How to choose a kitchen hood
Choosing a kitchen hood is a fairly simple task, especially if you are familiar with the main characteristics of this device in advance.
The main task of the hood is forced ventilation and cleaning of air, which is inevitably polluted in the kitchen. It and fat splashes, and the residue from the burning of impurities in the gas fuel, and normal tobacco smoke. The easiest way to clean this air is simply to remove it from the room. A more complex method is to filter the air and return it back purified.
Exhaust: recirculating or direct-flow?
In most cases, where you can install a direct-flow hood, it is better to choose it: removing polluted air will clean the room from foreign odors better than filtering. The direct-flow extractor can be installed anywhere. The only condition is that there is a ventilation system in the nearest access to which it can be connected. Pulling the air duct for long distances is not recommended: this will not only look too aesthetically pleasing, but will also reduce the efficiency of the hood (it is believed that each 90-degree turn reduces the efficiency of the hood by 5%).
The direct-flow extractor has a rough metal fat filter, which is designed to prevent fat from settling on the inside of the device-the motor elements and the body. After all, this can not only lead to the failure of the motor, but will eventually become a source of unpleasant odors. This filter is usually removable. It can be washed, it works for the entire life of the hood. However, experience shows that it is often not so easy to wash it, and sooner or later the user is faced with the need to replace the filter.
A recirculating hood usually has two filters: one of them, again, is used to remove oil particles (usually it is made in the form of a plastic cassette that must be replaced after a certain level of contamination). The second filter is a carbon filter, which is used to eliminate unpleasant odors. The carbon filter is also disposable, and therefore subject to regular replacement. It is easy to guess that the cost of such “consumables” can be a significant amount (change the carbon filter, for example, is recommended every 4-6 months). Especially if there is a lot of cooking in the house.
Many hoods provide a signal that you need to replace the carbon filter or care for the metal grease filter. This can be, for example, a light indication on the control panel. A simpler option is special characters on the filter that disappear as it gets dirty.
Therefore, the recirculating hood is recommended for installation where it is not possible to install a direct-flow one: in the absence of access to the ventilation shaft or where the air duct gasket is not suitable for aesthetic reasons (for example, over the kitchen – “island”). Note also that the operation of recirculating hoods does not lead to a decrease in the room temperature (this may be important, for example, in country houses).
Direct-flow hoods often allow operation in recirculating mode: in this case, they will have to buy an additional filter, which is usually not included.
But it is better not to look at budget direct-flow hoods that do not have any filter elements: of course, they will cope with the removal of polluted air, but soon they will become so polluted that it will be quite difficult to wash them.
The amount of air that can be removed (or cleaned) per unit of time depends on the power of the extractor fan. The calculation will be simple: according to sanitary standards, the hood must pull at least 10-12 m3/h. Calculate the volume of the kitchen space, multiply by 12, add a “margin” of 20 percent and another 5%-10% if the kitchen uses gas, not electricity — and get the desired. If you want to save money, you can deduct the amount that takes up the furniture and refrigerator.
For example, a kitchen with an area of 10 square meters and a ceiling height of 3.2 meters will require a hood with a capacity of about 500 m3/h.
Most hoods have several modes of operation, which allows you to adjust the speed of the motor, and at the same time — and the volume of air passing through the device (and at the same time-and the noise level).
The noise level produced by the hood can cause some inconvenience. Therefore it is better to be able to “hear” the hood in the store (however, it is easy to make mistakes, because the level of background noise in the sales area will be significantly higher, and the dimensions of the shopping areas are very different from the dimensions of home cooking).
Normally working dome hood creates noise at the level of 50 decibels. It can be compared to a quiet conversation at a distance of 3 meters. If the hood you selected makes a louder noise — you should seriously think about the feasibility of such a purchase.
The dimensions of the hood and the methods of installation
According to the method of attachment hoods are divided into several types:
Suspended: these hoods are attached to the lower plane of the wall Cabinet or kitchen shelf. They usually have a flat and rectangular shape and small dimensions. They are easy to install, but due to the small size of the filters in these hoods will have to be changed more often.
Built-in: these hoods are mounted inside kitchen hanging furniture, so they can be completely hidden from human eyes. Built-in hoods are most often found in small kitchens — where you have to save space.
The fireplace or dome hood is familiar to everyone: it can be seen most often in urban apartments, especially where there is a lot of cooking and often.
The wall hood is attached to the wall directly above the stove.
Island hood, on the contrary, is designed for installation on the ceiling, above the stove located in the area of the kitchen “island”, located in the center of the room.
Note also the rarer corner hoods (designed for installation in the corner of the room) and telescopic, with a retractable air intake element (such hoods are installed in a hinged Cabinet, but differ in extremely low power).
The latest fashion trend is retractable hoods embedded in the countertop. Such devices will cost much more than traditional hoods, but will allow you to completely hide the device under the countertop (thereby freeing up space above the stove). More modern than this — except that the hoods are built directly into the cooking surface.
The dimensions of the hood should be selected based on the dimensions of the cooking surface and common sense: in General, it is considered that the hood width should not be less than the cooking surface (more-you can). Ideally, the length and width of the hood should match the corresponding dimensions of the stove or hob. This will not only ensure optimal operation of the device, but will also look the most aesthetically pleasing. Today, manufacturers produce hoods with a width of 45 to 90 cm. the most popular models are those with a body width of 50, 60 and 90 cm.
The design and material of the body
The choice of the hood appearance is determined by two factors: the attractiveness of the design and ease of care (daily cleaning). There are a lot of models on the market, so there is no doubt that every chef will be able to choose just such a hood that will look great in his kitchen. But cleaning can be difficult. Therefore, it is better not to choose hoods, the body of which is made of cheap heat-resistant plastic, and opt for enameled, and better — on metal cases, which will be more durable and easy to clean. The alternative in the form of tempered glass is externally attractive, but it is an expensive solution, not too convenient in everyday care.
Concluding the conversation about hoods, it will not be superfluous to remind not only about the need for proper installation of this simple device, but also about the organization of the correct ventilation system in a residential area. After all, there are many more pitfalls than can be imagined at first glance. The most obvious one is probably familiar to many: after installing double-glazed Windows in the apartment, the air flow is disrupted, the air in the room becomes too dry, there is not enough oxygen. You need to remember about sufficient inflow when installing the hood: after all, if enough air does not get into the apartment, then it will be more difficult to” pump ” it out.
The second point is the height of the hood installation relative to the cooking surface. Recommended values are less than 75 cm for a gas stove and 65 cm for an electric one. If the hood above the stove is located high, it is better to choose a model with a wider surface than the hob for air intake.
We have already mentioned the loss of power associated with a too long or winding duct, but many people continue to forget about the need to provide natural ventilation to this day. During the installation of the hood, the original air vent is often blocked, as a result of which the air from the kitchen ceases to leave naturally. As a result, the hood has to be turned on much more often-just to “ventilate” the room.
The easiest way to connect the hood to the ventilation system is a flexible silver pipe-corrugation. It looks, however, not too aesthetically pleasing and in addition can make noise while working. The solution is a rigid air duct made of metal or plastic pipes.
Before installation, it is useful to check all dimensions and mark the surface for installation: these instructions can be found in the instructions for the hood.
The easiest way to install the hood is to connect it to the power supply. Most dome models allow you to” hide ” the wire under the decorative box (part of the air duct will also be hidden under it). This solution requires an outlet or at least a wire located in the upper part of the kitchen (under the ceiling). It is clear that it is better to think about this in advance-at the design stage of the kitchen.
Top 5 kitchen hoods
Hauslane | Chef Series Range Hood 30″ PS38 PRO PERFORMANCE Stainless Steel Slim Under Cabinet Range Hood Design | Steam Auto Clean, 950 CFM, Touch Panel | Superior Perimeter Aspiration Extraction
FIREBIRD New 36″ European Style Wall Mount Stainless Steel Range Hood Vent W/Touch Sensor Control
FOTILE JQG7501 30″ Range Hood | Unique Side-Draft Design for Under Cabinet or Wall Mount | Modern Kitchen Vent Hood | Powerful Motor | LED Lights | Onyx Black Tempered Glass Surface
Broan-NuTone 423001 30″ White Duct Range Hood, Inch
Cosmo UMC30 30-in Under-Cabinet Range Hood 760-CFM | Ducted / Ductless Convertible Duct , Kitchen Over Stove Vent with LED Light, 3 Speed Exhaust , Fan Timer , Permanent Filter (Stainless Steel)
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