How Many CFM Should a Range Hood Have?

Author: James Zhao, Sr. Tech Specialist & Alex Park, Product Specialist

When choosing a range hood for your kitchen, it’s crucial to get a model with the right amount of suction (CFM) for your cooking space. Cooking byproducts like steam, grease, and fumes can build up in your kitchen, cling to surfaces, and affect your respiratory health. 

A properly-sized range hood helps ventilate your kitchen air by removing grease, heat, odors, and harmful fumes from your kitchen in one of two ways:
     1. Venting the tainted air outside
     2. Scrubbing and recirculating cleaned air into your home

This ventilation process helps your kitchen stay clean for longer, makes cooking more enjoyable, and—most importantly—keeps the air in your home fresh and clean. To clean your kitchen’s air efficiently, your range hood must have the appropriate CFM for your space, which is a measurement of air movement. 

How much CFM your range hood needs depends on factors like the size of your kitchen, your cooking habits, and what kind of cooktop you have. The guide below will help you determine which range hood CFM best suits your needs.

What is CFM for a Range Hood?

Every range hood’s ventilation ability is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). The CFM measurement refers to how many cubic feet of air your range hood moves per minute at its highest speed. 

Essentially, CFM indicates how quickly a range hood will vent air from your kitchen. The higher the CFM, the faster the ventilation rate. 

Man Cooking in a Kitchen Below a Range Hood

Factors that Determine a Good Range Hood CFM

There is no standard ideal range for CFM. Rather, when buying a range hood, you can determine how much CFM you need by assessing various characteristics of your kitchen. 

Below is a detailed list of the factors to consider when choosing the best range hood for your home.

1. Width & BTUs of Your Stove or Cooktop

The first things to consider when determining your ideal range hood CFM are your cooktop's width and BTU capacity. The general guidelines for each of these features are as follows:

  • 100 CFM for every 12 inches of stove width
  • 100 CFM for every 10,000 BTUs of heat capacity

Using these guidelines, if your cooktop is 36 inches wide with a 25,000 total BTU capacity, you’d need 300 CFM to accommodate the size and 250 CFM to account for heat output. This means your ideal range hood should have at least 850 CFM.

2. Kitchen Size

When it comes to kitchen size, your range hood should be powerful enough to refresh the air in your kitchen 15 times per hour. To determine your ideal CFM, multiply your kitchen’s cubic feet by 15. 

For instance, 1,500 cubic feet x 15 air exchanges = 22,500 cubic feet per hour.

Now, divide your total by the number of minutes in an hour: 22,500 cubic feet / 60 minutes = 375.

Compare this number to the one calculated for your stovetop’s size and BTU capacity. Choose the larger of the two numbers as your ideal CFM requirement. In this case, you’d look for a range hood with at least 850 CFM. 

3. Cooking Habits

Though the most important factors in choosing the right range hood CFM are your cooktop’s size and BTU output, you should also consider your cooking habits. 

For example, you may have found a range hood model you like with a range of CFMs. If you cook every day or frequently cook for larger groups of people, it’s best to choose more CFM. 

4. Noise Level

For many range hoods, “quiet” usually means there’s a smaller fan that will produce less suction. At FOTILE, we solve this problem using physics. By utilizing the Coanda Effect, we can increase the air speed and suction of our range hoods without increasing the noise levels.  

5. Range Hood Mounting Height

The more distance between your cooktop and your range hood, the more powerful your range hood needs to be in order to remove heat and fumes. For instance, if your range hood sits more than 3 feet above your stovetop, you may need a higher CFM model to remove contaminants from the air properly. 

6. Your Budget

Range hoods can cost anywhere from $500 to more than $3,000. Lower-priced range hoods may be made of less durable materials and won’t vent efficiently, while extremely expensive models often have unnecessary features or are designed to fit a specific aesthetic. Avoiding the cheapest or most expensive model for something in between is generally best. 

At FOTILE, our range hoods are durable, efficient, and priced to reflect that, starting at $849 for our Pixie Air UQS3001 model. 

Is it Better to Have a High CFM Range Hood?

In general, it’s best to choose a higher-CFM range hood because they’re more versatile. A 1,000 CFM range hood can be adjusted to run at lower speeds, but a 400 CFM fan can’t be adjusted to go faster. Further, if you have a gas range, a higher CFM range hood will remove the fumes and other cooking byproducts more efficiently. 

Choosing a range hood with a lower CFM to mitigate noise levels may be tempting. However, lower CFM range hoods, especially if they’re too small for the space, can lead to poor indoor air quality, which is a health hazard. 

FOTILE Range Hood Ventilating Steam from a Cooking Pot

Why FOTILE Range Hoods Use Max Equivalent CFM Instead

At FOTILE, efficiency and convenience are key components of high-quality range hoods. That’s why all of our range hoods have a higher CFM rating—to help make your kitchen as healthy and comfortable a space as possible. 

Our filter-free technology combines WhisPower motors and our Capture-Shield design to quietly and powerfully accelerate smoke extraction and grease separation. The motors are quiet and efficient, while the Capture-Shield allows us to apply the Coanda Effect—the natural tendency of warm air to drift toward and flow along nearby surfaces, depositing airborne particles on those surfaces as it moves.

Together, these features allow our range hoods to cover larger cooktop surfaces and achieve extremely high oil filtration and odor elimination rates. 

FOTILE Range Hood filtering Steam from a Cooking Pot

Choosing Your FOTILE Range Hood

FOTILE offers three styles of range hoods with various CFM capabilities to accommodate kitchens of all sizes.

Our Pixie Air Series moves between 800 and 850 CFM, perfect for small or medium kitchens. It mounts easily under your cabinets and comes with a recirculation kit. This kit allows you to install your Pixie Air with outside ventilation or as a recirculating range hood. 

Our Slant Vent Series features between 850 and 1000 CFM for slightly larger kitchens. It works well in medium-to-large kitchens and open spaces. Like the Pixie Air, it mounts easily under cabinets and is compatible with external ventilation systems. This model also comes in brushed stainless steel or black tempered glass to accommodate your personal style. 

The Perimeter Vent Series features our most powerful range hoods with 1000 to 1100 CFM. All Perimeter Vent models are wall-mounted, making them ideal for large, open kitchens.

FOTILE Pixie Air Series Range Hood in a Modern Kitchen

Our range hoods are guaranteed to make your kitchen safer and more comfortable for the whole family. All of our range hoods are quiet, wipe clean easily, and feature at least a 92% grease separation rate and 97% odor elimination rate. Shop now.