I know, I know, range hood inserts are just not as glamorous or exciting as the most visible aspects of an overall remodel or new build. I bet you won’t think that if your entire house is gifted with the smell, moisture and/or smoke from last night’s dinner. A poorly ventilated home can trap 3-5 gallons of grease per year. You are not only breathing it in the pollutants, it is adding layers of grime to your walls, ceilings and fabrics.
Inserts consist of the interior filters, switches and lights that fit within a range or cooktop hood frame. The blower can be installed within the insert or located in an external location. We work on a lot of kitchen remodels so the technical details of every product are no less important. Everything needs to perform, not just look good.
There are five different styles of range hoods. There are under cabinet and microwave hoods designed for regular ranges, pro hoods, which are usually larger and deeper for professional and commercial style cooking,downdrafts for island installations and lastly, custom.
Just because a hood is custom, it does not necessarily require a custom insert. Custom inserts will be required if the interior size of your range hood is not made to accommodate any of the standard insert options. They come in a wide variety of sizes so you should not have a problem matching any existing inserts to the existing hood designs in the market you have your heart set on, especially if it is designed with this in mind. If you are a rebel, custom inserts can still be created from most all manufacturers with a premium price.
Checklist for selecting the right kitchen hood and information to keep in mind when on the hunt:
1. A high powered gas cooktop requires an insert with more CFM (cubic feet per minute) than an electric cook top. General rule is that for every 10,000 BTU’s you need 100 cfm of ventilation.
2. The size of your cooking area and both the height from range to vent and range to ceiling. The shorter the ceiling height and wider the cooking surface, the larger the vent you will need.
3. The length of your duct – how far it needs to run to reach the outside – matters. The farther the duct runs the more CFM power the insert will need. Also, every turn is equal to approximately 7 feet of duct. Venting becomes less efficient the father it travels.
4. How you cook also makes a difference. If you generate a lot of heat and use a lot of oil, you will need a larger vent to absorb all that burn-off generated above and around your range.
5. Whether you are planning to use for wall or ceiling mounted hoods.
6. What kind of operational luxuries you desire.
7. Noise level when fan is at top speed.
8. Ease of use, functionality
With every manufacturer touting similar if not the same benefits, it is difficult to know which product is going to be the best choice. We have pulled together the TOP 5 RATED hood inserts from both consumer and professional review reports for you to consider before you press the purchase button or sign off with your contractor or designer. Ease of installation, functionality/performance and aesthetics were evaluated. I hope this helps some of you who may be considering a kitchen design upgrade soon.
Vent-a-Hood BH134SLD Range Hood Insert
Average Sale Price: $940.00–$1800.00
300 CFM single blower, patented Magic Lung Blower System Variable blower speed options
Halogen Lights, Switches, and Sensasource
Back vent or top vent
One year exterior warranty with five year internal motor warranty Sizes: 28”, 34”, 40”, 46”
Finish: brushed stainless steel
So what is so special about Venta-a-Hood’s Magic Lung Blower System you may ask? This filter-less dynamo traps all cooking contaminants, liquefies grease vapor and removes heat polluted air while also coming with a 5 year warranty (read – no maintenance required). It also easily snaps apart for intermittent cleaning and is dishwasher safe.
The Vent-a-Hood BH134SLD is an under-cabinet style range hood designed to insert in to most all hoods and comes with a pre-installed powerful 300 CFM single blower motor. Smoke, grease vapor, excess heat, steam and even airborne food particulates are quietly removed from the indoor air. 300 CFM is standard for most home kitchens but may be too low for larger range/cooktop surfaces and for those who cook a lot.
The halogen lamps are designigned to illuminate both your cooking area and surrounding sinks and countertops. With SensaSource technology, the Vent-a-Hood BH346SLD is prepared for any unexpected flare ups associated with cooking or deep frying. An easy-to-use control panel provides access to both lighting and blower speed options.
If a higher CFM and/or a wall mounted version is desired, turn to the Vent-a-Hood BH458SLDSS Stainless Steel series. You will find both the 300CFM and 600CFM options with the same technologies, warranties. and top rated reviews.
You can ‘build your own’ on their website and they have a Designer Series of hoods ready to fit any of their insert sizes. Don’t miss their outstanding idea gallery and videos either. A lot of inspiration can be found there.
Proline ProV 46L.430 Range Hood Insert
MSRP $930–$1960, average sale price (hood only) $629–$1199 900–1700 CFM, local or in-line blower
Variable speed options
Stainless steel baffle filters
2 heat lamps
Sizes: 28”, 34”, 40”, 46”, 52”, 58”
Finish: 19-gauge brushed stainless steel
The Pro Line Range Hoods ProV 46L.430 is a popular choice due to it wide range of sizes, CFM power and speed. It’s functionality, efficiency and performance also hold up while offering customization with blower option additions. Depending on which option you choose, the sound level will vary, but Pro Line is renowned for powerful yet quiet motors. All Pro Line liners, Pro Line Range Hoods and ProV 46L.430 lines come with dishwasher-safe stainless steel baffle filters that are easily removable.
The Pro Line Range Hoods ProV feature low energy, LED lighting that provide enough light to illuminate your surrounding food preparation areas surrounding your range or cooktop. Pro Line also includes 2 heat lamps with the liner, giving you the advantage of being able to keep food warm without using the oven.
The High Efficiency VexAir Blowers are available and purchased separately for the level of CFM method to be specified. We have already added the additional costs for these in to the MSRP price range above to provide a realistic picture. You can find their pricing for each individual unit on their website.
The manufacturer’s website does an excellent job providing all of the details along with a couple videos for the ProV line of hood inserts and hoods.
Kobe CH2730SQB-1 series Range Hood Insert
Price range: $1020.00-$1417.00
720 CFM blower motor, pre-installed with options for 385 CFM, 490 CFM, 615 CFM, 900 CFM 4 speeds with timer function, 46dB to 69dB plus ECO mode option
2 x 35W Halogen or LED lights
Sizes: 30”, 36”, 42”, 48”
Finish: 19 gauge high quality brushed stainless steel
The Kobe CH2730SQB is another favorite for custom kitchen designers and contractors. The wide range of CFM options meet every cooking need and 4 sizes are easy to fit in to any design challenge. The touch sensitive, 5 electronic button LCD control panel with the popular ECO mode setting is both sleek and accessible. The Kobe insert has rated extremely high in removing grease, heat, moisture and pollutants and all with one of the quietest motors in this category.
Okay, so Kobe is lacking in website aesthetics, don’t let that steer you away. It is chock full with photos and all specifications we need to make decisions and provide to installer.
Proline Pro PLFL 832 Range Hood Insert
MSRP $950–$2500, Average Sales Price $650–$1250 1000 CFM local blower, pre-installed
6 speeds, 7.0 sone noise level
Stainless steel baffle filters
Dimmable LED lights
Sizes 28”, 34”, 40”, 46”, 52”, 58”
Finish: 19-gauge #430 brushed stainless steel
The Proline Professional PLFL 832 Vent Hood Insert has a sleek and contemporary, seamless interior and exterior. It’s rated exceptionally high for its ventilating ability and a quiet fan and had the highest overall rating overall. All five of these hood inserts were rated 8.5 or above so it is safe to say, these are all great picks.
The PLFL range hood comes with a built in Professional level, 6 speed 1000 CFM blower that effectively clears the air of smoke, odors, grease and heat with 7 sones noise level set at the highest speed. The Stainless Steel baffle filters and grease tray are designed to improve grease removal and air flow but are a breeze to clean and maintain by simply placing them in the dishwasher.
The fully dimmable LED lights provide generous and sharp illumination for your range, cooktop and surrounding countertop work area. It also features a stylish “feather touch” LED electronic control panel with 6 speeds and a time delay shut off feature.
Another bonus of the Proline 832 Range Hood insert? It comes in 6 sizes from 28” to 58” so even the most unique custom designed hoods can, in most cases, find it’s match.
Proline’s website is pretty thorough and user-friendly with product details, photos and videos presented clearly. http://www.prolinerangehoods.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=64_68&products_id=396
Zephyr AK92AS Range Hood Insert
Price range: $850-$900
600 CFM internal blower
6 speeds, 6 sone noise level
Two 35 watt dual level halogen lights, 2 light settings Stainless steel baffle filters
Sizes: 30”, 36”
Finish: stainless steel
Zephyr’s Monsoon I Range Hood Insert series has developed a single one piece liner that fits most any 30” or 36” wide custom cabinet or vent hood, making it a good choice if you want to upgrade your insert in a few years without altering or replacing your hood or change your mind on your initial hood design chosen.
The range hood control panel comes with an RF remote to allow you to adjust the settings without ever reaching across a hot cooktop. The electronic touch control panel has auto delay-off, 2 light settings and 6 fan speeds. The Zephyr AK92AS range hood can be vented for either vertical or horizontal ducting and the easily removable grease tray is dishwasher safe.
Zephyr’s website offers photo galleries, videos and a wealth of specifications and design options you and any contractor will need. It is very user friendly but be patient while the site loads. That’s how much information is on there!