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How Do Kitchen Exhaust Fans Work?

A small kitchen with a white island

You’re probably used to turning on your kitchen exhaust fan before you cook, but have you ever wondered how it even works? Kitchen exhaust fans are essential for your kitchen’s safety and health. They can improve your home’s air quality super-fast and ward off a wide range of health issues. According to local residential electricians in Philadelphia, here’s how a kitchen exhaust system works:

What exactly is a kitchen exhaust fan?

A kitchen exhaust fan is located above your stovetop to remove any airborne byproducts of cooking from your kitchen. These byproducts include rogue spices, grease, smoke, fumes, heat, and steam. Exhaust fans are critical in home kitchens but are an absolute necessity in commercial kitchens since they usually include some type of fire suppression device to extinguish and vent fires.

How do they work?

Kitchen exhaust systems are available in two different forms—ducted and ductless. Ducted hoods are a lot more common—they have an air duct to transport the air and are rather popular for commercial and residential use. Ductless hoods suck the air in to filter it before sending it back out.


A ducted kitchen exhaust fan consists of a hood above the stovetop, fan, honeycomb filter, ducts, ozone generator, and lights. All of these components work together to suck up the grease and steam in the air into the hood, where the honeycomb filters trap the larger particles and let the rest of the hot air flow into the duct.

Some commercial kitchens have ozone generators that keep the air clean while a vent fan pushes the air out onto the rooftop or street.


Ductless exhaust systems recirculate the air and push it back into the kitchen rather than sending it outside. Ductless systems have strong motorized fans sitting over the stovetop that suck up the air through a filter and vent when turned on. Ductless systems have filters made from paper and charcoal to filter the hot air much faster. The blower usually also contains a charcoal filter to clean the air further.

A large kitchen with white counters

Need top-notch repair or installation services for your kitchen exhaust fan?

Top residential electricians at Golden Electrical Service can ensure that your home’s indoor air is smoke-free and healthy by providing high-quality and professional residential and commercial electrical services at affordable prices throughout Philadelphia. Our emergency electricians are here to help you out at any time!

Contact us to find out more!

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