AirHood Review: The World’s First Portable Range Hood
The small-but-mighty Airhood slays odors, greasy particles, smoke and is portable enough to take anywhere. No range hood, no problem!
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Growing up, my dad did the cooking. He has an eclectic taste and isn’t afraid of bold flavors. Despite my love of these flavorful ingredients, there’s one thing I could do without: strong, lingering smells that even the best cleaning products can’t kick.
As an apartment dweller, I’m used to well-used major appliances not operating properly—my range hood included. Apart from it being on the older side, years and years of caked-on grease and dust make it unhygienic to use. After spending my summer with the windows open to kick errant smells to the curb, I’m ready to fully embrace the chilly weather. The Airhood portable range hood not only lets me keep my windows closed—it eliminates odors, grease particles and helps me breathe better.
What is the Airhood portable range hood?
Emily Way/Taste of Home
The Airhood is a portable range hood that resembles a desk fan. Apart from the sleek design, the device offers three fan speeds controlled by a no-frills switch at the top. It’s ductless, ventless and weighs in at just under six pounds. Other than the classic white that I chose, it also comes in a modern black and striking cadmium orange. At 13 inches tall, this small kitchen appliance is tiny enough to tote anywhere.
Airhood’s goal is simple: keep air clean in kitchens that have zero—or limited—ventilation. One side suctions in smoke, oil and odors through its dual filters. The other side releases fresh, clean air. Because of its petite size, the Airhood fits snugly into small spaces. After cooking, it easily tucks away in a cupboard. Or (like me), you can stow it under the sink.
When I say the Airhood cleans air and eliminates odors anywhere, I truly mean anywhere. Think small spaces where you couldn’t normally microwave fish without causing a riot. RVs, boats, apartments, break rooms, dorm rooms or tiny homes are ideal locations. Fire it up in a studio apartment to slay sour smells so you can sleep peacefully. That said, the Airhood is rather noisy, so it’s best not to operate it in the middle of the night.
However, you don’t need to stir up a pungent meal to reap the full benefits of the Airhood. The device also draws in and traps greasy particles that would normally end up on walls, cabinets and floors. While it’s no replacement for an over-the-oven range hood, kitchens that lack a built-in hood benefit from the air-cleansing properties of the device.
After all, over-the-range hoods are mounted directly above the stove. Comparatively, the Airhood sits on the counter with other small kitchen appliances, so it relies on air circulation to properly filter out smoke and grease. Despite it taking a little longer to properly eliminate poor air quality from cooking, it does a bang-up job.
Airhood Product Features
Emily Way/Taste of Home
- Oil filter that fights grease on walls, floors and cabinets
- Replaceable charcoal filter that traps and eliminates odors
- Stainless steel handle makes it easy to carry
- Wired and wireless version
- Strong internal ventilator sucks in contaminated air
- Three speed settings
- Ductless, ventless and easy to clean
- Certified under ETL certification program as an air cleaner
- Highest fan setting spins at 5,000 rpm
- Three colors
- 5.8 pounds
- Just over 12 inches tall
How We Tested It
My device arrived with five charcoal filters—like the ones found in refrigerator odor eliminators—which Airhood says will last for more than two years of daily cooking. One was already installed upon arrival, cutting down on my setup time. As a bonus, they’re relatively simple to replace. Simply pop them out with your fingers when they become ineffective, then slide the new one in place.
Aside from additional filters, my Airhood also comes with a charger and a wireless base. While there is a wired version, the wireless one is ideal for me—it allows me to position my Airhood far away from heat sources, making it safe to operate in the kitchen.
A handy quick-start guide arrives with every unit and outlines helpful setup instructions and tips for getting the most out of the unit. Assembly wasn’t difficult at all—the filters are already installed upon arrival, so all I had to do was charge the unit for an hour or so before firing it up.
Our first test: burned buns. While cooking dinner, my husband and I made a big oops by not adding enough water to our wok while steaming some bao buns. The result was a burned bamboo steamer and a horrible, foul odor that permeated our apartment. In response, I fired up the Airhood and aimed it at the source of the offending odor, keeping it a safe distance away from heat sources.
Luckily, the Airhood filtered out the smell in less than an hour, saving me from a headache. We both learned our lesson and upgraded our finicky bamboo steamer for a stainless steel steamer, like the ones from Caraway.
Our second test: tempura. Nothing beats the crunch of tempura broccoli, except maybe the Airhood’s impeccable ability to prevent greasy walls. Normally caked in a thin film by the time I’m finished frying, the cupboards above my stove didn’t see a single dot of oil. In fact, I could literally see the oil that normally ends up all over my kitchen coating the outer filter of the Airhood. Surprisingly, it is also easily washed off with regular dish detergent and some light scrubbing.
- Recycles air and increases indoor air quality
- Small, portable size and weight
- Two filters maximize air cleaning capabilities
- Traps grease particles that can end up on the floor, walls or cabinets
- Charcoal filter eliminates odors
- Most components are dishwasher-safe
- Three fan speeds
- Attractive, modern look
- Three colors choices
- Incredibly easy to operate
- Shouldn’t be used directly next to gas stoves
- Not as effective as a built-in range hood
- Wired version isn’t as portable as the wireless version
Emily Way/Taste of Home
Why is indoor ventilation important while cooking?
According to a study by the California Air Resources Board, cooking can “generate unhealthy air pollutants from heating oil, fat and other food ingredients, especially at high temperatures. Self-cleaning ovens, whether gas or electric, can create high levels of pollutants as food waste is burned away.
Exposure to these can cause or worsen a wide range of health problems such as nose and throat irritation, headaches, fatigue and nausea. Young children, people with asthma and people with heart or lung disease are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of indoor air pollution.”
Given this assessment, the California Air Resources Board recommends a few ways to properly ventilate areas. For those with a range hood, this means:
- Making sure it vents to the outdoors
- Use it while cooking or using your stove
- Cook on back burners whenever possible
Those without a range hood should:
- Use a wall or ceiling exhaust fan
- Open windows and/or doors to improve airflow
How does the Airhood work?
Similarly to indoor plants (but far more effective), the Airhood filters indoor air pollutants that cause lung irritation. An exterior oil filter traps grease particles, while an inner charcoal filter eliminates smaller odor particulates. While running, the device releases fresh, clean air that improves indoor air quality and eliminates nasty particulates.
For those who can’t make the above accommodations suggested by the California Air Resources Board—whether they’re renting or simply don’t have the budget—the Airhood is the perfect Plan B.
How to Clean the Airhood
As with any kitchen appliance, the device should be cleaned after every use. This goes doubly-so after pan frying because grease particles can clog up the outward-facing filter.
According to Airhood, just “remove the magnetically attached air duct ‘in a jiffy’ and clean it wherever you like. The oil filter is mounted on the air duct utilizing a bracket, which can be removed with a quick flick of the wrist thanks to the simple twist-lock mechanism and then cleaned by hand or in the dishwasher. In addition, the activated charcoal filter behind the oil filter can be easily removed and replaced by hand.”
What Other Reviewers Had to Say
Reviews for the Airhood are overwhelmingly positive, with purchasers praising the portability and power of this petite device. “I use the Air Hood when using my counter-top deep fryer,” writes verified purchaser Woodrow D. “I cannot place my deep fryer on my cooktop, so it’s not under my range hood leaving the smell and grease particulate hanging in the air.”
He continues, “I placed my Air Hood next to the deep fryer and I can see the steam cloud, along with the grease and odor being pulled into the Air Hood Filters. It really significantly reduced the smell of fish frying and trapped the grease particulate in the filter. A great idea for all of your portable cooking appliances.”
The Airhood is also a great supplemental device for kitchens with older range hoods that don’t fully filter the air. This is especially helpful when they’re too old or poor quality. With the average cost of a replacement hood landing somewhere between $200 and $700—plus the labor-intensive task of removing and installing—it’s easy to see how the Airhood could be a smart option for less handy folks at under $200.
But don’t let that assessment fool you—the Airhood is also an affordable option for those who lack any kind of built-in range hood. While it takes a lot longer than a traditional hood to truly eliminate odors and grease particles from the air, using the device beats box fans a hundred times over. The charcoal filter makes all the difference and justifies the mid-range price tag, especially when compared to tabletop fans that simply rotate stale air around the room.
Air filters like the editor-tested Molekule purifier offer a similar result when it comes to ridding the air of odors. However, they aren’t a replacement for a range hood. That means cooking-related contaminants like grease and steam could damage their delicate interiors. When comparing the Airhood with countertop air purifiers, it’s preferable to opt for the Airhood for anything cooking-related.
Emily Way/Taste of Home
For those living in close quarters, the Airhood is a lifesaver. If you’re a fan of smelly food, it’s a relationship-saver. Despite being less effective than a pricey built-in range hood, the lower price point and portable size make it well worth splurging on. Because it’s compact enough to travel with, it’s perfect for bringing to Airbnbs or as additional ventilation while prepping Thanksgiving meals at a relative’s house.
Where to Buy the Airhood
The Airhood is available on Amazon, and rings up at around $150. That’s much more affordable than a replacement range hood, and it offers tons of flexibility while cooking. Say goodbye to smells and sticky films from fried food—this portable hood surpasses both regular fans and air purifiers.