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The Lowdown on Range Hoods - Are They Really Necessary? - Farmhouse Kitchen and Bath

The Lowdown on Range Hoods - Are They Really Necessary?

A range hood is a device that is installed above your cooktop or stove to remove smoke, steam, and cooking odors from the kitchen. No doubt it is considered a "nice to have", but is it really necessary? The short answer is yes. Read along to find out why:

A range hood helps to improve the air quality in your kitchen by removing smoke, steam, and cooking odors. This can be especially important if you have allergies or respiratory issues. What's more, cooking can produce harmful pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and formaldehyde (ew!) A range hood can help to remove these pollutants from the air and further reduce the risk of health problems.

Cooking also typically produces moisture, which can lead to mold and mildew growth if you aren't careful. A range hood helps to remove moisture from the air, reducing the risk of these problems.

Lastly, a range hood can help to reduce the risk of fire in the kitchen by removing smoke and grease from the air, also helping with visibility as the steam and smoke can create a haze that makes it difficult to see.

Ok, ok, we get it - we need a range hood. But we have to ask - couldn’t we just rely on an above-range ventilated microwave?

The simple answer is yes, however it is a little more complicated. 

An above range microwave with ventilation is a good option for smaller apartments or homes that have limited kitchen space as it acts as a two in one, however, most would argue a range hood as it has a few benefits over your microwave's ventilation capabilities.

A range hood is specifically designed to remove smoke, steam, and cooking odors from your kitchen. It is typically more effective at ventilation than a microwave, which can only vent a limited amount of air. If you sauté or bake frequently at high temperatures, a range might be a better option. Like cooking up batches of fried fish or fragrant curries? Say it with me, range hood.

Safety is also an important element to consider. Range hoods are designed to capture smoke and grease, which can be a potential fire hazard if they build up over time. Most ventilated microwaves do not offer this type of protection. Additionally, range hoods typically have higher airflow rates and larger filters to trap airborne particles, which makes them more effective at removing pollutants from the air

Lastly, we think range hoods are beautiful. Always the focal point of the kitchen, a range/hood combo are quite literally the heart and lungs of the kitchen. The variety of shapes and materials that are available compliment most any style from farmhouse to modern to eclectic

So yes, you need a ventilation system in your kitchen whether it be a microwave or a hood. Ultimately, the choice between a microwave with a ventilation system and a range hood will depend on your individual needs, cooking habits, and the size of your kitchen. If you cook frequently and generate a lot of smoke and steam, a range hood would be a better (and prettier) option.

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