Appliances in focus: Extractors
We’ve recently discussed the trend for kitchens to become multi-use open-plan spaces, but this brings with it challenges when it comes to shielding guests from the mess and smells associated with cooking.
One appliance that’s become an important part of this battle is the kitchen extractor fan or extractor hood. Traditionally large, stainless steel and noisy, or integrated (and noisy!), extractors have come a long way in recent years.
And it’s a good job too as kitchen designers are asking much more from them. Not only do we expect them to get rid of unwanted cooking odours and excess condensation, but we want them to look good while doing it.
Which type of extractor will work best for me?
There are a number of considerations when you’re choosing a kitchen extractor or cooker hood.
The first is the location of your hob. This will determine whether a wall mounted design will work for you, or whether you need to consider other options. If your hob is on an island, you may have an opinion about whether you feel a low hanging ceiling mounted cooker hood will work for your design, or if you would prefer something less obtrusive.
Remember, in an open plan space it’s important to consider the effectiveness of the extractor in ridding the area of smells. You will need to ensure the extractor you choose is powerful enough to draw fumes towards it – you may find that if the extractor is situated high above your hob there is opportunity for steam and odours to escape before they reach it. In most cases the cooker hood you choose will need to be the same width as the hob that sits below it to make sure it catches as many of the cooking fumes and gases as possible.
You will also need to determine whether your extractor can vent to the outside or not – this is known as ducting and allows the extractor to remove air from your kitchen to the outside of your house. If, for instance, you live in a flat or there is no clear route to the outside from the location of your cooker hood, recirculation is an option. Many types of extractor will give you the choice of either, but you will need to discuss this with your fitter.
Ultimately your choice of extractor is likely to come down to design preferences and the amount you want to spend.