What You'll Learn
It's not surprising that most kitchens are equipped with a range hood. What is remarkable, however, is that most of these hoods do a lousy job of eliminating steam, smoke, grease and odors. That's because they simply recirculate the air by drawing it through a filter and blowing it back into the room. For a range hood to perform well, it must exhaust the dirty air to the outdoors. In this project, we'll show you how to replace an old recirculating unit with a new ducted range hood. In our kitchen, the range sat against an exterior wall, so we ran the duct out the rear of the hood and through the house wall. However, we could have also run the duct straight up into the upper cabinet and then cut through the roof or turned it down through the eave. For a range placed against an interior wall, the duct can go up into the soffit above the cabinets or between ceiling joists, and then out through the nearest exterior wall. Regardless of where you run the duct, be sure it leads outdoors; never end a ventilation duct inside an attic or other enclosed space. Most recirculating range hoods can be converted to an exhausted type with standard 7-in.-dia. round or 3 1/4 x 10-in. rectangular ducting. We opted to replace our range hood with a newer one that's a lot more effective. We installed the 30-in. Allure III ($399) from Broan-NuTone. It features sleek styling and dual halogen lamps that light up the range top. Plus, its fan operates at only 0.9 sones, which is 50 percent quieter than some comparable units. Drawing a respectable 250 cfm (cubic feet per minute) of air, the fan also features a "boost" setting that kicks the blower up to 400 cfm for extra power. There's even a delay-off mode that automatically turns off the range hood 20 minutes after you set it. The Allure III is designed for easy cleaning, too. Its two large filters are dishwasher safe and the steel cover behind the filters is coated with nonstick SilverStone, which means you can easily wipe off grease stains. The unit comes in 30-, 36- and 42-in. sizes in white, biscuit, almond, black and stainless steel. Prices start at about $200.