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Ducted vs. Ductless Range Hoods: Which is better?

Ducted vs. Ductless Range Hoods: Which is better? - Proline Range Hoods

When shopping for a range hood, you’ll need to answer an important question: Which is better, a ducted or ductless range hood?

The answer to this question depends on your cooking habits and kitchen setup. These aren’t the same for everyone.

Fortunately, choosing your hood is not rocket science. We’ll tell you all there is to know about ducted and ductless range hoods, including their pros and cons and helpful FAQ. You’ll know which hood is best for you in no time.

For most homeowners, we recommend purchasing a ducted hood instead of a ductless hood. When it comes to power, efficiency, and longevity, ducted hoods are better than ductless hoods.

A ductless hood does not completely remove the cooking odors, smoke, and grease from your kitchen air. Instead it recirculates back into your home. But a ducted hood will move all the smoke and odors to the outside.

With a ducted hood, you’ll enjoy cleaner air and you can cook more often while keeping smoke and smells at bay.

Check out the infographic below to learn more about the pros and cons of ducted and ductless range hoods.

Ducted vs. Ductless Range Hoods Infographic

Ducted Range Hood Pros

  • Moves all the smoke and grease to the outside of your home
  • Removes strong cooking odors in just minutes
  • Easy to maintain
  • Cost-effective
  • Built to last 10+ years
  • Moves a lot more air more quickly - Up to 2000 cubic feet per minute (CFM)
  • Go-to option for outdoor kitchens

Ducted Range Hood Cons

  • Installation is a little more involved - may want to hire a contractor
  • Requires ductwork

Ductless Range Hood Pros

  • Great for those who live in an apartment
  • Typically cost less than ducted range hoods
  • Don’t require ductwork, so you save time and money on installation

Ductless Range Hood Cons

  • Not ideal for heavy frying, grilling, or high-heat cooking
  • Charcoal filters require replacement
  • Not ideal over outdoor grills

For the typical homeowner: ducted or ductless?

The typical homeowner should go with a ducted range hood if at all possible. It is more cost-effective and durable in the long run. If you go with a ducted hood you will thank yourself later. They give you so much more flexibility compared to ductless hoods. They completely clear your cooking exhaust from your home. Not to mention you always have the option to cook more food or branch out and try new cuisines.

That being said, either type of hood works. You will just want to make sure that you get enough power if you go with a ductless hood. Here are some premium ductless hoods for your kitchen.

For an avid cook: ducted or ductless?

An avid cook will definitely want a ducted hood, no questions asked.

You might be wondering: why not just buy a powerful ductless hood? Most importantly, a ductless hood does not remove the contaminants from your air. It just filters the air a little and circulates it back into your kitchen.

Aside from the fact that powerful ductless hoods are hard to find, more power won’t necessarily solve all your problems. A ductless hood can suck up more air, but the air still has to pass through charcoal filters.

These charcoal filters can only remove so many contaminants and neutralize some odors. They will struggle to keep up with the heavy grease, smoke, and oils produced from grilling, frying, or other intense cooking. You may end up replacing the filters every couple of weeks or even sooner, which can add up to quite an expense.

Simply put, you won’t be satisfied with the power of a ductless hood. It won’t keep enough smoke and odors out of your home.

For an apartment owner: ducted or ductless?

In most cases, you’ll have to install a ductless hood. Apartments have building codes that will likely not allow you to install ductwork.

If you’re in a high rise apartment building, builders don’t want you to cut in the walls and make structural changes to the building itself. Also, you won’t have room. With people above, below, and next to you, there’s simply not much room for ductwork.

For a barbecuer: ducted or ductless?

If you love to barbecue, go with a ducted range hood. You don’t really have any wiggle room here, since barbecues are incredibly hot and produce heavy smoke.

You’ll not only want a ducted hood but also one that’s outdoor rated. At Proline, we sell outdoor hoods in 304 stainless steel which is corrosion resistant and stain resistant. They handle the elements and high heat so you can have a quality outdoor hood for years to come.

One last thing: be sure to mount your ducted hood between 36 and 42 inches from your cooktop. This will reduce the risk of damaging your hood and ensure all of the pesky grease and odors move out of your outdoor space.


The general consensus is that ducted hoods are better, but there are some scenarios where a ductless hood is a great option. The average homeowner can go with either type, but should buy a ducted hood if possible. If you cook often or barbecue, you’ll love a ducted range hood. Whereas if you rent an apartment, a ductless hood may be your only option.

Thanks for reading. If you would like to learn more about ducted and ductless hoods, check out the articles below.

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