Choosing the Most Suitable Model of Cooker Hood for Your Kitchen

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How to create a clean and pleasant living environment in your kitchen with the right cooker hood

You know that nasty layer of grease that settles on top of all of your kitchen wall cupboards which let’s be truthful here, only gets cleaned once in a blue moon, (well in my house it does anyway).  Far from indicating that you have a high fat diet this is just the standard accumulation of the grease contained within the cooking vapours of a normal family.

This can be a thing of the past with the addition of a good quality cooker hood, which will also deal with steam and your cooking odours, (no one really likes the smell of kippers and cabbage!).

The trend for open plan living coupled with the fact we spend much more time in our kitchens means that extractor fans are a must to help create a more pleasant living space.

Our homes are double glazed and efficiently insulated to keep the heat in but that also means that condensation and grease remains present which can potentially damage your furnishings or eventually the fabric of your building.

Extractor hoods are the perfect solution and come in several different types.  They can be wall mounted, pendant style, ceiling extractors or downdraft models. The style chosen will be dictated by your chosen kitchen layout.

Wall mounted models where your hob is against the wall come in many styles, integrated, (hidden by a cupboard or matching door to your kitchen), canopy again hidden, or free-standing canopy style.

With the use of flexible or flat profile ducting this goes through to an outside wall, finished off with an exterior wall outlet.  If you can’t duct straight to outside then most models can also recirculate – these have carbon filters fitted inside to trap the odour particles and then send clean air back into the room.

On all models a grease filter is the first line of defense.  These used to be thrown away when dirty but newer models have a metal grease filter which can be washed in the dishwasher.

Recirculated models are never quite as efficient as ducted out but have made huge advances in recent years, the main thing to remember is that in order to be efficient it must be able to completely change the air in the room 10 times every hour when it is turned on. This means the bigger your room the more powerful the extractor needs to be – a point to remember if planning an open plan kitchen and living area.

The other point to remember is the style of hob you are using – with induction hobs the steam tends to dissipate wider than with traditional gas hobs so your designer should recommend using a wider hood than the hob.  With gas the steam rises up but also ensure that the hood is fitted at the correct height.

The other big consideration will be noise so ensure you pick a model that is efficient at or below 59 dB but above all remember to switch the extractor on before you start cooking to get the air circulating properly.

Top Tips

Built in Cooker Hood: These are hidden within the cabinetry of your kitchen – disguised by either a door, cupboard or canopy – A good option for those looking for a minimal kitchen design or when space is a premium.

Wall Mounted Cooker Hood: These now offer the consumer the greatest choice of styles and designs – they can also be the most effective – but beware some of my taller clients require an angled model so as not to knock themselves out each time they cook something.

Ceiling Extractors: These are becoming more popular especially in an open plan kitchen arrangement as they are less obvious than the island extractors we used to use. These usually have a powerful motor due to the distance they are fitted above the hob and are normally operated by remote control.

Pendant Hoods: This style is usually the most decorative of all models and they often look and function as a secondary light as well as an extractor but can certainly add that WOW factor to your island hob area!

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