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How to choose a perfect cooker hood?

Source:i-build magazine

First of all, consider how powerful you need your extractor hood to be. While the type of food you cook, as well as how regularly you cook it, will help you to determine this, it is important that you don’t forget to factor in the size of the room you have as this will determine the power of the motor you require.

To be effective, a hood must be powerful enough to change the air in the room 10 times an hour. To determine this, first you must calculate the volume of your room. This figure can be worked out by multiplying the room’s length by its width and height. For example, a kitchen that is 4 x 4 x 2.5 meters has a volume of 40m³. This room volume figure is then further multiplied by 10 to obtain the optimum rate of airflow for that room, based on the need to change the air ten times an hour. Therefore a kitchen of 40m3 x 10 = 400 – this means it would require an extraction rate of 400m³/h for a cooker hood to clean the air efficiently.

There is a cooker hood to suit every kitchen and culinary need, from integrated, conventional or wall chimney to island chimney, built-under or downdraft. Choose from ducted – where moisture, grease and smells are taken outside via a vent through an external kitchen wall – or recirculated – which sucks the air back into the hood before cleaning it and recirculating it back into the kitchen. Both come with pros and cons. For example, a ducted version will require more building work and therefore costs will need to be considered because venting will need to be installed from the extractor through to the outside wall. If you buy a hood with recirculation, you will need to buy charcoal filters every six months to keep your appliance working at optimum efficiency.

Kitchen design plays a big part in the type of extractor you choose. For example, as open-plan living continues to rise, downdraft hoods have become more popular as they sit flush to the work surface when not in use and rise into position to create a spectacular cooking platform when entertaining. These appliances can be engineered to achieve high extraction rates with perimetrical extraction, which will lower sound levels and increase the pressure resulting in improved motor performance. A downdraft will be placed in an island unit or under a wall cabinet on the worktop and is out of sight when not in use, whereas a hood extractor will need to be placed above the cooktop so this will determine the type that is chosen.

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