An oven hood, also known as a kitchen hood, exhaust hood, or range hood, is a device that uses evacuation and filtration of the air to remove airborne grease, fumes, smoke, heat, and steam. Oven hood are employed in both domestic kitchens as well as commercial kitchens. In commercial kitchens, oven hoods are often combined with fire suppression devices to ensure that grease fire fumes are put out quickly and are properly vented. Oven hoods are typically made up of a skirt (also known as the effluent plume), grease filters, and a fan. Ducted and ductless applications are the two main configurations for oven hoods.
Oven hoods began as simple chimney-like structures to vent kitchen smoke and fumes. As kitchens moved indoors, the need for efficient ventilation grew. By the 20th century, with the rise of open-plan homes, these hoods became more sophisticated, merging functionality with aesthetics. Motorized fans and filters were added to improve air quality, while designs evolved, reflecting changing kitchen styles and décor. Through time, they've transformed from rudimentary vents to essential kitchen appliances.
The future of oven hoods is all about innovation and aesthetics. As kitchens become central gathering spaces, range hoods are evolving into sleek, design-focused centerpieces. Modern hoods boast advanced filtration systems, reducing indoor pollutants and odors more efficiently. Some integrate smart technology, adjusting airflow based on cooking intensity or syncing with other smart appliances. Eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient fans are in demand, addressing environmental concerns. Integrating lighting and sound systems, they're becoming multifunctional, enhancing the overall kitchen experience.
Standard oven hoods should be installed 18 to 24 inches (46 – 61 cm) above the cooking surface. High capacity oven hoods should be installed 24 to 30 (61 – 76 cm) inches above the cooking surface. The area of the cooking surface should also be considered when installing an oven hood, as the oven hood should be larger than the cooking surface.
Begin to install an oven hood, by turning off the power and removing the old oven hood if present. Mount the new oven hood using screws that are recommended by the manufacturer and make sure that the opening of the oven hood aligns with the ductwork. Then attach the wiring and finish by testing that the oven hood is working properly.
The exterior of the oven hood should be cleaned daily by wiping it with a sponge and soapy water. The filter of the hood should be cleaned once a month. To clean the filter remove it from the oven hood, a place it in a bowl of hot water with soap, rinse it, and allow it to air-dry before putting it back in the hood.