What Is a Ductless Range Hood?

by Pete Lader April 22, 2022

A range hood is a critical part of your kitchen setup. They help ventilate your home and remove particulate matter like grease and moisture from the air. Using a range hood improves your home’s air quality and prevents debris from settling on surfaces like counters and cabinets, which could become a breeding ground for bacteria or a fire hazard. There are two main types of range hoods available: ducted and ductless. While ducted range hoods are primarily used in commercial or large kitchens, ductless models are becoming an increasingly popular choice for small homes, apartments, or condos for their ease of use and low maintenance needs. 

How Does a Ductless Range Hood Work?

Unlike ducted range hoods, ductless models don’t need to vent to the exterior of your home. Ductless range hoods work by using recirculated air. The range hood is fitted with a fine mesh and baffle filter, and some models also come with a second carbon filter to neutralize cooking odors. The motor activates an exhaust fan that pulls in air from the room when the range hood is switched on. The air contains tiny oil, steam, smoke and dust particles that pass through and become trapped in the filter. The clean air is then circulated back into the room. 

a zline convertible vent wall mount range hood installed above a stove in a kitchen

The ZLINE 48" Convertible Vent Wall Mount range hood is an excellent ductless range hood for a modern kitchen. Its sleek black stainless steel color will fit into your contemporary design. This 48-inch range hood installs above your range and offers four motor speeds up to 400 CFM. 

Find Island and Wall Mounted Ductless Range Hoods

Pros and Cons of Ductless Range Hoods

Ductless range hoods are more versatile because they can be installed anywhere. If your kitchen lacks an exhaust duct or you wish to change the layout of your kitchen without moving ducting, a ductless range hood is your best option. They also work in homes where a range hood was not previously installed. 

The installation process is more straightforward since you don’t have to fit a ductless range with your existing ductwork. However, you may need the help of an electrician if there is no electrical box located where you want to place your new range hood. Using a ductless model means you can choose from complete kitchen appliance packages, saving you money over buying each appliance separately. Ductless models also allow you to select a range hood based on your style preferences instead of being limited to where your exhaust vent is located. 

a zline 36 inch convertible vent wall mount range hood

The ZLine 36-inch Convertible Wall Mounted Range Hood can be installed with or without ducting, depending on your needs. Its durable construction and motor warranty guarantee excellent performance for years. The range hood’s sleek stainless steel structure and crown molding feature at the top of the chimney pair well with traditional and modern kitchen designs. For ductless operation, a carbon filter is recommended with this model.

Ductless range hoods aren’t without their disadvantages. Recirculating air can increase humidity levels in your kitchen and, if the filters aren’t changed regularly, they can recirculate contaminants back into the air. Some ductless models require more powerful fans to filter your air, resulting in louder operation. For example, ZLINE range hoods are only ductless when used with charcoal filters. These factors depend on the brand and model of the range hood you choose. Comparing decibel ratings and fan speeds when looking at ductless models can help you make an informed decision.

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How to Care for Your Ductless Range Hood

Ductless range hoods are easier to care for than ducted models, and regular preventative maintenance can help prolong the lifespan of your unit. To keep your ducted range hood performing optimally, follow these simple maintenance tips:

  • Wash the exterior with mild detergent and warm water once per week. For stainless steel models, apply a thin coating of water-based, oil-free protectant to make it easier to clean in the future and prevent smudge marks. 
  • Change and clean the air filter every two to three months, depending on how often you use your stovetop. You can tell if your filter needs replacing when cooking odors remain in your air. Remove the mesh cover and clean with degreasing detergent and water. Replace the baffle and carbon filters. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on accessing, removing and replacing the filters. 
  • Clean the interior of the hood by placing a pot of boiling water on the stove and allowing the steam to loosen the debris inside. Then, apply a degreaser and use a cloth to wipe away any grime. 
  • Replace the light at the same time you replace your filters. This step prevents burnout and ensures you can see what you are cooking. 
  • Charcoal filters need to be replaced at least every 6 monthes. 

Find a Ductless Range Hood with Premium Home Source

Building your dream kitchen doesn’t have to be a hassle if you choose to install a ductless range hood. Whether you’re interested in an appliance package or are looking for the perfect model to match your existing range, Premium Home Source can help you find the right fit. Our family-owned company sources quality appliances for homeowners like you. We’re authorized dealers of ZLINE kitchen, Thor Kitchen, Fotile and Kucht. Our team can help you find a ductless range hood to match your size, color and style preferences. Contact us today to learn more.


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