A range hood collecting the steam from various dishes cooking on a stovetop

What is a convertible range hood?

Convertible range hoods help remove grease and steam above your cooking surface through an integrated fan. With a convertible hood, you can vent externally or via air recirculation through filters depending on your ductwork. Typically, convertible hoods come as undercabinet or canopy models.

Proper ventilation is essential for keeping your kitchen feeling and smelling clean by helping reduce smoke and odor, which is why it’s important to find a range hood that works for your home. Learn more about how convertible range hoods work to help you decide on a model for your kitchen.

Eggs and bacon cooking under a range hood Eggs and bacon cooking under a range hood

What is the difference between ducted, ductless and convertible range hoods?

There are three main types of range hood ventilation. With range hoods, you can choose ducted, which enables external venting; ductless, for air recirculation within your kitchen; or, a convertible model, which can be configured to perform either method of ventilation.

Ducted range hoods have outdoor ventilation capabilities that allow them to push air out of your home through the ductwork. Ductless models, on the other hand, do not require external venting and recirculate air inside the kitchen instead.

With a convertible range hood, you can configure the appliance to either vent air outdoors or recirculate air indoors depending on layout and ductwork. This type of range hood gives you greater flexibility and control over the ventilation type used for your home.

How does a convertible vent hood work?

While cooking, convertible range hoods draw in moisture, smoke and grease via a fan. If configured for ductless ventilation, convertible hoods pull those elements out of the air, and out of the home, through the ductwork. In contrast, convertible hoods with recirculating ventilation use a series of filters to help clear the air.

Regardless of the ventilation type you choose, it’s important to keep your range hood clean for optimal performance. If you opt for a ductless configuration for your convertible hood, be sure to clean the filter regularly.

A stainless steel range hood above a black range A stainless steel range hood above a black range

Is a convertible range hood ductless?

While most range hoods are designed for either ductless or ducted operation, convertible range hoods offer the best of both worlds with a flexible design that can be configured to your choice of ventilation, including a ductless option.

Ductless hoods rely on recirculating venting to filter air and push it back out into the kitchen, making for a highly flexible model that can be installed nearly anywhere.

How do you install a convertible range hood?

It's important to note that the flexible design of convertible range hoods means that installation instructions will differ depending on the ventilation type you choose. Before you start the process of installing a new range hood, consult your owner's manual for model-specific information.

The following steps will give you an overview on the general process for installing your new range hood. To ensure a smooth installation for your new Whirlpool® range hood, it is recommended to contact a technician to arrange for professional service or select installation at check out.

  • Remove the old range hood, if there is one.

  • Locate, measure and mark the vent location.

  • Cut the interior hole of the vent at least six inches wide using an oscillating tool or reciprocating saw.

  • Cut the vent pipe hole with an oscillating or reciprocating saw. 

  • For a ducted configuration, attach the vent cap into the exterior opening or PVC trim, ensuring a tight, waterproof seal.

  • Prepare and place the damper, if applicable.

  • Run or connect the electrical wiring, consulting an electrician if needed.

  • Position the range hood and secure in place with mounting screws.

  • Finish connecting the wiring and install the vent covers.

A black Whirlpool® cooktop next to various kitchen items A black Whirlpool® cooktop next to various kitchen items

Can you have a cooktop without a vent?

Proper ventilation in your kitchen is important to help reduce particles of grease, food, water and smoke in the air as you cook. Without a vent hood above your cooktop, you can face problems like odors or the build up of grime. Depending on where you live, local codes and regulations may or may not require a venting system. Always check your local requirements before deciding on a setup for your kitchen.

By helping to clear kitchen air through a range hood, you can help maintain a fresher feeling space for your family to enjoy meals together.

Explore Whirlpool® convertible range hoods

From features like LED Task Lighting to Noise Reduction technology on select models, Whirlpool® range hoods allow you to maintain clear, fresher air in your kitchen as you prepare your family’s meals. Explore convertible range hoods by Whirlpool brand to find the ideal match for your unique kitchen layout and design.

Learn more about range hoods with Whirlpool brand

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