Which Is Better Ducted Or Ductless Range Hood? 2023 Ultimate Guide

Do you know which is better ducted or ductless range hood? Range hoods are necessary for keeping your kitchen air clean. They remove and filter the air that contains smoke, gas, food particles, and other contaminants, which is why range hoods are essential to install in the kitchen, whether home or commercial. Range hoods are available in both ducted and ductless configurations.

 The main difference between these ranges is that ductless range hoods are more commonly used due to their lower cost. A ductless hood makes a lot of noise while extracting all the grease and smoke from the air. At the same time, for a quiet and clean operation, most professional homeowners prefer ducted range hoods. I’ve got you covered if you’re trying to figure out which one you need for your kitchen or which one is best. Look through the information below to learn more about ductless and ducted range hoods and choose the one that suits you most.

 Which Is Better Ducted Or Ductless Range Hood?

When installing a new cooking range, one of the most important factors to consider is the type of exhaust hood required. Two types of exhaust hoods are available, including ducted and ductless models. Finally, the decision will be yours based on your range and kitchen layout. However, it would be best if you made an informed decision.

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Feature Comparison:

FeatureDucted Range HoodDuctless Range Hood
VentilationThrough ducts, it extracts and expels cooking odors.Recirculates air within the kitchen and filters it.
InstallationIt needs professional installation and ductwork.As it does not require ductwork, it is easier to install.
CostInstalling and ducting make it more expensive.It’s usually cheaper upfront.
EffectivenessSmoke and odors are gone in a flash.Improves air quality less than ducted hoods.
FlexibilityPlacement is limited by ducting.Installed in various places in the kitchen.
Noise LevelNoise is generally expelled outside, so it is generally quieter.Due to recirculation, it tends to be louder.
MaintenanceDucts need to be cleaned and filters need to be changed occasionally.For optimal performance, filters need to be cleaned or replaced often.
AestheticsDucts are hidden, so it’s more discreet.Kitchen aesthetics may be affected by visible filters.

Ducted Range Hood

A ducted range hood is linked to a duct by pipes that direct airborne particles from the kitchen to the outside. However, depending on the availability of ducts in your kitchen, some designs may limit where you can install a ducted range hood. A ducted range hood can be stylish and help improve your kitchen look.

However, it is a common type of hood in a commercial kitchen. It is because it transports more smoke, dirty air, and fumes to the outside. Compared to ductless designs, ducted hood exhaust systems are quieter and more efficient. The noise level, however, will vary depending on the size, brand, model, and how well you maintain your hood.

Pros of Ducted Range Hoods

  • Removes strong cooking odors in minutes by directing all smoke and grease to the outside of your home.
  • Powerful fans for better ventilation.
  • Operate without producing much noise. And maintain a calm and quiet kitchen atmosphere. 
  • Simple to maintain
  • It comes in a stylish design
  • Affordable
  • Last more than ten years
  • Moves a lot more air in a shorter amount of time – up to 2000 cubic feet per minute (CFM)
  • The go-to choice for outdoor kitchens.

Cons Of Ducted Range Hoods

  • Need a professional to install ducted range hoods
  • It requires ductwork

Ductless Range Hood

Ductless range hoods lack ducts or pipes to channel airborne particles outside the kitchen. Instead, they feature powerful exhaust fans that filter dirty air and smoke before returning it to the room.  They use a recirculation process to improve indoor air quality. A ductless range hood is more adaptable than a ducted range hood because it can be installed anywhere. It also makes adjusting your cooking canopy easier when remodeling your kitchen. 

A charcoal filter is used in ductless hoods to help clean the air of your kitchen. These filters need to be replaced every 6 to 12 months to ensure that any air returned to your kitchen is clean. Don’t worry; replacing these filters isn’t difficult. Changing your charcoal filters is a simple task. Don’t worry; replacing these filters isn’t difficult. Changing your charcoal filters is a simple task.

Pros of Ductless Range Hoods

  • Excellent for apartment dwellers.
  • Typically less expensive than ducted range hoods
  • Because they do not require ductwork, you save time and money on installation.
  • It can be installed anywhere as it does not require any specific area. 

Cons of a Ductless Range Hood

  • Not suitable for frying, grilling, or high-heat cooking.
  • Charcoal filters must be replaced after 6 to 12 months.
  • It is not recommended for use over outdoor grills.

What Features To Look For When Selecting A Ducted Or Ductless Range Hood?

Size and adaptability

Choosing the right size is crucial here. A range hood should be large enough to emit all the smoke from your kitchen. A smaller range hood will only be able to remove some of the smoke and moisture from the cooking area. On the other hand, a range hood that is too large may not fit perfectly in your cooking canopy and affect your overall décor. A ductless range hood is more adaptable than a ducted hood because it can be installed virtually anywhere.

Reduce Heat And Moisture

Moisture and heat are ejected from the kitchen by ducted models. As a result, your kitchen will stay cooler and dryer. While A ductless range hood may filter the dirty air from your cooktop, the heat and moisture are retained when the air is recirculated back into the room.


Ductless hoods have built-in fans and filters that capture airborne granules, making you regularly clean the filter. Otherwise, it will affect the performance of the hood. On the contrary,  Ducted range hoods instantly vent all smoke and odors to the outside, making them easier to maintain than ductless models.

Noise Levels

Ductless range hoods have large fans because they suck in dirty air and filter it before blowing it back into the kitchen. The large fans have to put more effort into the process, so they make more noise.  While fans installed in ducted range hoods operate more quietly and efficiently. Because no force is required to clear the dirty air through filters. 

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Maintenance Tips for Range Hoods

Regular Cleaning: 

Clean your range hood’s interior and exterior regularly. Dirt and grease can slow it down. For cleaning, use mild detergents and non-abrasive materials. By cleaning your range hood properly, you’ll prevent grease and grime from building up, which can cause a fire.

Replace Filters: 

You should replace your range hood’s filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions. To maintain effective air filtration, clean or replace them as necessary. The kitchen air quality is reduced when your hood’s filters are dirty or clogged.

Check Ventilation Ducts: 

You should clean the ventilation ducts on ducted range hoods. Airflow and ventilation can be hampered by blocked ducts. Smoke and odors are effectively removed from your kitchen with clear ducts.

Inspect Fans and Motors: 

Inspect the fans and motors to make sure they’re working. Lubricate moving parts as needed and fix any odd noises right away. Maintaining your range hood’s fans and motors keeps noise levels low and extends its life.

Safety Checks: 

Keep your electrical connections and wiring safe by checking them periodically. Ensure the fan and lighting are working. Keep your electrical system safe with regular safety checks.

Professional Maintenance:

Having professional maintenance done every year is a good idea. Experts can do a thorough inspection, clean hard-to-reach areas, and fix any problems. Range hoods need professional maintenance to stay safe and efficient.

Environmental Considerations

In order to ensure the efficient and eco-friendly operation of your range hood while maintaining a clean and healthy kitchen environment, you should follow these considerations of environmental factors.

  • Energy Efficiency: Choose a range hood that’s energy-efficient. Choose models with ENERGY STAR certification, which means they use less energy. You’ll save money and reduce your carbon footprint with energy-efficient hoods.
  • Recyclable Materials: Consider range hoods made from recyclable materials, such as stainless steel or aluminum. They’re eco-friendly and can be recycled at the end of their lives. Manufacturing and disposing of recyclable materials reduces environmental impact.
  • Carbon Filters: Consider carbon filters if you’re using a ductless range hood. They capture and neutralize odors, so you don’t need chemicals or deodorizers. Using carbon filters in your kitchen reduces the use of chemicals.
  • Noise Levels: Range hoods designed for quiet operation are best. You’ll be uncomfortable, and your house will be noisy if your hood is noisy. You’ll live in a quieter environment with a quiet hood.
  • Sustainable Manufacturing: Find eco-friendly and sustainable manufacturers. Supporting these companies encourages responsible manufacturing. Using sustainable manufacturing reduces the range hood industry’s environmental impact.
  • End-of-Life Disposal:  Recycle old range hood components and materials whenever you can. Using proper disposal methods reduces landfill waste. Reduce landfill pollution and conserve resources with environmentally responsible disposal.

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Editors Note

 Professionals prefer ducted range hoods due to their better performance. Despite the numerous advantages of having a ducted range hood, some people prefer ductless models for their home kitchens because they offer greater flexibility in terms of location. They don’t have to move ductwork; ductless hoods give you more options for how and where to install them during a kitchen remodel. When selecting the design of your range hood to suit your style and personal preferences, it is critical to consider aesthetics and functionality.