How to choose a kitchen hood: 6 tips

Any household appliance is a long-term investment, so it is better to choose hoods that not only work efficiently but also look good.

The cooker hood can rightly be considered one of the main appliances in the kitchen. Thanks to it, the apartment does not smell like food during cooking, and the kitchen furniture will remain clean longer, without a coating of grease and dust. Modern models of hoods, due to the variety of shapes and designs, also solve an aesthetic problem. Some devices are compact and concise, others are ready to become the centerpiece of kitchen design. We figure out how to choose a hood and what features of operation should be considered even before purchase.

Table of Contents

    What is a kitchen hood?

    A cooker hood is an electrical device that is installed above a hob or stove to remove odors, grease, and steam while cooking. Any kitchen hood consists of three working elements: an engine, a fan, and a filter. The outer case of the device can be of various shapes and sizes, it is made of plastic, metal, or glass.

    All hoods perform the same task – they remove air from the area where there is an unwanted smell, but they do it in different ways. There are three groups of equipment according to the mode of operation:

    • Channel, or streaming. The air in such systems is vented to the outside. To do this, the hood is connected through the duct to the general house ventilation or to a separate outlet (for example, in a private house). Such models usually have two modes of operation: passive, when the draft arises due to the influx of air from outside, and active when the device is turned on. To prevent odors from the ventilation shaft from falling back into the kitchen, an anti-return valve is installed.
    • Recirculation. The main difference from the channel is that the air outside the room is not removed. It circulates inside the kitchen, passing through a two-stage filter system – coarse and fine.
    • Combined. Combine the features of the two systems described above.

    For efficient operation, the width of the hood must match or be slightly larger than the surface of the stove over which it is installed. When installing the system, the minimum distance from the burners is also observed – from 65 cm to 75 cm, depending on the type of stove.

    Types of kitchen hoods

    Hoods are compact, large, angular, T-shaped, flat, rectangular, or cylindrical. They differ from each other also in the type of attachment and location in the kitchen.


    They are located directly in the kitchen cabinet above the hob or stove. The installation of such models is taken into account even at the design stage of the kitchen since the dimensions of the device must match the dimensions of the cabinet.

    • Fully embedded. Visually hidden behind the facade of the kitchen set – you can see such a hood only by looking under the bottom of the cabinet.
    • Telescopic. Partially installed in a wall cabinet, only a special slider remains in sight, which is pulled out at the time of work.


    Attached to the wall above the stove. As a rule, these models are impressive in size and require a special place in the kitchen. Most often they are connected to a ventilation shaft, but some wall-mounted hoods operate in circulation mode or combine the two methods. Depending on the shape, wall hoods are divided into:

    • Fireplace, or dome. The classic version with a characteristic duct shape resembling a pipe;
    • Inclined. This is one of the varieties of fireplace hood, the working surface of which is at an angle to the hob or stove. The degree of inclination can be adjusted. The body of such hoods is made of tempered glass, and the grease filter is hidden behind a decorative panel;
    • Visor. A compact version of the hood that is mounted to the wall under the cabinet or independently. Maybe with a retractable slider.

    Island and ceiling

    Island hoods are used in kitchens openly, without reference to the main set. They are attached rigidly to the ceiling or hang over the slab on cables. Ceiling – flat and fit snugly to the surface, forming a single whole with the ceiling. Island and ceiling hoods are most often of the circulation type. For the installation of such models with air exhaust, you will need to lay communications in the ceiling.


    The only type of hood that is not mounted above the stove. Such models are built directly into the countertop, when the button is pressed, the panel slides out of it. These hoods suck steam, grease, and odors directly from the source during cooking and do not allow air to rise.

    How to choose a hood: main characteristics

    As a rule, the shape of the hood does not directly affect its performance. Compact models may well be more powerful than large devices. To understand which hood to choose, you should pay attention to the following characteristics.

    1. Performance

    One of the main indicators when choosing a hood, which determines how efficiently it copes with the removal of air. The performance of the hood is measured in cubic meters per hour (m 3 / h) and reflects the volume that the exhaust equipment passes through itself per unit of time. Modern models for the home operate in the range from 290 m 3 / h to 1500 m 3 / h. The choice of a suitable indicator depends on the area of ​​the kitchen and the intensity of cooking.

    To understand which hood to choose, you can be guided by the current standards for the ventilation of the room. According to them, the air in the kitchen should be completely updated at least 12 times per hour.

    If you take the volume of the room and multiply it by 12 (the number of air renewal cycles per hour), you get the recommended hood performance. Such calculations are approximate since they do not take into account the type of slab, the patency of the ventilation shaft and other parameters. If you don’t feel like counting, you can focus on averages of 600–800 m 3 / h, they are suitable for most typical kitchens.

    2. Noise level

    Normally, the only sound that the hood makes is the noise of the fan. Typically, manufacturers give two indicators – at minimum and maximum load, that is, at the lowest and at the highest speed.

    Noise level is measured in decibels (dB) and varies from 40 to 75 dB for most hoods. To make it easier to find out what volume these indicators correspond to, we can draw the following analogies:

    • 45 dB – quiet conversation;
    • 75 dB – loud conversation;
    • 80 dB – scream, the noise of a vacuum cleaner.

    3. Filters

    There are two main types of hood filters – grease and coal. They can be used both together and separately.

    1. Grease-catching. It is applied at the first, rough stage of air purification. In shape, these are metal frames made of aluminum or stainless steel with many cells and weaves. During cooking, fat and other large suspensions settle on it. These filters are reusable. They can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher (you should first read the manufacturer’s recommendations). They do not require frequent replacement. In inexpensive models, disposable analogs based on paper or fleece are installed. They cannot be washed. Replacement is done every four to eight weeks.
    2. Coal – for fine cleaning. Filters air already without grease and other large impurities. The carbon filter is installed in addition to the grease filter in models with air recirculation or combined devices. There are three types: insert, cassette or combined. Filling – activated carbon in the form of powder, granules or impregnation. These filters require regular replacement approximately every three to four months. The models are interchangeable with each other, which facilitates the choice of hood.

    4. Speeds

    Any hood has at least three speeds. In the expensive models, there can be up to five. To change modes, use a slide switch, buttons, keys, or a touch interface. Some models additionally work from the remote control.

    5. Backlight

    Most hoods are equipped with two or three lamps for additional illumination of the cooking area. There is no particular difference in which light source is used – halogen or LED. If you choose the appropriate base, they can be replaced.

    6. Additional features

    The functionality of modern models of hoods is very wide. A number of additional options are useful, but their presence will directly affect the cost. Here are some of them:

    • Timer/automatic shutdown. Typically, manufacturers recommend leaving the hood running for a while after cooking. The automatic function with a timer will automatically shut down the device after the set time has elapsed;
    • Heat sensor. When the temperature in the cooking zone rises to a certain level, the hood automatically switches the fan to a higher speed;
    • Filter clogging indicator. At the right time, a special icon lights up on the device panel, signaling that it is time to change the carbon filter or clean the grease frame;
    • Perimeter suction. Forced suction of air around the entire perimeter of the hood through special narrowed holes. Thanks to this design, the air flows naturally accelerate and the air is discharged faster;
    • Smart solutions. Some models interface with mobile devices and can work via Wi-Fi. In this case, you can set the timer or adjust other hood settings using your smartphone.

    Operating features: expert advice

    Connecting the hood is best left to professionals. Despite the apparent ease of installation, the installation of such devices is regulated and in some cases, it is simply impossible to do it yourself. There are several general rules that should be considered at the stage of choosing a device. According to the specialist of the Profi online service Vladimir Sukhonos, they are primarily determined by the type of stove – gas or electric. In some houses, especially older ones with gas stoves, there are restrictions on connecting forced air hoods.

    For such apartments, it is better to choose a coal hood – it does not need to be connected to ventilation, it drives the air through a special filter. Above gas stoves, the hood must be hung higher than over electric ones.

    At what distance do you hang a kitchen hood over a gas and electric stove:

    • 55-65 cm from the gas burner to the device with an inclined bottom design;
    • 75–85 cm from gas stove to straight hood;
    • 35-45 cm from electric burner to inclined hood;
    • 65–75 cm from an electric stove to the straight hood.

    Connect the hood in such a way that the opening of the ventilation duct is not completely blocked. For this, combined gratings are installed.

    Initially, when installing the hood, you need to check the draft in the main channel. To do this, you can attach a sheet of paper to the vent and open the window. If the paper retracts, the traction is good. You also need to see if the channel itself is clogged and whether it needs to be cleaned, the expert says.

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