Photo credit: Kristin Wilson

Detailed AirHood Review: A Portable Range Hood for RVers?

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Will the first portable range hood inspire more portable kitchens? This AirHood review aims to answer that question!

I suppose the overhead range hood is an integral piece of the kitchen that I have always taken for granted. From small outdated college apartments to a real adult house in the suburbs to an exciting life of travel and adventure in an RV – I have always had an acceptable overhead range hood in my kitchen.

It wasn’t until AirHood asked us to test and review their portable kitchen air cleaner that I realized the need for such a product, especially in metropolitan studio apartments.

AirHood Wired | Portable Range Hood Kitchen Air Cleaner with 5 Activated Charcoal Air Filter & 1 Stainless Steel Oil Filter | Portable Exhaust Fan Easy to Clean | Countertop Use - Cadmium Orange
31 Reviews
AirHood Wired | Portable Range Hood Kitchen Air Cleaner with 5 Activated Charcoal Air Filter & 1 Stainless Steel Oil Filter | Portable Exhaust Fan Easy to Clean | Countertop Use - Cadmium Orange
  • DUAL FILTER TECHNOLOGY: Stainless-steel mesh, along with being dishwasher safe, ensures durability and convenient cleaning while effectively extracting grease particles from steam, providing healthier cooking environments; Charcoal filters with activated charcoal rapidly adsorb unpleasant scents, ensuring fresh and odor-free air in your kitchen

…And then I started thinking of a million and one creative RV renovations I could pull off by eliminating the need for built-in stationary kitchen appliances.

With so many portable cooking appliances on the market –  induction cooktops, deep fryers, indoor grills and griddles, multi-function cooking pots – and now a portable air filtration hood option, the cooking space in an RV can come and go with every meal! 

Read more about RV kitchen gadgets: 24 RV Kitchen Gadgets Every Camper Needs

But… I use the overhead range hood every time I cook. So before I completely abandon my preconceived notion of a fully functional kitchen and jump into my million and one new ideas, I need to know if the AirHood actually works. So, I put it to the ultimate smoke, odor, and grease elimination test…..with bacon.

What is the AirHood?

The AirHood claims to be the first portable alternative to the traditional overhead range hood.

It is a crowd-funded Kickstarter & Indiegogo gadget with over 4000 backers that promises to reduce smoke, odors, grease, and oily residue when cooking in small or ventless indoor spaces.

It is basically a tabletop fan that traps all those yucky by-products of cooking with its dual filtration process and then releases clean air back into the space. 

The AirHood out of it's box
Photo credit: Kristin Wilson

And it doesn’t look like just another boring fan taking up valuable surface space. Its mid-century modern design looks more like a 1950s intercom speaker or some new-age techy smart device.

It is about the same size as a standard coffee maker, sitting at 13” tall (15” with the optional base boost), 8.75” wide, and 5.5” deep, and weighs about 5 lbs. It’s definitely a conversation piece if you leave it sitting out. But it can also be stylishly hung with its notched handle or easily stored in a cabinet.

They offer wired and wireless models in 4 colors: space black, ivory white, cadmium orange, or mint green. I would like to see it offered in pink and silver, too.

Do I Really Need to Clean the Air While Cooking?

Cooking is a chemical process that inevitably releases tiny particulates and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the surrounding air.

Exposure to these pollutants can cause or worsen health problems like nose and throat irritation, headaches, and nausea. Children and people with chronic respiratory, heart, or lung diseases are especially vulnerable to irritants in the air from cooking. 

Using a ceiling or box fan in the space will simply circulate contaminated air rather than cleaning out those irritating VOCs.

Using a rooftop ventilation fan in your RV and opening windows may help reduce smoke and odors. But what about the grease and oily residue that inevitably coats nearby walls, cabinets, and floors? And what about cooking in cold weather conditions?

Overhead range hoods pull air pollutants from cooking upward from the cooking surface and vent the air outdoors.

The AirHood, made of flame-retardant ABS plastic, is marketed as the first portable, ETL-certified air cleaner specifically designed to be used with cooking appliances, providing a much-needed solution for apartment dwellers without functional overhead range hoods. It also opens the door for cleaner cooking in non-traditional kitchen settings such as dorm rooms, tiny houses, small RVs, and shared office spaces.

How Does the AirHood Portable Range Hood Work?

The AirHood features an easy-to-remove and clean outer stainless steel screen that filters and collects grease particles as the internal fan draws in cooking vapors.

Then, the inner activated charcoal filter (rated for 100 hours of use) traps tiny VOCs.

Finally, the cleansed air is released from the back side and recirculated into the room.

Testing the AirHood: The Bacon Challenge

I tested out just how well this quirky little kitchen gadget could handle the ultimate greasy, smoky, smelly challenge of frying bacon. I used the AirHood while cooking bacon with an induction cooktop. Then, I qualitatively compared it to cooking bacon on my gas stovetop with a traditional range hood.

The AirHood placed next to a stovetop
Photo credit: Kristin Wilson

I could see some vapors being pulled into the AirHood. But the real surprise was the amount of oil collected on the outer filter!

My entire kitchen would have been covered in a greasy film if it had not been for the AirHood. Some oil splatters were still on surrounding surfaces, but my overhead range hood can’t even offer complete bacon grease protection.

The AirHood has 3 motorized settings. However, I found the highest setting (5000 rpm) to be the only useful one while cooking.

Unfortunately, the highest setting is also the loudest….probably even louder than my overhead range hood. If you enjoy listening to music, TV, or podcasts while cooking, be prepared to turn up the volume.

As for eliminating smoke and odors, the AirHood was a little disappointing, but certainly better than nothing.

It works best to filter out smaller particulates over time after cooking is finished.

So, with the air inside my RV completely baconated, I washed the oil-covered metal filter, turned the AirHood back on high, left for a few hours, and returned home to much fresher smelling air.

Airhood Review Analysis

The AirHood will never fully replace overhead range hoods. Still, it is a great starting point for cleaner air while cooking in non-traditional indoor spaces.

Keep in mind that overhead range hoods are placed in an optimal location directly above the stove, and they vent all those rising odors, smoke, and greasy particles outdoors.

The AirHood, on the other hand, must be positioned next to the cooking surface and utilizes an air circulation to filter out pollutants. Hence, it takes a little longer to eliminate cooking odors properly. 

The warning label on the AirHood
Photo credit: Kristin Wilson

A bigger concern with the AirHood is that this particular model I tested (wireless) is not recommended for use with gas or open flame stoves due to heat damage to the batteries inside the device. However, the wired Airhood is meant to be used with a gas stovetop.

AirHood Wired | Portable Range Hood Kitchen Air Cleaner with 5 Activated Charcoal Air Filter & 1 Stainless Steel Oil Filter | Portable Exhaust Fan Easy to Clean | Countertop Use - Mint Green
36 Reviews
AirHood Wired | Portable Range Hood Kitchen Air Cleaner with 5 Activated Charcoal Air Filter & 1 Stainless Steel Oil Filter | Portable Exhaust Fan Easy to Clean | Countertop Use - Mint Green
  • DUAL FILTER TECHNOLOGY: Stainless-steel mesh, along with being dishwasher safe, ensures durability and convenient cleaning while effectively extracting grease particles from steam, providing healthier cooking environments; Charcoal filters with activated charcoal rapidly adsorb unpleasant scents, ensuring fresh and odor-free air in your kitchen

What Works About the AirHood

  • It’s a stylish mid-century modern techy design.
  • That it is similar in size to other small countertop appliances.
  • It’s available in multiple colors and in both wired and wireless models.
  • It is easy to set up, operate, and clean.
  • Dual air filtration system: one for collecting grease and oil and one for trapping VOCs, odors, and other harmful micro-particulates

What Doesn’t Work About the AirHood

  • It must be positioned beside the cooking surface, requiring enough circulation power to pull cooking by-products horizontally.
  • It is noisy, especially on the most practical high setting.
  • Not for use with open flame/gas stoves.
  • It takes time to thoroughly cleanse the air of cooking odors.

Where to Purchase an AirHood

The wired model of the AirHood starts at $157 and is easy to plug in and switch on.

AirHood Wired | Portable Range Hood Kitchen Air Cleaner with 5 Activated Charcoal Air Filter & 1 Stainless Steel Oil Filter | Portable Exhaust Fan Easy to Clean | Countertop Use - Cadmium Orange
31 Reviews
AirHood Wired | Portable Range Hood Kitchen Air Cleaner with 5 Activated Charcoal Air Filter & 1 Stainless Steel Oil Filter | Portable Exhaust Fan Easy to Clean | Countertop Use - Cadmium Orange
  • DUAL FILTER TECHNOLOGY: Stainless-steel mesh, along with being dishwasher safe, ensures durability and convenient cleaning while effectively extracting grease particles from steam, providing healthier cooking environments; Charcoal filters with activated charcoal rapidly adsorb unpleasant scents, ensuring fresh and odor-free air in your kitchen

The wireless model is just as easy to set up, requiring only a few hours to charge before use. Its retail price starts at $197.

AirHood Wireless | Portable Range Hood Kitchen Air Cleaner with 5 Activated Charcoal Air Filter & 1 Stainless Steel Oil Filter | Portable Exhaust Fan Easy to Clean | Countertop Use - Cadmium Orange
18 Reviews
AirHood Wireless | Portable Range Hood Kitchen Air Cleaner with 5 Activated Charcoal Air Filter & 1 Stainless Steel Oil Filter | Portable Exhaust Fan Easy to Clean | Countertop Use - Cadmium Orange
  • WIRELESS PORTABLE KITCHEN AIR CLEANER: Portable kitchen air cleaner with battery included inside the product, designed for indoor countertop use, perfect for homes without vented range hoods, small apartments, RVs, dorm rooms, electric and induction stoves, indoor BBQ parties, hot pot gatherings, and enjoying the authentic flavors of Korean BBQ and Japanese BBQ.

You can order the AirHood directly from their website – theairhood.com – or on Amazon

AirHood Alternatives

While doing some market research on “the first portable range hood,” I found two comparable kitchen air filtration gadgets available on Amazon:

The “Hood to Go” by Ciarra Appliances for $170

CIARRA Portable Range Hood, Desktop Range Hood with 2 Speed Exhaust Fan, Detachable Aluminum Filter, Large Oil Collection Cup, Portable Exhaust Fan for Kitchen, Indoor BBQ, Hot Pot
32 Reviews
CIARRA Portable Range Hood, Desktop Range Hood with 2 Speed Exhaust Fan, Detachable Aluminum Filter, Large Oil Collection Cup, Portable Exhaust Fan for Kitchen, Indoor BBQ, Hot Pot
  • Multi Filtration: Portable Kitchen Exhaust Fan with 3 filters -- Polymer Filter /CBCF008 Carbon Filters /AL125125 Grease Filter. It also can use CBCH008 hepa flter to purify air.

The “Stove Buddy” for $130

Sale
Stove Buddy - Indoor Kitchen Mini Fan Portable Range Hood with One-Button Start and Multi Filtration - Small Fan Kitchen hood exhaust fan with Oil Extractor Filter and Vent - Compact and Space Saving
16 Reviews
Stove Buddy - Indoor Kitchen Mini Fan Portable Range Hood with One-Button Start and Multi Filtration - Small Fan Kitchen hood exhaust fan with Oil Extractor Filter and Vent - Compact and Space Saving
  • Effective Kitchen Air Fan Filtration: Portable kitchen exhaust fan captures cooking smoke with detachable and washable filters efficiently captures grease and odors for hassle-free maintenance.

I didn’t compare all the specs, but their design is strikingly similar to the AirHood. Given such quick-to-market competitors, I am confident we will see some interesting innovations in portable range hoods in the near future. 

AirHood Review Conclusion: A Viable Alternative To Overhead Range Hoods In Non-Traditional Kitchens

Traditional overhead range hoods can cost several hundred dollars and require difficult or professional installation. If your stove is on an interior wall of a multi-story building, then an overhead range hood is entirely out of the question.

Although RV range hoods are substantially less costly (around $100), they, too, are challenging to set up and install.

With AirHood, You Can Make Any Space a Cooking Space

Without an overhead range hood, the AirHood effectively draws in and traps oil and grease that would otherwise end up all over the walls, cabinets, and floors.

Although it can’t compete with the efficiency of an overhead range hood, it makes cooking in non-traditional kitchen environments a cleaner endeavor. It also unleashes new creative renovation possibilities, especially in small spaces like RVs, vans, and tiny houses.

Ready to remodel your RV kitchen? Check out these articles for ideas on where to get started!

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