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

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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.

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