Fisher & Paykel - Known for its value and dependability, this brand option offers most configuration types.


Selecting rangehoods is often done as a way to prevent fires and to improve air quality. Do not skimp on a lower airflow model with fewer fans to save money. These last for years and provide ample protection every time you turn on the stove. Furthermore, there are many rangehood parts to choose from in case something breaks and requires repairs.

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