Cooker hood buying guide
Holly, self-taught DIYer, Cardiff22 guides
- Integrated or built-in canopy hood
- Pull-out or visor hood
- Wall or island hood
- Ducted extraction or recirculation
- Sound level
- Grease and charcoal filter
- Hood cover
Four key criteria for choosing a cooker hood
There are four main criteria to consider when selecting a cooker hood:
- Type, depending on installation requirements and personal taste.
- Dimensions, depending on the type of hood and installation requirements.
- Extraction method, whether or not it connects to the outside via an exhaust duct.
- Airflow, determined by the type of hood and size of the kitchen.
1. Types of cooker hoods
- Integrated hoods or built-in canopy hoods blend in perfectly; built into a cabinet, they can be retractable or fixed.
- Pull-out or telescopic hoods are modern and sleek; they are mounted underneath a cabinet.
- Visor hoods are simple and modern; they come as independent units which are basic and very easy to install.
- Designer wall or island hoods for fans of slick design; installed on the wall or above a kitchen island.
2. Cooker hood dimensions
- Integrated and pull-out hoods must always be sized in accordance with the kitchen unit they are built into.
- Visor, wall and island hoods offer more freedom in terms of installation.
3. Cooker hoods: extraction method and rate
Cooker hoods operate using two methods of extraction which can be combined within the same model:
- Ducted extraction system (requires an efficient exhaust duct): Airflow = Kitchen volume x 10
- Recirculation system (operates through a closed circuit, less efficient): Airflow = Kitchen volume x 20
4. Extraction to noise ratio
Recirculating hoods generate more noise than extractor hoods. The general levels range from:
- 35 dB for the quietest (at minimum speed).
- 45 dB for average (at minimum speed).
- 55 to 60 dB at maximum extraction speed.
The role of a cooker hood is to create a healthy environment by removing the steam, grease and pungent odours caused by cooking. Additionally, they can also add a decorative touch to your kitchen, provide spot lighting and contribute to cleaner air. They can bit fitted above the hob, built into a kitchen worktop or placed over a free-standing cooker. Cooker hoods comprise filters (charcoal and grease) which must be replaced on a regular basis.
Integrated hood or built-in canopy hood: what's the difference?
Integrated hoods are concealed within a unit located just above the cooker.
They are automatically activated when the pull-out door is opened.
Built-in canopy hoods
Two units can even be incorporated into the same cabinet or chimney for greater extraction power. This is the option to choose if you have a large kitchen.
Main advantages of a pull-out hood
Pull-out or telescopic hoods provide a contemporary look and are placed underneath a kitchen cabinet while their motors are concealed within the unit.
They are just as discreet as integrated hoods as only the outer panel is left on show when the hood is not in use. To activate a pull-out hood, simply slide the panel towards you, as though you were opening a drawer.
Pull-out hoods fit easily into already fitted kitchens and are even suitable for large spaces as the sliding telescopic rail means these units can be extended for more efficient extraction.
Benefits of installing a visor hood
Thanks to their basic shape, easy installation and ability to adapt to all styles of kitchen, visor hoods are some of the most popular models on the market.
Add a touch of style to your kitchen with a designer hood
Designer wall hoods
Designer wall hoods are installed above the hob, like other types of cooker hoods. If you love unique shapes such as trapezoids, half moon shapes or triangles, then a designer wall hood is your best bet.
If you're a bit short on space, opt for an angled hood. The main advantage of a wall hood is that it offers a large surface area when it comes to air extraction.
The extraction capacity of these models is even greater than that of a wall hood. Their position on the ceiling requires a dual power supply: an electrical connection from the floor to power the cooker and another from the ceiling to power the hood.
Cooker hoods: extraction methods
Cooker hoods use one of two methods of extraction to remove cooking vapours: ducted extraction or recirculation. Some models use both methods of extraction.
Ducted or vented extraction
Air recirculation system
Do you live in a flat where you won't be able to install any exterior air vents? Opt for a closed-circuit system instead. The air gets filtered through a charcoal filter and a grease filter before being sent back it into the room. However, the moisture will not be drawn out of the air. This type of installation causes a slight air imbalance and is noisier, so is not recommended if noise level is your primary concern.
How to calculate the airflow rate of a cooker hood
The airflow rate indicates the extraction capacity of a cooker hood and is measured in cubic metres per hour (m3/h). For the right level of air renewal, the airflow rate must correspond to the volume of the kitchen. The higher it is, the better it will be suited to a larger space.
Calculating the airflow rate of a cooker hood
- for a ducted extraction system, the airflow rate = surface x height x 10
- for an air recirculation system, the airflow rate = surface x height x 20
For example: a kitchen area of 9 m2 and a height of 2.5 metres requires a minimum airflow rate of 9 x 2.5 x 10 = 225 m3/h for extraction and 9 x 2.5 x 20 = 450 m3/h for recirculation.
Noise reducing tips for cooker hoods
The noise level of an operating cooker hood is indicated in decibels (dB).
The lowest sound level it can produce is 35 dB – but that's for the quietest models! The maximum noise level cooker hoods can reach and still be considered comfortable is around 55 to 60 dB. However, most cooker hoods are noisy and can reach up to 70 dB or even louder. This is definitely the main downside to extractor hoods To be honest, this can be hard on the ears in the long run!
Cooker hoods: charcoal and grease filters
As mentioned above, both extractor and recirculating hoods are equipped with filters. Grease filters are used in both systems while charcoal filters are only mandatory for recirculating hoods. Filters wear out over time which means they must be replaced regularly (though this depends on your cooking habits). Furthermore, a filter clogged with grease is flammable!
Choosing a cooker hood cover
If you've chosen a designer wall hood with a recirculation system, you can replace the hood chimney with a stylish hood cover.
Hood covers can be equipped with a charcoal filter to improve air recirculation.
Cooker hood covers are specially designed for each model.
Choose your hood based on function and convenience
Is the design of your cooker hood particularly important to you? A designer hood alone will meet your needs.
Furthermore, consider your cooking habits carefully: if you cook a lot, an extraction hood will be a better choice than a recirculating hood as they provide more efficient air renewal capacity. Having the option of three or four speeds allows you to adjust the extraction rate based on the amount of cooking vapours.
Finally, when it comes to lighting, LED lights are the most efficient option, thanks to their low energy consumption and longer service life.
Holly, self-taught DIYer, Cardiff 22 guides écrits
My passion in DIY started 5 years ago (very recently!) Everything started when we bought a house to renovate from floor to ceiling. As I’m a self-taught person, I started working on different house project both inside and outside. My husband helped me but the student soon overtook the teacher!
And as there are a lot of green spaces in Creuse, gardening tools have no secrets for me. My friends and family often come to me for advice when it comes to DIY. Today, I want to share this with you!