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We would like to install a proper range hood in our kitchen, The existing hood is a phony hood (recirculates air through some charcoal filters - does nothing except noise). However, I am having a hard time deciding and any help would be appreciated.

1. Our house is single story and the kitchen is on an outer brick wall. The easiest thing to do would be to cut a hold in the brick wall and vent it out directly. However, several people have told me that it is better to run a duct into the attic and then vent through the roof. Various reasons have been offered for the attic route - e.g., it's not good to cut into brickwork, insects could get into the kitchen, likely smell in the backyard, etc. OTOH, someone mentioned that running a duct through the attic is dangerous as it would trap cooking fats and grease and eventually become afire hazard - same thing as dryer vent pipes.  

2. The second problem is that I can't seem to find any 3rd party reviews of range hoods (e.g. Consumer Reports). Home Dept prices vary widely and there doesn't seem to be any correlation with the airflow cfm numbers. And everyone claims to be silent!

I don't want to make a costly mistake. Any thoughts or suggestions appreciated.  Thanks. 

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1. You need to get an experienced contractor out to look at it. Most hoods vent through the attic but the best route depend on your specific circumstances. btw, it probably won't be cheap for this work.

2. All consumer level hoods sold in big box stores are about the same, unless you want a uppity one or one designed for Asian stir-fry cooking (not silent but very high CFM).

1. Where you hood exits depends on the house construction. Mine exits right behind the hood (Not going up through the attic) but I don't have a brick house.
Grease in the tube does happen especially if you remove the grease filters on the hood, but can happen in both ways of exiting (Side or up)

2. Quiet? Wow that's biased, mine is pretty loud but it's part of the microwave.

We recently installed Zypher brand hood, it goes from super quiet to loud depending on speed you want to run it.  It goes to over 500 cfm and we have a vented it through brick wall behind the hood using sheet metal duct, not the flexible round thingy.  It's extremely important to have the correct size duct because for the high powered fan such as 500-700 cfm models, you want to have at least 6" duct, not 4".  Do not, I repeat do not, go with the ones you find at the big box stores, the difference between those and the quality hood only several hundred dollars but the higher quality is well worth it if you do decent amount of cooking.  Of course if you have higher-end kitchen then you can go with Wolf, Jenn Air, Viking etc.

Thanks, everyone. The Asian stir-fry vent is an interesting idea.

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