A Guide To Finding The Right Cooker Hood
Ever had to open all of your kitchen windows during the winter freeze just so your pasta doesn’t set off the smoke alarm? Chances are, you need a cooker hood. Whether you’re new to cooker hoods, or looking to replace your older model, there are a lot of considerations to keep in mind when finding the right hood for your home. But what exactly are these considerations? We’re here to run through some of the key things you should know before selecting the perfect cooker hood.
Layout Is Key
The layout of your kitchen is a big determiner in what type of cooker hood would suit the surroundings. This isn’t just from a stylistic perspective, but a practical one too. You’ll want to make sure the hood is approximately 60 to 75cm above the cooking surface, but consult the hob user manual to see if the manufacturer recommends a safe distance.
Hoods can be configured to fit into a variety of surroundings. For example, they can be worked into a pre-existing cabinet, or they can be ‘floated’ over a hob if it is the centre of the room. If you’re struggling for space, a downdraft hood can be brought out when your cooker is in use, and put away into a special compartment whenever it’s not in use.
The Right Exhaust System
There are a couple of different types of exhaust systems that you’ll come across in your search. First of all, there are non-vented systems (or duct-free exhaust systems). These systems will clean and filter the air back into your kitchen (due to the lack of duct). While not as efficient as their ducted counterparts – and requiring more regular maintenance, cleaning and filer replacement – they are a better choice for those who don’t have an exterior wall close to their oven.
The second type of system is a ducted exhaust. As the name suggests, this variant of exhaust system uses a duct that allows the air to be passed out and away from your home. As aforementioned, you do require a nearby exterior wall. The closer the wall is to the hood, the less costly and more efficient it will be to fit, install and run.
While noise is an unavoidable consequence of having a cooker hood switched on, there are particular hoods that can reduce the noise level. For example, there are models that draw the air towards the outer rim of the hood, instead of drawing it across the whole area of the hood. These models, while perhaps not being the most powerful, can actually make your hood more efficient and less noisy. A good way to check for noise is to ask for a demonstration in the showroom before you buy.
Power Does Not Equal Efficiency
While you may be interested in buying the most powerful hood that you possibly can, it’s worth considering the power required to cover your kitchen. If your kitchen is small, you don’t need to have a really powerful exhaust system.
A good formula for working out what you require is to multiply the width of your kitchen with its ceiling height. This will give you the total volume of your kitchen, and will allow you to better understand what type of power you’ll need from your hood.
Of course, once a hood meets the practical considerations, it’ll also need to fit in with its surroundings. You’ll find hoods in multiple finishes (such as brass or stainless steel), and in different interior design styles (such as modern or traditional). There’s not much we can say here – after all, you’ll know what you’re looking for better than we do!
Our last (but perhaps most obvious) consideration is cost. Cooker hoods can come in all sizes, in all powers and, as such, they can be suited to all sorts of budgets. Certain features will drive prices up – such as the type of materials used, built-in lights, auto shut-off function and heat sensors – so it’s important to watch out for extras if your budget is low.
Additionally, it’s important to consider installation costs. Thankfully, there are a number of experienced cooker hood installers out there who won’t send your budget through the roof. Repair Aid is one such company, and we even offer a 12-month guarantee on all of our installation work. If you have your eye on a particular hood, then just let us know what type and we’ll give you a free quote!