Choosing a cooker hood is not a simple matter. We often forget that the hood is one of the basic and very important elements of any kitchen and should perform specific functions. So before we decide on a specific hood, it is worth finding out what the differences between the individual types are. It may turn out that following only the visual aspect is not the best option.
What is the point of using a hood?
The most important function of the hood is, of course, to absorb and neutralize unpleasant odors. However, we often forget that a properly used hood protects furniture against moisture and prevents – to a greater or lesser extent – the deposition of greasy deposits on our furniture or condensation of water vapor on the windows. Thanks to the extractor hood, the air in the kitchen – and thus also in the home – is properly filtered and purified.
Are the hood, extractor, and absorber the same?
The matter is very simple. The cooker hood can be used as an odor absorber or as an extractor. Everything depends on the place where we want to install the hood.
The exhaust hood is an open mode device, which means that polluted air is drawn in and then pushed outside the room through the ventilation ducts. Accordingly, there is no other option – the hood must be connected to the ventilation duct. Keep this in mind when choosing your equipment – if you live in a block of flats, the law makes it clear that you cannot connect a duct to a ventilation duct.
The absorber, in turn, is a closed-mode device, i.e. the polluted air passes through the filter and is then pushed back into the room. It should be remembered that the effectiveness of the extractor hood depends on the frequency of filter replacement, but also on regular cleaning. The most popular filter in the case of absorbers is the carbon filter.
Types of hoods
Many manufacturers focus on the versatility of their products, so they create hood models that can be installed both at home and in a block of flats – they are devices like 2 in 1. Depending on HOW we want to install our equipment, the hoods can be distinguished:
Telescopic cupboards, most often used in small kitchens. These are hoods that are hidden in the built-in cabinet, and the absorbing panel can be pulled out from under the kitchen cabinet, which most often turns on the hood and lighting.
Under-cupboards, which, due to their small dimensions, are still a very popular option. These hoods are fully mounted under the cupboard and are best suited for kitchens where you don’t cook too often.
Chimney chimneys are often called wall-mounted, which are mounted against the wall. A characteristic element is a long vertical chimney, in which there is a pipe that discharges pollutants to the ventilation duct. Although the chimney hood takes up a lot of space in the kitchen, it is currently one of the most frequently chosen options.
Island ones, which are often confused with chimney hoods. Island hoods are mounted – unlike chimney hoods – to the ceiling, which means that they can be located anywhere in our kitchen. They are most often used in large kitchens with a kitchen island.
What to look for?
When looking for a cooker hood, you should focus your attention on the parameters of the new equipment. The key aspect is its efficiency, which is most often given by producers in m3 / h. If you want to find out what capacity your device should have, you just need to determine the volume of the room where the hood will operate and then multiply the value by 6 (for the 1st gear of the device). A well-chosen hood should guarantee, already in the first gear, air filtration in the room 6 times within one hour. So for a kitchen with a capacity of 50m3 (kitchen area 20m2 and room height 2.5m), the filtration efficiency in the first gear should be 50×6 = 300m3 / h.
An important aspect is also the level of noise generated by the equipment. This is of great importance, especially when the kitchen is connected to the living room. The optimal value for the first gear is 50dB maximum. For comparison, this value is close to the noise level that arises during an ordinary conversation.
The types of filters that the manufacturer has used in the hood are also important. In the extractors, you can find delicate metal filters that are designed to collect fat and any impurities that arise during cooking or frying. Although these filters are not changed, you should remember to clean them at least once a month. The situation is different with carbon filters, which are found in absorption devices. The activated carbon contained in the filters should reduce or even eliminate unwanted odors. In some hood models, you can also find non-woven filters that trap dust and grease, as well as grease filters that protect the engine of the device from damage.
Regardless of which device you want to choose, be sure to check its energy class, which tells you how much electricity the equipment consumes. Bet on a hood that is Grade A or higher.
Hoods tailored to today’s times are full of functions that are designed to make it easier for us to work with them. The most popular are:
• Display that informs about the operation of selected functions.
• Timer switch, so the hood will switch itself off as soon as the unpleasant odors are dealt with.
• Timer, thanks to which the equipment will let us know with a sound signal when it’s time to turn off the gas or the oven.
• Odor sensor, thanks to which the hood will turn itself on when odors in the room reach a certain level.
• Filter cleaning or replacement sensor, a function that informs us when the filter should be cleaned or replaced.
Nowadays, manufacturers compete with each other, creating equipment that is not only functional, but also aesthetic. Thanks to this, we can choose equipment that will not only fit perfectly into our interior, but will be effective and practical.