Step-by-Step Guide: How to Install a Range Hood

restaurant kitchen range hood installation

Installing a kitchen range hood involves crucial steps, starting with understanding the ducting system’s importance for effective ventilation and air quality improvement. The process requires selecting the right type and size of hood, considering local permit requirements, and possibly seeking professional help for electrical and plumbing tasks. Proper installation ensures optimal function and safety, enhancing your kitchen’s environment.

This article guides through the installation of a kitchen range hood, emphasizing the ducting system’s role in removing smoke, fumes, and steam to enhance air quality. It outlines the need for a proper installation process and obtaining necessary permits. The selection of the right hood type and size, considering local requirements, and the importance of professional installation to avoid future repairs are also discussed.

Preparing for Range Hood Duct Installation: Essential Tools and Materials

Before installing the duct for a range hood, prepare by gathering necessary materials and tools. You’ll need silicone for sealing joints, a roto zip saw for wall holes, a cordless drill, measuring tape for accurate placement, a square adaptor for tool compatibility, screws for secure attachment, and the ducting unit itself. These essentials ensure a smooth installation process, allowing for efficient venting of your range hood.

When selecting a range hood, factors like width, CFM, and style are crucial considerations. However, the importance of the hood’s duct size and design should not be underestimated. Regardless of CFM, inadequate ductwork can limit performance. Ensuring the correct duct size is essential to avoid future issues and expenses, while also guaranteeing optimal and quiet hood operation for years to come.

Here are duct size recommendations based on CFM:

  • 0-400 CFM: Minimum duct size of 4″, recommended 6″
  • 401-600 CFM: Minimum 6″, recommended 8″
  • 601-900 CFM: Minimum 7″, recommended 8″-10″
  • 901-1200 CFM: Minimum 8″, recommended 10″-12″
  • 1200+ CFM: Minimum 10″ diameter, recommended 12″

Range Hood Duct Length Guidelines

In addition to duct size, duct length is crucial. While slight variations are manageable, shorter runs are generally safer and require less airflow velocity. Minimizing bends reduces air resistance. It’s advisable to limit duct runs to 30 feet, with a 10-foot reduction for each elbow. For optimal performance, prioritize upward ducting to expedite air movement. Trust Kitchen Services for comprehensive range hood duct installation, covering consultation, design, permits, installation, and inspection in Los Angeles and nearby regions.


Step 1: Choose the Optimal Location for Ductwork Placement

Identify the ideal location for running your ductwork, ensuring it is free from large studs, electrical wiring, or other obstructions. Avoid these barriers and select an alternative site if necessary. The chosen area should provide a clear path to the kitchen’s exterior without obstruction from the house’s interior, preferably taking the shortest route possible.

Step 2: Accurately Measure the Duct Openings

Utilize a tape measure to determine the dimensions of the duct opening atop the kitchen range hood. Note that some wall connections may be rectangular, while others may be round. The ducting size typically ranges from 6 to 7 inches, but you may require a square-to-round adapter for certain connections. Take precise measurements to minimize errors during the installation phase.

Step 3: Securely Install the Adapter

After accurately measuring, proceed to attach the adapter to the top of the extractor fan. Ensure that you select the correct duct adapter for the fan. Push the duct adapter down over the hood’s overhanging collar, then fasten it with the appropriate sheet metal screws. Use a cordless drill and bit to secure the adapter by driving the screws into the back of the adapter. Place two to three screws around the perimeter of all sides of the fan to ensure a secure attachment of the adapter.

Step 4: Positioning the Wall Outlet Template

Once the adapter is attached, position the wall outlet template on the exterior wall. Use a pen or marker to mark the template’s outline accurately. Using a roto zip saw, carefully cut out the marked hole in the wall. Ensure that the hole extends from the interior wall to the exterior side. In many kitchens, designers opt to vent the fume extractor through the wall due to limited loft space.

Step 5: Fitting the Vent Outlet Cover

Install the vent outlet cover outside the kitchen. Secure it from inside using a screwdriver and drywall screws. Ensure it aligns with the ducting system inside the kitchen wall. Seal around the joints with silicone to prevent reduced airflow and duct leaks. Properly closing the parts is essential for effective sealing.

Step 6: Mount the Hood Unit on the Wall

After securing the vent outlet cover and ducting system, carefully lift the range hood and position it on the wall. Since the cooker hood unit may be heavy, consider enlisting the help of a friend or colleague to ensure precise placement. One person can hold the unit in position while the other slides it over the vent outlet cover installed outside the kitchen.

Step 7: Install the Extractor Fan

Secure the fan to the vent and vent cover using sheet-metal screws from the fan’s back. Mount the fan in place using screws and screwdrivers through the mounting holes. Restore power to the house and test the functionality of the light and fan. Once confirmed, check the duct outside to ensure proper airflow.

Step 8: Installing the Damper

Once the ductwork is installed, it’s crucial to install a damper on the exterior top of the duct. This device helps keep debris away from the vent, safeguarding the functionality of the kitchen hood system. Additionally, it prevents backdrafting, ensuring uninterrupted airflow by blocking reverse air flow into the duct.


How to Clean a Range Hood Duct Materials Needed:

  • Damp cloth
  • Paper towels
  • Cleaning solution (e.g., glass cleaner, acetone, Soft Scrub)
  1. Remove the baffle filters and inspect the inside of the hood. Depending on your model, there may be one or two blowers and wiring to navigate around during cleaning. Blowers can be removed individually if desired.
  2. Dampen a cloth with water, but avoid introducing water directly into the hood unit. Use caution to prevent excess moisture.
  3. Apply cleaning solution to the cloth as needed. Glass cleaner is suitable for mild dirt, acetone for grease, and Soft Scrub for tough stains. Use Soft Scrub sparingly to preserve stainless steel finishes, applying with a soft white Scotch Brite pad.
  4. Wipe the interior of the hood in the direction of the grain to ensure a thorough clean. Start by wiping with the damp cloth and solution, then follow up with a dry towel. If unsure of the grain direction, test wiping horizontally and vertically with a soft cloth.
  5. Reinstall the filters into the hood, ensuring everything is dry before reassembly. Insert the filters, starting with the back end.

Comparing DIY with Professional Range Hood Installation

Embarking on a DIY installation offers potential savings on labor, necessitating only the hood, materials, and tools. While feasible with patience, complexities arise in cases of intricate venting routes or obstructions from mechanical systems. In such instances, enlisting a professional installer near you proves beneficial for a seamless setup process. Contact us now for more details about our exhaust hood installation service.


A range hood functions as a kitchen exhaust fan, available in various types and designs. Its purpose is to eliminate grease, moisture, and cooking odors from your stove area. While some models purify and circulate air, the most efficient ones expel it outdoors via a duct.

Yes, a range hood is essential for both kitchens and restaurants. It helps remove grease, moisture, and cooking odors, maintaining air quality and cleanliness in the cooking area. Additionally, it contributes to a safer and more comfortable working environment for kitchen staff and enhances the overall dining experience for restaurant patrons.

Range hoods that are ductless or offer air recirculation options don’t necessarily require external venting. Instead, they draw in air, filter it, and redistribute it into the room. While charcoal filters help reduce odors and smoke, external venting remains the preferred choice.