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.
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.
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!
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.
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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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.
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.