When you cook anything in your kitchen, you create ‘pollution’ in the air. This is because everything you cook releases either smells, smoke, moisture or grease, and maybe even a combination of all the above.
This can all linger on fabrics, surfaces and in the general air, which isn’t pleasant to inhale, and could discolour walls and curtains over time.
Cooker hoods aren’t one of the essentials everyone thinks about when thinking about the appliances they need for their kitchen, but they can solve a lot of problems you could face when cooking.
Why You Need A Cooker Hood In Your Kitchen
If you tend to burn your food, or you love frying, a cooker hood could be just the thing you need:
They can extract or recirculate unwanted air particles
Convinced your kitchen isn’t suitable for a hood? Think they are only for huge country kitchens with loads of extra space?
The good news is that they don’t all need ducts fastened to the outside of the house to take it all away. Recirculating cooker hoods are usually designed especially for small kitchens with little opportunity to attach to an external wall. The filters clean the air, before releasing it back into your space.
It will attract these particles, too
“If I am frying I can simply just open the window and let it all go out!” you say. Well, technically this doesn’t work as well as you think.
Heat rises, so even if it is attracted to the open window, it won’t go straight to it. Instead, it will spread out horizontally around the room before it reaches the window, with most just condensing rather than leaving. Particles heavier than smoke, such as grease, will have an even more difficult job of reaching the open window.
Cooker hoods have fans which can attract the unwanted particles and draw them in. Plus, they are higher up, so there is more chance of everything reaching them.
Windows are heat inefficient
You may think that the smell disappears when you open the window, but there is actually just more fresh air mixing with it, not replacing it. This air can be incredibly cold in winter, which isn’t great if you also have the boiler and heating on and are trying to stay warm.
A cooker hood releases no cold air, or at least not enough for you to feel any. Perfect for use all year round.
Their fans make the process quick
Those fans that help attract the particles? You can usually adjust their speed, for an extra boost when it is needed. So if the kitchen is filling up with smoke quicker than it is being removed, just turn it up. Much easier and faster than you trying to waft it all out of the window with a tea towel.
It also means that extra stubborn smells such as fish, curry and bacon can be removed entirely, so you don’t have to be still smelling them the next morning.
They feature lighting
Nearly all cooker hoods on the current market feature downlighting, as well as everything required for their primary purpose. This can make visibility so much better in your cooking space, especially if natural light is a problem, meaning no need for extra lamps and wiring.
They look great
The design may well be as significant a factor when choosing a new cooker hood than its effectiveness. Nobody wants a chunky, out of place appliance in their kitchen which ruins the look of the room.
Most cooker hoods are sleek, modern and space saving, which will actually add to the aesthetics rather than ruin them. If you want a new look but don’t want to change too much, a new addition such as this could make a big impact.
You could cut down on cleaning
Ever found that your kitchen cabinets feel greasy, so you spend ages wiping them down and get them back to their natural colour, only to see the same thing a few weeks later?
Cooker hoods and extractor fans can remove grease particles as well as smoke and steam, which means it is less likely to settle and cling on your surfaces. Which could also mean you spend less time keeping on top of wiping it all away.
It gets rid of condensation and heat
It isn’t only smoke and smells and grease that can be eliminated. Boiling a pan of water releases steam into the air, which may not seem like a massive deal, but an externally-ducted extractor could remove this moisture from the air.
This can keep humidity down, and mean there’s less chance of mould forming in the conditions.
They’re energy efficient
A worry we all face when looking for new appliances. You could be forgiven in thinking that a cooker hood is an energy guzzler, but as long as you keep on top of maintenance and regularly replace the filter, they should actually last for well over 10-15 years – which makes them efficient alone.
Not only that, but they aren’t on all the time so won’t constantly be taking electricity. Plus, they’re simple appliances when compared to the rest of your kitchen, so don’t require a lot of power to work.
They’re compatible with all types of hob and cooker
Whether you have a range cooker, gas hob, or an electric hob on your kitchen island, you can get an extractor to suit.
There are so many things to consider – the size of your cooking appliance, the placement, how much smoke and heat it produces.
Overall, we would say that a cooker hood is a necessity for any home. Even if you only ever eat toast, this still releases smells and steam into the air, and as mentioned, these aren’t great – especially if they build up over time.
A cooker hood will keep your kitchen looking great and smelling fresh, making it a much more enjoyable place to spend time.
Which Cooker Hood Is Best For Me?
This depends on the size of your kitchen, the space you have to install it into, how much you will be using it, your budget and the general aesthetic of your room.
To find the best for you, you can read our reviews of the best cooker hoods available right here, and see all the pros and cons before you make the purchase.