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Recommendations for a Simple, Affordable, and Effective Range Hood

Joe Norm | Posted in General Questions on

Anyone have any recommendations for a range hood that will vent straight out the back, will be reliable, and not cost a fortune?

I know there are a million options, but I don’t need all the fancy stuff most of the brands are advertising.

Minimal CFM is fine(300ish), and classic (not junky looking) styling

Anybody have a go-to brand they like?

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  1. Steve Knapp CZ 3A Georgia | | #1

    I recently purchase a Broan Sahale, which might be a good option for you. My unit is 250 CFM but other models go higher.

  2. Expert Member
    Malcolm Taylor | | #2


    Pay attention to how quiet the models you are considering are. You are much more likely to use the fan if it isn't noisy.

  3. Joel Cheely | | #3

    We put in a Zephyr Breeze II. I think its 400 cfm, and has capability for 3 1/4" x 10" duct straight out the back which is what we did. Fairly quiet and has nice lighting.

  4. Roger Berry | | #4


    Might want to look at parts diagram to see how easily the fan wheel can be gotten at or removed. I bought an import fan that was cost effective and relatively quiet until the grease load made the cage fan go out of balance. Going to be a right bugger to extract and de-gunk. Not sure if a secondary grease filter of the mesh variety would have helped. The offset slotted pairs of baffles catch a lot but not all of the grease.

    As Joel notes, lighting quality counts. My choice wildly over estimated the lumens and the placement near the front is pretty useless. Lights at the back filling in the shadow cast by the air hood would be more sensible.

  5. Expert Member
    Zephyr7 | | #5

    I’ve installed two Broan CLDH130SS hoods and have had good luck with both of them. They can vent out the top or the back, and I installed one each way. The “quick”
    Install method is VERY nice with the included brackets, but the installation instructions are not clear at all. It’s sooo easy to do, I don’t know why they didn’t just give an exploded diagram which would make it obvious how it all goes together.

    I usually use mine at the “medium” speed which is nearly silent. High speed is rated as 400 CFM and makes some noise, but it’s a smooth sound and not annoying. The LED lights are very nice too.

    I originally planned to get one level down from this one but I’m glad I didn’t. It’s nice to have the extra airflow available when needed.

    One last thing: broan has been pretty consistent for at least the last 25 years or so with their cutout placement so you have a decent chance of being able to upgrade in the future if you want to without having to completely rework the ducting. This was big for me since my old broan hood has the duct framed into the wall.


  6. W Ramsay | | #6

    A few things to consider. Effluent removal (health if you have a gas range, odors, etc.), noise, cost.

    If you have a gas range and use it somewhat frequently I don't know that 300 CFM would be a good option. We are learning more and more about the health affects of poor indoor air quality and the byproducts of gas combustion are a significant issue.

    From a noise standpoint you ideally want the blower to be either in the duct or outside and in both of these cases have a silencer between the hood and blower. So from a noise standpoint a bit of ducting is a good thing.

    Some more info here:

    1. John Clark | | #9

      What a great link. Not surprised about how a typical residential range hood is grossly undersized.. I used to suggest 3" overhang on either side but it seems that is not nearly enough. Everything it seems is a compromise.

    2. Trevor Lambert | | #16

      I'm a bit skeptical of the info provided in the link. While the author seems to speak from authority on the subject, he conflates flow and velocity (refers to effluent velocity in terms of CFM). That's a red flag to me.

  7. Steve Mackay | | #7

    Looking at exhaust fans it seems that the fans don't normally have an exhaust damper. What is the best way to prevent air ingress into the duct when the exhaust fan is not in use?

  8. W Ramsay | | #8

    You should always have a damper (as well as a rodent screen & insect screen in many environments). From an energy standpoint a damper in the wall/roof cowling is best as it prevents hot/cold air from entering the conditioned space at all. These must be done so that they do not get blocked by snow or debris. I think an inline and as near to the termination as possible is next best and within the hood itself the least.

    In very cold or hot environments an insulated damper is beneficial but these create greater static pressure and are seemingly more prone to malfunction.

    Dampers can have a significant impact on static pressure so must be included in this calc. The blowers in many hoods are not very strong (poor fan curve vs static pressure) so while it may say 400 CFM on the box, reality might be 50 CFM and leaving people wondering why they still have so many cooking odors from meals past hanging around.

    1. Steve Mackay | | #10

      My concern with dampers in the exhaust particularly close to the thermal envelope exit point is the potential for the mechanism to get gummed up with oils and fat that condense on it.

      I'm about to install my vent hood in my new construction and I'm struggling with what to do about a damper. Do I go motorized or static pressure operated. Where do I place it so it can be accessed for maintenance.

      My cooktop is in an island so I have about a 20 foot run until it exits on the side wall under the eve's.

      It seems like the best option for access is in the duct on the outside of the house on the side wall. I assume there will still be a flapper on the outside wall as well as a damper inside the duct?


      1. Expert Member
        Akos | | #11

        The only issue I've had with outside flappers is they sometime frost up in the winter time. You can hear the blower struggle for a bit before it opens, no issues with it not opening yet. I would not put a separate in-line damper unless it was easily accessible.

        Be careful with island range hoods. They do look nice but don't tend to work all that well unless they are a lot of CFM. Also good to have a bit of separation between the seating area and the range as you can get a fair bit of splatter while cooking.

        1. Steve Mackay | | #14


          the flapper I had on my old house used to swing and bang in in the wind. It was quite annoying hence I'm thinking of doing an in-line damper.

          Yeah I'm not expecting the island range hood to be super effective but it is a step up from the down draft hood my wife wanted. It's a best 600 cfm flush mount. It is a compromise on style and effectiveness, in this case effectiveness gives way to style. We'll see how well it works in practice.

          Good thoughts on the splatter. I hadn't thought about that aspect of an island range.


      2. Vlad Shpurik | | #12

        Is your attic vented? If so, what did you do to prevent exhaust from the vents getting into the attic?

        1. Steve Mackay | | #13


          My roof is not vented but I can see if I had a vented roof it would be a problem.


  9. Matt F | | #15

    I’m using a 5” version of these on my bath fans.

    For a cooking exhaust, you could install it with a screen/hood that could be removed to pull the damper and clean it.

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