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Crowdstorm’s extractor fans buyers’ guide

An extractor fan may not be the most exciting of purchases you’ll make for your house but it could be one of the most important investments for your kitchen. It’s not a common purchase so you can’t be expected to be an expert, but don’t worry: at Crowdstorm we’ve done the leg work for you.

Below you’ll find a beginner’s guide to all things extractor fan and cooker hood – while above you’ll see our comparison table. 

There you’ll find extractors from all the leading manufacturers (everyone from Vent Axia and Xpelair to Bosch and Hotpoint) from all your favourite online and high street retailers – all just a single click away.

Extractor hoods vs fans

First we need to be sure of what you’re looking for. The term extractors is a little multi-changeable with manufacturers, but in general the term ‘extractor fan’ is used to describe the small units placed on a wall – usually in the bathroom – which are used to extract moisture (usually created by a bath or shower).

Extractor hoods serve a similar purpose but the term tends to describe units used above cooking areas to deal with steam from cooking but also rising grease and other foodstuffs created while you’re frying and boiling your food.

Recirculation vs extraction

Many cooker hoods come with the option of either recirculation or extraction and, whilst extraction should be your first option, recirculation is a good second option.

Extraction works by filtering the air with a metal filter grease trap before releasing it outside via ducting.

Pros

  • Effectively removes all contamination and deposits outside
  • Higher airflow rate
  • No need to change filters

Cons

  • Requires fan to be against external wall
  • Space and capacity for ducting needed
  • Additional costs e.g. ducting and installation

Recirculation works by drawing air into the appliance through charcoal filters to neutralise odours and remove smoke from the air, ‘cleaning’ it and returning it back to the kitchen.

Pros

  • Can be installed in most kitchens
  • Great if you don’t have an external wall or your cooker is too far away from an external wall
  • Cheap initial cost

Cons

  • Charcoal filter will need replacing periodically
  • Cannot remove moisture from the air
  • Decreased airflow rate

Extractor and cooker hoods styles

Extractors come in several different styles depending on the look you like and the theme of your kitchen. There is not really a best cooker hoods style – it’s much more about what fits the environment they’ll be used in:

  • Integrated: An integrated extractor fan is great if you like your kitchen to look neat and tidy. The fan is hidden behind a panel that matches the rest of your kitchen to give a unified look.
  • Telescopic: Telescopic extractor fans slide forward when in use, with a motor sitting in the cupboard above.
  • Built-in/canopy: This style sees the fan itself installed into the base of a canopy-style hood.
  • Island: These extractor fans don’t need to be mounted onto a wall, instead they hang from the ceiling.
  • Chimney: A chimney extractor fan is a feature in itself, reaching from the ceiling to above your hob. These models are uber-stylish and high-tech and look great in most kitchens, just be sure that your ceiling is high enough.

How much are extractor fans?

Extractor fans range hugely in price, from around £20 from a cheap model to £150 or more for a high-end model. The more expensive fans tend to be quieter and more powerful. Cooker hoods can be found for as little as £200 but stretch up well over £1,000 for top-of-the-range models.

Cheaper cooker hoods tend to be very basic, such as silver or stainless steel visors or canopy styles. Most styles on the cheaper end of the scale are on the smaller side, around 60-70cm in width. Mid-range extraction models tend to be around 90m-100cm and will have a slicker finish with features such as glass canopies.

Top of the range extractor fans offer the best ventilation and the most stylish solution for your kitchen. If you are style conscious and have a designer hob or oven and would like to keep your extractor fan in line with the feel of your kitchen, this could be great for you.

Extraction rates

A fan’s extraction rate is the speed at which it can filter the air; the higher the number the speedier it works – ideally your extractor fan should be able to change the air between 8 and 12 times an hour, though the ideal rate for your kitchen is dependent upon the size of the room. Bear in mind that the faster the extraction the noisier your fan will be.

As a guide, the bigger the room the faster your extractor fan will need to be – to work out the extraction rate calculate the volume of your kitchen in cubic metres and multiply by 12.

What next?

Hopefully you’re now in good shape to decide which extractor fan or hood you want to buy. Once decided, all you need to do is click through on the extractor of your choice to be taken to the right page on the website of your chosen retailer.

There you’ll be able to check out extractor or cooker hood reviews and specifications for your chosen model before making your purchase. 

And remember, Crowdstorm isn’t a retailer – you’ll be dealing with the high street or online retailer of your choice directly, so there’s no middle man – we’re just here to help you decide between all the various extractor deals and offers.