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Is 300 CFM enough for my range hood?

Is 300 CFM enough for my range hood? - Proline Range Hoods

With a 300 CFM range hood over your stove, you will likely find yourself wanting more power to vent grease, smoke, and toxins outside your home. It won’t give you much flexibility in the kitchen. Also, lower CFM hoods tend to be of lower quality. So, although you can find low CFM range hoods on the market, for most people, they won’t vent enough air and they’ll wear down quickly.

4 Reasons 300 Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM) is Not Enough for Your Range Hood

PLFW Vector - 600 CFM Range Hood

In most cases, the lowest amount of power you want for your range hood CFM is about 600 CFM. Any lower than that and your range hood fan won’t move enough air to keep your kitchen air fresh and clean.

A 300 CFM range hood is not enough if:

You cook frequently.

If you cook several times a week, you need a fan that will be able to move the smoke and grease produced from your cooking.

You cook Asian food, greasy, food, fried food, or other foods that require high heat or produce strong smells.

300 CFM is inadequate to capture heavy grease efficiently and vent a large amount of smoke from your kitchen. In just a few short minutes, your kitchen will fill with smoke and the cooking odors will be overwhelming. To clean your kitchen air, you’ll need an exhaust fan that is at least 600 - 900 CFM.

For those who cook a lot of Asian food, we recommend our 900+ CFM professional hood series.

Learn more about our 600 and 900 CFM range hoods below.

Best 600 CFM Range Hoods and Buyer’s Guide

Best 900 CFM Range Hoods and Buyer’s Guide

You cook a variety of foods.

High CFM variable speed range hoods allow you to cook a wide variety of foods. For low-heat foods or if you need to simmer or warm food, the lower speeds are great. Medium speed works for most jobs in the kitchen, and the highest speed is for venting a heavy amount of smoke or steam out of your kitchen.

You have a large kitchen range.

Standard kitchen ranges are 30” and 36” wide, while 42” and above are not as common. The larger your kitchen range, the more heat it produces, and the more power your fan needs. So, with a 42” or wider kitchen range, you’ll need a higher CFM exhaust fan to clean your kitchen air efficiently.

Why You Might Need a 300 CFM Range Hood

You’re on a tight budget.

Most 300 CFM range hoods are incredibly affordable. But, be aware that if you are a frequent cook and you try to save money by purchasing a low-CFM hood, you may have to spend more money in the long run. Heavy use of your low-CFM hood will reduce its longevity; it won’t perform efficiently for very long.

You rarely cook.

If you rarely cook, you won’t be putting a lot of strain on your fan, so you might be able to get by with a 300 CFM kitchen range hood.

You don’t cook a lot of strong-smelling foods.

Cooking smells often linger longer than smoke or dirt in the air, sometimes for a couple of days. To freshen the kitchen and rid yourself of these strong smells, you’ll need a high CFM kitchen fan.

You cook low-heat foods and don’t have a lot of variety in your cooking.

300 CFM range hoods aren’t the most versatile, but that’s not as pressing of an issue if you don’t cook a variety of foods. If you cook similar foods often and they don’t fill the kitchen with smoke, 300 CFM may work great for you.

Your range produces 30,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs) or lower.

One reliable way to calculate minimum range hood CFM is to take the total BTUs of your range and divide that number by 100.

For example, if your range produces 30,000 BTUs, then you will need a minimum CFM of 300 for your range hood fan. This is not the only factor that affects CFM, though; it also depends on your cooking style and habits.

An Alternative to 300 CFM Range Hoods: 600 CFM Range Hoods

Is 300 CFM enough for my range hood? PLFW 544

Compared to a 300 CFM hood, a 600+ CFM hood is:

More Flexible and Versatile

With a 600+ CFM fan, you’ll be able to use the low and high speeds alike to cook a wide variety of foods. Compare the different speeds of a 300 CFM range hood to the speeds of a 900 CFM range hood.

300 CFM Range Hood

  • Low - 150 CFM
  • High - 300 CFM

900 CFM range hood (our PLJW 120, for example)

  • Low - 385 CFM
  • Medium - 490 CFM
  • High - 615 CFM
  • Max - 900 CFM

In addition, some 600 CFM range hoods are available as ducted or ductless. So you have the freedom to choose what type of hood you want. 600 CFM range hoods can accommodate a wide variety of kitchen designs and preferences.

More Durable

In addition to the added flexibility and versatility, 600+ CFM hoods are also more durable. The lower CFM you go, generally, the lower the quality of your range hood. High CFM hoods are pretty specialized and they’re not as popular, so you’ll find that these more powerful hoods are higher quality, built with more durable materials.

More Cost-Effective in the Long Run

300 CFM hoods are often made of cheaper motors and other components. So you may find yourself buying a second hood after just a few years of use.

Easy to Handle in Kitchen Emergencies

One great perk of high-CFM hoods is that the highest speed is great in a pinch. If you have a lot of smoke build up in your kitchen, turn the fan on high, and in a few moments, your kitchen air will be clean.

But, a 300 CFM range hood doesn’t give you this option, as there aren’t higher speeds to turn it to when needed. So, it’s difficult to handle an emergency situation.

Best CFM for a Range Hood

The best CFM for a range hood depends on the cook. Most 300 CFM and 400 CFM kitchen range hoods don’t pack enough power to vent heavy grease outside of the kitchen. They won’t be strong enough to keep up with the heat and grease produced by gas ranges, either. Instead, go for at least a 600 CFM range hood. Variable speed is also a huge perk. Some hoods even turn all the way down to 100 CFM for ultra-quiet use.

To learn more about range hood CFM, check out this guide.

Or to check out some of Proline’s best 600 CFM range hoods, click on the banner below.

Other FAQ

What size duct do I need for a 300 CFM range hood?

A 6” duct is best for a 300 CFM hood. Here is a helpful chart showing ductwork size and CFM.

Do I need makeup air for a 300 CFM range hood?

No, unless your landlord or building codes require it. Or, if you are in a small kitchen, you might choose to install make up air for your hood. For more information about makeup air, click here.

We hope this article gave you a thorough answer to the question 'is 300 CFM enough for my range hood?' Remember that the larger the CFM, the better. Thanks for reading!

What exactly is CFM? Here's a deep dive.

Related Articles

What size duct do I need for a 300 CFM range hood?

A 6” duct is best for a 300 CFM hood.

Do I need makeup air for a 300 CFM range hood?

No, unless your landlord or building codes require it. Or, if you are in a small kitchen, you might choose to install make up air for your hood. For more information about makeup air, click here.
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