An air extractor is an integral part of any modern kitchen design. 

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Image: Smeg

Any new kitchen should have a means of extract ventilation to reduce condensation and remove smells. Get the best from your kitchen extractor with these expert buying and installation tips. 

Eco extraction 

Cooker hoods are either ducted, where the stale air is removed from the room to the outside through ducting in an outside wall, or recirculation where air is sucked into the machine, filtered, purified and blown back into the space. Special consideration is needed for ducted installation in airtight and Passivhaus homes.

There are different design types to choose from including built-in, canopy, chimney and downdraft, all of which should be professionally installed. ‘For effective performance, select a model with up to three speeds that operates at no less than 800 cubic metres per hour,’ advises Sean Drumm, managing director of Falmec.

As with all other appliances, look for hoods that have the best rating. Models that work in tandem with the hob automatically adjust extraction speeds to the most appropriate level. ‘They switch off when the hob is no longer in use to save energy,’ says Neil Pooley, category manager for kitchens at Miele.

Consider air flow

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Image: Falmec

"To work effectively, an extractor should be able to circulate airflow around ten times per hour. To calculate room volume, multiply height by width by depth, then multiply by ten. This will give you the maximum extraction rate required," says Owain Harrison, country manager at Novy

Get the spacing right

Owen Harrison explains that "for optimum extractor levels, it's best to allow a minimum of 650mm of space between a hood and an induction or electric hob, and 750mm when over a gas hob. These specific heights allow the steam to circulate and be effectively drawn up by the extractor."

Recirculation or ducted ventilation

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Image: Britannia Living 

"Recirculation models save energy, as air does not have to be forced out to an external vent," says Harrison. "They also offer flexible installation. Ducted ventilation delivers the quietest removal of air. The maximum recommended length of ducting is 5m, with as few bends in the pipes as possible."


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