A quality ventilation system is an essential feature for any commercial kitchen, whether you use a gas range hood or electric. But are ducted or ductless range hoods the way to go when it comes to range hoods?

Let’s get things cooking by looking at the pros and cons of each type of range hood, helping you decide on the most efficient, convenient, and reliable option for your commercial kitchen.

What are ducted range hoods?

A ducted range hood works by venting the airborne particles from the kitchen to outside the building. The duct system and external ventilation help remove fumes, vapours, and grease from inside your building. Features to take care of cooking odours can also be installed if necessary.

Ducted hoods use fan power and ducts to achieve this, and the canopy hood is usually fitted with a light and fan.

What are ductless range hoods?

As the name suggests, a ductless range hood is the opposite of a ducted system.

A ductless range hood sucks in air particulars, but instead of venting them outside, the system will filter the air before pumping it back into the room. These systems are sometimes called recirculating range hoods due to this process.

Pros & Cons of Ducted Range Hoods


More Efficiency

The big advantage of ducted range hoods is the vents and ductwork completely remove smoke, air pollutants, steam and moist air from the cooking area.

This helps cut down on grease and moisture build-up and provides clean, safe air for your kitchen staff. No matter your cooking style, ducting helps keep your kitchen vented as you cook.

Improves air quality

One of the most important things about running a business is ensuring the safety and health of your employees. Venturing contaminated air outside will keep your kitchen’s air quality clean, even during busy cooking periods.

reduces Noise

Many customers will swear that they find a ducted range hood’s operation noise much quieter than a recirculating range hood.

Better suited for a larger kitchen space

It makes logical sense that a larger kitchen, with more than one cooktop, will produce more airborne particles, smoke, grease, and moisture than a smaller one.

It is essential, therefore, that your ventilation system can handle the workload. Ducted hoods can remove much more contaminated air than a ductless hood can filter, making them the ideal choice for larger kitchens.


There May be some restrictions with installations

A minor con to ducted hoods is they do require ductwork and venting, meaning you’ll need to renovate your wall, ceiling, and/or roof. With custom fabrication, an expert team will design your ventilation system specifically for your work area and to suit your cooking habits.

Pros & Cons of Ductless Range Hoods


Less hassle to install

Unlike a ducted hood, ductless hoods don’t require a vent, meaning not as many alterations and renovations are required to the ceiling and roof. This means an easier installation process, which can save on labour costs.

Limitless Location possibilities

A possible downside of a ducted range hood is that it needs to be connected to the outside, which could mean limited options for where you can install your range hood. As ductless models don’t need access to the outside, there is more flexibility as to where you can install them.


Noise Levels

Due to more power in the fans and the recirculation in a ductless hood, these range hoods can make a little more noise than other systems. The dimensions of your kitchen could make this noise even louder, especially if your workplace echoes.

Humidity issues

Because the moist air isn’t technically being removed (rather, it’s being filtered), a ductless range hood won’t make your kitchen feel less humid. This could especially be an issue during summer in humid areas. Humidity doesn’t just lead to discomfort. It can also damage equipment and cause mould to spread.

More Expensive to maintain

The filter will go through a lot and must be replaced or thoroughly cleaned once or twice a year. Replacing charcoal filters can be pricey and are an ongoing cost to consider.

Which ventilation system is best for your kitchen space?

Now that we’ve looked at the difference between a ducted range hood and a ductless one, the question is, what’s the best option for you? Does it simply come down to personal preferences, or is there a clear winner?

Using a ducted exhaust system over a ductless range hood is usually recommended for a commercial kitchen, especially if you’re working with a larger kitchen. This is because removing smoke, fumes, vapour, and moisture from the outside creates a safer and more comfortable environment.


Are you looking to have a range hood installed in your commercial kitchen? Martin Stainless Steel has you covered. Whether you’re looking to replace your old system or are starting a new kitchen, we can help every step of the way. As a stainless-steel fabricator and manufacturer, we can custom design an efficient, durable stainless steel range hood that is perfect for your kitchen. With over 20 years of experience, we can design and install the ideal kitchen layout for your business.

To discuss your next project, get in touch today.