Ducted vs. Ductless Range Hood: Which One to Buy?

February 05, 2024

Ducted vs. Ductless Range Hood: Which One to Buy?

Having understood the importance of a kitchen air cleaner, you might now be wondering about the real deal: How do I choose the best one? There are lots of types of kitchen air cleaners in the market, such as exhaust fans, RV fans, regular built in rangehoods, microwave hoods, and many more! But did you know that there are only two underlying principles behind them? The AirHood team has done a research that, regardless of the brand, all air cleaners are either venting hoods or recirculating hoods.  


Venting Hood or Ducted Range Hood 

venting hood, also known as a ducted range hood, uses a pipe to connect the hood to an outside wall, channeling the air outside through a duct. This venting mechanism is sucking the air from your kitchen and channels it outside of the wall with the pipe that connects your kitchen to the street.  


AirHood Blog - An Example of Vented Hood

An Example of Vented Hood


While a ducted range hood usually has a higher flow rate because it pulls out more air and is simpler as it doesn't require any filters, it does require access to the outside wall. This design can be inconvenient and challenging for certain types of residential buildings, such as old buildings with pre-installed range hoods. New apartment buildings with a very compact layout might not be the best for venting hoods as well, because there will be a minimum airflow and less open space. Even if they use one, studies said that they use flat exhaust ports with halved flow rate performance, which is not very efficient, just to not make the compact building areas smelly (Kang et al., 2017). Buildings located in lowland also have a relatively poor venting efficiency due to the lower position of the exhaust port, meaning that the movement of the air is against its natural upward flow (Kang et al., 2017).


AirHood blog - exterior view of vented hood
 The Exterior View of Vented Hood


Furthermore, ducted hood requires more work and costs for the installation and maintenance of the pipe that connects to the outer wall of the house. Regular maintenance and inspections are needed for the duct, as it might get damaged or lose some of its parts over time.  

Recirculating Hood or Ductless Range Hood

On the other hand,recirculating hoods are suitable for old houses, densely populated areas, and lowland buildingsrecirculating hoodalso known as ductless range hood, draws in the air into the body of the range hood with the help of a powerful ventilator.


AirHood blog - microwave hoods are typically recirculating hoods

Microwave Hoods Are Typically Recirculating Hoods


The air then immediately passes through the carbon or charcoal filter, which removes theodor and captures small particles that come in. Afterward, the clean and filtered air is released and recirculated back into the kitchen. As it is not connected to a pipe, ductless or recirculating hood is easier to install and more accessible to be placed anywhere without changing your home layout.  


Which one should you buy?


AirHood blog - comparison ducted vs ductless range hood

Comparison of Ducted vs. Ductless Range Hood


The table above shows that the ductless range hood has some more advantages over the ducted one in terms of mobility and energy consumption, in which the ductless consumes less energy than the ducted hood.  

Having more mobility means you can freely place your ductless range hood without worrying about the pipe. You can rest assured that your walls won’t get damaged since there's no need to cut a hole. Second, more energy-saving means that less power is consumed, and less electricity bills. This is mainly because the recirculating hood uses activated carbon or charcoal filter to trap grease, odors, and other contaminants from the air. Hence, no energy from the ductwork is needed to push the air through the long pipe. 

With so much great information on the ductless range hood, you might have some questions, such as: Is the air generated from the recirculating hood powerful enough to remove toxins? Is there adequate testing, and what about maintenance? 

No worries, your concerns are easily answered with the AirHood. The AirHood can effectively remove gases, chemical vapors, VOCs including benzene, and cooking odors. It also has a dishwasher-friendly stainless steel oil filter with a multiple-year life span and an activated charcoal filter, that is easily replaceable and successfully tested, with an estimated use time of 100 hours.  

AirHood Blog - The AirHood in four colors

The AirHood Is A Ductless Kitchen Air Cleaner


After reading this article, now can you guess which mechanismis used by an exhaust fan and a microwave hood? Find out if you're correct by following us on social media! 

Continue browsing our collection here.


Article credit: The AirHood Team 


Kang, Kyungmo, Taeyeon Kim, and Yun-gyu Lee. "A Survey on improvements of range hood in apartment." KIEAE Journal 17.5 (2017): 43-50.


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