What Is A Convertible Range Hood & Why Do You Need One?

Kitchens require a lot of different appliances to be efficient spaces for us to cook and enjoy our meals. However, the value of range hoods is often overlooked as people focus more on primary appliances, like the refrigerator and the oven or stove itself. Having a quality range hood in your kitchen affects you more than you know, offering many benefits that keep your air and spaces clean. Of the main types of range hoods available, convertible range hoods that allow for ducted and ductless ventilation options are highly preferred. While they are going to cost a bit more than other options, convertible range hoods provide flexibility in style, installation, and how our kitchens are ventilated.

Investing in a reliable range hood is essential for many reasons, but the most important is your health and safety. Yes, range hoods make your house smell better and help keep your kitchen clean, but they also ensure we are not being exposed to harmful fumes, and also minimize the risks of grease fires. Cooking can produce carcinogens like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and formaldehyde, and it's crucial to our health that this pollution is disposed of immediately through the use of range hoods. Whether it's simply time to replace your range hood or you are unhappy with the one you currently have, here is what you can expect from a convertible system, and why it is the most efficient choice for your kitchen.

What's a convertible range hood?

Kitchen range hoods offer three types of ventilation: ducted, ductless, or convertible. A ducted range hood will ventilate your space by absorbing fumes and odors in your kitchen and pushing them out of your home through a duct. While ducted systems work externally to expel pollution like a chimney, ductless range hoods will work internally. Ductless hoods don't release the air outside; instead, they filter the air and recirculate it back into the home. So, as the name suggests, a convertible range hood combines these two ventilation methods and allows you to switch between them based on what suits you best at the moment.

Convertible range hoods can perform both ducted and ductless operations as long as you have a duct system that allows air to be expelled outside. You can still have a convertible range hood without a working duct system; it just won't be possible to use that ducted method. Convertible ranges will require routine and appropriate cleaning to continue working efficiently and provide the best air quality. It would help if you planned to clean your range hood once a month, based on how often you cook, so that grime and grease don't build up. Additionally, you'll need to clean and replace the filters that enable the ductless option. Your filters should be cleaned a few times a month and replaced every one to two years, depending on use.

Why invest in a convertible range hood?

Installing a convertible range hood can be more expensive than a ducted or ductless option. Still, it's worth the investment for many, even for those who want to remodel their kitchen inexpensively. Convertible hoods offer more flexibility in how a kitchen operates. For anyone with a ducted range, moving to a convertible one is quite simple and could be done independently since there is already a duct system, thus saving money on labor. Those without a duct system installed can look into implementing one, but it can be quite invasive unless you are already in the middle of/starting a remodel. 

You can install convertible range hoods in various ways, allowing you to choose from an under-the-cabinet placement, over an island, or mounted to a wall. But more than anything, the main benefit of a convertible range hood is that you have complete control over how your kitchen is ventilated at all times, and you'll be able to switch between the two types of ventilation based on what you are cooking. 

A ducted system generally works best for heavier cooking, expelling those odors and grease particles directly outside. This will help alleviate humidity and steam as well. Ductless may be better for lighter cooking, as it will filter through easier and recirculate better. Your fans' power will be more effective with an interchangeable system. Because of how versatile convertible hoods are in both design and functionality, they increase the overall value of your home.