The Best Ductless Range Hood

When shopping for the best ductless range hood, the most important factors to look into are the CFM power and suction. If you’re thinking of getting a ductless range hood soon, allow me to help you pick the best appliance for you. I’ve put together my top picks for the best ductless range hood. Complete with reviews as well as guides on choosing the best ductless range hood.

Broan E64E30SS 1500 CFM 30 inches Wide Stainless Steel

There was a time when cooking outdoors was a thing and folks used firewoods to cook meals. Outdoor cooking offers good ventilation for smoke. But as time changes, things change, too. Everyone now uses modern methods of cooking such as gas and electric stovetops. Steams, gases, and emissions from food — all can accumulate in your atmosphere. The best way to get rid of these airborne by-products is through an “indoor chimney” called a range hood.

What are Ductless Range Hoods for?

Ductless range hoods recirculate air, rather than removing it. Recirculation enhances air quality within the kitchen by purifying and redistributing it. With ventilation, recirculation hoods use a fan to take in the air including impurities. Ductless range hoods cleanse the air by sending it through degreasing filters and charcoal carbon filters. Rather than taking the air out. I will then return a fresher air quality to the room.

With ductless hoods, ventilation ductwork is not a requirement as they don’t send air outside of the kitchen.  It’s convenient as you will save a lot of time, and money. This also means that you don’t have to give up any cabinet space for the air duct.

Ducted Range Hood vs. Ductless Range Hood

Range hoods can be ducted or ductless. They are a vital element of any modern kitchen since they help preserve the quality of the air at a tolerable range. These precious appliances work by sucking in most of the emissions produced while cooking. Then, guiding them through the use of an airway duct, where air passes through for ventilation.

Ducted range hoods and ductless range hoods achieve the same goals. However, there are some factors that differentiate them from each other.

Installation

For ducted range hoods to function, it requires ductwork. And they come in top-venting and rear-venting models. The latter has a duct that runs from the back of the hood and runs through the wall. Top-venting systems have a duct that runs from the hood’s top to the ceiling.

But with ductless range hoods, a venting system is not a requirement since they do not extract air. Instead, they filter it first before venting it back into the cooking space.

Convertible range hoods also exist. These are hoods that you can convert from ducted to ductless. They contain seats for the carbon filters as well as venting options, though it’s not always included in the model’s configuration. Convertible hoods allow you to easily swap between ducted and non-ducted modes.

Features

The suction of non-ducted range hoods is typically lower than that of a ducted range hood. But it generates less noise. Recirculating hoods are typically rated around 180 CFM (cubic feet per minute). But many exhaust hoods can easily produce 500 CFM.

Since the ductless range hoods don’t require ductwork, their price and installation coats are more affordable. Aside from being less costly, installing a non-ducted range hood is faster and effortless. A single-purpose non-ducted hood is placed underneath the cabinet. And above the stovetop. A convertible hood is more versatile. It’s installed for either a vented or recirculation system. Convertible range hoods provide more mounting options, such as under-cabinet, wall, and island mounts.

Advantage

Ducted hoods are more effective in terms of improving kitchen air quality. They suck odors and fumes, purify them, then vent the kitchen with fresher and cleaner air. But in cold weather, this ventilation can cause issues. Whenever it’s cold outside, you would want to retain as much air inside as possible. Non-ducted hoods come in handy in this situation. Heat loss is less with ductless hoods since they just reheat the air in your cooking area.

Overall, an air duct will give you good, adequate ventilation while cooking. However, a ductless filtration system could still produce pretty good results if heat loss is not an issue or if you want to ditch an air duct.

My Top Picks for Best Ductless Range Hoods

Best OverallFeaturesPrice
Broan-NuTone 413004 Ductless Range Hood
Broan-NuTone 413004 Ductless Range Hood
– 17.5 x 6 x 30 inches
– 10 pounds
– 2-speed motor
– 2 rocker controls
– Under cabinet mounting
– Charcoal filter
– 120 volts
– 240 watts
– 1 year limited warranty
Check on Amazon
Best Bang for the BuckFeaturesPrice
Broan-NuTone F403004 Range Hood
Broan-NuTone F403004 Range Hood
– 17.5 x 6 x 30 inches
– 12 pounds
– 2-speed fan
– 190 CFM
– Under cabinet; convertible
– 120 volts
– 1 year limited warranty
Check on Amazon
Best Under the CabinetFeaturesPrice
Cosmo COS-5MU36 Range Hood
Cosmo COS-5MU36 Range Hood
– 19.75 x 35.25 x 5.5 inches
– 19 pounds
– 3-speed motor
– Under cabinet; convertible
– 120 volts
– 146 watts
– 65 dB
– 5-year limited warranty
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Best BudgetFeaturesPrice
Broan-NuTone 403001 Convertible Range Hood
Broan-NuTone 403001 Convertible Range Hood
– 17.5 x 6 x 30 inches
– 11.9 pounds
– 2-speed fan
– 160 CFM
– Under cabinet; convertible
– 120 volts
– 1 year limited warranty
Check on Amazon
Also Best BudgetFeaturesPrice
Broan-NuTone F403023 Range Hood
Broan-NuTone F403023 Range Hood
– 17.5 x 6 x 30 inches
– 12 pounds
– 190 CFM
– Under cabinet; convertible
– 120 volts
– 1 year limited warranty
Check on Amazon

The Best Ductless Range Hood

I’ve spent a great deal of time reading through reviews, hunting for the best ductless range hoods. And only a few made it in my list. Once you get to know the benefits of each hood, you should be able to decide which hood range is best suited for you and your kitchen.

Broan-NuTone 413004 Ductless Range Hood – Best Overall

Broan-NuTone 413004 Ductless Range Hood

My top pick is the Broan-NuTone 413004 Ductless Range Hood. A high-quality ductless range hood, this stainless steel hood insert enhances lighting and ventilation over your cooktop. All thanks to a non-ducted filter that eliminates smoke and odors. Its incandescent protective lamp lens evenly distributes light across the stovetop.

It has a replaceable, dishwasher-safe charcoal filter that efficiently eliminates fumes from your kitchen. For safe operation and aesthetics, the sides are mitered as well as the bottom edge tailored to fit. Plus, there are no sharp edges to hurt you. This range hood comes with a two-speed fan and a separate light switch. As well as a permanently oiled motor. The Broan-NuTone 413004 comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Pros:

– High quality

– Removable filter is dishwasher safe

– Versatile; serves as an exhaust fan and lighting over stove top

– Comes with a one-year limited warranty

Cons:

– Some customers have difficulty assembling the unit

– Unclear instruction booklet

Broan-NuTone F403004 Range Hood – Best Bang for the Buck

Broan-NuTone F403004 Range Hood

We all love a range hood that’s fairly priced and performs well at improving air quality in our kitchens. The Broan-NuTone F403004 Range Hood is designed for quality and great aesthetics. It’s a convertible model. You can be ducted vertically and horizontally. And you can convert it to a ductless hood by detaching the convert plate from the hood’s front and attaching the non-ducted filter.

This model features separate rocker switches. This controls the two-speed fan and a protective lamp lens, which distributes light over your cooktop. With an airflow displacement of 190 CFM, you have both an exhaust fan and a light to freshen and brighten up your stovetop.

The Broan-NuTone F403004 is a stainless steel unit with a dishwasher-safe aluminum mesh filter for optimum grease capture. Added to these awesome perks is a one-year limited warranty.

Pros:

– Quality, convertible range hood

– Dishwasher safe mesh filter

– Versatile; serves as an exhaust fan and lighting over stove top

– Comes with a one-year limited warranty

Cons:

– Poorly polished weld scabs on the front surface

– Body gets easily dented

Cosmo COS-5MU36 Under Cabinet Range Hood – Best Under Cabinet

Cosmo COS-5MU36 Range Hood

If you’re looking for a good under cabinet range hood, the Cosmo COS-5MU36 could be the top choice. This model exudes elegance and is energy-efficient. It supports a high multi-layer filtration system with durable mesh filters that effectively trap dirt and grease. You can enjoy peace in your kitchen at just 65 dB. It’s designed with cutting-edge technology, with a space-saving slim body that fits most cabinets. You can install it against a wall, or for top or back venting.

The Cosmo range hood has a five-inch round duct for exhaust opening, including a back-draft damper to stop air from coming back inside. It is convertible to non-ducted by replacing the cover plate with an optional carbon filter.

Besides saving space, it utilizes high-lumen LED lighting for year-round energy saving. It’s a bit pricier than the rest of our recommendations, but you get to pay for a cost-saving kitchen cleaning. Plus, it’s backed by a five-year limited warranty.

Pros:

– 5-inch round duct prevents backdrafting

– Efficient airflow capacity

– Quiet 65dB

– Slim profile saves space

– Energy-efficient

– Easy installation

– Comes with 5-year limited warranty

Cons:

– Poor suction

– Users say the fan seems to be very loud in all settings

Broan-NuTone 403001 Convertible Range Hood – Best Budget

Broan-NuTone 403001 Convertible Range Hood

Looking for a unit at half the price of most range hoods? The Broan-NuTone 403001 might be the cheapest range hood you could find. And don’t judge it by the price. I think this range hood is a steal. This model, just like its sisters from the same brand, delivers excellent ventilation performance while preserving precious cabinet space. At 160 CFM, you get a nice quality hood that lights up and freshens up your cooktop.

This Broan-NuTone hood range features a two-speed fan with top or rear exhaust options. Which lets you install the ductwork in the most convenient way possible. Its quick-release, dishwasher-safe mesh filter effectively captures dirt and grease.

This range hood has a backdraft damper. And it can be ducted vertically or horizontally to the outside. It’s UL listed and HVI-2100 certified for safety and is backed by a one-year limited warranty.

Pros:

– Easy ductwork installation

– Low cost

– Versatile; serves as an exhaust fan and lighting over stove top

– Comes with a one-year limited warranty

Cons:

– Some customer reviews say the fan blade on the spindle a bit loose

Broan-NuTone F403023 Range Hood – Also Best Budget

Broan-NuTone F403023 Range Hood

Another affordable option could be the Broan-NuTone F403023 Range Hood. With easy-to-operate rocker switches that control the light and the two-speed fan, you get nice ventilation and lighting over your cooktop. It’s a convertible range hood that can be ducted vertically or horizontally. It fits nicely underneath cabinets. And if you want to convert it to a ductless recirculating range hood, you may purchase a separate charcoal filter.

Much like many other models, this Broan-NuTone range hood also has mesh filters that capture grease and dirt from the air. It’s easy to clean in the dishwasher, and at a price this cheap, you get a one-year limited warranty.

Pros:

– Easy installation

– Affordable

– Versatile; serves as an exhaust fan and lighting over stove top

– Comes with a one-year limited warranty

Cons:

– Runs loudly

Buying Guide: What to Look For When Shopping for a Ductless Range Hood

Gas Range Hood

Before purchasing a new ductless range hood, it’s essential to learn the technical side of it. Filter type, heat sensors, suction, CFM, and dB, among others, are factors to look into. Find out which ductless range hood is best suited for your kitchen on the handy buying guide below.

Maintenance

Ductless hoods have filters, which makes your kitchen cleaner. Dust, food spills, and a hot grease smell normally gather on the surfaces of your cooktop. Ductless range hoods typically perform a suction through their fans. But these filters collect dirt. So it must be properly maintained to expel food particles or dust build-ups. Always choose a unit that reduces the amount of time you spend working.

Noise Levels

When I was doing my research, I learned that one important thing to keep in mind is that, if the fan is louder, it means that it’s more powerful. Although it also means it consumes more electricity. A louder component is not worth using if you have a sleepy toddler at home.

A ductless hood with a built-in timer is also available. This enables you to turn on the non-ducted hood when no one is home. Having it set for a specific time minimizes power waste.

Installation

You can mount under-cabinet range hoods on the wall or hang from the ceiling. And it’s something you may want to consider if you have a liking for mounting. The filter type also affects the installation process. A filter is a must if the system is ductless.

Sometimes referred to as recirculating hoods, such range hoods need a filter, and you can opt for charcoal, baffle, or mesh. You could also go with a ducted hood without filters. However, if you cook for a larger group every day, range hoods with filters are a must.

The third range style is fitted above your kitchen island. Ideally, this type of range is a must for centrally located cooktops, whether ducted or ductless. The height of the kitchen island may have an impact on the range hood’s size in such instances.

Additional Features

Extra features may appear to be minor factors, yet they can have a significant impact on purifying the air in your kitchen. Of course, the more features you get, the heftier the cost you have to pay. But it’s worth getting attachments that will be cost-effective in the long run.

Heat Sensors

For added features, you  may get a range hood with a thermostat. This can slow down or speed up the fan as your kitchen gets too hot, or based on the amount of heat detected in your kitchen.

Lighting

If you have small windows or dark walls, I suggest you buy one with a down-lighting feature. It can be handy if you often use your hood fans at night. This feature also helps save energy. Many range hoods feature halogen or LED lights and a low and high version that can be activated when you need it..

Fan Speeds

You can pick between a faster and quieter fan. But this still depends on your preference. See how much air is filtered in a certain amount of time, by checking the rated CFM (cubic feet per minute). Range hoods with dampers and mutes are also available. These features reduce the amount of noise your fans make. You may indeed even choose a hood with decorative accents.

Auto Switch-Off

The Auto Switch-off is a feature that only a few recirculating range hoods provide. With this feature, you can program the range hood to switch off on its own after any amount of time has passed.

Suction

Based on my research, duct-free hoods aren’t as effective at removing moisture from the kitchen. While carbon filters absorb some liquids in your kitchen, they are not completely effective. As a result, your kitchen gets more humid. This leads to the increased growth of microbes. Nevertheless, a strong fan should scoop up more fluid and impurities.

Yes, having a powerful suction is a plus, but it’s not a reliable indication of a great-performing non-ducted range hood. The filtration system remains a more vital feature of a unit.

Price

Fortunately for you, many ductless range hoods sell below $100. All thanks to the low power rating and affordable manufacture. But ductless convertible models can cost a hefty price. Sometimes, at the same price point as ducted exhaust hoods, which can go up to roughly $400 for high-end units.

Consider your budget when buying a new ductless hood range. Inexpensive, quality models are always available. You can count on my recommended units above for affordability and functionality.

CFM Power

Recirculating range hoods’ power is measured in CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute). The ideal CFM for you depends on a number of factors. This includes the quantity of food you prepare, your kitchen space, the meals you cook, the length of ductwork, as well as the number of stoves.

This measurement tells you how long it takes for all of your kitchen’s air to travel through the range hood. Most homes would benefit from a CFM of around 300.

Filter Type

Recirculating range hoods come with three types of filters: charcoal filters, baffle filters, and mesh filters. All are necessary for trapping dust and food spills. Which type of filter do you prefer? Keep reading to find out more about the different filters available for a ductless range hood. 

Charcoal Filters

All recirculating kitchen hoods will require charcoal filters. This is because they’re in charge of odor control and fume absorption, among other things. And you don’t have a choice but to have it if you want to eliminate odor.

When it comes to baffle and mesh, though, you have a choice. The charcoal filters must be changed, however the other two filters do not need to as long as they are properly maintained.

Baffle Filters

Baffle filters force greasy air to pass through them randomly. And it rapidly shifts in direction as it gets higher.  But due to the fact that grease is more viscous than air, it cannot change direction as quickly as air does. This causes the grease to accumulate on the baffles. So, every few months, the tray must be cleaned. The baffle filters can be so large that sometimes you can’t toss them in the dishwasher. Plus, they’re more pricey than mesh filters.

Mesh Filters

Mesh filters are a set of thin metal mesh layers stacked one on top of the other. These filters are exposed to greasy air, which collects on the minute pores as it goes through. There’s a grease-collecting tray with mesh filters, as well. But grease clogs pores much more easily in this case, so a weekly filter cleaning is a must. The good thing is that a range hood with mesh filters cost less.

What are the Benefits of a Recirculating Range Hood?

Recirculating Range Hood Featured Photo

Ever wonder why many homes like to use recirculating range hoods rather than ducted ones? Many homeowners I know prefer the ease of installation, avoidance of potential hazards, and energy loss. These perks make such a range hood the way to go for comfortable cooking.

Ease of Installation

The ease of installation is perhaps the greatest advantage of a ventless range hood. Metal vent, outside vent cover, and wall slots are all elements of a through the wall vent. This is a need for ducted range hoods and makes the installation extra complicated. And it sometimes requires a skilled or licensed roofer.

A recirculating range hood, on the other hand, eliminates the hassle of installing an external vent, And this saves both time and resources. Ventless range hoods may occasionally be fitted within minutes. It’s as straightforward as a few screws. Then, simply plug the range hood into an outlet.

Avoid Carbon Monoxide Hazards

There will be no worries about causing a negative air pressure within your home as these range hoods are self-circulating. Carbon monoxide hazard is one of the concerns when a vented range hood is sucking air from inside. And then releases the air outside. Range hoods that vent outside with 400 CFM or higher, the code could require you to set up an automatic makeup air system.

Self-venting hood ranges prevent back drafting. Vented hoods spill your natural gas appliance’s exhaust back into your home. This isn’t an issue with self-venting range hoods because all of the air is recirculated back into the house

Energy Loss

Since you’re releasing conditioned air to the outside with a vented range hood, energy loss happens. So, now you’re pushing all that conditioned air straight back outside with it. Using your precious energy to heat or cool the air in your space is rather annoying.

The lengthy vent tube could be a cause of air leaks. This is in addition to the challenge of releasing conditioned air to the outside. External air spills into the house when the exterior vent cover isn’t secured properly. To me, a ductless hood could be a far more energy-effective approach.

Installation of Ductless Range Hoods Under Cabinet

Under-cabinet range hoods are typically secured with a few screws and installed underneath the cabinet above your stove.  If your unit comes with a connector, all you will need to do is connect it into a power outlet, which is generally the port above your stove. However, if your unit is hardwired, the help of an electrician might be needed to hook it into the electrical system.

In order to make it recirculate, you need to cover the duct hole or set up the charcoal filter along with the grease filter. Make sure these filters match your range hood. You’ll want to ensure the recirculating vent is clean. It must be on the top or sides of your range hood. The installation process may vary per model. It’s best to thoroughly study the associated instruction booklet, as many models have their own set of installation instructions.

Tip: How to Clean a Ductless Range Hood

Cleaning a ductless range hood is easy peasy. With just a few steps, you should be able to leave your hood range free of grease, dirt, dust, and any food particles that are trapped in it.

Here’s how to clean your ductless range hood:

  1. Using a cloth, apply glass cleaner or acetone.
  2. Wipe down your vent hood’s surface.
  3. Apply a tiny quantity of non-abrasive soft scrub on a cloth and wipe the hood clean if the stains don’t come off. This is a last-ditch effort.
  4. Discard any stainless steel filters you may have.
  5. Disconnect the blower from the vent hood.
  6. To remove the charcoal filters, unscrew the side of the blower.
  7. Filters made of charcoal must be replaced.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are recirculating range hoods any good?

Ductless hoods are great, but ducted range hoods are more efficient. This is because the latter expel air to the outside. Charcoal filters are often used in such hoods. And while they do catch some oil and smells, charcoal filters are not as efficient as the stainless steel baffle and mesh filters used in ducted range hoods.

What is the recirculating range hood?

The best non-ducted range hood we would recommend is the Broan-NuTone 413004 Ductless Range Hood. It’s an under-cabinet model with all the good stuff you could ask for a ductless hood range, and it’s within a reasonable price point.

What should I look for in a ductless range hood?

When shopping for a ductless hood range, I suggest you look into the fan speed or CFM. A vital factor in identifying a good ductless range hood is the fan speed evaluated in CFM. It stands for cubic feet per minute, which is a metric for airflow, and most range hoods begin at 200 CFM up to 800 CFM.

Wrap Up

My favorite is the Broan-NuTone 413004 Ductless Range Hood. It’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for a hood at an affordable price point without compromising the quality. Another top-performing range hood at a decent price is the Broan-NuTone F403004 Range Hood. It has an airflow displacement of 190 CFM, which makes a good exhaust fan and light over your stovetop.

But if you’re looking for the best under-cabinet model, the elegant Cosmo COS-5MU36 might be one to not miss. It’s energy-efficient, quiet, and saves a lot of cabinet space in your kitchen. If you’re on a tighter budget, you may refer to the Broan-NuTone 403001 and the Broan-NuTone F403023. Both are pocket-friendly and great-performing range hoods suitable for small spaces.

Don’t forget to check out the latest prices and discounts for the best convertible and ductless range hoods above. And start breathing in that fresh air and make your everyday cooking session comfortable. All the models on our list come with one to five years of limited warranty. Good luck!