You want to clear the kitchen of cooking smells quickly, but the range hood noise is giving you the headache? That’s not something I envy you. I’ve dealt with a loud range hood for many years and finally decided to look for solutions. Here’s a quick overview of what you can do:
How to make a range hood quieter? Install wider and shorter ducts with less bends in order to increase air flow. Install an external blower on the outdoor wall or kitchen roof to increase the distance from the main source of noise. Install baffle or hybrid instead of mesh filters to improve airflow. Get a range hood silencer that can absorb 25-50% of the noise.
That was a quick rundown of some ideas, but please continue reading to get the full picture. Here are the top 10 guidelines on how to make your range hood quieter along with features to look for if you’re looking for a new and quieter one.
1. Go for a range hood that is at least wider than the top of your stove
A range hood that covers a wider area is less susceptible to noise, because, the cooking contaminants are captured more easily. Therefore, this allows your blower fan to efficiently expel exhaust air at a lower and quieter setting.
2. Use a vent hood blower with a quieter noise rating
Many people using range hoods are not aware of the fact that they have noise level ratings. These noise level ratings are usually given in sones.
The smaller the sones, the quieter the range hood will be and vice versa. A quiet range hood fan is set at 6 to 7 sones, which is approximately 65 decibels.
Sones are normally measured at maximum range hood speed, for instance, consider a range hood is set at 7 sones. This is the maximum noise level that this particular range hood will ever produce. However, the range will always be quieter on lower settings.
It is important to note that, your hood won’t be running on high all the time. Usually, a range hood will only run on high speed for a few minutes when the air in your kitchen contains more smoke or there is excess heat that needs to be dissipated out fast.
3. Choose a range hood with variable speed controls
With variable speed controls, you can switch between different blower speeds depending on the air condition in your kitchen.
- Since high blower speeds are noisy, you are likely to set the speed high only for a few minutes, when the air in your kitchen is hotter and stuffy. High blower speed is recommended only when you are doing some intense cooking.
- Similarly, you can set your blower speed back to low and quiet mode after you’re done with the cooking. You can still keep the blower speed low and quiet to take care of lingering odors, while you enjoy your meals.
4. Install your range hood with wider ducts
Ducts are channels that direct flue gases or stale air from the range hood to the outdoors. Compressing air through a narrow space is noisier than compressing the same volume of air through a wider space.
Therefore, to make your range hood quieter:
- You should opt for wider ducts.
- It is also advisable to select a duct that is at least of the same size as your blower.
Although, most range hood manufacturers and professionals recommend a 10-inch duct, here are some of the best options for duct diameter:
- 8-inch ducts: Suitable for a range hood with 400 to 600 CFM fan
- 8 to 10-inch ducts: Best for a601 to 900 CFM fan
- 10 to 12-inch ducts: Suitable for a 901 to 1200 CFM fan
5. Reduce the duct length and the number of turns or bends
The efficiency of a range hood decreases with increased duct length, number of bends, and, decreased duct width. The longer and more convoluted your duct run is, the louder your range hood will be.
So, to make your range hood quieter, consider doing the following:
- Choose a duct with 45 degree turns: Always avoid 90 degree or L-shaped turns, if possible. However, if we have to make a 90-degree turn, we should always separate those 90-degree elbows or turns with at least 2 feet of straight ductwork.
- Go for straight ducts as they are more efficient and quieter.
- Rather than using a flexible or a corrugated ducting, use a smooth galvanized metal ducting to achieve the best results.
- To avoid unwanted air leakages, seal the duct joints using a duct-joint mastic tape.
6. Install an external or a remote inline blower
This is the best blower option for a quiet range hood. Unlike an inline blower that is installed inside the house, an external blower is usually installed on the exterior of the house, an outdoor wall or on the kitchen roof.
7. Select baffle filters instead of mesh filters
A baffle filter is a right pick for range hood filters. Because baffle filters have wider slit-like openings, while mesh filters have small. interconnecting mesh openings. Therefore, filtration through baffle filters is quieter.
- Quieter and more efficient
- They don’t need to be cleaned as regularly
- Baffle filters are more powerful than mesh filters
- Baffle filters are effective at higher fan speeds
- Relatively expensive and difficult to install
- Mesh filters provide solid performance, regardless of the fan speed
- Affordable and easy to install.
- Less efficient than baffle
- Mesh filters need to be cleaned regularly because they easily get dirty
Wondering which filter to choose for quietness and overall performance? The new hybrid mesh/baffle-style filters combine the best features of both. The greater performance of the mesh filters on the lower fan speeds and the greater performance of baffle filters on higher speed come together with the hybrid.
8. Install a silencer or a duct attenuator
Range hood silencers act in the same way as car mufflers do: by absorbing unwanted sounds coming from blowers. When fitted to a remote inline or external blower, a silencer can decrease the exhaust noise by 25-50%.
9. Invest in exhaust timers and heat sensors
To make your range hood quieter:
- An exhaust timer will automatically shut off the blower after you’ve finished cooking.
- Heat sensors automatically turn on and adjust the exhaust fan to the appropriate speed.
10. Get a range hood with recommended CFMs
CFM, which is the measure of the range hood power, stands for cubic feet per minute. A powerful range hood will make you achieve the best ventilation at lower and quieter speeds. Though powerful range hoods are costly, they are definitely worth the money because:
- Adequate CFMs will enable your hood to effectively suck up exhaust air at lower and quieter speeds.
- If you do a lot of cooking, you might look for range hoods with energy-efficient blower motors and lighting. These types of hoods are often very quiet.