Nobody likes having cooking smells lingering in their kitchen long after the last plate has been washed up. That’s why cooking extraction is an almost essential feature for most modern kitchens – but choosing your ventilation isn’t always an easy task. It’s not a one-size fits all solution; there are lots of factors to consider, and your choice of ventilation should suit both your kitchen and your own personal style. At Kitchen Design Centre, we like to make things as simple and as straightforward for our customers as possible – so we’ve put together the ‘ultimate guide’ in choosing your kitchen extractor.
We’ll start with the big one! Before you do anything else, you’re obviously going to decide how much you have to spend, as it’ll govern every other decision. Extractors have a wide degree of variation in price, and can vary from as little as £50 right up to several thousands of pounds, so it’s a good plan to know right off the bat how much you intend to spend.
The second of your most key considerations, the extraction method not only dictates how effective your extractor will be, but also how it physically fits into your kitchen. You’ve basically got two options: ducted out or recirculation extractors.
Ducted-out extractors are exactly what they sound like, passing the air through ducting to totally remove it from the room. You will need to be able to situate your extractor reasonably close to an exterior wall for maximum effectiveness and efficiency. (The further away your extractor is from an outside wall, the more ducting you’ll need to bridge the gap – which could end up being expensive!) That’s the only major consideration with ducted out extractors though – if you have clear exterior wall access, a ducted-out extractor is an effective, powerful way to clear lingering cooking smells.
A recirculation extractor, on the other hand, works by drawing in air and processing it through a filter to before dispersing it back into the room. You would need to ensure you changed the filter every few months to keep it in full working order, but it’s more convenient in other ways. Firstly, it gives you more freedom in terms of where to place your extractor, since you don’t have to worry about funnelling the fumes out of the building. Recirculation extractors are also quick and easy to install, making them cost effective, and there are some fascinating design options to choose from too! (We’ll go into more about those in a moment.)
Speaking of which, choosing between ducted-out and recirculation extractors doesn’t always have to limit you in terms of design – lots of hood styles can be configured to either one. If you’re not sure, you can always talk to one of our kitchen designers about what you want from your kitchen extractor. In almost every case, our talented designers will be able to recommend a creative solution!
As you can imagine, the more powerful your fan is, the more effective it will be. But on the other hand, you don’t want to get a kitchen extractor that’s too powerful for your kitchen, as you may quickly start to see an impact on your energy bills. It can be a tricky balancing act.
When working out how powerful you want your extractor to be, an easy way is by using the volume of your kitchen. Your kitchen’s volume is its length x width x height. That number is multiplied by ten to become the approximate number of air changes per hour, which indicates roughly what capacity extractor you should buy.
It’s also a good idea to take into account what sort of cooking you’ll be doing. If you’re a lover and hot and spicy foods, for example, you might find that frying requires greater extraction capacity to clear properly than other types of cooking. So although the equation above can help, your judgement will come into it too!
With all the functional elements decided on, now it’s just a matter of choosing a style that suits you. (We won’t delve into too much detail here; this post is pretty detailed as it is! Besides, we’ve explored these types of extractor individually before on the blog – we’ve linked to previous entries where appropriate.
Ceiling Extractors – Built into ceilings or bulkheads, ceiling extractors look fantastic in modern kitchens with clean crisp lines, because they offer no obstructions in your line of sight.
Downdraft Extractors – These stunning examples of cutting-edge technology rise smoothly up and out from islands and kitchen worktops, before lowering to conceal themselves again when no longer needed.
Island or Feature Extractors – Feature extractors are designed to be eye-catching focal points for your kitchen, and many have unique little technological quirks that do wonders for both their function and aesthetics.
With all these decisions to make, you can see why most people take a little while to decide on what type of kitchen ventilation is best for them. But once everything is said and done, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of watching your brand-new kitchen extractor at work, and that first afternoon relaxing in your wonderfully clean, fresh-smelling kitchen.
If you’re still not quite sure where to begin in terms of choosing your kitchen extraction, not to worry – that’s where we come in! Just pop into your local designer kitchen showroom, and our friendly and knowledgeable kitchen designers are on hand to help with any questions you may have. We’ve got designer kitchen showroom locations in Blackburn, Manchester and Colne, so we’re never too far away!
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