Ducted and Ductless Rangehoods: What are the Differences?

24 October 2018

Kitchens are prime places that harbour all sorts of different smells during cooking. While one can always open a window, to let the collective fumes of cooking (pleasant or otherwise) out, it isn’t really effective in guaranteeing an odour-free kitchen. For both domestic and professional kitchens that require a constant means to filter out odours, and to ensure the freshness of the circulating air, there are quality rangehoods available.

The rangehood, better known in some areas as the exhaust hood or vent hood, is an overhead enclosure that fits over a gas range or cooktop. Its primary function is to collect smoke, steam, fumes and other airborne particles that occur during cooking, but it also doubles as a sort of built-in deodorizing mechanism as well.

There are basically two kinds of rangehoods
– the ducted and ductless varieties. Both have their own distinctive pros and cons, but it is essential to know the differences so you can choose what is best for your kitchen.

Ducted vs Ductless Range Hoods – The Pros and Cons

Ducted range hoods – the most common form of rangehoods for professional kitchens, ducted range hoods are so named because the entire aeration mechanism inside the range leads directly to an exterior duct that filters air and redirects it outside of the kitchen.


  • Instantaneous filtration – because ducted hoods have fans that suck in smoke and other odours, redirecting it out to a vent, it offers the best filtration and deodourising capabilities.



  • Difficult installation – ducted rangehoods may be top-class when it comes to providing foolproof filtration and deodorizing, but they can be difficult to install, especially in domestic settings that may not always allow for an external vent to be linked directly to the outside.
  • Ductless range hoods – ductless range hoods are more “modern” than the ducted variety, and employ the use of specialised charcoal or carbon filters that help to eliminate odours.



  • Ease of installation – ductless rangedhoods are more easily installed than ducted ones and are ideal for domestic settings or small, studio-type apartments.
  • Minimalistic design – ductless rangedhoods appeal to persons who are more oriented towards space-saving and minimalism. Since it lacks the bulky fans and the external air vent, it looks sleek and doesn’t take up a lot of space.



  • Unreliable filtration system – because it depends on activated charcoal or carbon filters for deodorization and air purification, it will require regular replacement to ensure the best results.
  • Re-circulation of air – ductless rangehoods do not redirect air outward and away from your kitchen; rather, they recirculate the air and smoke produced during cooking back into the kitchen, after it passes through a deodorizing and filtration system. This is not always ideal, especially if dealing with cooking that is heavy on spices and fermented foods.

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