Ventilation Tips

A few weeks ago I attended my first Washington/Baltimore National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) Chapter meeting since moving to the area. The speaker was from BEST Range Hoods, who inspired me to share a few simple yet important tips on proper ventilation in the Kitchen. Here goes!

duoDuo hood by Zephyr, one of my favorites since you can add a piece of wood for a stacked look that ties in with your cabinetry and finishes.

IMPORTANCE – Ventilation systems keep grease off your cabinets and countertops and out of your home. They also remove smells, moisture, smoke, dust, bacteria and heat. They replenish oxygen, remove carbon dioxide and improve indoor air circulation.

WIDTH – Use a hood that is at least as wide as the cooktop, I like to oversize it 6″ to 12″ to make it more functional and give the area more visual importance.

DEPTH – The hood should be deep enough to completely cover the rear burners and half of the front burners. I usually specify 21″ or 22″ for custom hoods, standard pro style hoods depths are 22″ to 27″.

This is a custom hood I helped to design in the front of the Hollywood Sierra Kitchens showroom in West Hollywood (where I used to work before the big move). This hood is 48″ wide, over-sized 12″ from the 36″ Miele induction cooktop. It is 21″ deep, made of brushed stainless steel with polished straps.


ISLAND HOODS – Should be over-sized 3″ on all sides of the cooking surface.

DUCTING – Always duct the hood to the outdoors with an internal or external blower. Allow for proper make-up air to eliminate backdrafting. Round ducts are more effective than rectangular ducts.

CFM – Stands for “cubic feet per minute” a unit of measuring air flow. To calculate how many you need for your hood, divide the number of BTUs of your cooking surface by 100. If you have a griddle or grill with your range add 200 CFM’s to the total. For example, this 6 burner Wolf dual fuel range that many of my clients use has 84,200 BTUs, that divided by 100 is 842. So you would need to use a 900CFM ventilation hood with that range.

DOWNDRAFTS – Avoid them when possible, since they are located behind the back burners where many don’t cook. They also aren’t very powerful or effective since heat rises.

MICRO HOODS – Since these aren’t ducted they should be avoided. (Plus they are usually loud and ugly)

TECHNOLOGY – Hoods are “smart” and getting smarter. Certain hoods by BEST have a setting where they turn themselves on automatically when needed and also have a light that tells you when to change the filter and how well it’s working.


This is the Cirrus hood from the Sorpresa collection by BEST, it’s installed in the ceiling so it’s intended for installations like this with the cooking surface on an island or peninsula. Since it’s installed in the ceiling or in a soffit area it doesn’t obstruct the view, whether that’s into your Family Room or onto a lovely ocean view like this.

*Photo from Wood-Mode Fine Cabinetry and BEST

Here’s a Youtube video of the Cirrus hood in action installed in an 8ft ceiling.


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