A basic guide to choosing a cooker hood

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An important part of any kitchen reno is the appliances, and the cooker hood can help set the tone for the styling. (Pixabay pic)

Renovating your kitchen? After choosing the cabinets, tiles, and countertop, the next item is usually the cooker hood (and hob).

The cooker hood is one of the most important appliances in any kitchen.

Even if you cook only once a week (or even less), you should instal a cooker hood, because it just takes one big stir-fry to fill the kitchen with smoke.

But, with so many models available, it can be hard to know which type of cooker hood is right for you.

Here is a basic guide to buying a kitchen hood in Malaysia.

What is a cooker hood?

Cooking creates smoke, steam, grease and smells. The suction fan in a cooker hood pulls up the polluted air and filters it, keeping your kitchen smelling fresh and preventing the odours from reaching the rest of the house.

The clean air is blown out of the house through an exhaust pipe or it can be recirculated back into the kitchen.

There are three main types of cooker hoods:

  • Chimney/wall-mounted cooker hood
The chimney or wall-mounted cooker hood is one of the most common types. (Pinterest/donaghybros.co.uk)

This is one of the most common. It is attached to a bare wall, but cabinets can be added on each side.

The exhaust pipe can be directed to a hole in the kitchen wall that leads to the outside. This is called a ducted or ventilated kitchen hood.

Wall mounted hoods also come in slanted versions. (Pinterest/homebuilding.co.uk)

If you cannot cut a hole in the wall for the exhaust pipe, a chimney hood can filter the air and recirculate it into the kitchen. This is called a ductless, or recirculation hood.

Wall-mounted hoods also come in slanted versions, giving the kitchen a unique look.

  • Slim/telescoping cooker hood
The slim cooker hood can be installed directly under a cabinet. (Electrolux pic)

The slim cooker hood does not have a tall chimney section, so it can be installed underneath an existing cabinet. Slim hoods can be ventilated or recirculating.

There is also a version of slim hood called the telescoping hood that is hidden completely within the cabinet and drops down for use when switched on.

An island cooker hood needs to be more powerful than the standard wall-mounted one. (Pixabay pic)

If your hob is installed in a kitchen island, you will need an island hood. Island hoods need to have more suction power, since the cooking area is more open. Island hoods can also be ventilated or recirculating.

However, if you want it to be ventilated, you may need a plaster ceiling to conceal the exhaust piping.

Cooker hood width

The cooker hood canopy should be bigger than the hob. At the very least, get one that is the same width.

How high should the cooker hood be installed?

The height of the cooker hood should be low enough so that it is able to trap cooking smoke, but not too low that it blocks your view.

The recommended height from the tabletop to the bottom of the hood should be 29 cm to 34 cm for a slanted hood and 65 cm to 75 cm for a normal wall-mounted hood.

A taller person may want to mount the hood a little higher, but this can reduce its effectiveness. As a general rule, do not position the cooker hood more than 75cm above the hob.

And remember, if the ceiling is very high, the cooker hood chimney will not be able to reach it even with the extra ducting provided.

How powerful should a cooker hood be?

The suction power of a cooker hood is measured by how much air it can move in a given time. It is usually expressed as cubic metres per hour (m3/hr).

The higher the airflow, the more powerful the fan motor inside the kitchen hood, and the more electricity it will consume when switched on.

Those who do more heavy cooking, such as stir-frying or deep-frying, may need a kitchen hood with higher airflow.

Recommendation: You don’t always need to go for the highest suction power possible. Different brands may have other features that improve the hood’s ability to draw in smoky air.

This article originally appeared on recommend.my – Malaysia’s #1 Home Improvement Services Platform.

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