Most appliance companies recommend a distance between 24" and 30" between the range and the hood. However, is this based in anything concrete? I mean, the hood should be powerful enough the provide enough suction for an entire room, plus you can install hoods in the ceiling which is a lot more than 30" from a range, so I'm just wondering if there's something I've missed.

I have an Ilve Nostalgie range and I want to install a Noblesse hood. The contractor says that the hood won't work properly if it's not installed at 30" height maximum, but my Ilve supplier says that it doesn't really matter. Any thoughts?

  • 2
    I don't think I've ever seen a proper range hood in the ceiling. Projecting down from the ceiling, yes. I can't imagine that a hood in the ceiling would be any other use than a bathroom fart fan.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 13:53
  • A ceiling fan in the kitchen can help an unvented range hood. The hood filters smoke and oil particles and the ceiling fan significantly reduces steam and odors travelling to other rooms. It can be installed where it is easy to run a duct outside if that's difficult from the range location. Either way the range hood needs to be near the stove top, ie, this isn't answering the question, just explaining why a kitchen ceiling fan may not be installed like a range hood.
    – jay613
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 16:15
  • A range hood is many times more powerful than an exhaust fan, and if it is in a sealed room, would be so powerful that you end up pulling air in the reverse direction through the exhaust fan, even when it is running.
    – Nelson
    Commented Nov 21, 2023 at 0:45
  • @Nelson if you are responding to my comment --- the approach is with an unvented range hood, producing no net airflow into or out of the kitchen. You add a ceiling fan and crack open a window in or near the kitchen (but not right next to the ceiling fan) and you have your cake and eat it: Particulate filtering from the hood, and air flow through the kitchen moving some gases and steam out of the house. To your point this makes no sense with a vented hood or in a "sealed" kitchen.
    – jay613
    Commented Nov 21, 2023 at 14:23

2 Answers 2


There are two simple factors with opposing relationships:

  • Work clearance
  • Vacuum effectiveness

The manufacturer wants the hood as close as possible so it's more effective at scavenging gases, but they know you need clearance to move and cook. That's really it. Fire danger isn't much of a factor until the hood is mere inches from the burners, and who's going to do that?

Regarding reduced effectiveness at greater heights, I'd expect an accelerating reduction in scavenging with height. If you think of your hood's area as a portion of the surface of a sphere centered on the stove top, the further away you go the smaller that is as a portion of the sphere's surface1. It shrinks substantially as the effect of local breezes increases. (Simply walking by pulls a lot of the fumes along with you, out of reach of the hood2.)

Therefore, that 30" number isn't "concrete", but it's notice that you lose a lot of exhaust function if you go beyond it. There's not much science to be applied due to the great potential for variation in local conditions3. Any claims to numbers would necessarily assume averages from a large range of values.

1 It's an oversimplification for sure, but let's take a look using the hood's box area (which may not even be appropriate; the duct opening might be a better reference). The area of a sphere at 24" radius is 1809.6 in2. The portion of a range hood of say 20"x30" is 3.31%. If you move out to 30" it drops to 2.12%. That's a proportion reduction of ~36%. Move out to 36" and you're down to 1.47%, or another 30.6% smaller and less than half what it was at 24". The reduction in effectiveness as a result is compounded by dynamic air movement in the room and time.

2 Beyond its event horizon, if you like.

3 HVAC type and location, room size and shape, window usage and location, door usage and location, ceiling height, human activity, etc., etc. It quickly becomes a study in chaos theory akin to predicting the weather.


A web-search on "why must a range hood be 30 inches above the range" reveals several results, mostly from manufacturers' websites, explaining that the lower limit is defined by the heat generated by the range, and the upper limit is defined by how much suck the hood blower has and how much range air will be vacuumed up. I could not find a scientific paper on the subject, but there is likely science behind it.

The biggest concern on where to place a particular hood code-wise is using a UL/ETL/equivalent-listed hood and following the manufacturer's instructions. A listed hood has been tested for safety, and the manufacturer's instructions will reflect the safety limits determined by the listing authority.

Mounting the hood outside the instructions' measurements (too low, too high) will make the installation not up to code and not covered by your house's insurance company in the event of an accident.

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