How High Should Range Hood be from the Stove

The fan size does not affect range hood height
  • For outdoors, range hoods should be installed between 36 to 42 inches above the stoves for all the sizes. However, you may keep the distance between 28 and 36 inches above the stoves indoors.
Kitchen hood height
  • Range hood mounting does not affect the height at which the installation is made, along with size.
  • Outdoors and indoor hoods have different installation heights.
Standard range hood heights
  • The standard range hood height above the gas range and range hood height above the electric stove are between 28 and 36 inches from the stove. It is less than 28 inches, it may damage the kitchen, while if it is more than 36 inches, your hood cannot pass air away from the stove effectively. This formula is applicable to island range hoods, wall mount range hoods, and range hood inserts.
  • Most of the range hood manufacturers suggest extending the range hood between 20 to 24 inches above your kitchen range, but professionally 28 inches is the ideal height for powerful vent hoods.
  • If the range hood is above the gas range, the rough distance should be between 25 and 30 inches, unless defined differently. 
  • Do not mount it below the said height, as it is essential for safety purposes. 
  • Similarly, avoid installing it beyond the upper limit, as it may not be suitable for your hood’s overall efficiency.
  • It is essential to check your range hood’s height because the flames may cause severe damage, and you may have an accident.
  • However, it would help if you were not panic about the hood in the kitchen, and it’s the distance in case of an electric stove. 

Video

Extra Features That May (or May Not) be Worth Your Money

Photo by Courtesy of IKEA
  • Multiple fan speeds: You really need only high and low settings. If you’ve got all the burners cranked up, you’ll need more ventilation. But a low speed should suffice when using just one or two pans over medium heat.
  • Heat sensors: By sensing temperature changes, some units will turn on the fan automatically or adjust to the appropriate speed.
  • Remote control: This can be useful for hard-to-reach island hoods or for times when you’re (briefly) away from the stove.
  • Exhaust timers: After a certain period of time, typically 10 minutes, this feature shuts off the blower automatically—handy if you want to leave the fan running to take care of lingering odors.
  • Built-in storage: Short on cabinet and counter space? Look for a hood with rails around the front and sides for hanging small pans and utensils. Certain designs also create a shallow shelf at the edge of the hood.

Shown: A built-in shelf and rails hold spices and utensils. IKEA Datid hood, about $680; ikea.com for stores

How high should an outdoor range hood be from the stove?

Outdoor range hoods should be mounted between 36 and 42 inches from your cooktop. The extra distance is needed due to the intense heat of outdoor grills.

Other Factors to Consider

A point not taken into account by many is the ideal height in relation to the person most likely to be cooking. The last thing you need is a hood that gets in your way. You may want to keep it above eye-level and definitely not in a position where you'd knock your head. This is something you will most likely discover after the installation is complete, if not carefully considered beforehand.

Possibly the most important factor is the CFM, or cubic feet per minute, of the unit you will be installing. Depending on the capacity of your range hood, you may be able to install it at a farther distance or install it closer for less powerful models. Do not install lower than the recommended minimum height because the minimum height is defined by safety tests, whereas the upper limit is based only on performance.

The installation height is something that needs to be thought about both during the kitchen design and while shopping for a new range hood. Generally speaking, if you can remember to follow a few steps, you can make an informed decision.

  1. While shopping for a range hood go into the process knowing you will be searching for range hoods designed specifically for your cooking application, gas or electric. Every product tends to have slightly varying mounting recommendations. The range hoods themselves are not built differently for gas or electric cooktops, but limited space based on the minimum installation height may limit your options.
  2. When laying out your kitchen cabinets consider the amount of space you will need for your desired kitchen hood. If you are replacing an existing model with cabinets already installed, find out how much space you have available before you go shopping.
  3. Consider the CFM needed for your desired height. If you want to increase the distance between the cooktop and the bottom of the range hood, you are likely going to need an increased CFM. Some sources recommend adding 100 CFM for every 3 inches above the maximum recommended positioning.

It is always suggested to follow the manufactures' suggested installation procedures. By following the installation guidelines provided in the product manual, you can be assured that the kitchen hood is working at the peak efficiency it was designed for in addition to ensuring your warranty is not void.

If for some reason you must deviate from the recommended instructions, such as a space limitation, or simply because a lower hood is likely to get in your way, you will want to carefully consider the effect a change in distance will have.

At best, a machine installed at the wrong height is going to reduce the benefit you are hoping to receive, increasing the chance of particles, grease and oil buildup around your kitchen and surrounding cabinets, and an inability to remove odors created as a byproduct of cooking. The worst-case scenario is a fire if the hood is placed too close to the cooktop.

The height of the ventilation unit may seem like one of the less important things to consider when planning your kitchen exhaust/filtration system, but a bad decision can have lasting effects. Together with the capture area and its corresponding depth and the effective CFM, the installation height, in my opinion, are three of the most important factors when choosing and installing range hoods. Having the right duct size and shape is also important.

How to Vent Properly

Venting is comprised of four elements, CFM, capture area, duct size, and duct run.

Let’s explore each.

CFM

CFM is cubic feet per minute or how many cubes of air are extracted per minute.

A 900 CFM blower means 900 cubes of air are extracted per minute. That’s roughly a small room of air. 

How Much CFM Do You Need?

It varies depending on how you cook and what you have for a stove.

If you like to grill, griddle, fry, or use a wok, then 900 to 1500 CFM is needed to extract the odor and grease from that type of high volume cooking.

For boiling water, you may need only 400 CFM or less.

Types of Blowers

Inside: Located inside the hood, it’s easier to service, but you do hear more noise.

Outside: Exterior blowers can be purchased in higher CFMs. They also are quieter, but you still hear the air rushing through the duct.

However, they are not easy to fix in the winter, and having a huge stainless steel mushroom cap on your house is not exactly good-looking.

In-Line: Mounted to the duct run, you have the quieter operation of the outside blower without the big motor outside your home.

Pro Tip: If you are planning an inline blower, then you need to build an access door in case you need service.

Capture Area

Capture is the most misunderstood aspect of ventilation.It’s roughly the height, width, and depth of the hood.

Smoke is chambered, then exhausted. It’s not immediately sucked out of your home. For high-volume cooking, buy a hood with a minimum of 24 inches in depth.

The power burners of most gas ranges are in the front at about 24 inches deep.

Ideally, you should keep a vent duct below 30 feet because the longer and more bent the duct, the less effective the venting will be.

Some ducts do tend to go 60-70 feet. Most that do, like downdrafts, won’t work.

Each elbow turn is equivalent to 6-8 feet of ducting, so you should rethink the duct pathway if the duct exceeds one elbow turn.

The best way to the duct is vertically, straight, and short. The next best is horizontally and short.

Duct Size

Duct size is a lot like capture area. Larger ducts will be able to exhaust more smoke, so use at least 6 inches. On the larger CFM blowers, you will need 8 or 10 inches.

Use a rigid duct only. Grease can be caught in the joints of a flexible duct. It’s against code in many states.

Make-Up Air

For new construction, any vent over 400 CFM needs the equivalent fresh air return.

It’s simple in new construction. Just plan for Make-Up Air as part of your HVAC.

The code in Massachusetts is 10 feet away and on the opposite wall if you want to retrofit it.

Read More: What Is Make-Up Air?

How far can a range hood be vented?

How far can you vent a range hood? Your range hood duct should not exceed 30′ for a straight run, 25′ for a run with one elbow, and 20′ for a run with two elbows. The shorter the duct, the better. If your ductwork is too long, your kitchen air may not reach the outside.

What happens if I mount my hood too far from my cooktop?

Some of the unwanted air in your kitchen will escape into your cooking space

Chances are high that you will turn your vent hood on and, as you continue to cook, you’ll notice smoke accumulating in the room. Over a long period of time, grease may begin to appear on surrounding cooking surfaces like your walls and ceiling.

This is because some cooking fumes will escape into your kitchen rather than travel through your ductwork and outside your home. This is not good at all! In fact, it defeats the purpose of having a functional vent hood. Then it’s just in your kitchen for looks.

The “effective capture area” does not span the entire distance between your range and your range hood

The effective capture area is the area that surrounds your fan where it captures all the grease, dirt, and other cooking fumes efficiently.

Check out our diagram of the effective capture area below. The gray shaded section is the capture area, where, as the name suggests, unwanted air is captured and funneled through your ductwork.

But here’s the key:

If your hood is mounted too far away from the cooktop, the extra few inches that the air has to travel are not within this effective capture area. The additional distance drastically decreases the hood’s efficiency, which is why the appropriate height is so crucial.

You will find yourself using the higher speeds often, reducing the life of your motor

Because unwanted air escapes, you may turn your hood on higher speeds to compensate. If you run it at maximum speed all the time, it will wear down.

The heated and cooled air may leave your home, costing you money unnecessarily

Another consequence of using the higher speeds too often is that you may remove heated or cooled air from your kitchen. As a result, you’ll have to turn your heater or air conditioning back on to cool/heat more air in your home.

You can solve this problem and save your money by initially mounting your hood at the right height. This will allow you to run it at lower speeds and pull just the right amount of air out of your home.

You may require makeup air

Another consequence of running your hood on max speed often is that you may require makeup air. When you turn it to max, although it may filter all of the unwanted contaminants from your cooking out of your kitchen, that air has to go somewhere.

If your hood is on for long enough, shortness of breath may occur. The air that leaves your kitchen is not being replaced at a fast enough rate, which is a sign you need a makeup air kit. 

Before you invest in makeup air, though, try simply opening a door or cracking a window to improve the ventilation in your kitchen.

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Some Additional Information

  • When determining the position of range hoods the countertop height is irrelevant and you only need to take into account the recommendation of the distance from the cooktop (the burners) to the capture area of the hood.
  • Whether you've got an island cooktop with a corresponding island hood or a wall backed stove and a wall-mounted range hood or under cabinet vent/hood is irrelevant when it comes to range hood height.
  • It is highly suggested that your ductwork does not use an extendable duct. This over years of operation tends to collect relatively larger oil and grease deposits which could turn into a fire hazard. Please note that this is not a common occurrence, but definitely one to keep in mind. Also, some building codes require you to use rigid ducting for your kitchen ventilation for this very purpose.
  • Keep in mind any building codes and the requirement of makeup air systems (required for CFMs above 400 in some municipalities).
  • When the machine is placed at the optimum level and it is designed with a good capture area and the CFM is based on your cooking and exhaust needs it would capture grease droplets, exhaust carbon monoxide, smoke, and moisture in the form of steam. This is your end goal. In the case of a non-vented system, the charcoal filters would take care of the odor and some fine particulates.

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