Cooker Hood Buying Guide
Advice on which Cooker Hood to Buy
As you know there are many types and styles of cooker hoods available on the market. Before you go out to start to look for such an appliance you should think about the following first:
- Will your new cooker hood be vented to the outside, or run on a recirculation basis
- What size and style of hood you are looking for
- Your price range
Bear in mind that if you are unable to vent the cooker hood to the outside due to the configuration of your kitchen, you will never have the best extraction and you may be unhappy with the results you will get. All the air from the cooking process is re-circulated into the room where the air originated, which is not ideal. You may be better off just opening a window, as this will probably be more effective. Mind you, the new cooker hood will look attractive.
What should you be looking for:
If you are able to vent the cooker hook to the outside you should look into the extraction rates the manufacturer is claiming. Although the literature may sound complicated talking about values in CM2, all you really need to know is that the higher the number the more efficient the cooker hood will be.
The type of filter used is very important as basically the filter is what gets rid of the cooking smells from your kitchen. Even if you plan to vent the hood to the outside, bear in mind the filter is still important as it helps to stop the grease in the air, which could impact the motor and clog the fan.
The most economic and efficient filter is the mesh type. You can readily remove the filter from the cooker hood, place it in your dishwasher and run through a normal cycle (or wash by hand obviously). This makes this type of filter very easy to keep clean and does not cost you anything extra, as with the paper filter
The paper or fabric filter will need to be replaced on a regular basis. If this is not done the appliance will not be working as efficiently as it should be and could lead to a health hazard, as a clogged filter can become a breeding ground for bacteria. You also have to factor the cost of replacing the filters into your budget.
Please note that if you are venting the cooker hood to the outside, you should remove the carbon filter (if provided) as it is not required and can reduce the amount of airflow.
If available, a good option is to choose a cooker hood that has halogen lights fitted, as they are more efficient and run at cooler temperatures, plus they provide a very good bright light.
Some people leave the cooker hood lights on for long periods of time, which is not what they are designed for. On the cheaper cooker hoods, the lights are generally fitted into plastic holders, and if they are left on for too long, these bulb housings can melt.
Other good lighting options are fluorescent strips as they economic to run and do not get too hot, but the best of all will be LED lights, but as yet these are not commonly available and will probably be fitted to cooker hoods at the higher end of price range.
Remote or Direct motors
There are generally only two types of motor currently available for cooker hoods. These are:
- Direct – these motors are fitted inside the actual cooker hood, and are the most common
- Remote – these motors are fitted separately from the actual hood, possibly in the loft area. This is the best option as it means the cooker hood will not be as noisy. It is generally a more efficient method as the motor would be fitted halfway between the hood and the outside air, giving improved extraction. You will find that the remote motor option is very commonly fitted in professional kitchens. They are available for the domestic market but at a much higher cost, and will also be more expensive to fit.
Purchasing a cooker hood
There are plenty of online retailers available who are able to provide you with your chosen cooker hood. Check that you have chosen a reputable retailer by looking at the customer reviews. Also look into the delivery costs as this can put the price up higher than you wanted to pay. Your best choice, obviously, is to have free delivery. You can, of course, buy your chosen appliance from a retailer on the high street, but often the best deals can be found on the internet, as competition is much stronger.
Once you have received your chosen appliance, you must really pay attention to the installation instructions detailed in your manufacturer’s handbook. Not everyone is confident to fit a new cooker hood themselves, especially one that is to be vented to the outside, and will call on the assistance of a kitchen fitter.
Bear in mind that if you have a gas hob/oven, you may well need the assistance of a qualified CORGI/Gas Safety engineer to fit the cooker hood for you.
Whoever you employ to do this job for you, you must make sure they follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter. A lot of professional fitters are so confident as they have fitted many cooker hoods before, but to get the model you have purchased to work as effectively as possible, it must be fitted correctly. If a problem does arise, you will not have much joy with your supplier if the appliance has been fitted incorrectly. You are paying them after all, so make sure they do what you ask.