Unobtrusive range hoods meet several key trends for kitchens today: health, style, and functionality.
Range hoods were a top-selling category last year on Houzz, according to the website’s 2020 Kitchen Trends Study. The study asked homeowners that had recently embarked on a renovation project about their choices—56% opted to update their range hood.
A discreet range hood can allow a kitchen’s cabinets to be on full display for homeowners who enjoy a built-in look while often promising high indoor air quality and quiet functions that do not take away from a guest's experience.
More homeowners and residential professionals are noting contemporary design may soon outpace transitional and traditional styles for the most popular kitchen aesthetic choice, which can include sleek, panel-ready appliances and modern cabinetry, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s (NKBA) 2021 Design Trends Study. The survey found 55% of residential professionals said contemporary would be extremely popular and 53% said transitional. Unobtrusive, hidden range hoods can fit this trend well.
As more Americans are comfortable welcoming guests to their homes, homeowners have some hosting to catch up on. With the kitchen being the hub of the home, it’s expected many gatherings will end up surrounding the kitchen. A whisper-quiet range hood is practical and offers functions that homeowners want.
Events from this past year have also propelled health topics to the top of homeowner’s priority lists, and the kitchen is known as one of the most significant contributor to a home’s poor indoor air quality, according to Broan-NuTone.
With all that considered, here are six unobtrusive range hoods to consider:
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400 Series Ventilation - Gaggenau
The design-first German brand offers residential professionals kitchen ventilation options ranging from wall-mount to retractable downdrafts. Its most recent range hood release, the 400 series, puts quiet and obtrusive at the forefront. The brand’s new integrated downdraft system lives on the countertop next to the cooking appliance and sucks up odors without unwanted sound, says Gaggenau. It automatically responds when the cooking appliance is in use and offers several ventilation systems.
Faber’s High-Light range hood acts as a sleek overhead LED light and built-in ventilation system. It offers four different touch controls, an ADA-compliant remote control, a silent kit, 24-hour anti-pollution mode, and 30-minute auto shut-off. The High-Light range hood installs flush to the ceiling, comes in three CFM models, measures 36 inches wide, and comes in stainless steel or white matte. By forcing the area through narrow slots around the perimeter of the hood, ventilation is quieter, the company says.
Broan-NuTone says the thin profile of its Downdraft Range Hoods saves space under the cabinet without sacrificing performance. The downdraft systems come in product widths ranging from 30 to 48 inches with a power of 500 CFMs. The company says it extends more than 9.5 inches tall and works well for large pots and pans. These hoods are intuitive and will bump up the speed of the blower to meet the ventilation needs by sensing heat levels.
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Though its profile is less discreet than others on this list, Fotile claims its Pixie Air hoods have a minimum noise level of 37 decibels, making its function very unobtrusive. It has an 850 CFM maximum and can automatically monitor the home’s air. When it senses dangerous toxins in the air such as carbon monoxide, it will kick into gear. It’s also motion or touch-activated, comes with a five-year warranty, and covers 6 square feet.
Air King’s ASHRAE 62.2 power packs can mount into custom canopies or flush into the bottom of cabinets. It’s California Title 24 compliant, LEED compliant, Energy Star-certified, and it claims to be one of the quietest hoods in its category, says Air King. Unlike other range hoods that work during cooking, this range hood works continuously to push stale air out and bring fresh air in.
Under-Cabinet Hood Insert - Wolf
Wolf’s under-cabinet hood features recessed controls, an ADA-compliant remote control, two LED light bars with two settings and hand-finished details. It features a backdraft transition, which the company says helps minimize a backward flow of cold air.