Ducted vs Ductless Range Hood

ducted vs ductless range hood

Whether you're remodeling your kitchen, or just shopping around to see what's out there, if you're in the market for a new range hood, you've heard the term "ducted" and "ductless".

There is a stark difference when comparing ducted vs ductless range hoods. Both have benefits and drawbacks.

In this article, we're going to break down these two types of range hoods to help you decide which type is best for your kitchen.

Let's get started!

What is a ducted range hood?

A ducted range hood is fairly self-explanatory; its a range hood that's connected to a duct system. You can tell a range hood is ducted if you see a large tunnel coming out of the top of the unit. This is the air tunnel that connects to your ducts and sucks up the dirty air.

These types of range hoods are generally more expensive and trickier to install. However, they provide better venting, since the air is forced out of the kitchen through the ducts.

Pros and cons of ducted range hoods

Before you go out and purchase a ducted range hood, here's the pros and cons you should be aware of. 


  • Better odor removal - Since the air is taken out of the kitchen rather than filtered and recirculated, ducted range hoods do a noticeably better job removing odors. 
  • Runs more efficiently - A ducted range hood only has to remove air. It doesn't have to filter and recirculate it. This saves energy and is often quieter. 


  • Needs to be installed near a duct - You can't have a ducted range hood without a duct. If your kitchen isn't already configured for a ducted range hood, part of the installation process will involve routing and installing ducts to reach your range. 
  • Tend to be more expensive - Since ducted range hoods are larger and require a more involved installation process, expect higher initial costs. 

What is a ductless range hood?

A ductless range hood is similar to a ducted range hood, except it's not connected to a duct system. Instead of pulling air out of your kitchen, a ductless range hood filters and recirculates air.

Ductless range hoods are more common, especially in mid-range homes. They're cheaper and still reasonably effective. 

Pros and cons of a ductless range hood

Before you buy a ductless range hood, give these pros and cons some consideration first. 


  • Cheaper - Since ductless range hoods are smaller and less complicated, expect to pay less for them. 
  • Can be installed anywhere - You don't need to worry about being connected to a duct, so you can install your ductless range hood anywhere!


  • Less effective at removing odors and smoke - Rather than removing the dirty air, a ductless range hood filters and recirculates it. 
  • Louder - A ductless range hood has to do more than a ducted range hood, because of this, they're noisier, especially cheaper models. 

How to Choose a Range Hood For Your Kitchen

Knowing the difference between a ducted and a ductless range hood is the first step towards choosing the best one for your kitchen.

Before you purchase a new range hood, consider your budget, how much space you have, and the quality of air purification you need.

If you have a smaller home and don't cook very often, a ductless range hood will be just fine. They're inexpensive and do an excellent job for most residential kitchens.

If you have a larger kitchen, especially a commercial kitchen, you probably want to consider splurging for a ducted range hood. The air quality will be better, but you should be prepared to spend more, and potentially have to reorganize your kitchen to ensure you can reach your ducts.

>>Related Content: Best Ductless Range Hood

Let us know your thoughts!

What type of range hood do you have? Which one are you considering for your kitchen? Let us know in the comments section below!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *