The Latest Kitchen Extractors
From extraction type, size and placement, there’s plenty to consider when choosing your kitchen cooker hood. Nick Robbins runs through the need-to-know information
Plus, our must-read buyer’s guide
Getting is home. integral the Not extraction to only creating does right a extraction healthy in your and kitchen remove clean odours, it can also take away grease and steam, making your kitchen easier to maintain and more pleasant to spend time in. The extractor needs to complement your hob and your kitchen layout, too — as well as fit the aesthetic of the room.
Your primary choice will be between a ducted extractor and recirculating (or recirculation) model: the former requires installation with a series of ductwork that takes the extracted air outside, while the latter cleans the air over a filter and returns it to the room. As ducted extractors need to be connected to the outside to vent the air, there are some restrictions over where they can be installed. Remember too that ducting is not usually supplied with the extractor and you will need to buy and install this. The path and size of your ducting will affect its extraction rate: a shorter route with fewer bends and a wider diameter of the ducting (150mm, for example) will provide optimum extraction. A recirculation model will extract grease in the same way as a ducted model – trapping it in a grease filter – but rather than port the air externally to remove cooking smells, it purifies the air with a charcoal filter (which needs to be regularly replaced), trapping odours, before venting the cleaner air back into the room. You may also find that some steam is returned to the room via this method too.
You will also need to consider a unit’s extraction rate, noise level (measured in decibels: db), size and height (if choosing an overhead model). In general, recirculation models offer a reduced extraction rate at a higher noise level than ducted models — it is usually more efficient to port the extracted air directly outside than to filter it inside the unit.
When looking at extraction rates, you will need to choose a unit that provides at least 12 changes of air per hour. You can find this figure by multiplying the volume of your kitchen by 12 — for example, a 40m3 kitchen would need an extraction rate of 480m3/h. If you have a large open plan kitchen space, it is unlikely you will find an extractor powerful enough to hit this air change target, but the more powerful the better in this scenario.
The placement of an extractor is also important. You will need to choose a wider model for induction hobs, where the odours diffuse outwards, than you would for a gas or electric hob, where the odours travel upwards in a narrower fashion. The distance between hob and extractor is also crucial. Caple’s product manager Luke Shipway says: “When choosing extraction it is important to check your ceiling height to ensure your hood can be placed at the recommended distance of between 650mm for electric to 750mm for gas hobs. Island hoods can be adjustable but the distance is not always sufficient for more modern homes with a 2.4m ceiling height.”
If you have a hob in a kitchen island you will need to specify a special extractor for this. “Where the extractor hood could once prove tricky when planning an island unit, the variety now available means you can opt to make it a feature in its own right or keep it as a discrete addition that doesn’t detract from the overall look,” says Tori Summers of Benchmarx. You could also opt for a downdraft extractor, which can be installed into your island, or choose an integrated unit, says Tori: “If you are using the island to incorporate a hob or sink area look out for the latest hobs that incorporate extractor fans as these do away with the need for an overhead extractor.”
And a top tip for when using your extractor: To achieve the best results, regardless of size, model or layout, run your ventilation for 10 minutes either side of cooking, this allows air to be circulated before and after cooking.