A rangehood can help rid your kitchen of steam and cooking smells.
Get rid of steam and cooking smells.
Cooking steam can really add to household condensation and moisture build-up. Removing moisture from where it’s produced is the best way of dealing with the problem. Which models will do the job?
All were tested in the same lab using the same test method – so the results can be compared across all models.
To make things fair, the 60cm models were tested over a 60cm cooktop and the 90cm models over a 90cm cooktop. On average, the wider 90cm rangehoods were more effective than the 60cm hoods. If you have the space, think about installing a 90cm model – even if your stovetop is the narrower 60cm width.
We tested all the rangehoods so they ducted outside, and if applicable in recirculating mode. In ducted mode, the steam (which can be greasy from frying) and smells are blown outside. In recirculating mode, air is passed through carbon or charcoal filters and recirculated back into the kitchen. This eliminates cooking odours and grease, but not moisture – which goes back into your kitchen. Installing in recirculating mode is a second-best option.
In each mode we tested how well they removed steam from the room – first with 2 saucepans of simmering water and then with 4. We tested their performance with the fan on high and on low.
We also measured noise levels with the fan on high and on low. Next we checked how easy it was to get at and clean the mesh filter, replace a carbon or charcoal filter (only applicable for recirculating mode), use the controls and clean the exterior surfaces. Finally, we assessed how well each rangehood lit the stovetop.
Our testing shows ducted rangehoods perform better and we only recommend rangehoods that meet our criteria in ducted mode. Always install them to be ducted if you can.
In ducted mode the steam (which can be greasy from frying) and smells are blown outside. It is now illegal to duct into the ceiling cavity, because the build-up of grease can be a fire hazard and moisture can cause condensation and rot.
In recirculating mode, air is passed through a carbon or charcoal filter and recirculated back into the kitchen. This eliminates cooking odours and grease, but not moisture, which goes back into your kitchen, so it’s a second-best option.
Installing in recirculating mode is cheaper as no ducting is required, but you may need to buy a recirculating kit. You’ll also need to replace the carbon or charcoal filters – how often depends on how much and the type of cooking you do. Cooking that produces mainly steam means your filter will last longer than it will with high-fat cooking that produces strong smells. Manufacturers recommend replacing the filter every three to six months.
Rangehoods perform better in ducted mode, but for some people ducting won’t be an option (you live in an apartment or installation in ducted mode is too expensive).
Tip: When installing a rangehood it’s best to use rigid ducting. Flexible ducting has ridges which can trap air and impede performance.