Everything You Need to Know About Kitchen Exhaust Fans

Types of Exhaust Fans for Your Kitchen

You might not realize it, but an exhaust fan is one of the most important appliances to have in your kitchen! Not only does it help to eliminate unpleasant smells and cooking fumes, but it can also improve indoor air quality and prevent excess moisture build-up which can lead to mold and mildew. So, when it comes time to choose an exhaust fan for your kitchen, there are a few different types to consider:

1. Wall-Mounted Exhaust Fans

Wall-mounted exhaust fans are, as you might guess, mounted directly on the wall above your stove or cooktop. They are typically installed by cutting a hole in the exterior wall of your home and connecting the fan’s ductwork to the outside. These types of exhaust fans come in a variety of sizes and CFM (cubic feet per minute) ratings to accommodate different types of cooktops and kitchens. Generally speaking, the larger the cooktop and the more often you cook, the higher CFM rating you’ll need to ensure adequate ventilation.

One potential downside to wall-mounted exhaust fans is that they can be quite noisy, particularly if the fan is ducted directly to the exterior of the home. Additionally, they can take up valuable cabinet space or simply be an eyesore, depending on how they are designed and installed. However, there are a variety of attractive and functional wall-mounted exhaust fans available on the market today, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding one that fits your style and needs.

2. Ceiling-Mounted Exhaust Fans

If you’re looking for an exhaust fan that won’t take up any valuable cabinet or wall space, a ceiling-mounted exhaust fan might be your best bet. These types of fans are installed directly into the ceiling, so they don’t require any additional wall space. They work by drawing cooking fumes and smoke upwards and out of your home through ductwork that’s connected to the exterior of the home.

One potential downside to ceiling-mounted exhaust fans is that they can be a bit tricky to install, particularly if you don’t have easy access to your home’s attic space. Additionally, they may not be as effective as wall-mounted fans if you have a particularly large or high-output cooktop. However, they do offer a more streamlined and attractive look in many kitchens, and they can be a lifesaver if you’re short on space.

3. Under-Cabinet Exhaust Fans

Finally, there are under-cabinet exhaust fans, which are installed underneath your cabinets and directly above your cooktop. These types of fans are a great option if you’re short on wall or ceiling space, and they can help to keep your cabinets free of cooking grease and grime. They typically come in a variety of sizes and CFM ratings to suit your needs.

One potential downside to under-cabinet exhaust fans is that they can be quite noisy, particularly if they aren’t properly installed with ductwork that’s connected to the exterior of the home. Additionally, they may not be as effective as wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted fans if you have a particularly large or high-output cooktop. Finally, they can take up valuable cabinet storage space if you have a small kitchen. However, if you’re looking for a compact and unobtrusive exhaust fan that won’t break the bank, an under-cabinet model is a great way to go.

In conclusion, choosing the right exhaust fan for your kitchen involves considering a variety of factors, from the size of your cooktop to the available wall and ceiling space in your kitchen. Ultimately, it comes down to balancing aesthetics and functionality to find the best fan for your needs.

Benefits of Proper Kitchen Ventilation

It is common knowledge that cooking can generate a lot of heat, smoke and fumes that can be hazardous to health. That’s why it is essential to have adequate ventilation in your kitchen to remove stale air and dangerous pollutants. Here are the benefits of proper kitchen ventilation:

1. Improved Indoor Air Quality

Without proper ventilation, water vapor, smoke, and cooking odors can accumulate quickly, creating a stagnant, uncomfortable atmosphere in the kitchen. Moreover, if you are using gas or propane stoves, the combustion products (carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide) can pose a risk to your health. Proper kitchen ventilation systems help to remove these harmful pollutants from your kitchen, keeping the indoor air clean and healthy.

2. Prevention of Mold and Mildew Growth

Humidity is a notorious problem in many kitchens, especially if the area lacks sufficient ventilation. A kitchen that has improper ventilation can quickly become a breeding ground for both mold and mildew, which can lead to respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and a host of other health issues. A properly installed exhaust fan kitchen system will help remove excess moisture in the air, preventing mold and mildew growth.

Moreover, mold growth can occur inside your kitchen cabinets, which can be frustrating to handle once it spreads. Inadequate ventilation can exacerbate the situation by creating condensation and high humidity levels, facilitating mold and mildew growth. Proper ventilation systems help to maintain the right humidity levels, ensuring that mold growth doesn’t become a constant problem in your kitchen.

3. Preservation of Home Infrastructure

When excess moisture and pollutants build up in the kitchen, they not only pose health risks but can also cause significant structural damage to your home. For instance, excess moisture can lead to water damage, which can affect the flooring and ceilings with lingering issues and incur additional expenses. Proper ventilation helps prevent excessive moisture in the kitchen, which will ensure that your home remains in good condition for years to come.

4. Improved Comfort Level

Cooking can generate a lot of heat, making your kitchen an uncomfortable place to be, especially during the summer months. When you have proper ventilation installed in your kitchen, excess heat is extracted along with the pollutants, reducing the temperature and improving the comfort level in your kitchen. As a result, you won’t have to worry about suffocating heat while cooking and can enjoy spending time in your kitchen with your family and friends.

5. Energy Savings

Another benefit of proper kitchen ventilation systems is their ability to reduce energy costs in your home. By improving air circulation, your kitchen will require less effort to heat or cool to its desired temperature, which can translate to significant energy savings. This is especially true for homes with HVAC equipment located near or in the kitchen.


As you have seen, having the right kitchen ventilation system in place is crucial not only for the health and well-being of your family but also for the longevity of your home. Investing in an exhaust fan kitchen system that meets your needs and preferences will improve your indoor air quality, prevent mold and mildew growth, preserve your home’s infrastructure, improve your comfort level and save you money by reducing energy costs.

Choosing the Right Size Exhaust Fan

When it comes to choosing the right size exhaust fan for your kitchen, it is important to understand the size and layout of your kitchen before making your decision. Here are three factors to consider:

1. Kitchen Size

The first factor to consider when choosing the right size exhaust fan is the size of your kitchen. The larger the kitchen, the larger the fan you will need to adequately remove cooking fumes. For example, if you have a small kitchen, measuring less than 100 square feet, you will need a fan that circulates about 40 cubic feet per minute (CFM). If your kitchen is between 100 and 200 square feet, you will need a fan that can handle about 75 CFM. For larger kitchens, measuring over 200 square feet, you will need a powerful fan that can handle around 100 CFM or more. By choosing the right size fan, you will be able to remove cooking fumes and prevent the buildup of harmful pollutants in the air.

2. Cooking Frequency

Another factor to consider when choosing the right size exhaust fan is how frequently you cook in your kitchen. If you only cook occasionally, you may be able to get away with a smaller fan. However, if you cook frequently, you will want to invest in a more powerful fan that can handle the continuous flow of cooking fumes. If you don’t have a lot of kitchen fumes, then a fan with a lower CFM rating might work just fine. However, if you’re cooking more frequently and creating more fumes, then a fan with a higher CFM rating is ideal.

3. Ductwork and Ventilation

When choosing the right size exhaust fan for your kitchen, it is important to also consider your ductwork and ventilation. The fan needs a clear and direct path to the outside in order to work effectively. Therefore, you must make sure that your kitchen has proper ventilation. If your kitchen doesn’t have any exterior venting, you may need to have a vent installed or choose a ductless fan that filters and recirculates air back into the kitchen. Additionally, you want to make sure your ductwork is large enough to handle the size of your exhaust fan. If your fan is too large for your ductwork, it may cause the fan to work less effectively. In other words, the ductwork has to be the right size for the exhaust fan you choose.

A well-functioning exhaust fan can improve air quality as well as reduce moisture and cooking fumes in your kitchen. Therefore, it is important to make an informed decision when choosing the right size exhaust fan for your kitchen. By considering the size of your kitchen, how often you cook, and your ventilation needs, you will be able to choose the right fan that will improve your air quality and help keep your kitchen smelling fresher.

Proper Installation and Maintenance of Exhaust Fans

Exhaust fans are a necessity in every kitchen as they help to remove smoke, steam, and unpleasant odors. By doing so, they provide fresh air and keep the kitchen clean and healthy. Installing an exhaust fan is not as complicated as you may think, but there are factors you have to consider to make sure you get the best output.

1. Know the Size of Your Kitchen

The size of your kitchen will determine the size and the strength of the exhaust fan you install. The larger the kitchen, the larger the fan you will need to suck out all the air. If you install a small fan in a large kitchen, it will not meet your expectations, and it will run on full speed, leading to rapid wear and tear.

2. Determine the Ventilation Requirements

An important factor to consider is the ventilation requirements for your area. The specific building codes should be followed, and building plans should be reviewed to make sure that the kitchen ventilation requirements meet the existing regulations.

3. Proper Mounting Location is Essential

Installation of exhaust fans in the right location is critical for optimal performance. The exhaust fan should be mounted in a position where it can draw hot air and steam away from the cooking areas. A common and effective technique is to install the exhaust fan as close to the cooking surface, acting as a proper capture hood to efficiently get rid of the fumes.

4. Exhaust Fan Maintenance

After the installation of your exhaust fan, it is necessary to conduct routine cleaning and maintenance from time to time to ensure that it continues to perform its intended function. Here are a few tips to help with the maintenance of your exhaust fan:

a. Clean the Fan Blades Regularly

The blades of the exhaust fan attract dirt, oil, and grease from the cooking activities. It is important to clean them regularly to make sure that they do not accumulate too much and become unhygienic. Using a mild detergent and water, clean the fan blades by wiping any dirt that may have accumulated over time.

b. Wipe the Motor Casing

The motor of the extractor is usually housed in a casing. Over time, the casing may collect grime and dust caused by the circulation of air in the kitchen. Wipe the casing with a damp cloth to keep the exhaust fan operating effectively.

c. Inspect the Ductwork

Inspection of the ductwork is necessary to make sure that the air is flowing freely and not reducing the efficiency of the fan. If there is any grease build-up in the ductwork, it will ultimately affect the efficiency of the exhaust fan. Grease buildup inside the ductwork can also lead to blockages and may increase the risk of fire.

d. Change the Filter Periodically

The filter is an essential component of the exhaust fan since it helps to trap grease and oil from the cooking activities. A clogged filter will affect the performance of the fan. After a while, the filter can no longer function properly and requires replacement. It is advisable to change the filter every three months or more frequently if the kitchen is in constant use.

e. Look Out for Strange Noises

If the fan produces unusual sounds while in operation, shut it down immediately and check it up for the source of the noise; it could be a loose part or general wear and tear of the exhaust fan. Running the fan with noise can cause irreparable damages to the motor or blades hence reducing the lifespan of the unit.

By following the above tips for proper installation and maintenance of exhaust fans, you can ensure that your kitchen has a proper airflow, preventing mold growth, and keeping your indoor air clean.

Troubleshooting Common Exhaust Fan Issues

Exhaust fans are an essential feature of most modern kitchens. They help to eliminate unwanted odors, smoke, and steam from cooking by circulating the air within the kitchen. However, like other appliances, these fans may also experience issues that can significantly reduce their efficiency and effectiveness. In this article, we discuss common exhaust fan issues that homeowners face, and the measures they can take to troubleshoot these problems.

1. Inadequate Airflow

If your exhaust fan is not providing the desired airflow, this could be due to several reasons. Firstly, the fan may be clogged, preventing the smooth flow of air. You can clean the fan and the ductwork to eliminate any buildup of grease and debris. Secondly, the fan may be too small or underpowered for your kitchen. In such cases, you may need to replace the fan with a more robust and efficient model that can handle the volume of air in your kitchen.

2. Strange Noises

If your exhaust fan is producing strange noises, it could be due to a worn-out motor or a loose fan blade. You can tighten the blades to see if the noise goes away. If the motor is faulty, you may need to replace it with a new one. Alternatively, you can call a professional technician to assess and fix the issue.

3. Improper Ventilation

Inadequate ventilation or ductwork can also contribute to poor performance of your exhaust fan. If the vent duct leads to the attic or any other unventilated areas, the air may not be effectively expelled from your kitchen. You can hire an expert to assess the ventilation system and make the necessary repairs.

4. Unusual Smells

An exhaust fan that is not functioning correctly can cause unpleasant odors to linger in your kitchen. This could be due to clogs or buildup of grease and grime in the fan or ductwork. A thorough cleaning can help to eliminate these smells. Also, check to ensure the fan is not pulling in odors from outside. This could be resolved by properly closing doors and windows when cooking.

5. Tripping of Circuit Breaker

Overloading or short-circuiting of the electrical system can cause the circuit breaker to trip and disrupt power supply to your exhaust fan. If the circuit breaker keeps tripping, it could be due to a faulty motor or wiring problems. Experts advise against fixing the wiring issues yourself, as this can pose a risk of electrical shocks. Instead, call a qualified electrician or technician to diagnose and fix the problem.

In conclusion, a well-functioning exhaust fan is crucial for a healthy and comfortable kitchen environment. If you encounter any of the above issues with your exhaust fan, try to troubleshoot and resolve them promptly by cleaning, correcting ventilation or calling in a technician. Not only will this help to maintain your fan’s performance, but it also contributes to better air quality and functionality of your kitchen.