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.
We’ve done all the hard work for you to bring you the lowdown on everything you ever needed to know about extractor fans. Once you’ve a better idea of what style will suit your kitchen and budget you can begin to compare extractor fan deals and offers over on our shopping pages and read reviews to make an informed buying decision that’ll keep your kitchen looking as good as new for years to come.
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.
- Effectively removes all contamination and deposits outside.
- Higher airflow rate.
- No need to change filters.
- 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.
- 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.
- Charcoal filter will need replacing periodically.
- Cannot remove moisture from the air.
- Decreased airflow rate.
The fit and positioning of your extractor fan is imperative, so consider the four following points before deciding on a size or style:
- Your extractor fan should be directly above your hob with a distance of around 75cm between them.
- Your extractor fan should be the same width as your cooker.
- It should have access to an exterior wall.
- It should be in close proximity to an electricity supply.
Extractor fans come in several different styles depending on the look you like and the theme of your kitchen.
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.
Extractor fans can range in price, from around £200 from a cheap model to thousands for a high-end model. The more expensive fans tend to be quieter and more powerful with sleeker designs to enhance the look of your kitchen.
Cheaper models tend to be very basic styles, such as silver or stainless steel visors or canapy styles. Most styles on the cheaper end of the scale are on the smaller side, around 60-70cm in width.
Mid-range extraction fan 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.
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.
If you have a small kitchen, the noise created by an extractor fan could be an issue, as some, particularly the faster models, can be a little intrusive. To combat this problem if you eat your meals in the kitchen is to turn the fan to a lower setting as you sit down to eat.
All new appliances are given and the best extractor fans should measure around 55-65 dcb.
Once you've bought and installed your new extractor fan, here are some tutorials to maintain it...
You have everything you need to know about extractor fans at your fingertips and now you’re ready to take your newfound knowledge over to our comparison pages.
Having narrowed down your search for the best extractor fan to suit your needs, refine your search further on our shopping pages with the settings in the left column. By narrowing down type, style and budget, you can begin to compare models and styles.
Select keywords or choose your budget to make sure you’re getting the best fan for you, be it a cheaper model or a sleek designer number. Once you’ve clicked a deal you’ll be transferred to the website of your selected independent retailer.
Compare online retailers’ delivery options and costs and be sure to check out reviews of the models you’ve shortlisted.