Under The Hood: Ventilation In Your Kitchen Remodel

Under the hood: Ventilation in your kitchen remodel Lifestyle Cabinetry and Millwork

As you set forth to remodel your kitchen, don’t forget your range hood and the associated ductwork. Kitchen renovations are a good excuse to take a close look at how well your current ventilation works, identify missing features you’d love to have, or up the style and function of your range hood.

Value of your range hood and ventilation

Ventilation may not seem like the most exciting aspect of your kitchen remodel, but it’s nonetheless one of the most important factors to consider. A range hood serves the following practical purposes:

  • Prevent lingering smells. The most obvious value of kitchen ventilation, and one of the most important.
  • Cleaner surfaces. Smoke and grease that aren’t removed by ventilation eventually end up settling on your counters, stovetop, and floor.
  • Cleaner air. Those same particles that make the air smell funny and leave your countertops greasy lower air quality significantly. You don’t want to breathe that stuff in.
  • Cooling. A kitchen can get quite hot; pulling the excess heat out of the air can keep it comfortable more efficiently.
  • Control moisture. Your kitchen, like your bathroom, needs extra ventilation in part to keep moisture from becoming a problem. Mold, mildew, and pests all enjoy moisture-rich kitchens.

Options and features

Before you make any concrete decisions about what to do with ventilation during your remodel, you need a firm understanding of your existing hood and ductwork and your options for remodeling.

Hood types

  • Under cabinet. Mount beneath a cabinet and run through the wall or cabinet and into your vents.
  • Island. Mounted to the ceiling over an island cooktop.
  • Downdraft. Vent air down through floor ducts instead of the ceiling or wall, most commonly used for island cooktops.
  • Wall chimney. Used with cooktops with no nearby cabinets, these feature decorative covers to hide the ducts and vent through the wall or ceiling like an under cabinet hood.

There are also variations of some of these. There are versions of range hoods which fold away or slide out of sight when they aren’t needed. You can also get ductless variants which filter air and pass it back into the kitchen, but these are less effective and efficient than traditional ranges.

You may also want to assess your existing or new range hood on specs and features such as

  • Airflow in cubic feet per minute.
  • Fan speed options.
  • Thermostat controls
  • Timers.
  • Filter options.
  • Lighting.

Fitting old ductwork to new appliances

If you decide you’re satisfied with your existing ventilation solutions, you’ll still need to figure out how to fit new appliances into the existing system. If you’re satisfied with your existing range hood and its location, you shouldn’t have any problems at all. Swapping a new range hood in should also be a low-labor process relative to your overall remodeling efforts.

Relocating your cooktop to a new location while keeping your old ventilation is much more difficult, but may still be possible. You’ll need to carefully inspect the range hood and the ducts associated with it to determine how much leeway you have for repositioning.

Adding new ventilation

If you decide to remodel your ventilation, or you’re forced to by incompatibilities or inadequacies in your existing ductwork, you’ll want to plan carefully. Ductwork adds quite a lot of expense and labor to your remodeling project.
Major changes to ductwork can involve changes beyond the scope of normal DIY, so include ventilation considerations early in your remodel planning. If you can position your range such that your ducts can pass between joists, it’s a much easier project. Otherwise, you may need a professional contractor to work it out. If you have any questions about ventilation in your kitchen, contact Lifestyle Cabinetry and Millwork for suggestions and ideas for your kitchen remodel.