How to Test Range Hood Suction Power to Get Proper Kitchen Exhaust

To get proper exhaust from your range hood, it is important to regularly test its suction power. Checking the range hood fan motor is a simple way to ensure that it is working properly and not faulty. In this article, we will discuss how to properly check the range hood suction power, as well as possible solutions if something is wrong.

What is range hood suction actually?

Range hood suction is the force that pulls air through the range hood and out of your kitchen. It is the primary mechanism that allows the range hood to capture smoke, steam, and cooking odors.

Range hoods have a fan that creates a negative pressure zone, which causes air to move from the kitchen into the range hood. This air is then expelled outside of your home through a duct.

The suction power of range hoods can vary depending on the model you have installed. Modern models feature powerful motors and advanced airflow systems that are capable of providing higher suction compared to older models.

Depending on your needs, you can choose a range hood with either low or high suction capacity. Some range hoods even come with adjustable settings so you can customize the level of ventilation depending on what type of cooking activity you’re doing at any given time.

is range hood suction power and CFM the same?

Range hood suction power and CFM are two very important factors to consider when looking for the perfect range hood. It’s important to know the difference between the two so you can find a product that is best suited for your needs.

Suction power is measured in Pascals (Pa) and this unit of measurement determines how much air can be moved through your range hood. The higher the number, the more powerful your range hood will be.

On the other hand, CFM stands for cubic feet per minute and measures how quickly air passes through your range hood. A higher CFM rating means that you have a better ventilation system overall since it takes less time to filter out cooking odors, smoke, and grease from your kitchen.

However, you should go with the range hood that has the suction power you need actually. That means don’t excessive power. You can use our CFM calculator to find out the right CFM for your kitchen range hood.

How to Test a kitchen Range Hood Suction Power?

To ensure your range hood operates at peak efficiency, it’s crucial to conduct regular checks and maintenance. Here’s a broader look at how to test the suction of your range hood, incorporating the essential keywords you’ve provided:

How to Test Range Hood Suction Power - a step by step flowchart
How to Test Range Hood Suction Power – a step by step flowchart –

Visual Inspection

Begin with a thorough visual examination of your range hood. Look for any clear signs of obstruction or damage that could impede its function. This includes checking the unit for cleanliness, as a build-up of grime can affect performance.

Filter Check

Filter Check

Next, switch off the range hood and carefully remove the filters. Examine them for an accumulation of grease or dirt. A filter that hasn’t been cleaned regularly can become so clogged that it no longer allows air to pass through properly, reducing the hood’s ability to suck up smoke and odors.

Smoke Test

Smoke Test

With the filters removed and the range hood switched back on, conduct a smoke test. Light a stick of incense or use a smoke pen and hold it near the vent. If the smoke is swiftly pulled in, your hood is drawing air as expected. If not, it’s a sign that the suction is compromised.

Anemometer Measurement

Anemometer Measurement

For a precise assessment, employ an anemometer to gauge the airflow. Activate the range hood to its highest setting and use the device to measure the CFM. This figure should align with the specifications provided by the manufacturer for your model.

Duct Inspection

Inspect the ductwork if your range hood vents to the outdoors. Any bends or kinks can hinder airflow, and obstructions can be a silent culprit in reduced suction power.

Professional Assessment

If your range hood is still not performing optimally, or if there’s excessive noise indicating a range hood problem, it may be time to open the door to a professional examination. A certified technician can provide a comprehensive assessment, ensuring that your cooker hood circulates air properly and efficiently.

How can I improve my range hood suction?

Improving your range hood’s suction is essential for maintaining a clean and comfortable kitchen environment. If your range hood isn’t pulling much air, it may be due to a few common issues that you can often address yourself. Here’s how to tackle these problems:

Regular Cleaning

A dirty range hood can significantly impede its ability to function. Grease and debris can clog the filter and coat the fan blades, reducing their efficiency. Begin by cleaning the filters and blades thoroughly. If your filters are too dirty or damaged, consider replacing them.

Check the Fan

The fan is the heart of your range hood’s suction capability. Ensure that the fan is in good working order. If the fan doesn’t spin freely or makes unusual noises, it may require repair or replacement. Also, check for any loose components that might be affecting the fan’s operation.

Inspect Air Ducts

Air duct problems can also lead to poor suction. Examine the ductwork for any blockages, kinks, or leaks. These issues can prevent air from flowing correctly through the system. Repair any holes or gaps in the ducting, and straighten out any bends that could be restricting airflow.

Motor Maintenance

The motor powers the fan blades and, if it’s not working correctly, the range hood won’t pull air as it should. If you’re comfortable with more technical repair work, check the motor for signs of wear or damage. In some cases, it might be necessary to call in a professional to repair or replace the motor.

Upgrade if Necessary

Sometimes, the range hood itself might not be powerful enough for your kitchen’s needs, especially if you have a high-output cooktop. In this case, consider upgrading to a range hood with a higher CFM rating to ensure it can handle the volume of air and contaminants produced while cooking.

By addressing these key areas, you can improve your range hood’s suction and ensure it operates at peak efficiency, keeping your kitchen’s air clean and clear.


Testing range hood suction power is a simple and effective way to ensure proper kitchen exhaust. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily test your range hood’s suction power and make sure that your kitchen is properly ventilated.

With the right range hood, you can enjoy cooking and baking without worrying about hazardous buildup of smoke, steam, and odors. So don’t forget to test your range hood’s suction power today!

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