How to find the best cooker hood
Cooker hoods buyers guide
Are you looking for a cooker hood to match your beautiful new hob or freestanding cooker? How do you choose the best cooker hood for you? There are a few things to think about when buying a new cooker hood, from the size and style to the extraction method, noise level and energy efficiency. This guide will help you feel a little more confident when choosing a cooker hood.
How does a cooker hood work?
A cooker hood is basically an electric fan that sits above your hob and eradicates cooking smells, grease and moisture from your kitchen. The fan sucks the air in and filters remove the smells and grease. Of course, all of that air needs somewhere to go. It can either be vented and sent directly outside via an external wall (known as an extraction/ ducted cooker hood), or it can be purified and then dispersed back into the room (a recirculating hood).
What extraction rate do I need?
If you fry, grill, or cook with steam you’ll need a more powerful hood. Strong-smelling, spicy and fishy food will also require greater suction to extraction. Not only because of the smell but because grease can build up in hard-to-reach spots and damage your beautifully painted or papered walls.
Here’s how to work out your minimum extraction rate:
- Measure: your kitchen’s length, width & height.
- Multiply: length x width x height = cubic capacity.
- Multiply the cubic capacity x 12 = minimum extraction rate.
This will give you the minimum extraction rate for 12 changes of air per hour. Between 8 and 12 changes are recommended.
What’s the difference between extraction (ducted) and recirculation hoods?
Extraction hoods remove the stale air from your kitchen through a duct and will therefore require access to an outside vent. Bear in mind that the further you position the hood away from the vent, the more powerful a motor you’ll need.
Recirculation hoods don’t need access to an exterior vent. Instead, air is sucked in through a grease filter and then a charcoal filter. These filters purify the air before returning it, clean and fresh, to your kitchen.
Each type of extraction has its benefits, although your final decision will most likely be determined by your kitchen design and whether the cooker hood is positioned against an outside wall.
Our Tip: Turn on your hood before you start cooking to get the circulation or extraction going.
Cooker hood designs
A cooker hood can come in all sorts of different shapes, sizes and designs. With the different designs come different fits.
Built-in cooker hoods are smaller and more compact. They are usually built-in behind a kitchen cabinet so they are less visible.
A canopy hood is also a type of extractor fan, but instead of it being an entire unit, it is essentially just the extractor from a regular cooker hood. They are usually installed behind a cabinet and blend in nicely with the rest of your kitchen.
A ceiling hood fits flush with your ceiling, meaning it’s out of the way and looks very neat and tidy in your kitchen. These types of hoods don’t need to be joined up to your home’s exterior as they operate by filtering the air they suck in and then blowing it back out into the room.
If you prefer a more minimalist look, a downdraft extractor is the one for you. It is a slightly more expensive model, but can be more discrete and hides underneath your worktop when not in use.
A visor cooker hood is a slightly more budget-friendly model. These cooker hoods also work by pushing the air through a filter and recirculating it.
A chimney cooker hood will give your kitchen a more traditional look. They vary in size so you can get the perfect fit for your kitchen.IslandIsland cooker hoods can make a striking feature when installed over a kitchen island. They usually come in more stylish and striking designs. They are usually quite big too, meaning they can keep larger areas smoke and odour-free.
A venting hob is an induction or ceramic hob with a built-in extractor fan installed in the middle. This is great as you won’t need an extractor fan above it,
This is the speed at which the cooker hood can extract the air from the room. Most cooker hoods usually have three speeds.
Hob to hood connection
Some higher-end cooker hoods can work in connection with your hob through wifi. This means the hood will start automatically to match what you’re cooking.
If the noise of an extractor fan bothers you, look for a model with a quiet setting. They operate at a lower decibel and are ideal if you have an open plan kitchen living area.
A cooker hood with led lighting can give you that all-important task lighting when cooking.
An auto-timer setting can be useful when cooking something that needs to stew for a little longer. You can set it to turn off after a certain amount of time.
Hob to hood connection
Hob²Hood is an advanced automatic function that connects the hob to a special hood. The hob automatically sets the speed of the fan according to the cooking process. You can also operate the fan from the hob manually. The hood operates only when the hob is activated.
Does a cooker hood have to be the same width as the hob?
It is important for the cooker hood to be slightly wider than the hob below it. Only then can you be certain of capturing all the rising steam and vapours. If there isn’t enough space for this, then the cooker hood should be at least as wide as the hob.
How much space do you need between hob and hood?
Generally speaking, we advise a distance of 750mm above a gas hob and 650mm above an electric hob. If your cooker hood was packed with an additional note on height use, please refer to this advised distance.
At what height should I install a cooker hood above the hob?
Your hood should be placed at the recommended distance of between 650mm (for electric) or 750mm (for gas) above your hob.
Shop for cooker hoods at Knees Home & Electrical
We have two stores in Wiltshire; one in Trowbridge and one in Malmesbury. We have a range of cooker hoods on display in-store, so you can take a look before you buy. But you don’t have to live locally to buy your cooker hood from us. We deliver across mainland UK using our delivery partner, and you can see and buy our entire range online.
If you need any help or advice, our helpful customer service team will be happy to help you find the perfect cooker hood for your home.