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How High Do You Hang a Range Hood?

August 30th, 2023 | 6 min. read

By Sara Silvestro

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How High Do You Hang a Range Hood?

Welcome to our guide on one of the most critical aspects of kitchen design and functionality: properly installing a range hood.

If you're a homeowner searching for the ideal range hood and ventilation solution for your kitchen, you've come to the right place.

The height at which you hang your range hood can make all the difference between a well-ventilated, pleasant cooking space and a smoke-filled, odorous kitchen.

In this article, we'll dive deep into the factors that influence range hood height, guidelines for installation, common mistakes to avoid, and the art of balancing functionality with aesthetics.

Let's get started by first covering the basics of ventilation.


The Basics of Ventilation


Ventilation involves four key elements: CFM, capture area, duct size, and duct run. Let's look into each of these aspects.


CFM stands for cubic feet per minute, indicating the volume of air extracted per minute. A blower rated 900 CFM removes 900 cubic feet of air every minute, akin to the air in a small room.

The required CFM varies based on your cooking style and stove setup.

If you frequently grill, fry, or use a griddle or wok, a range of 900 to 1500 CFM is essential to remove the odors and grease produced during high-volume cooking effectively.

A minimum of 400 CFM might suffice for simpler tasks like boiling water.

Types of Blowers

There are three blower types:

  • Internal Blowers: These are positioned within the hood, making them easier to maintain, but they tend to generate more noise.
  • External Blowers: Located outside, these blowers can be obtained in higher CFMs. They operate more quietly, though you can still hear the rush of air through the duct. However, they're less convenient to repair in winter, and their bulky stainless-steel housing might not be aesthetically pleasing.
  • In-Line Blowers: Attached to the duct run, in-line blowers offer the quieter operation of external blowers without a large motor outside your home. Remember to incorporate an access door for potential servicing if you opt for an in-line blower.

Capture Area

Understanding capture is crucial for adequate ventilation. It refers to the dimensions of the hood, encompassing its height, width, and depth. Rather than immediately sucking smoke out of your home, the hood chambers and then expels it.

Choose a hood with a minimum depth of 24 inches for high-volume cooking. Most gas range power burners are positioned at the front and are around 24 inches deep.

Duct Run

Ideally, your vent duct should be kept under 30 feet. Longer and more convoluted ducts result in less efficient ventilation.

While some ducts may extend to 60-70 feet, many, like downdrafts, prove ineffective beyond certain lengths.

Each elbow turn equates to approximately 6-8 feet of ducting. You should reconsider the duct pathway if your duct exceeds one elbow turn.

Vertical, straight, and short routes are the best for ducting, followed by horizontal and short pathways.

Duct Size

Larger ducts facilitate the removal of more smoke, so a minimum of 6 inches is recommended. Larger CFM blowers require eight or 10-inch ducts.

Exclusively employ rigid ducts. Flexible ducts can trap grease in their joints, violating codes in several states.

Make-Up Air

Any vent exceeding 400 CFM in new constructions mandates an equivalent fresh air return. Incorporating make-up air into your HVAC plan is straightforward during new construction.


However, the Massachusetts code stipulates positioning it 10 feet away on the opposite wall for retrofits.

With a solid foundation in ventilation principles, let's shift our focus to understanding the critical aspects of range hood placement.

Read More: How to Vent Your Kitchen Range

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The Importance of Range Hood Placement


A range hood is essential in eliminating cooking byproducts such as smoke, steam, grease, and lingering odors.

However, there is more to it. Many stoves have way more output than they did 30 years ago.

The process of burning fat, along with the enhanced output of the burners, creates a semi-toxic brew of chemicals:

Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Formaldehyde, and particulate matter are all emitted into your home.

At the same time, homes are built better so that toxic brew stays in your home longer.

Nowadays, the indoor air quality of homes is significantly worse than the outdoor air quality.

Thus, your choice of ventilation and proper placement is critical.

Now that we recognize its significance, let's explore the key factors that influence the height of your range hood.

Factors Influencing Range Hood Height

When determining the best height for your range hood, there are several factors to consider:

Cooking Surface Type

1 Gas Range
2 Induction Range

The type of cooking surface you have – whether a gas range, electric stove, or induction cooktop – plays a prominent role in determining the ideal range hood height.

Gas ranges produce more heat, smoke, and combustion byproducts, so a lower placement is often recommended.

On the other hand, electric stoves and induction cooktops generate less smoke and heat, allowing for a slightly higher placement.

Ceiling Height


Are you cooking in a cozy cottage kitchen or a loft-style culinary haven?

Ceiling height matters.

In spaces with high ceilings, you might need to adjust the height of your range hood to ventilate your kitchen range properly.

Remember, you want to balance capturing cooking byproducts and allowing space for steam and smoke to rise.

Industry Guidelines and Recommendations

To help you navigate the sea of options, industry organizations like the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and range hood manufacturers have established general guidelines for range hood height.

While these are just starting points, they offer valuable insights into achieving good ventilation.

For gas ranges, hanging the bottom of the hood between 24 and 30 inches above the cooking surface is often recommended.

Electric ranges and induction cooktops can tolerate a slightly higher range hood placement, typically between 28 and 36 inches.

Remember that these figures are not set in stone – your kitchen's unique layout might need slight adjustments.

The Best Range Hood Height for Different Types of Ranges

Let's break down the ideal range hood height based on the type of cooking surface you have:

Gas Stovetops


Gas ranges are culinary powerhouses, producing more heat and combustion byproducts.

Consider placing your range hood 24 to 30 inches above the cooking surface to ensure adequate capture and ventilation.

Electric and Induction Stovetops


Electric ranges and induction cooktops generate less heat and smoke than gas ranges. This affords you some flexibility in range hood placement.

Aim for a height range of 28 to 36 inches for the best ventilation without compromising aesthetics.

Recommendations By Hood Types

Over-the-Range Microwaves


Over the range microwaves are installed 30 inches over the cooking surface, leaving about 14-15 inches of space between the microwave and your stovetop.

Note: Over-the-range microwaves are not a good choice for ventilation.

Pro Range Hoods (High CFM)


Pro range hoods are designed to ventilate professional ranges with larger blowers and higher CFM levels.

If you are placing a hood above a professional range, your range will need to be between 30–36-inches from the hood.

Ceiling Blowers


Ceiling blowers are the new way to have unobstructed views in your kitchen. While we are skeptical of their usefulness, they must be installed 4-7 feet off the cooking surface.

Island Hoods


Island hoods are the best way to vent your stove or stovetop on an island. Like the pro range hood, they should be installed 24-36 inches off the cooking surface.

Under Cabinet Range Hoods


Under cabinet range hoods are the most common. Recommended installation is 18-24 inches off the cooking surface.

Installation Process and Tips

You're now ready to take on the installation process. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth setup:

  • Measure and Mark: Measure the height range you've chosen and mark the spot on the wall where the bottom of the range hood will be positioned. Use a level to ensure accuracy.
  • Prepare the Area: If your range hood requires venting through an exterior wall, ensure you have the necessary tools and materials.
  • Anchoring and Support: Range hoods can be heavy, so proper anchoring and support are vital. Make sure you're attaching the hood securely to studs in the wall.
  • Ventilation Considerations: If your range hood requires external ventilation, ensure you're positioning it in a way that allows for easy duct connection.

Common Range Hood Installation Mistakes to Avoid

As you prepare to install your range hood, keep an eye out for these common mistakes that can hinder your range hood's performance:

  • Placing Too High: Hanging the range hood too high can reduce its efficiency, as it may struggle to capture rising smoke and odors.
  • Ignoring Manufacturer Guidelines: Manufacturers know their products best. Ignoring their recommendations could lead to poor ventilation and even void your warranty.
  • Neglecting Anchoring: Improper anchoring could lead to a range hood disaster – not something you want happening mid-cooking session.

Personalization and User Preferences


While guidelines provide valuable insights, don't forget that you're the chef in your kitchen. Personal comfort and aesthetics matter.

If you're particularly tall, you might opt for a slightly higher-range hood for a clearer line of sight.

Alternatively, you might choose a slightly lower placement if you have a penchant for low-hanging pendant lights. Striking the right balance between functionality and design is key.

Consulting Professionals

If you're feeling overwhelmed or unsure, consider consulting professionals.

Kitchen designers, contractors, and appliance experts can provide personalized advice based on your kitchen's layout and specific needs.

They've seen it all – from cozy cottages to expansive lofts – and can guide you toward the perfect range hood height.

Key Takeaways

In conclusion, the height at which you hang your range hood is a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly.

It affects the efficiency of your kitchen's ventilation system and your cooking space's overall look and feel.

By understanding the factors influencing range hood height, adhering to industry guidelines, and considering your lifestyle, you're well on your way to creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing kitchen.

So, measure twice, hang once, and enjoy your new kitchen.

Additional Resources

Get The Yale Ventilation Buying Guide with features, specs, and inside tips for every brand and hood type. Well over 1 million people have read a Yale Guide.

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Sara Silvestro

Sara Silvestro is a skilled marketer and writer with over 10 years of experience. In her free time, she enjoys reading, sketching, and embarking on new adventures with her faithful black cat, Raven. With a passion for all things spooky and a love for the Morbid podcast, Sara enjoys exploring the mysteries of the paranormal and seeking out haunted houses during her travels.

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