Small but Significant: Extractor Fans
Extractor fans have come a long way, from being a fairly clunky necessity to a great design feature, however there is more to the extractor fan than just aesthetics. Excellent extraction is essential for neutralising cooking smells, removing airborne grease and minimising moisture during cooking.
A quality fan can also help to prevent paint peeling, mould in the kitchen or damage to electronics caused by water vapour in the air. With this in mind, it’s essential to consider the size of your kitchen and the frequency with which you cook, as this will have a bearing on what you choose.
Here at Stoneham, we’ve extracted our top tips on what to consider before picking the perfect fan:
In terms of extraction, there are two options available; ducted-out or recirculation, and which one is right for you is dependent on the design of your kitchen, it’s location in the property and the strength of the extraction required. Extremely effective when it comes to tackling smoke and pungent odours, ducted extractors remove air completely from the building via an integrated system built through an exterior wall, under the floor or via a ceiling void.
If access to an exterior wall is an issue, a recirculation extractor is the alternative. It operates using a filtration system, meaning air is passed through a filter before being vented back into the room. In the past, the filters had to be changed or cleaned every few months to maintain efficient extraction, but modern manufacturers now offer recirculation extractors with filters for fuss free maintenance.
One size doesn’t fit all
Determining how powerful your extractor fan needs to be will also affect your choice. A good rule of thumb to follow is to multiply the volume of your kitchen (length x width x height) by 10 to calculate the fan capacity in m³. General guidelines recommend a minimum of 400m3 as an average, though you should consider a fan with a higher capacity if you often cook using techniques that produce smoke or odours, such as barbequing or frying. The size and type of your hob is also a contributing factor; larger hobs will require a more powerful extractor and a gas range needs twice the capacity of an electric hob.
Silence is golden
This has never resonated so strongly with the current trend for open-plan kitchens. You don’t want the TV competing with a noisy extractor fan, or conversation dominated by the hum of the motor.
The higher the setting, the faster the fan works and the louder the extractor. The most efficient way to use your fan is by using the lowest setting, and then increasing the power for short bursts when your cooking increases in intensity. By investing in a high-quality extractor, you’ll reduce noise disruption in your shared space as they benefit from technology designed to minimise noise across all power settings.
Conceal & reveal
Make sure you pick a style which blends seamlessly into the overall design of your kitchen. Gone are the days when the options were limited to just traditional chimney or canopy hoods. Now, you can take your pick from many different styles, one of which is guaranteed to suit your design.
For minimalist kitchens, opt for a concealed/retractable downdraft extractor which can be installed directly into a work surface or breakfast bar, and sits flush with the surface when not in use. Also suited to modern, sleek kitchens are integrated wall unit extractors, which are installed within cupboards and can easily be stored away when not needed. Concealed cooker hoods within a feature bulkhead are another option, and come a vast range range of styles which can transform your extractor fan into a design feature.