Vent hoods help with smoke, steam, and splattered grease when cooking on the stove. When installing one, however, you have to make sure you get its height just right. How high should your vent hood be above your stove? In this post, we lay out our research to answer this question!
Vent hoods should be at a minimum of 20" above your stove or cooktop and 30" at a maximum. This measurement can vary depending on the specifications of your vent hood model, or on the layout of your kitchen.
The height of your vent hood does not always cross your mind until you realize how much it can affect kitchen performance. Like any appliance, there is a right way to set up your vent hood. To learn more about getting the best vent hood height and why it matters, keep on reading.
How High Should A Vent Hood Be Above Stove
A vent hood, also called a range hood or kitchen hood, mounts over your stove to filter out steam and grease while cooking. So, it must be at the right height. While the standard safety minimum is 20 inches, you may want to go a little higher for gas stoves.
The rule of thumb for vent hood heights is 20" to 24" for electric stoves and 24" to 30" for gas stoves. Even outdoor grills can benefit from a vent hood. In this case, the vent hood height is higher with a minimum height of 36" to a maximum of 42".
The height can vary depending on the type of stove you have because some stoves emit more fumes than others. For example, with electric stoves, you only really need to worry about steam and grease. For gas stoves, having to deal with flames comes into the picture.
Vent Hood Too Low Or Too High
Why does vent hood height matter, anyway? Well, it is a matter of both safety and performance. Vent hoods that are too low will hinder your movement and can get in the way of your cooking. If you are taller, then you can consider mounting your vent hood higher.
On the other hand, vent hoods that are too high will also affect how well the appliance can function. The steam and oils will spread out into the room before they can even reach the vent hood to be cycled out. More powerful vent hoods, however, can afford to be mounted higher.
Lastly, consider the other things in your kitchen. Are there any light fixtures or cabinets that you will also have to work around? There are under-cabinet vent hoods that you can install. Just make sure that your cabinets are high up to give enough clearance between the vent hood and stove.
There should be no obstructions between your vent hood and stovetop. Keep this in mind when mounting your vent hood or range hood.
Should A Vent Hood Be Flush To The Front Of The Stove?
In carpentry, something is flush when two pieces are directly level or aligned with each other. A range hood must be flush with the front of the stove. As much as possible, it has to cover your whole stove, so it should at least be directly in front of the middle burners.
Some vent hoods mount on the wall or come down from the middle of the ceiling depending on the placement of your stove in the kitchen. This entails choosing a vent hood that is the same measurements as the stove.
How To Choose The Right Vent Hood
When choosing the right vent hood, you will have to consider its function, its dimensions, and of course the budget. Vent hood dimensions in particular are important to take note of since it has to fit your stove or gas range perfectly.
Next, consider how powerful your vent hood needs to be. Depending on how high up it will end up in your kitchen, it has to be strong enough to filter steam out. Of course, the more powerful the appliance the higher the price, so that would be another thing for you to factor in.
How Much Does Vent Hood Installation Cost
Let's say your vent hood has not been installed yet. You could install your vent hood on your own, with the help of a friend or two. This is why it is handy to know how high your vent hood should be.
However, it might be best to hire a contractor if you are not confident enough to DIY. Trying to install big appliances on your own can be dangerous if you are not cut out for the task.
Hiring someone to do a vent hood installation will cost you $400 at the cheapest and around $1000 or more at the higher end. You can even expect to pay up to almost $1,600. Depending on your contractor, you might have to pay per hour. The average for this is $100 per hour.
Do I Need An Outdoor Vent Hood?
Vent hoods are a natural inclusion for indoor kitchens since they are an exhaust for contaminated air. But how about for outdoor setups?
Well, if you are grilling in your backyard, you certainly do not need a vent hood nor do you have a place to install one, but some outdoor kitchens could benefit from this.
Take for example an outdoor kitchen situated right outside your house but not completely outside. You could probably make do with the open sides of your outdoor kitchen, but if you want a more powerful exhaust, then having a vent hood would not hurt.
Vent hoods are great for protecting your kitchen set-up. This is especially true for stoves that are up against a wall. Without a vent hood, steam, grime, and exhaust linger around you and your kitchen, sticking to everything.
Grease and soot will stick to your walls and countertops. Odors will linger in the air and stay for a long time. This can be unpleasant for you and any guests you might be having over.
So, indoor vent hood benefits will translate to an outdoor kitchen. Any kitchen setup is susceptible to dirt, grease, and smell buildup. Unless your outdoor kitchen has round-the-clock air circulation, you can risk breathing in polluted air.
Plus, outdoor kitchens tend to have heavier-duty grills and cooking equipment. This will let out more exhaust compared to regular stoves, so you could use the extra vent.
How Much CFM For A Vent Hood
If you own a vent hood or are currently in the market for one, you have probably heard of the term CFM. This stands for cubic feet per minute, which is essentially how much your vent hood can circulate air. The minimum standard CFM for kitchen-grade vent hoods is 350 CFM.
When choosing the vent hood CFM, take into account the type of stove you have. For example, CFM for electric stoves is lower compared to gas stoves. You can make do with 300 CFM and a little less. You can also try looking up the recommended type of vent hood for your stove online.
The more emissions your stove top and cooking make, the more power your vent hood will need. Consider even going up to 1200 or higher CFM for outdoor use, such as with grills.
Outdoor barbecues can last for hours if you are hosting an event. So, a vent hood with a lot of power should be able to keep up with your needs. Keeping your vent hood on even when cooking outdoors will decrease health risks from the exhaust in the air and heat build-up.
Vent Hood Height Calculator
If you want to get technical, you can look up a vent hood height and CFM calculator online. All you have to do is plug in your vent hood dimensions (or select your vent hood type) to the formula, as well as a couple of other variables, and compute!
Admittedly, this option can be a little tricky. There are helpful guides that walk you through the calculators, though. Should you not be a fan of crunching numbers, then the surest way of determining the height your vent hood needs to be is to base it on the model requirements.
You can find this out for yourself through your vent hood manual. If you do not have access to this, then check the surface of your vent hood for its model and brand. Once you have located it, type it into a web search bar with the phrase "user manual" or "mounting height".
Wrapping Things Up
As a rule of thumb, vent hoods should not be mounted lower than 20" from the top of your stove. This distance will vary somewhat depending on the type of stove you have and the size of your vent hood. Typically, gas ranges and grills need more space between the vent hood and higher CFM.
Did you find this post helpful? If you did, check out our other articles before you go!