HOODS AND EXTRACTORS
Cooker hoods are a great way to keep your kitchen looking and smelling clean and fresh. They recycle or remove food odours, smoke, and moisture while minimising grease in the air that’s created when you’re cooking.
Hoods and extractor fans come in a variety of styles, such as chimney, visor, canopy, integrated, and island. Discover which of these is right for your kitchen here.
CHOOSING THE SIZE
To ensure your cooker hood works efficiently, you should pick a model that’s the same width as your cooker or hob. However, if you have lots of space available, you can buy a larger size if you prefer.
Bigger hoods are perfect for larger spaces as they have powerful motors, designed to recycle more air. But smaller hoods are quieter and may be more ideal if you have a compact kitchen.
Generally, cooker hoods come in standard sizes of 60 cm, 70 cm, and 90 cm. Some manufacturers even offer matching hoods to go with selected cooker and hob models, so you can achieve a seamless look in your kitchen.
Generally, cooker hoods come in standard sizes of 60 cm, 70 cm, and 90 cm. Some manufacturers even offer matching hoods to go with selected cooker and hob models.
CHOOSING THE TYPE
There are a variety of cooker hoods available, but the names can be a little confusing. Below we list the most common types.
Visor hoods are the most traditional hood models available to buy, and they are installed to stick directly out of the wall above the cooker. These hoods tend to be more affordable and are a practical choice for smaller kitchens.
This hood is installed behind your unit doors and is ideal if you want a seamless look in your kitchen.
These are fitted under your overhead units, directly above your hob. These are more visible than integrated hoods but tend to be very effective.
If you want to make a statement in your kitchen, chimney hoods are aesthetically pleasing but tend to require a fair bit of space. These are mounted on a wall and have a chimney leading off above the fan.
These look like chimney hoods but are attached to the ceiling above an island worktop. You’ll need to make sure you have enough space to accommodate one. If you have the budget, an island hood can make a practical and stylish addition to your kitchen.
This style is great for sleek, minimalistic kitchens as the hood rises up from the worktop. The air is channelled downwards into the appliance rather than upwards. As this type is new, they can be more expensive to purchase and install.
CHOOSING THE FILTRATION METHOD
Cooker hoods either have a recirculation or an extraction mode for filtering the air. Some can be used in either way depending on how they’ve been installed. Here, we look at how each type works, along with pros and cons.
Smoke and steam are drawn into the hood through filters which remove odours and grease in the air. The clean air is then expelled back into the kitchen. Recirculation hoods are cheap and easy to install as they don’t require access to an outside wall. The downside is, you’ll need a charcoal filter, which needs to be changed regularly to remove unwanted odours from your kitchen.
Air is removed from your kitchen through a duct and then released outside through an exterior vent. These models can be costly to install and can be much noisier than a recirculation model. However, there is no charcoal filter to replace, so long-term maintenance and running costs are cheaper.
If you want a hood with an extraction mode, you’ll need to work out the extraction rate you’ll need. This is a measurement of how much air in cubic metres the device can extract in an hour. As a general rule, the larger the space, the higher the rate of extraction you’ll need.
An easy way to find out which rate you need is to work out the volume of your kitchen in cubic metres and multiply the figure by 12. That means the hood will be able to extract all the air in your kitchen 12 times every hour.
A faster rate of extraction often means a noisier appliance, which is worth bearing in mind if you have limited space in your kitchen.
All cooker hoods have grease filters, which need to be cleaned or changed regularly to keep the appliance performing at its best. These are normally made out of metal or sometimes paper.
All cooker hoods have grease filters, which need to be cleaned regularly.
WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW?
You’ll need to position the hood at a minimum of 65 cm above a gas hob, or 50 cm above an electric hob. But check with the manufacturer for the minimum height required for your exact model.
Most hoods typically have three different speeds, but a small high-power burst setting can quickly clear your kitchen of odours and steam. Controls located on the front of the hood are much easier to use than ones on the inside or underside.
Some models include lights which can help you see better while you use the hob, so it might be worth looking for this feature.
Prices for cooker hoods range from as little as £60 to over £2,000. You’ll need to decide on your budget first to determine which type of hood you can afford. You should also take into account the installation costs, as an extraction hood may require a professional to carry out the work.
Prices for cooker hoods range from as little as £60 to over £2,000.