Range hoods have a long history of protecting homes from cooking smoke and fumes. But in recent years, the time has evolved into a more minimalistic approach in interior design. So now we see a new style of range hood, the built-in ductless range hood insert. This type of hood is installed directly into your cabinetry for a more seamless, integrated look in the kitchen. Ductless range hood inserts conceal the appliance, avoid eye sores, and focus all attention on the pure kitchen cabinets.
You have many options when it comes to range hoods. You can get a traditional style that mounts to the wall or ceiling, or you could go for a sleek and modern built-in option. But what if you want something in between? A ductless range hood insert comes to stage when you think of something between a recessed range hood and a wall-mounted one. However, a lot goes into selecting an efficient and durable model that includes size requirements and cost considerations.
To help you out, we've put together a list of our top selections considering the features that matter most when it comes to a range hood. Let's continue with the article if you want to eliminate smoke and smells from your kitchen by installing an out-of-sight vent hood.
Our Favourite Built-in Ductless Range Hoods
1. Best Overall - IKTCH IKB02 Convertible Ductless Range Hood Insert
Our flagship selection, the IKTCH IKB02 is a top-of-the-line product that has it all. With air capacity ranging from 300 to 900 CFM, 4-speed settings, and a simple gesture that allows you to turn it on and off, this range hood insert has everything you could want.
It also comes with remote control, making it easy to adjust the settings from anywhere in the room. The IKTCH IKB02 is available in three sizes (30, 36, and 42 inches), so you can find the perfect fit for your kitchen.
One of the most powerful and smart range hood insert comes from IKTCH.
One of the best features of the IKTCH IKB02 is that it's ducted to ductless convertible. You can use it as a ductless range hood insert or install it with ductwork if you prefer. It also comes with 2 dishwasher-safe baffle filters and a charcoal filter, which help to keep the air clean and free of odors.
While the IKTCH IKB02 is an excellent choice for a built-in ductless range hood insert, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, the sensors can be a bit too sensitive, so you may find that the range hood turns on and off more frequently than you would like. Additionally, the air volume may be reduced in a ductless setup. And finally, the charcoal filter will need to be replaced every 3-6 months, as you may already know.
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2. Best Motor - EKON NAB02 Ductless Range Hood Insert
Next on our list is the EKON's ultra-quiet NAB02. This range hood insert is the latest model from EKON and has a lot to offer. This model produces only 35 decibels of sound at its slowest speed, which is nearly imperceptible. We're specifically impressed with the minimal noise operation and adjustable timer (1–15 minutes), which allows you to control how long the range hood runs.
The EKON NAB02 is available in two sizes (30 and 36 inches), so it should fit most kitchen cabinets. And like the IKTCH IKB02, you can convert it from ducted to ductless or the other way around if needed. The actual installation is simple and straightforward, especially if you don't have an existing facility.
Latest model of EKON hood inserts, designed to be a perfect upgrade for kitchen renovations.
The range hood insert also features a remote control, making it easy to adjust the settings from anywhere in the kitchen. Additionally, it has a charcoal filter for ductless installation and two dishwasher-safe baffle filters for ductwork installation.
The EKON NAB02 has a few drawbacks that are worth mentioning. First, the touch screen can be a bit finicky and doesn't always respond to your touch. Additionally, some users have reported that the LED lights turn on by themselves. Finally, the noise level may reach 65 dB on the highest setting, but we don't think this is too loud, or at least not any louder than other range hoods.
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3. Best Quite - MCBON TE77 Built-in Ductless Range Hood
If you sometimes experience sensitivity to noise levels, we strongly think the MCBON TE77 range hood insert is also worth considering. This range hood has a fairly low decibel rating of 62 only at its highest speed, which is unusually quiet for a range hood.
The CFM is not as high as other models on this list (700 CFM), but it's still more than enough for most home cooks. Additionally, it comes with a charcoal filter for ductless installation and two dishwasher-safe baffle filters for ductwork installation.
MCBON TE77 is perfect for those who appreciate peace and quiet.
The MCBON offers 30 and 36-inch widths of the model to fit the most common cooktops. Like the previous models, it is convertible, too. However, we should mention that the instructions for ductwork installation are a bit more complicated than on other models. Additionally, the LED lights are not dimmable, and it can be challenging to find replacement lamps.
Finally, the MCBON TE77 comes with a five-year warranty, which is longer than most range hoods on the market. This even proves that MCBON is confident in the quality of their product.
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4. Best Alternative - AMZCHEF 3005D Ductless Range Hood Insert
Amzchef is most recognized as a company that produces cold press juicers. But they also make range hoods, and the Amzchef 3005D is one of their most popular models.
This range hood has a powerful suction that can reach up to 900 CFM, just like our top pick. It also comes in 30 and 36 inches, and you can choose between ducted mode and recirculating ductless mode, depending on what you need.
It also has a time delay feature that allows you to turn off the fan after a certain amount of time. Additionally, it has a quiet operation lower than 60 dB and comes with remote control for easy operation.
Amzchef brings a stylish and smart addition to the range hood market.
However, it has a few drawbacks that are worth addressing. First, it doesn't come with a charcoal filter for recirculating ductless usage. So you should order or obtain one accordingly since ductless use is what we are primarily interested in.
It may not be the first consideration, but it is worth mentioning that the edges and corners are too sharp and unprotected. Although it's a slight chance, it might pose a danger when standing too close to the range hood.
Last but not least, the warranty is only 1 year, which is relatively short compared to other range hoods on the market. We hope the company can improve this in the future.
Despite these drawbacks, the Amzchef 3005D is still a great option for those looking for a powerful and efficient range hood.
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Ductless Insert Range Hoods Buying Guide
Under-cabinet vs. Hood Insert: Which One is Right for You?
Regarding range hoods, you have two popular types to choose from: an under-cabinet hood or a hood insert. Either ductless or ducted. They are also confused with one another. So, what's the main difference between the two, and which one should you get? Here's a quick rundown of each type:
Under-cabinet Hoods: In simple words, an under-cabinet range hood is installed underneath your kitchen cabinets. As the name suggests, it literally mounts under the cabinet, making it out of sight.
Hood Inserts: These mount directly inside your cabinet. The only difference is that hood inserts take up space inside your cabinets, while under-cabinet hoods don't.
The suction power of a range hood is represented in cubic feet per minute (CFM), and the higher the CFM, the better. That's because a high CFM ensures that more smoke, grease, and odor are removed from the air. In short, it helps to make your kitchen cleaner and safer. So, if you are a heavy cooker, we recommend getting a range hood with a higher CFM.
The noise level is another important consideration because you don't want your range hood to be too loud. After all, the whole point of getting a range hood is to make your kitchen more comfortable, not less. The good news is that most range hoods today come with sound-dampening technology that makes them much quieter than older models.
When it comes to size, you need to ensure that the range hood you choose is the right size for your kitchen. That's because a small range hood won't be able to remove all the smoke and grease from your kitchen, and an oversized range hood will be a waste of money.
To find the right size, you must first measure your cooktop's width. Then, choose a range hood at least as wide as your cooktop. For example, if your cooktop is 36 inches wide, you should get at least a 36-inch range hood. But 6" wider is even better.
Some range hoods are much easier to install than others. If you're not handy or don't have any experience installing range hoods, we recommend that you get a professional to do it for you. But if you're confident that you can do it yourself, then go for it. Just make sure that you follow the instructions carefully.
Type of Filter
There are three main types of filters: charcoal filters, stainless steel baffle filters, and aluminum mesh filters.
Since we are looking for ductless setups, only charcoal filters are of use to us. They are made of activated carbon and are very effective at trapping grease and smoke, but they need to be replaced every few months.
Most range hoods these days come with LED lights that provide bright, even lighting for your cooktop. These lights are usually located on the front of the hood and can be turned on and off with a switch.
Some range hoods also have additional feature lights that provide task lighting for your kitchen. These lights are usually located on the sides of the hood and can be very helpful when cooking.
We think ductless range hood inserts leverage the design of your kitchen more effectively than undercabinet hoods. They are less visible and easier to install since they don't require any ductwork.
When budgeting for your range hood, you need to consider the cost of filters. Charcoal filters require replacement every 3–6 months, so that's an additional cost you need to factor in.
However, you shouldn't let cost be the only factor in your decision. That's because a cheaper range hood might not have all the features you want and might not be as durable as a more expensive model. So, make sure you compare all the features before making your decision.
Now that you know about ductless range hood inserts, it's time to start shopping for one. Keep the factors we discussed in mind as you look at different models. And, don't forget to measure your kitchen before buying so that you can be sure the range hood will fit.
If you need help during the shopping process, don't hesitate to contact us. We'd be happy to answer any of your questions.