Cooker Hoods Buying Guide
Whether you’re looking for a stylish design piece or a practical extractor fan, this guide is here to explain the important points about cooker hoods. To help you choose the right model for your kitchen it will look at extraction rate, ventilation type and some important issues about design. If you just want to see a list of the definitions of important terms then see the cooker hood glossary.
Introduction to cooker hoods
Cooker hoods are appliances designed to be placed above a hob or cooker to filter the air in your kitchen. They come as either ducted/vented/perimeter extraction or recirculation models (more about both of those later) and with or without built-in lights. For many people a cooker hood is just an afterthought but not having adequate ventilation can lead to permanent damage to your kitchen as grease stains paint work and builds up in hard to clean places.
To make finding a cooker hood easier we have split this guide into the following sections. You can read them in any order you want but we recommend that you go from start to finish.
How is my new cooker hood going to fit in my kitchen?
There are three important things to remember when choosing where to place your cooker hood.
- It should be directly above your hob.
- It should be within reach of an electricity supply.
- If you choose a ducted/vented/perimeter extraction model it should have access to an exterior wall.
Kitchen appliances come in two fit-types; integrated and freestanding. All cooker hood models are built-in /integrated, but how much of the hood is visible depends on the style of the hood. Fully Integrated appliances are /strong>built-in to a kitchen in such a way that they are hidden when not in use and semi integrated models are incorporated as part of your kitchen design and displayed as a focal point in your kitchen.
Cooker hoods come in 5 styles.
Chimney style cooker hoods - have a chimney leading off above the fan. You need to make sure that there is enough room above your cooker top for 75cm between the hob and the hood and room above the hood for the chimney vent.
Please note that chimney cooker hoods should are designed to be mounted on a wall, if you are after one that is designed to be seen from all four sides and suspended from the ceiling you need an island hood.
Island cooker hoods - look just like chimney hoods. The important difference is that island models don’t need to be mounted onto a wall; as they are designed to be suspended from your ceiling. Ideal if your modern style kitchen has your hob in the middle of the room.
Visor/conventional cooker hoods - stick directly out of a wall. This kind of unit is very rarely found in sizes above the standard 60cm width.
Fully Integrated cooker hoods – Are built into the cabinet above your hob and are hidden behind a panel or door which must be open in order to use. Almost all integrated models are 60cm wide or less, so if you are looking for a cooker hood that is only visible when in use but can be hidden the rest of the time, an integrated hood is ideal.
Canopy cooker hoods - are built-in to the underneath of a cabinet directly above the hob. They are sometimes confused with integrated hoods but while integrated hoods are hidden behind a door and can be shut away, canopy hoods are always visible.
When checking the size of a cooker hood there are two important things to bear in mind. Firstly you need to make sure that the unit you choose fits your cooker – so if you have a range cooker that is 90cm wide you will get the best results from a hood that is 90cm wide. Secondly, all cooker hoods should be placed so that the bottom of the unit is approximately 75cm above the hob.
|How it works
||Recirculation hoods draw air into the appliance through the filters to neutralise odours and remove grease particles. The cleaned air is then returned into the kitchen. A carbon filter or re-circulating kit is necessary for re-circulation.
||Extraction hoods filter air with a metal filter grease trap before releasing it through an outside vent.
|What you do
||Clean the grease trap (metal filters can be cleaned in the dishwasher) and replace the charcoal filter on a regular basis.
||Remove and clean the metal filter when it starts to fill. Many models are dishwasher proof.
||Can be used in almost all kitchens with low installation costs. Removes grease and odours from the air and ensures that odour free air is returned into the kitchen.
||Highly effective filtration that removes grease, odours and excess moisture from the air.
||Charcoal filter needs replacing regularly and can’t remove moisture from the air
||Requires a vent through an outside wall which can be expensive to install.
In summary extraction models are better at ventilation but they cost more to install. However when looking at cost you should always consider the price of replacing charcoal filters in a recirculation hood.
The extraction rate is the speed at which a hood can filter air. A larger number means a faster rate of extraction but not necessarily a better hood for you. A suitable cooker hood will be able to change the air on your kitchen at least 8 times in an hour but ideally 12 times.
A faster rate of extraction leads to cleaner air but also means a noisier appliance – something you won’t notice as much in a large kitchen but can make a real difference in a small one.
To find out what extraction rate is right for you just enter the height, length and width of your kitchen (the more accurate the better) into the form below. If you have a kitchen that isn’t a rectangle and you know the volume of it (which is the area multiplied by the height) then just put that straight into the box marked area.
How much is my cooker hood going to cost to run?
Unlike more large appliances there is very little information available on the running costs of cooker hoods. But this is for a good reason; they don’t use much electricity.
Even the most powerful ones only use a third of the amount of power as a small electric hob and when you don’t use the light fittings that figure gets reduced even further. A moderately powerful hood, working at a rate of 750 cubic metres/hour, with 2 small lights uses about 3 or 4 pence worth of electricity every hour. So if you were to use it for an hour and a half every day the yearly running cost would be just under £22.
If you choose a recirculation hood with a carbon filter you also need to consider the cost of replacing the filter. Most carbon filters should be replaced after 12-18 months and can cost between £10 and £80 depending on the model.
How much do I want to pay for a cooker hood?
Cooking hood prices start from under £200 and go up to well over £1000. As prices rise you can expect to find quieter, more powerful units but the factors that make a real difference to the price are the design and the size of the hood. So a £1000 island can have the same rate of extraction and noise levels as a £200 canopy but be available in a range of different colours and finishes to help enhance the style of a modern kitchen. Almost all models can be used for either vented/ducted extraction or recirculation.
If you are looking for the cheapest cooker hoods on the market, for less than £200 you can expect to find a number of basic visor and canopy styles available in generic silver and stainless steel, suitable for almost all simple kitchen designs. The majority of models in this price range are a standard 50 – 60cm in width.
For £200 - £400 a huge selection of chimney cooker hoods available in stylish stainless steel and black; most measuring between 60cm and 70cm in width.
If you are looking to spend between £400 and £800, there are a wide range of chimney and island cooker hoods available, select models even come with stylish glass canopies to go with the most modern kitchen. The average width of models in this price bracket is 90cm – 100cm.
If you are looking to spend a decent amount of money on a designer kitchen, cooker hoods costing over £800 offer you some of the trendiest models on the market, perfect for complementing a designer oven and hob/cooker.
For over £1000, you will find a small premium collection of the best cooker hoods available. These models not only offer the ultimate ventilation features but also perfect design to make a fashionable statement in your kitchen. Most models are wider than standard at 90cm – 120cm.