A range hood is a ventilation system found in kitchens to circulate smoke and grease from the range, the oven, or a cooktop to a chimney or stack for exhausting outside. If you have a cooktop that does not have its venting system, it helps to have one on the side of your grill. These devices are typically electrically powered.

Sufficiently sized range hoods are essential in any residential kitchen where cooking is being done. It is especially true when gas ranges and cooktops are in use. Otherwise, we could face a buildup of CO that can lead to headaches, nausea, and death in extreme cases. The risk is much higher when many people are using the stove at the same time.

External size depends on how much cooking is done in the kitchen and how many appliances (such as refrigerators) it has to draw air from. The cooking area should be considered because it determines how much food you will prepare for your family or guests.

Why Do Range Hoods Need Their Circuit?

The short answer. Range hoods don’t require their independent circuit to operate. They can use the circuit you have installed for your other appliances and the stove, oven, and other personal gas appliances you use. If range hoods do not need their circuit (or get one from the original builder), why would ionize your range hood cause problems? Range hood filters interior air, but outside air is drawn in through the vent. For example, if your range hood is connected to an exterior vent, one will not filter the exhaust air.

Ionizing the exhaust air can have several effects on your range hood, which you should be aware of. One effect is that the carbon monoxide will be ionized into harmless ozone. Another effect is that any other gases present in the exhaust air are introduced into your kitchen. This is especially true with range hoods that contain a fan or blower and connect to an outside vent. The fan is a cooling mechanism, and the gas from the exhaust air becomes nitric oxide. The gas from the outside vent can be bacteria-laden or have other particulate matter that has been trapped in the air.

Circuit Options for Range Hoods

The Receptacle on a Lighting Circuit

This is the most common and least expensive option. The receptacle attached to the range hood has a dedicated circuit and can be installed in all kitchens. It will not cause any problems with the operation if it is properly grounded. The receptacle can also be used for other personal appliances such as routers, vacuum cleaners, fans, and other ventilation devices if they are not too large or heavy (they must always be grounded). If your kitchen light switch receives power from the same circuit as the range hood, this is usually an option. Since it is installed in a lighting fixture, there is no additional expense for professional installation. If there is a receptacle on the same circuit, you will not need an additional circuit breaker. However, if there is no receptacle on the circuit, you will need to get another receptacle and add a dedicated circuit breaker for the range hood venting system.

Hardwired to the Lighting Circuit

This is the more expensive option, but it will give you more freedom of movement if you decide to redecorate your kitchen. If you want to use the range hood at another location in your home, this will be easier to install. You can also move it quickly if, for example, you decide to use the original location for another purpose. This option is not applicable if the power source is an electrical outlet (this is possible in older homes) or when there are no outlets on that circuit (old construction).

The Receptacle on a Dedicated Circuit

This is the easiest and least expensive option if you do not have a receptacle in the lighting circuit. It also leads to the least amount of work for an electrician. The installation must still be appropriately grounded, but it may cause other problems. Since the circuit is entirely independent of all other circuits in your home, there is a danger that a problem with one appliance will cause a power surge or short on other appliances which one might connect to the same circuit. This can damage expensive equipment such as computers and televisions.

Hardwired to a Dedicated Circuit

If you cannot get the range hood on a dedicated circuit, this is one final option. It is also the most expensive and will cause more work for an electrician than the other options. This circuit has its dedicated breaker and should be installed by someone who knows what they are doing. For example, it will require an arc fault breaker if the connection point is less than six inches from another outlet, receptacle, or appliance.

Safety Precautions 

The danger is that they will ignite anything flammable in contact with the heating element, especially paper towels used by cooks or near hot pots. The range hood may be vented to the outside through a roof vent or wall vent. Some can also be connected to a chimney, while others are intended to expel fumes through the sidewalls of the kitchen. Some range hoods are designed to exhaust air from the kitchen into an existing ductwork system, while others are designed for outdoor usage.

The ventilation of the fumes is of vital importance, as any buildup inside of the kitchen can cause health problems by contaminating the air with carbon monoxide (CO). It is hard to determine what amount of carbon monoxide is generated by appliances. One little-known fact about range hoods is that they are not required to have their independent circuit because they are not part of fire prevention or protection system. 

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If you want to install a range hood for your home or business, you will have many options. The simplest and least expensive option is to connect the range hood to a receptacle on a lighting circuit. Alternatively, you can connect it with hard wiring (which requires an electrician) on the same circuit as the light fixtures in your kitchen if there is available wiring. This will make it easier if you want to move the range hood at some point in the future.