Everything You Need to Know About Installing a Kitchen Exhaust Fan

Types of Exhaust Fans for Your Kitchen

Kitchen exhaust fans are commonly used to improve air circulation and remove pollutants from the cooking area. Exhaust fans come in different sizes and types depending on the kitchen layout, cooking style, and space availability. It’s essential to understand the different types of exhaust fans to make an informed decision on which fan suits your kitchen’s needs. Below are some of the typical types of exhaust fans for your kitchen.

Wall-mounted Exhaust Fans

Wall-mounted exhaust fans are a popular type of exhaust fan for kitchens that have a wall near the cooking area. Wall-mounted exhaust fans are easy to install and budget-friendly, making them suitable for small kitchens. These fans feature a compact design, and they can either be installed on the exterior or interior part of the kitchen wall. Wall-mounted exhaust fans are designed to extract fumes and excess heat from the kitchen through the wall duct.

Wall-mounted exhaust fans are suitable for homeowners who have limited counter space. They save on overhead spaces and are ideal for both apartments and homes. Installing an exhaust fan on the wall promotes a healthier kitchen environment by removing pollutants and odors that can be harmful to your health.

Island-mount Exhaust Fans

Island-mount exhaust fans are commonly installed in kitchens with a central island or cooking range. These fans hang over the kitchen island and extract fumes and odors through the duct system. Island-mount fans come in different sizes and designs. They can range from a simple metal hood to a decorative kitchen appliance.

Island-mount exhaust fans are ideal for homeowners who want to make a statement or add a decorative touch to their kitchen. They function as a ventilator and a decorative element. They come in various materials such as stainless steel, copper, or glass and can fit in any kitchen design.

In-line Exhaust Fans

In-line exhaust fans are unique and more powerful than other exhaust fans; they are installed between the duct system to extract fumes and pollutants from the interior of the kitchen. These fans are suitable for larger kitchens and commercial establishments like restaurants. They work stealthily and are a perfect fit for a peaceful kitchen environment.

In-line exhaust fans come with a damper system to regulate the air pressure and prevent outside air from coming into the kitchen. They are energy-efficient and can either be mounted on the roof or on the exterior walls, making them flexible for any kitchen design. They come in different sizes and models and can remove a large amount of heat and smoke from the kitchen.

Under Cabinet Exhaust Fans

Under cabinet exhaust fans are suitable for kitchens that have limited overhead space. These exhaust fans are fitted beneath the cabinets, and they remain hidden from view. Under-cabinet exhaust fans come in varying sizes and designs, and some models feature LED lighting to illuminate the cooking surface. They use a duct system to extract fumes and odors from the cooking area quickly.

Under cabinet fans are easy to install and have low maintenance costs. They save space and are suitable for smaller kitchens in apartments and homes. They are budget-friendly, and some models have a low noise level making them suitable for a peaceful home environment.

Downdraft Exhaust Fans

Downdraft exhaust fans are unique and versatile. They are designed to fit in the kitchen cooking range and are perfect for homeowners who don’t like bulky appliances. Downdraft exhaust fans are built into the cooking range and remain hidden when not in use. When activated, they rise up and extract fumes and smoke from the cooking surface.

Downdraft exhaust fans are suitable for homeowners who don’t want to install a traditional exhaust fan in their kitchen. They are flexible and fit into any kitchen design. Their duct systems are designed to the floor, preventing outside air from mixing with the inside air, resulting in a cleaner kitchen environment.


The type of exhaust fan you choose for your kitchen depends on the available space, kitchen layout, and your cooking preferences. Wall-mounted exhaust fans are ideal for small kitchens, while island-mount exhaust fans are suitable for centrally located kitchens. In-line exhaust fans are perfect for larger kitchens and commercial establishments like restaurants. Under cabinet exhaust fans are suitable for kitchens with low overhead spaces, while Downdraft exhaust fans are perfect for homeowners who want a non-obtrusive ventilator that blends with the kitchen design.

How to Choose the Right Exhaust Fan Size for Your Kitchen

If you’ve decided it’s time to upgrade your kitchen’s ventilation system, one of the most important things to consider is the size of the exhaust fan. Installing an exhaust fan that is too small for your kitchen could result in inadequate ventilation while an exhaust fan that is too big could be overpowering, loudly whirring away even when it’s not needed. Here’s how to choose the right size for your kitchen:

1. Determine the Size of Your Kitchen

The first step to choosing the right exhaust fan size is to determine the size of your kitchen. Measure the length, width, and height of the space in feet. Multiply these numbers together to calculate the cubic footage of your kitchen. For example, if your kitchen is 10 feet long, 12 feet wide and 9 feet tall, the cubic footage would be 1080 cubic feet (10 x 12 x 9 = 1080).

2. Calculate the Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM)

Now that you know the cubic footage of your kitchen, you need to calculate the necessary cubic feet per minute (CFM) for the exhaust fan. The CFM is the amount of air that the exhaust fan can move out of the kitchen in one minute. It is recommended that your exhaust fan should be able to remove 15 times the volume of air in the kitchen per hour. To calculate this value, multiply the cubic footage of your kitchen by 15. So for the example above, the recommended CFM would be 1620 (1080 x 15 = 1620).

3. Consider Your Cooking Habits

When choosing the size of your exhaust fan, it is also important to consider your cooking habits. If you do a lot of heavy cooking, such as frying and grilling, you will need a fan with a higher CFM. A larger exhaust fan will be able to handle larger amounts of heat and smoke that are generated during cooking.

4. Keep in Mind Noise Levels

Exhaust fans can be noisy, and a fan that is too big for your kitchen could create unnecessary noise pollution. If you prioritize a quiet kitchen, consider purchasing an exhaust fan with a lower CFM that will still meet your kitchen’s ventilation requirements.

5. Factor in Ductwork

It is also important to consider the ductwork that will be installed with your exhaust fan. The length and size of ductwork can affect the performance of your exhaust fan. Consult with an HVAC professional to ensure that your ductwork is properly installed and sized.

6. Seek Professional Assistance

If you are unsure about the size of exhaust fan your kitchen requires or are having trouble with ductwork, it is always best to seek professional assistance. An HVAC professional can calculate the necessary CFM for your kitchen and recommend the best exhaust fan for your space. They can also install the exhaust fan and ductwork to ensure optimal performance.

Overall, choosing the right exhaust fan size for your kitchen is an important step in creating a healthy and comfortable environment for cooking and dining. By correctly calculating the necessary CFM and keeping in mind your cooking habits and noise preferences, you can find the perfect exhaust fan for your kitchen.

Benefits of Installing an Exhaust Fan in the Kitchen

One essential item you should have in your kitchen is an exhaust fan. This heart of the kitchen helps prevent harmful pollutants and unwanted odor from taking over. A kitchen exhaust fan functions by drawing out steam, heat, and smoke from your kitchen. Here are some reasons why installing an exhaust fan in your kitchen is a must:

A Clean and Fresh Air

One of the most obvious benefits of having an exhaust fan in your kitchen is that it helps keep your kitchen air clean and fresh. When cooking or using the oven, stove, or other appliances, harmful pollutants are released into the air. If these pollutants continue to circulate in the air, it can lead to various health problems such as respiratory problems or allergies. An exhaust fan can help remove these pollutants out of the kitchen and avoid potential health problems. By doing so, you get fresh and healthy air within your home.

Prevents Unwanted Odors

Would you want your house smelling like fried fish or spices that you cooked an hour ago? Well, we suppose not. Unwanted kitchen smells can linger in your home for days or even weeks, making it hard to eliminate with simple air fresheners. With an exhaust fan, the unwanted odor can be immediately removed from your kitchen, leaving your home smelling better and fresher.

Moreover, installing an exhaust fan in your kitchen helps avoid cross-contamination of odors. For example, the smell from the fish that you cooked can get mixed with leftovers in a nearby fridge, making it difficult to remove the unwanted smell. Having an exhaust fan helps remove the odor, therefore, avoiding cross-contamination of smells, which can potentially ruin the taste of your food and create an unpleasant experience.

Prevents Damage to Your Home

Another great advantage of an exhaust fan is that it helps prevent damage to your home. When cooking, excess moisture, heat, and smoke are produced. These substances can lead to mold growth, flaking paint, and damaged wood surfaces in your home. An exhaust fan helps eliminate these pollutants from your kitchen and prevent damage to your home.

When you cook, it is common for moisture to build up, which can lead to mold growth. Mold causes a lot of health problems like allergies, asthma, and other respiratory issues. Having an exhaust fan helps prevent the growth of mold that can cause health-related issues while keeping your home safe and protected.

Energy-Saving and Cost-Effective

Installing an exhaust fan in your kitchen can also be an energy-saving and cost-effective option. Run your air conditioning units less by eliminating the excess heat produced in the kitchen when cooking. As a result, your energy bills will go down, and you get to save money.

Additionally, some exhaust fans come with built-in lights, so it can be a cost-effective alternative to expensive ceiling lights. These exhaust fans offer multi-functional purposes of providing adequate light in your kitchen while doing its job of eliminating pollutants and unwanted odors.

Increases Your Home Value

If you are looking to sell your home in the future, having an exhaust fan in your kitchen can be a game-changer. It is vital to present your home in the best condition to increase your home value. A kitchen exhaust fan not only provides practical benefits but also aesthetic to your kitchen. From a buyer’s perspective, most buyers look for a home that has excellent ventilation, and installing an exhaust fan can significantly give buyers the impression that your home is a desirable and practical place to live.


An exhaust fan should be a priority for anyone who loves to spend time in the kitchen. It offers multi-functional and practical benefits, providing you with clean and fresh air, preventing unwanted odors, and avoiding potential damage to your home. An investment in a kitchen exhaust fan is a long-term investment that will pay off significantly for years to come.

Tips for Properly Maintaining Your Kitchen Exhaust Fan

Kitchen exhaust fans are an essential part of a healthy home environment. With regular maintenance, not only will they improve the quality of air in your kitchen, but they will also ensure that excess humidity and heat are removed effectively, protecting your home from the damage that can result from condensation and mold. Proper maintenance will also improve the longevity and efficiency of your exhaust fan, saving you money in the long run. Here are some tips on how to maintain your kitchen exhaust fan:

1. Keep your exhaust fan clean

This is the most important step in ensuring the efficiency and longevity of your kitchen exhaust fan. Regularly cleaning the fan blades and housing of your kitchen exhaust fan will reduce the accumulation of grease and dust, which can clog the fan and decrease its efficiency. A dirty exhaust fan will also have to work harder, leading to more noise, more wear and tear, and higher energy bills. Wipe down the fan blades and housing with a damp cloth and mild detergent, or remove and soak them in a solution of hot water and dish soap to remove built-up grease.

2. Replace the filter

The filter is an essential component of your exhaust fan and should be changed regularly, depending on how often you use it. A dirty filter will not only reduce the efficiency of your exhaust fan, but it can also be a fire hazard. Depending on your model of exhaust fan, you may need to replace the filter or clean it. If in doubt, consult the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance on how to replace or clean the filter.

3. Check the exterior vent

The exterior vent is the outlet through which the exhaust fan expels air from your kitchen. Over time, the vent can become blocked with debris such as leaves or bird nests, reducing the efficiency of your exhaust fan and creating a potential fire hazard. Regularly check the exterior vent to make sure it is clear and clean. You may need to climb up on a ladder to take a look. If you notice any blockages, clear them away carefully without damaging the vent or its components.

4. Inspect the ductwork

The ductwork is the tubing that connects the exhaust fan to the exterior vent. Over time, this tubing can become clogged with grease or dust, reducing the efficiency of your exhaust fan and creating a potential fire hazard. If you notice that your exhaust fan is not working as efficiently as it used to, or if you hear strange noises or smell burning odors, it may be time to inspect the ductwork. Depending on your model of exhaust fan, you may be able to inspect and clean the ductwork yourself, or you may need to call in a professional duct cleaning service.

5. Test your exhaust fan regularly

One of the best ways to ensure that your exhaust fan is working correctly is to test it regularly. Turn on your exhaust fan and hold a piece of paper or a smoke detector near the exhaust hood. If the paper or detector is sucked towards the hood, your fan is working correctly. If not, it may be time to clean or replace the filter, inspect the ductwork, or call in a professional for help. Testing your exhaust fan regularly will also help you detect any potential problems before they become serious.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your kitchen exhaust fan is working at peak efficiency, protecting your home from damage, and maintaining a healthy, comfortable living environment for you and your family.

Choosing the Right Exhaust Fan for Your Kitchen

When it comes to choosing the right exhaust fan for your kitchen, there are a few factors you need to consider. First and foremost, you need to figure out the size of your kitchen. The larger your kitchen, the larger the exhaust fan you will need. You also want to pay attention to the noise level of the exhaust fan. Some exhaust fans are louder than others, so if you’re sensitive to noise, you may want to opt for a quieter model.

In addition to size and noise level, you also want to consider the type of exhaust fan you want. There are two main types of exhaust fans: wall-mounted and hood-mounted. Wall-mounted exhaust fans are mounted on the wall and are typically less expensive than hood-mounted fans. However, they are not as effective at removing smoke and steam from your kitchen. Hood-mounted exhaust fans, on the other hand, are mounted above your stove and are much more effective at removing smoke and steam. However, they are more expensive to install and are typically louder.

Another thing to consider is the type of filter your exhaust fan uses. There are two main types of filters: charcoal and mesh. Charcoal filters are best for removing odors, while mesh filters are best for removing grease and smoke. Depending on your cooking habits, you may want to opt for one filter type over the other.

One final factor to consider is the brand of exhaust fan you choose. Some of the top brands on the market include Broan, Panasonic, and KitchenAid. Do some research and read reviews online to find a brand that is known for producing high-quality and reliable exhaust fans.

Overall, choosing the right exhaust fan for your kitchen requires careful consideration of several factors, including the size of your kitchen, noise level, type of exhaust fan, type of filter, and brand.