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What to look for when choosing a chimney hood

Chimney cooker hoods are essential in the kitchen to help remove unwanted smells from cooking and to prevent any smoke lingering. They are an important item to purchase and can be expensive, so it is best to go shopping with an idea of what you want.

Types of hoods

There are two types of hoods, extraction and re-circulation. Extraction hoods do exactly what the name implies, extract smells and smoke out of the kitchen. Re-circulation hoods use activated charcoal filters to remove smells from the air and release 'clean' air back into the kitchen. This type of hood can be fitted easily but the filters require changing frequently. Extraction hoods are more costly and difficult to install but since filters are not needed,in the long-term they are cheaper and more efficient.

Noise and light

If you use your kitchen to eat in as well as cook, you may want to consider the amount of noise the cooker hood will produce, particularly when it is on high speed. Noise levels vary between hoods. The higher the decibels the hood has the noisier it will be. For example, a hood with a maximum of 45db will be a lot quieter than one rated at 65db. You need to have good light when you are cooking. So, it is advisable to choose a hood with integrated lights. Pay attention to how many lights the hood has and where they are located. Ensure there is enough light across the whole of the cooker and not focused just in the middle.

Design

Whether you need an island or a chimney hood, the decisions you need to make regarding design will be the same. Style
There are many elements to consider. Firstly the colour. The two most popular and common looks are either black or stainless steel hoods. The colour of your cooker may influence your choice of hood. Secondly, do you want a simple, plain hood which just does the job or do you want a designer look? Designer hoods can look like chandeliers or be sculpted. Some hoods are straight edged, others have curved glass. Price
The design and look of a chimney hood will likely be reflected in the price. Hoods can range from a very reasonable £100 - £200 up to a few thousand pounds. The width of the cooker will also have an impact on the cost. For a normal sized cooker a 60cm width chimney hood will be sufficient. Range cookers though will require a larger hood, usually 90cm wide and will therefore be more expensive.

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