Do Range Hoods Have To Be Vented Outside?

Range hoods are a crucial kitchen component, working to eliminate smoke, steam, and cooking odors that can otherwise accumulate and make your home uncomfortable.

However, if you’re considering installing a range hood, you may wonder whether it needs to be vented outside.

While some homeowners may prefer to have their range hood vented outdoors, others may not have the option due to the layout of their homes. So, do range hoods have to be vented outside?

Do Range Hoods Have To Be Vented Outside?

Do Range Hoods Have To Be Vented Outside

Usually, range hoods do not require ventilation to the outside. In addition to ductless hoods, there are ductless range hoods that you can purchase. Typically, ducted range hoods are preferred over ductless ones.

In contrast, ductless hoods recirculate your cooking exhaust into your kitchen to remove all of the smoke and cooking exhaust from it.

Generally speaking, gas stoves produce a lot of heat and harmful contaminants, so we recommend venting them outside.

Most electric stoves won’t operate as well as a ventless hood, so you can use one in place of a vent. It is best to use a ventless hood to keep your kitchen air fresh and clean.

Consider the pros and cons of venting a range hood outside and what alternatives homeowners may have.

While ductless hoods often trap grease in charcoal filters, they are less effective than ducted hoods. With a range hood operating at maximum speed, you may want more power, which is impossible.

Also, ventless hoods produce less power than ones with an exterior vent. Remember that ducted range hoods must vent outside. Venting your hood into an attic, ceiling joists, or soffit is not allowed.

Eventually, grease and moisture will build up, resulting in mold growth and even property damage.

No question that buying your first ducted hood can be nerve-wracking. The average person will buy one or two hoods in their lifetime.

A first-time buyer might think installing a ducted hood is quite a hassle and expense. Consequently, you may consider a ductless hood as the best choice.

Having a ductless hood means you won’t need to worry about ductwork installation, planning, size, buying DIY tools for installation, finding a contractor…the list is endless.

Installing a ducted hood will be easy if you hire the right contractor. Moreover, you can install the hood yourself.

To sum it up, if you’re looking for a ducted range hood, make the investment. It will improve air quality so that you and your family can breathe cleaner air for a long time.

In addition, it’s incredibly convenient, allowing you to vent the smoke outside in minutes. Cooking will become easier with this new modern kitchen upgrade.

Furthermore, it serves as a great conversation starter. Your guests will probably be unable to take their eyes off it!

Is It Possible to Install a Ducted Range Hood Without an Outside Vent?

Is It Possible to Install a Ducted Range Hood Without an Outside Vent

Installing a ducted range hood without an outside vent differs from installing an electric range hood.

  • First of all, I think it’s illegal.
  • Secondly, it is not very effective.
  • Third, you may damage your house in the process.

Certain appliances must have vents according to the National Appliance Standards Act. Without a license, you could face fines and jail time.

What if you only want to add a cooker hood over your stovetop or a fan above your cooktop? Should you be worried about the consequences when it comes to breaking any law?

Check out the top reasons you shouldn’t bother installing a range hood without an exterior vent.

You Risk Damage To Your Home

You Risk Damage To Your Home

Range hoods without exterior vents can pose serious threats.

First of all, you’re putting yourself at risk. There is a risk of structural damage caused by air rushing into your house due to the lack of capacity for holding this pressure level.

Furthermore, you are increasing the chance of a fire starting. When it comes to grease fires, you will find that they aren’t easy to put out, and if you fail to provide enough airflow, they could worsen.

You’re Likely Wasting Money

When you install a range hood without an external vent, you won’t save much energy. An exhaust fan is usually used to pull air into the unit and exhaust it out the side of the hood.

Whether you have an external vent or not, you should still run a fan. If you live in an area where it is very drafty, you should still have a vent installed.



As food cooks, grease accumulates near heat sources, such as stoves and ovens. It is perilous to handle this grease because it may become extremely hot.

If you don’t have an outlet nearby, grease can splash on your walls and floors.

A grease fire is also challenging to extinguish. A vent is a means of ventilating them, allowing smoke and gases to escape.

Which Is Better: Ducted Hoods Or Ductless Hoods?

Even though ductless range hoods are a viable option for your kitchen, ducted range hoods are still preferred. When choosing a ductless hood, here are a few reasons why you should consider a ducted one.

More Cost-Effective

More Cost-Effective

Whether ducted or ductless, Hoods are reliable investments for your kitchen that will last 10 to 15 years, a ductless hood can provide plenty of benefits for your home in some situations.

In the case of a few cooks a year, or it isn’t possible to install ductwork, you are better off with a ductless hood. If you buy a ductless hood, there is a small risk of being disappointed with the power.

As a result, you might need a replacement hood with a larger CFM and ducts to the outside. Your range hood may wear out quickly if you keep it running at the highest speed all the time.

Easier To Maintain

You might believe that ductless hoods are easier to maintain than ducted hoods. However, you must replace charcoal filters every couple of months and baffles or mesh filters.

Moreover, due to their reduced power, ductless hoods are more likely to accumulate grease and oil on the surface. Due to ducts, you do not need to clean the kitchen hood as often because contaminants are removed from the air.

Additionally, baffle filters are dishwasher-safe, so cleaning is quick and easy.

More Powerful

Ducted range hoods can produce up to 2000 CFM, while ductless range hoods have 600 or less CFM. With such powerful motors, ducted hoods have a greater chance of keeping their reliability.

There is no doubt that the majority of homeowners would like their ductless hoods to have more power.

Using a ductless hood can make sense if you don’t cook often or live in an apartment where ductwork isn’t allowed. However, those who cook frequently will definitely prefer high-powered fans.

More Versatile

You can cook a variety of food since ducted range hoods effectively remove smoke and grease. The speed can also be set at lower levels depending on what you’re cooking. The lower speeds cannot draw enough air compared to a ductless hood.

Can You Install a Range Hood Without An Outside Vent?

An outside venting hood can provide the best ventilation in some kitchens, but it is unnecessary. The term “ductless” or “recirculating” range hoods generally refers to those that don’t vent outside.

The benefits of ductless range hoods are that they require neither outside vents nor ductwork, so they can be used in any house or apartment. It’s as simple as mounting them around the wall, under a cabinet, or to the ceiling.

There is no need to perform additional construction or incur additional costs. Smoke and fumes wouldn’t go outside without being sent into the atmosphere?

Before recirculating air back into the room, ductless range hoods clean contaminated air using carbon filters.

Can You Convert An Existing Range Hood From Ductless To Ducted?

The conversion of a ductless range hood to a ducted one is sometimes possible, but it depends on which model it is.

The exhaust port on some ductless hoods is missing, so you can’t connect them to an outdoor duct with them. It is only possible to purchase ductless models.

Other recirculating hoods contain a place to store disposable filters as well as an exhaust port for connecting to ducts. It is called a convertible hood and can either be ducted or ductless.

Some convertible hoods simply feature an opening that may be connected to a duct at any time. For some of the models, you must remove removable panels before you can connect them to outside vents.

Should I Replace My Recirculating Range Hood With One That Is Vented Outside?

If you are able to do it, do it. The experience of cooking will indeed be upgraded as a result. However, do some research first.

Making the right decision for your home is essential since this will be a long-term investment. If you decide to replace your ductless hood with a ducted one, you should consider the following.

Do Building Codes Allow For A Ducted Range Hood?

In some areas, the installation of ducted range hoods is not permitted. In apartment complexes, ductless hoods are often allowed only because no ductwork is available. There is no restriction on ducted range hoods in most residential homes.

Do You Have The Budget?

It costs between $200 and $500 to install ductwork for most range hoods, according to the installation’s length, size, and complexity. A replacement hood is not expensive, but it is important to have a budget before making a purchase.

Do You Have The Right Kitchen Setup?

It is essential to ensure adequate ductwork before replacing your hood. You can consult a contractor to ensure there is enough room for ductwork.

You may have difficulty venting externally due to electrical work or studs within your walls. Therefore, making sure your path outside is unobstructed is crucial.

Can You Vent Your Current Range Hood?

Buying a replacement hood is not necessary if your current range hood can be vented to the outside. The time you save will also be money saved!

Keeping two things in mind is important. The first thing to ask is how satisfied you are with the CFM of your hood.

Your air will be cleaned by venting outside, but it might not solve all your problems. Depending on how much smoke and grease buildup is in the kitchen, you may need to purchase a higher CFM range hood.

What about ductwork? Do you have any room for it? Great, if so! If not, you may still vent your hood outside. It may take some extra time and effort to plan out the shortest path to the outside of your house.

Do Smoke, Grease, And Cooking Odors Remain In Your Home After Using Your Hood?

You might not get enough air movement in your hood if this occurs. If you frequently cook, grill, or do Asian cooking too much, the hood probably can’t keep up with you.

As much as possible, we want you to avoid replacing your hood. If you are buying a CFM fan, you need to make sure that you know how much you need.

Final Words

Do I need a ductless hood, or do I just need no hood at all? There is no harm in having a range hood at all because it is better than not having one at all.

Despite the fact that ducted models are ideal, ductless hoods can still be extremely effective at ventilating the kitchen.

They indeed recirculate air. However, carbon filters can still neutralize smoke and odors effectively. Moreover, they trap grease so that it won’t end up in the air or create a film on your kitchen surfaces.

Outdoor installation of duct range hoods is much more effective. You are advised to install a ducted range hood on the outside of your house by many experts.

This will improve your home’s indoor air quality and filter it better, eliminating risks. Be sure to choose a ducted range hood that fits well with your kitchen design if you select this option.

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