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A Review Of Interior, Exterior and Recirculating Ventilation (Prices / Ratings)

July 11th, 2012 | 3 min. read

By Steve Sheinkopf

Which is better Interior, Exterior or Recirculating vents? The average household will produce 4 gallons of grease inside their house. Yuck. 15% of this is spatter, but 85% of this is vaporized in terms of stains and odors, so proper ventilation is important. Ranges, especially gas, are also more powerful and require better ventilation solutions. Each type will be defined with popular styles and prices.

In this video you'll learn all about choosing proper ventilation and the different styles for your home

Wistia video thumbnail - Choosing the Best Kitchen Ventilation

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First, do not underutilize what you currently have. Let’s begin with a simple question. Do you usually start cooking, THEN turn on your hood, microwave or downdraft to help remove steam, smoke, and smell? That is completely wrong. You should ALWAYS turn on the hood at least 5 minutes before cooking. This helps move the air and will greatly assist in venting odors.

Let’s discuss cooking patterns. Some people simply boil, others grill. Some use an array of spices, others like to sauté. Some cook for large families, some have professional style gas ranges, while others have the old fashioned coil-top ranges. How you cook and what you cook on really determines your choice of ventilation.

There are 2 ways to vent, internal (recirculation) and external (venting steam and odors to the outside). For external venting, the blower can be internal (inside the hood) or external (outside the house).


Interior venting or recirculation, is typically found when using an over-the-range microwave or a less expensive hood. It is also found in many renovation projects where it is impossible to duct to an outside location. Interior vents work with two filters, the main visible filter and then an internal charcoal filter. Interior vents have not changed much over the last few years, but the average gas range has increased from 40,000 BTUs to at least 50,000 and up to 70,000 for a professional range. The average recirculating vent will have problems handling the added volume. Buy this as a last resort and dial down the cooking accordingly.

Most Popular Recirculating Hoods:

Jenn-Air Microwave JMV8208WS (310 CFM) - $599


Broan Allure Hood QS330SS (430 CFM) - $429


Zephyr Breeze II Hood AK2100AS (400 CFM) - $649


Broan Hood QS130SS (220 CFM) - $189 


Microwaves are all 310 CFM and can be vented or non vented with an extra charcoal filter. Recirculating hoods have a maximum rating of 400 CFM, so high volume cooking like stir frying should be minimized.

Interior Blower (External Venting)

External ventilation can be found in over-the-range microwaves, range hoods, and downdraft applications. Most people prefer an internal blower, simply because the motor assembly is in the hood, as opposed to a box on the outside of the home. It is also easier to service as the tech doesn't have to climb the roof. Internal blowers can have a blower speed of up to 1,200 CFM. CFM, or cubic foot per minute, is a measure of how many cubes of air can be discharged in one minute (more power, more cubes). Download a ventilation guide with a CFM sizing chart. An interior blower can be used with almost any style of range except 60 inch or the odd 48 inch configuration. Interior blowers can be part of the hood itself typically to 700 CFM or purchased as an accessory from 800-1200 CFM.

Popular Hoods with Internal Blowers:

Jenn-Air RH70236AS (1100 CFM) - $1399


Yale RH20230AG (250 CFM) - $599


External Blowers

External blowers pull air from a remote location and can have the highest CFM at up to 1,800, which is great for large professional ranges with grills and/or griddles. However, most people buy this vent thinking it is much quieter than an inside blower. Unfortunately, it is not, as you will hear air being pulled to the motor. 

Popular Hoods with External Blowers:

Thermador HMCN36FS $1,599 + VTR1030D (1,000 CFM) External Blower - $729


Best K210A36SS $799 + EB9 (900 CFM) External Blower - $619

best range hood K210A36SS

How to Buy a Vent:

Recirculate as a last resort.

Assess how you cook. Stir frying, barbecuing, and griddling require a different vent than boiling water.

Higher BTU output ranges require greater CFM. The exception is induction which actually requires less.

Additional Resources

For more information (yes, there is more) about how to vent, read our Ventilation Buying Guide with terms and information to consider before you buy.

view our ventilation buying guide

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Steve Sheinkopf

Steve Sheinkopf is the third-generation CEO of Yale Appliance and a lifelong Bostonian. He has over 38 years of experience in the appliance industry, and he is a trusted source of information for consumers on how to buy and repair appliances.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

Steve is passionate about helping consumers find the best appliances for their needs, and he is always happy to answer questions and provide advice. He is a valuable resource for consumers who are looking for information on appliance buying, repair, and maintenance.

Despite being the worst goalie in history, Steve is a fan of the Bruins and college hockey, loves to read, and is a Peloton biker. The love of his life is his daughter, Sophie.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.