CFM info you’ll need to know when purchasing a new range hood fan


CFM info you’ll need to know when purchasing a new range hood fan

When it comes to planning a kitchen renovation, new appliances are typically discussed. Part of the new appliances will be the discussion of a new hood fan or range fan. What exactly do you need to know about a hood fan and its CFM’s?

hood fan CFM

We have enlisted the help of our plumber, Joshua Ferguson, who owns Lumberjack Plumbing, Heating, and AC, to walk us through this.

Why do we need a hood/range fan?

While this may not be known, a hood fan/range fan carries out a number of tasks for your home:

  1. It will remove cooking grease.
  2. The hood fan will remove cooking odours.
  3. All of the hot air from the stove top will be drawn up and out.
  4. A fan that is ducted to the outside will assist with condensation and moisture.

CFM – in English please

It’s always helpful to know what the lingo means. CFM basically stands for cubic feet per minute. Breaking it down further, area is measured in square units (as an example, square feet), and volume is measured in volume, (such as cubic units). Putting those two together, CFM determines how much cubic feet can be moved or exchanged each minute.

When it comes to a hood fan/range fan, the higher the CFM, the more air the hood can remove.

What would be ‘Standard’

In most homes that Josh and I visit, the maximum we will see is typically a fan that falls under 300 CFM. If you have a ‘builder spec’ hood fan, or the fan is fairly noisy, chances are you have a 300 CFM (or below) hood fan.

hood fan CFM
BOSCH 36 Under Cabinet Range Hood
3 Speed Fan with Incandescent Lighting
280 CFM
Purchase here

Although most homes have a 300 CFM capacity, there are options for increasing this. This falls into the category of “anything can be done, it just may cost a lot more money.

Having Josh, or a certified HVAC installer visit your home, will enable you to see what your current situation is and what you can do. And let me be clear, this should not be a DIY project. Installing a 650 CFM range fan when your capacity is only 300 CFM can be very dangerous!

Type of Range Matters

There really are three types of ranges that I deal with when we discuss new appliances with clients:

  • Electric
  • Gas
  • Induction


There is a little ‘rule’ that we typically follow. This rule is based off of the width of the range.

  • You need approximately 100 CFM for every 10″
    • For a 30″ range, you would need 300 CFM
    • For a 36″ range, you would need 360 CFM

CFM for an electric range
GE Cafe 30″ Electric Range
5.7 Cu. Ft. Slide In Radiant Electric Range with Touch Controls and Warming Drawer
Purchase here


A gas range produces hotter temperatures then an electric range will. As such, the CFM demands are much higher. The little ‘rule’ is a bit more complicated compared to an electric range. First of all, you need to know that heat from a gas range is measured in BTU (British Thermal Units). Each burner will emit a specific BTU.

  • Add up the BTU output for each burner.
  • Divide that number by 100

For example, if you had two burners who were 10,000 BTU and two burners at 15,000, the total would be 50,000 BTU. Divide that by 100 would equal 500. The minimum CFM that is recommended is 500 CFM.

CFM for a gas range
GE Cafe 30″ 5.6 Cu Ft. Slide in Range
WiFi Compatibility
Purchase here


An induction range, in my opinion, is the best of both electric and gas. With an induction range, there is an electromagnetic field to heat up a pot/pan while leaving the cooking surface cool to the touch. What this does is keeps the kitchen cool. Basically, the burner is only hot when a magnetic pot is placed on the burner (when turned on).

CFM for an induction range
GE Cafe 30″ Induction
7 Cu. Ft. Slide In Electric Double Oven Induction Range with Convection
Purchase here

There are two camps when it comes to induction ranges and hood fans, and needed CFM’s.

No hood fan required

The argument holds true with the following points:

  • The range itself produces less heat.
  • Unlike a gas range, there are no toxic gas fumes like carbon monoxide so ventilation is not necessary.
  • As you don’t necessarily need one, a hood fan may become a noisy feature that you don’t necessarily need.

Hood fan required

There are some good arguments to have a hood fan:

  • If you fry and sear a lot, a hood fan will help with the smells of grease.
  • A hood fan makes cooking safer. When cooking with oils, a fan will draw up the oil. This results in less splatter which equates to a safer kitchen.
  • A fan that exhausts outdoors allows air to flow outdoors. Gasses such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide will all be drawn to the outdoors.
  • Building code may require you to have one.
  • They can be really pretty and add to a kitchen design.

Knowledge is power

We have recently shopped with clients for their new appliance package for their upcoming kitchen renovation. During our shopping trip, we looked at two different hood fans.

Panasonic 450 CFM

Whirlpool 400 CFM

I will be having Josh come to the home to check out the current HVAC situation and let us know if any additional work will need to be done. We will also be looking at all of the plumbing scope for this home renovation project.

It is always best to have a professional help you so that you are armed with the best knowledge about your home, the CFM’s you can have, and assist you in making the best decision for you.

Types of hood fans

While Part 1 of this blog has been about CFM’s and what to think about, next week we’re going to look at 4 range fan options that you have! I hope you’ll join me next week.

Sheri Bruneau

I’ve pulled together some good, better, best price options for each category: electric, gas, and induction. These are appliances that are readily available to the public. There really is something for everyone!

If you are looking for something ‘special’, you will want to work with your Interior Designer to assist you with other custom selections.

The items in this blog contain affiliate links. Any purchases, at no additional charge to you, are most appreciated and make this blog possible.

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