What to look for when buying an extractor

I love cooking and baking, so know that having the right kit is essential. I don’t think my kitchen would be complete without a mixer and a good, reliable oven – and the team would miss out on the cakes and treats I bring in as a result, I’m sure (I asked them: they agreed!). One appliance that is absolutely crucial to any kitchen, and one that’s often forgotten about, is the extractor – or cooker hood.

You don’t want steamy, greasy air circulating your space, do you? Especially not if you’re going open plan. And you don’t really want one that makes loads of noise either. There are some key things you’ll need to consider when buying an extractor for your new space – not sure where to start? Let me help…

First, decide on the type of extractor you need

There is a really impressive range of models out there for all budgets and to complement any layout, from more traditional overhead or wall-mounted hoods to state-of-the-art pendants with sophisticated lighting systems, created specifically for islands.

It might be a sleek solution you’re after so opt for an integrated ceiling design or invest in the latest combined hob and ventilation models – or a downdraft design where the extractor rises from the work surface and discreetly disappears when not in use.

With so many of us opting for open-plan living extraction is even more essential than it’s ever been to get rid of those unwanted, lingering smells in our living space.

buying an Extractor

Novy’s zoneless induction hob features a downdraft extraction unit directly behind the pans. The opaque glass ventilation tower sits within the surface of the appliance until required and rises 10cm, 20cm, or 30cm high depending on the size of the pan – so even large pots are easily covered. Panorama PRO 88cm induction hob and downdraft extractor, £3899, Novy.


buying an Extractor

Simply tap your smartphone to turn Bosch’s extractor on or off or to dim the bright working light to a warmer hue. If the filter needs changing, the app will also remind you. Suitable for ducted extraction and recirculation.Series 8 DWK9PR60B 90cm angled wall-mounted cooker hood in black printed glass, £1059, Bosch.

What to look for when buying an extractor

Make sure your extractor has an efficient extraction rate to ensure the air in the room doesn’t turn stale. To find out what you need, calculate the size of your room (length x width x height) and, if you have an open-plan scheme, add on half the volume of the area beyond the kitchen. Yes, a bit of maths, but it’ll ensure you get the right power for your space.

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Your hood should be able to completely refresh the air in the space 12 times an hour. There is a great selection on the market now, ranging from space-saving wall-mounted units in black printed glass to standalone extractors that can include shelving and lighting as well as extraction and come in a variety of finishes from oak panels to stainless steel, copper or brass, so you can find one that works properly and looks good too – winner!

buying an Extractor

Bora’s combination hob automatically adjusts the extractor’s power level automatically according to cooking conditions, while the cover flap creates a seamless finish when the appliance is not in use. Surface induction, gas cooktops, or teppan yaki grills can all be combined with the extraction system.Professional 2.0 combination cooktop, from £6000, Bora.

buying an Extractor

Complementing every décor, Indesit’s hood means you can easily access the hob without catching your head on the corners. With three speeds, its motor has a maximum noise level of 70dB. Aria angled cooker hood IHVP 6.6 LM K in black glass, £199, Indesit.

Make sure it’s not noisy

Speak to your kitchen designer before you commit to buying an extractor. The product specifications can vary between extractors, especially the noise levels when in use – they can range from a base level of around 55dB, which isn’t much louder than the humming of a modern refrigerator, to 68dB on the most intensive setting.

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Deciding between ducted and recirculating

There are two systems to choose from: ducted and recirculating.

Ducted units extract the cooking smells out of the room through a pipe which leaves your home via an external wall, while a recirculating design filters the air using aluminium or charcoal filters before returning it back into the room, which makes it possible to install an extractor virtually anywhere in the kitchen layout.

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buying an Extractor

Made from stainless steel and black glass, Caple’s Zodiac extractor features illuminated LED touch controls on both sides for easy access. Aluminium filters take care of grease, while the appliance’s motor offers three speed settings and runs at a quiet 66dB maximum. It is available as a ducted out or a recirculation design. W Zodiac Zi922 island hood, £633, Caple.


buying an Extractor

Fisher & Paykel’s chimney extractor has four fan speeds as well as a boost function to effectively remove steam and odours while cooking. When you get the alarm that it’s time to clean them, simply pop the filters into the dishwasher. HC90BCXB2 wall chimney cooker hood in black glass and brushed stainless steel, £579, Fisher & Paykel.

You’ll need to factor in care and maintenance

How much you need to clean your new appliance is dependant on the amount you use it day to day. Filters are usually easy to clean by popping them into the dishwasher – no scrubbing needed.

The latest extractor hobs are fitted with a safety tray that collects any spillages while you’re busy in the kitchen, so no debris will fall through the extractor mechanism.

Fancy something high tech? If you opt for a smart, Wifi-connected design in your kitchen, an app on your phone will notify you when a filter needs changing to help keep our extractor at its most efficient. Fancy.

buying an Extractor

With the option to add extra shelf space, Elica’s extractor is available in white lacquered wood and stainless steel or natural oak and white soft touch-effect finishes. Optional accessories including cables in various coloured woven fabric, steel, copper or rope, a lamp holder in ceramic, copper or wood, and the shown large LED bulbs which give off warm light. Lullaby ceiling hood, £1745, Elica.

How much do they cost?

Before buying an extractor you’ll need to know the cost. Well, your new appliance can cost as little as £200 and range up to £6000 for the latest high-tech model. It really does vary depending on your needs, style and budget, so always shop around and compare prices before you commit.

Featured image: This state-of-the-art extractor from Sirius features a large dimmable LED light ring available in satin black, silver, white, copper and brass. The actual extraction element sits in a white or stainless-steel ceiling plate, which keeps the onboard brushless motor and aluminium filters out of sight. SLT-973 Halo pendant range hood onboard, £1674, Sirius.

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