Venting range hoods can control indoor air pollutants emitted during residential cooktop and oven cooking. To quantify their potential benefits, it is important to know how frequently and under what conditions range hoods are operated during cooking. We analyzed data from 54 single family houses and 17 low-income apartments in California in which cooking activities, range hood use, and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) were monitored for one week per home. Range hoods were used for 36% of cooking events in houses and 28% in apartments. The frequency of hood use increased with cooking frequency across homes. In both houses and apartments, the likelihood of hood use during a cooking event increased with the duration of cooktop burner use, but not with the duration of oven use. Actual hood use rates were higher in the homes of participants who self-reported more frequent use in a pre-study survey, but actual use was far lower than self-reported frequency. Residents in single family houses used range hoods more often when cooking caused a discernible increase in PM2.5. In apartments, residents used their range hood more often only when high concentrations of PM2.5 were generated during cooking.