Buying the best rangehood for your kitchen: expert advice - Lifestyle AU
Buying the best rangehood for your kitchen: expert advice

Buying the best rangehood for your kitchen: expert advice

Rangehoods are an important feature of the modern kitchen, capturing and removing steam, grease and heat from your cooking environment. Despite their importance, most people don’t know a lot about them and when it comes to refitting or updating a kitchen, are not sure how to choose the best rangehood for their new space.

Words by Yohei Guy

Rangehoods improve the air quality of your home during cooking. But with all the options available, what actually makes a rangehood better than the rest and how do you choose between them? By understanding the fundamentals you’ll be better placed to buy one that delivers.

Falcon Stainless Steel 90cm Canopy Rangehood

Ducted or recirculating rangehoods?

When deciding on which type of rangehood to buy, you need to know how the air will leave your kitchen. Your home layout will affect the type of rangehood ventilation you can choose. Some rangehoods vent outdoors, and some do not vent at all.

Ducted rangehoods are the most effective at ventilating air. They suck cooking odours and smoke outside through ducting. They are harder to install because they involve installing ducts.

Recirculating rangehoods run the dirty air through a filter, then the air flows back into the kitchen. Cooking particles get trapped in a metal mesh filter. This type of rangehood is easy to install.

Types of rangehoods

Knowing which style of rangehood will fit your kitchen will help when you start shopping. Your kitchen appliances will also be a factor in choosing a rangehood.

Canopy rangehoods

Canopy rangehoods are the most popular choice and are usually made of stainless steel. They can get installed against a wall or over an island cooktop. They perform well because they cover the whole cooktop area.

Undermount rangehoods

Undermount styles get installed as part of the kitchen cupboards. They are high quality option because they are stylishly discreet. The collection area of this type is smaller, as it does not cover the entire cooktop but they are designed to be effective nonetheless.

Schweigen Silent Undermount Rangehood 900mm UM-PA9S

Fixed rangehoods

Fixed rangehoods are good at capturing steam and smoke, as they tend to be larger. They can be wall-mounted or mounted above an island. Because of their size, they are a statement piece of a kitchen.

Slide-out rangehoods

Slide-out rangehoods get installed under your kitchen cabinets. When you slide it out, a fan turns on, and the lights turn on. They have a smaller collection area but can tuck out of sight when not in use.

Downdraft ventilation

Downdraft vents get installed behind a cooktop. They rise when in use and lower when not in use. This style sucks the fumes out and pushes them down through a duct.

Bertazzoni Professional Series 52 cm built-in hood, 1 motor

Factors in choosing the best rangehood

There are a few more factors to think about when choosing a rangehood. Keep in mind how big your cooktop is and how you want your rangehood to vent. Noise level and maintenance are also factors to think about before buying.


Before you make your purchase, you will need to measure the size of your cooktop. The size of your rangehood should ideally match that of your cooktop. This allows for proper ventilation while cooking.

You will also need to know the size of the space where it will be installed. Knowing the amount of space you have above your cooktop will help ensure you don’t make any unfortunate mistakes.


The ventilation type will often depend on the layout of your kitchen. Ducted rangehoods will need ventilation to the outside of your home. If you can’t add ducting, you need to choose a recirculating model.

Noise level

When inspecting one at the shop or showroom, turn it on and listen to the noise level in the store. The style and fan speed will affect how loud or quiet it is. There are also some options for a soundproof motor!


To ensure it stays in good working order, you need to clean the mesh filter. It should come with instructions on how often to do this. If you cannot clean your filter, you will need to replace it when necessary.

Schweigen Silent BBQ Rangehood 1200mm - CL7272S


Rangehoods have a life expectancy of around 14 years. To make sure you keep your rangehood around for a long time, you need to take care of it. Regular cleaning and filter replacement can extend the life of your rangehood.


Lighting is important for rangehoods as the design can often cover the ambient lighting in the kitchen, so the rangehood lighting will be your main source of light for cooking. Pick one with good lighting and easy-to-replace bulbs. LED lights are great for this as they will save power and last longer than incandescent bulbs.


No matter what type you go with, it will have a filter. Aluminium filters are the easiest to clean and are the cheapest to replace. Recirculating rangehoods also have a carbon filter that you need to change regularly.

Ease of installation

Most rangehoods are easy to install if you have a power source nearby. If you don’t have a power source, you will need an electrician to install one first so be sure to take this into account when budgeting.

When installing a recirculating rangehood, you will need to mark where to drill the holes for attachment. Make sure you note the minimum height from the cooktop provided by the manufacturer. Fasten it to the wall or cabinets and plug it in!

A ducted rangehood is a bit more involved. You will need to create space for piping to ventilate outside the home. If you don’t feel comfortable knocking holes in your walls, you may want to hire an HVAC professional for help.

Falcon Stainless Steel 110cm Canopy Rangehood

Find the best rangehood for your home

There are so many options when it comes to kitchen ventilation and choosing the best rangehood for your home depends on a number of factors like cooktop size and kitchen style. Having a solid grasp of the basics will help you make a choice that works for you and your home.

Recommended reading