How Does a Ductless Range Hood Work? Ultimate Guide 2023

A ductless range hood is a type of hood that does not require ductwork to function. This makes it a popular choice for homeowners who are renovating their kitchen because it is much easier to install than a traditional range hood. Before purchasing ductless range hood you need to under how does a ductless range hood work. In most cases, people compare ductless with ducted without understanding how the two work.

How Does a Ductless Range Hood Work?

A ductless range hood, also known as a recirculating range hood, draws in cooking fumes and airborne particles through filters. Grease, smoke, and odors are trapped by these filters before the purified air is recirculated into the kitchen. Instead of venting air outside, ductless range hoods use charcoal or carbon filters to clean the air. By capturing impurities, these filters allow cleaned air to return to the kitchen, effectively reducing cooking odors and grease in the air.

How Does a Ductless Range Hood Work

Keeping the hood’s efficiency requires periodic cleaning or replacement of the filters. As ductless range hoods do not require complex ductwork, they offer flexibility in installation. However, they might not be as effective as ducted hoods at removing all cooking byproducts. While they are not as popular as duct installation in kitchens, they remain a popular option.

Read more about Best 24-Inch Ductless Range Hood

Why do you choose a ductless range hood?

Once you understand how does a ductless range hood work, you must also understand why they are so popular. Here are some different points to consider

1-Energy Efficiency: 

Because they don’t require venting outside, ductless range hoods are energy efficient. By trapping grease, smoke, and odors, charcoal filters recycle air back into the kitchen. As a result, they reduce heating and cooling costs by not expelling air outside.

2-Easy Installation

Why do you choose a ductless range hood

An important reason to choose a ductless range hood is its ease of installation. It doesn’t require ductwork, so setup is straightforward and doesn’t require complex modifications to your kitchen infrastructure. For those looking for a hassle-free installation, this is an ideal choice.

3-Versatility in Placement: 

Range hoods with ductless technology can be placed in a variety of locations. Since they don’t require a duct, you can install them almost anywhere in the kitchen. In places where ducts might be difficult to install, this flexibility allows for creative placement above islands.

4-Suitable for Apartments or Rental Homes: 

The ductless range hood is a practical choice for renters or apartment dwellers. Unlike major renovations, they don’t require permanent modifications to the property, making them ideal for spaces that cannot undergo major renovations.

5-Enhanced Air Quality: 

Ductless range hoods don’t remove air from the kitchen, but they do filter grease, smoke, and cooking odors. With charcoal filters, you can maintain a cleaner kitchen environment by capturing these particles.


In addition to saving you money on installation, ductless range hoods are generally more cost-effective up front. For those who want to enhance their kitchen without breaking the bank, they are a budget-friendly option that eliminates ductwork and professional installation.

7-Minimal Maintenance: 

Why do you choose a ductless range hood

The maintenance of a ductless range hood is relatively straightforward. A charcoal filter needs to be replaced periodically (usually every few months), but it is a simple and affordable task. The main maintenance tasks are cleaning the exterior surface and replacing the filter on occasion.

8-Adaptability to Various Kitchen Sizes: 

No matter what size your kitchen is, a ductless range hood will fit. The hoods offer effective ventilation solutions without the need for specific ductwork space considerations in small kitchens or large cooking areas.

9-Convenience in Retrofitting: 

A ductless range hood is a convenient option if you are renovating your kitchen and do not have existing ductwork. A ductless upgrade is much easier than retrofitting your kitchen with ductwork, as it requires no major structural changes.

10-Enhanced Safety: 

Range hoods without ducts contribute to kitchen safety by removing grease particles from the air. By preventing grease buildup in the kitchen, potential fire hazards associated with accumulated grease in vents and ducts are reduced.

How to choose the right ductless range hood for your kitchen?

1. Consider Kitchen Size and Layout

How to choose the right ductless range hood for your kitchen

Knowing your kitchen’s dimensions and layout is the first step to choosing the right ductless range hood. Measure the space above your cooking area to ensure the hood fits properly. Smaller kitchens might work well with compact models, while larger kitchens might need higher airflow capacities. Ensure that the distance between the cooktop and the hood is optimal for effective smoke and odor removal.

Read more about Do I Need A Vent Hood For Outdoor Kitchen?

2. Evaluate Ventilation Needs

Determine the ventilation requirements for your kitchen based on your cooking habits. For kitchens without external venting options, ductless range hoods use filters to clean and recirculate air. Consider a model with higher airflow and effective filtration systems if you cook frequently or prepare meals that generate substantial smoke or grease.

3. Check the Filtration System and Maintenance

A hood’s performance depends heavily on the filtration system. To capture grease, odors, and airborne particles effectively, look for hoods with multiple layers of filters, such as mesh or charcoal. It may be necessary to clean or replace filters periodically. Filters on some models can be washed in the dishwasher, simplifying maintenance.

Read more about Best Ductless Range Hood With Charcoal Filter

4. Noise Level and Fan Speeds

How to choose the right ductless range hood for your kitchen

Analyze the noise levels and fan speed options. The noise output of ductless range hoods varies; quieter models are preferable, especially in open-concept kitchens. It is possible to adjust the airflow according to your needs by adjusting the fan speed. While higher speeds are useful for heavy-duty cooking, lower speeds are more suitable for everyday use, making the fan settings versatile.

5. Style and Aesthetic Appeal

To complement your kitchen’s decor, consider the range hood’s design and aesthetics. Different finishes, such as stainless steel or sleek glass, create different visual effects. It is important to choose a style that complements the overall look of your kitchen, whether it is modern, traditional, or minimalist. For convenience and accessibility, consider the control options-buttons, touchpads, or remote controls.

6. Budget and Energy Efficiency

Consider energy efficiency while setting a budget. Ductless range hoods are generally less expensive to install than ducted ones, but they might require more frequent filter replacements. You can potentially save on long-term expenses while being environmentally friendly by looking for models with Energy Star ratings.

Ducted vs Ductless

Mostly people compare ducted to ductless range hood after knowing how does a ductless range hood work. The following points will help you determine which is best for you.

1. Installation Convenience

The installation of ductless range hoods is much easier than that of their ducted counterparts. Their simple design eliminates the need for intricate ductwork, making them the ideal choice in places where ductwork installation is impractical or expensive. Ductless range hoods are easy to install with minimal fuss.

2. Flexibility in Placement

Flexible placement is one of the key advantages of ductless range hoods. Due to the fact that these hoods are not dependent on ducts, they can be installed virtually anywhere in a kitchen, allowing for greater design flexibility.

3. Cost-Effectiveness

In general, ductless range hoods are more cost-effective to install. When compared to ducted hoods, ductless ones often require less labor and materials to install, making them a more budget-friendly option.

4. Improved Energy Efficiency

A ductless range hood is an energy-efficient choice. Filters remove grease, smoke, and odors from the air before it is recirculated into the kitchen. Compared to ducted systems, this method consumes less energy while maintaining a comfortable environment.

5. Ideal for Rental or Temporary Spaces

Ductless range hoods are an excellent choice for rental properties or temporary living situations. The fact that they are easily installed and removed without altering the property’s structure or requiring major modifications makes them ideal for situations where permanent changes aren’t possible.

Is it worth using a Ductless range hood?

I must say the answer to this question is YES. They are effective, efficient and very easy to install. So if you are looking for an upgrade from your current range hood or just want an easier installation, I would highly recommend going with a ductless range hood.

I hope this blog post has helped you understand how a ductless range hood works and some of the benefits that come with using one. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below. Happy cooking!


Conversion kits are ideal for homeowners who aren’t sure whether they would like a traditional range hood or a ductless system for their kitchen ventilation. Now I hope you understand how does a ductless range hood work.

By installing the Ductless Conversion Kit, you can easily convert a traditional ducted range hood into a ductless vent hood. Moreover, charcoal filters provide excellent filtration, so you can rely on them to keep your kitchen clean.