Kitchen hoods are basicly made of a suction fan, cabinet, lamps and filters.
When you are cooking, all the steam, grease and smell will float upwards into the cupola.
The fan sucks the polluted air and cleans it by passing it through the filters. This process helps you to always have a kitchen with fresh air and keeps the odours away from the rest of your house and your body. If you care about the way you smell, you’ll absolutely need a performant kitchen hood.
The clean air will be sent away from your house with the help of the chimney or recirculates back to your kitchen with the help of recirculation and carbon filters.
After you made your decision on what type of kitchen hood you want, you need to choose the right features for your kitchen hood.
There are many features and you need to find the right answers to get the most out of your kitchen hood.
- Width :Depends on your cooking area, the kitchen hood must be at the same size of your hob or bigger than it. Most kitchen hoods’ width is 60-90 cm. Island hoods’ width change between 90-120 cm because it needs to cover bigger areas.
- Height : The cooker hood is more effective if it is low because this way it can trap more oil particules and polluted air, but it should’t be low enough to prevent you from cooking.
According to numerous experiments of researchers, the optimal height is exactly 580 mm above the hob.
The height can vary depending on your own height as well. If you are a tall person you might need to mount the hood higher so you can work in comfort. However, this can reduce the effectiveness of the hood.
- Suction Power :The suction power is expressed by cubic meters of air that the hood moves per hour (m³/h). More powerful fan motor means more air will be flowed and more electricity will be consumed. If you are cooking oily food more, then you’ll need a cooker hood with a more powerful fan motor. The power of the fan motor is optional for all the types of hoods.
- Recirculation or Ventilation : The most guaranteed method to get rid of the polluted air in your kitchen is to remove it outside. You will need a ventilated hood and an exhaust pipe for this method. If you already have an exit hole in your kitchen wall you can use this method easily, if you don’t have an exit hole you will need to make a small hole so you can use the exhaust pipe.
If you don’t have an exit hole and don’t want to have one, you will need to use the recirculating hood to clean the air in your kitchen.
Kitchens are usually designed with an exit hole for the kitchen hood. This way both types of hoods can be used upon the user’s preferances.
Filtration : Air will be cleaned after being sucked into the kitchen hood. Both ventilated and recirculating hoods have this feature. There are 3 types of filters in kitchen hoods:
1. Mesh Filter :Metal filters are usually made of aluminium. Metal filters are highly effective when it comes to trap oil particules in the air. This way clean air is passed to the other side of the filter. Metal filters need to be washed periodically in order to protect it’s efficiency. If oil particules accumulate on the filter, it will take more motor power to clean the air and the noise level will be higher.
2. Baffle Filter :Baffle Filter is usually made of stainless steel. The grease will be trapped on the surface of the filter and drip into a cup on the tip of the filter. The cup can be pulled out and cleaned any time. These filters also need to be washed periodically. It is harder for oil particules to accumulate on the baffle filter so they don’t reduce airflow thanks to this feature.
III. Carbon Filter : Carbon filters are mainly used in water purifiers and gas masks, they can also be used in the kitchen hoods to clean the air throughly. They can’t be washed, so they need to be replaced every few months. Ventilated hoods don’t need carbon filters but they are optional, recirculating hoods must be used with carbon filters in order to return the air cleaner back into your kitchen.
- Noise :The noise level of the fan can be very high when the kitchen hood is used at full power. Modern kitchen hoods have advanced aerodynamics to lower the noise, and some of them are named as “silent” hoods.
Normally kitchen hoods at full power has a noise level about 52 dB. Silent hoods run at around 44 dB (equal to the background noise of a library). If the metal filters are not cleaned regularly the noise level will increase because fan has to work harder to clean the air.
- Cleaning :The best way to keep your kitchen hood clean is cleaning it after every cooking session including the cabinet and the chimney. Baffle filters must be cleaned and the grease cup must be emptied. Metal filters should be washed every 2-4 weeks. The easiest way to do that is removing them and soaking them in hot water with cleaning chemicals for 10-15 minutes. To remove the grease they need to be brushed with soft brushes. Then they can be dried and reattached to the hood.
According to many users, baffle filters are easier to clean and they look as good as new after cleaning. Metal filters will be less effective if not cleaned deeply.
The manufacturers recommend cleaning the fan motor yearly. This may require disassembly depending on the model of the cooker hood.
You should choose a brand with good after-sales support in order to get spare filters if they have any quality problems.
- Design :Most of the kitchen hoods are made of stainless steel or tempered glass. There are many options of colour for both materials and it’s up to you and your interior designer to choose the right model and colour for your kitchen. Some users create their own designs. For example, they can hide their chimneys in the cabinet, or create their own chimney with different colour and design.
Most of us don’t have the availibility to cook outdoors in our yards like the old days. In modern world, kitchen hoods are essential to keep the air in our houses clean and breathable. They can also have a big impact on the design of your kitchen.
When you are buying a kitchen hood, you need to know your preferences and find the most suitable one for you. Do you want it to be quiet, have more suction power, look more stylish? All these features will affect the cost. You also need to keep your kitchen hood clean in order to use it longer.