How To Choose An Extractor Fan For Your Kitchen

Every time you cook something vapors and gases are released, sometimes it’s in the form of steam, sometimes it’s smoke, and sometimes it’s invisible.  Because you’re cooking, these warm, moist vapors often contain oils, which turn into grease as the vapor makes contact with your cupboards and furniture, resulting in a sticky, unsightly residue and unpleasant odors.

Over time, without a range hood or exhaust fan, excess moisture from the steam can cause extensive structural damage in your kitchen.  If you do a lot of cooking it won’t take long for mold and mildew to set in, and once that happens it can be very difficult to eliminate.

Exhaust and extractor fans are included in most kitchens when the house is being built but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right fan for your needs, nor does it mean it’s the best quality fan.  If it’s time to buy a new range hood for your kitchen and you’re not sure what you’re looking for, the following information will help you make the best choice.

How Much Do You Cook?

Even if you only cook once a week you still need an exhaust fan to pull the moisture, oils and odors out of the air.  Of course, the more cooking you do the more powerful fan you’ll need.  If you do a lot of cooking, look for a fan that moves a larger volume of air.

What Do You Cook?

Nothing beats the smell of bacon frying first thing in the morning, but you don’t want your house smelling like bacon all day long.  Fried onions, garlic, and fish?  You don’t want those odors lingering, either.  If you cook a lot of fried foods, you’ll have more oils and grease in your cooking vapors, which means you’ll need a heavier-duty fan.

Ventilation Options

You have two ventilation options:  Vented or non-Vented.   If you’re replacing an existing fan then you probably won’t have much choice, but let’s take a look at the differences.

A vented exhaust fan pulls the air outside your home and requires ducting to connect between the range hood and the outside.  If your existing fan is already connected to duct work, you’re in luck.  If not, you can still use this type of fan, but you’ll need to make some changes, and that’s not always possible.

If your kitchen isn’t located on one of the outside walls, or if you live in an apartment with apartments on either side or up above, it’s probably not possible to install duct work that will lead directly outside.  But don’t worry, because there are non-vented extraction fans that are just as effective.

A non-vented hood is easier to install and works by passing the air over a filter and recirculating it back into the room.  Filters can vary.  Some remove only heat and odors, and more powerful filters will capture oils and moisture, too.

Is Moving Your Range An Option?

Of course, you’ll want to choose a range hood that compliments your décor.  Before you shop, measure the width, depth and height of the available space.  If you’re having problems finding a hood you like that fits the space, this might be the ideal time to rearrange your kitchen.

What’s Your Budget?

Exhaust fans come in a wide variety of styles, designs, and options.  You can find them online or at your local home improvement stores and you may even find sales and special deals.  This is one product where spending more doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a better product.

When shopping for your extraction fan, consider the dimensions and the features you really need, such as greater airflow or more powerful filters, ventilated or non-ventilated, and keep your budget in mind.  You’ll easily find the perfect fan to suit all your needs.


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