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Having an air extractor hood in your kitchen is essential for all cooking. Ensuring the hood provides the proper amount of extraction; it’s important for keeping odours low and steam from damaging your cabinets or walls.

Installing the right style and width of the cooker hood can help compliment the kitchen’s design. The right chimney hood can greatly improve the overall aesthetic to suit your kitchen layout. You may now be asking how high should a cooker hood be.

Installation distance is one of the biggest concerns to get the best results from your hood. Manufacturers suggest a minimum distance for installations above your electric hob, which can be from 20 to 30 inches above your hob surface.

Installing at the Right Height

Depending on the style and brand of the cooker hood, the manufacturers may have included specific recommendations and installation instructions for the height you should install it above your hob. The type of hob surface you use will also determine the best height to install your cooker hood, so you get the best results in an odour free kitchen. The minimum distances will vary depending on whether or not you are using a gas or electric hob.

The proper height is often ignored when installing a new hood above your hob, but ensuring the proper min-height is reached can make a world of difference in how efficient the exhaust is. Reaching the proper height can also help increase the aesthetics of your home.

If you will be cooking on an electric or induction hob, the minimum distance from the cooking surface to the underside of your hood is 20 to 24 inches. For gas hobs, 25 to 30 inches are common minimum distances to answer the question of how high should a cooker hood be. When in doubt, always be sure to check the user manual that was included with your chimney cooker hoods or downdraft extractor, as it will say what the manufacturer recommends for the best gas and electric distance.

Since the extractor hoods all go through safety testing, you should never install them lower than recommended minimum height. This can not only damage the hood itself but can also pose a fire risk. Additionally, installing a hood higher than the maximum height will reduce its performance and effectiveness due to poor airflow. Steam will not be gathered by the hood and will instead have time to dissipate around your room, causing odour issues.

You need the cooker hood at a good height to prevent anyone from bumping their head on the corner or front of the extractor while walking. You want to be sure it’s at a safe height but also within the recommended height by the manufacturer to get the best results from the appliance.

Choosing the Right Cooker Hood

There is a wide range of shapes and styles of cooker hoods to choose from. Regardless of your room’s aesthetics, you will be able to find a hood that fits into your kitchen. In addition to looking different, there are also a few ways the hood can exhaust and clean the air in your kitchen.

Seen in smaller kitchens are recirculated air hoods and ducted extraction wall units. Both can be used above gas hobs or induction hobs, and both can filter out odours and grease vapours from the air during food preparation.

Both styles will require a grease filter, but only the recirculating hoods will need a carbon or charcoal filter, which will add to the overall purchase costs. You may find some premium designed ducted hoods that also use carbon filters, but this is not as common.

Extraction hoods are commonly seen as they extract the air into the outdoors, which is preferable to most people. These are almost always used for gas hobs, though you can find ceiling hoods used above induction hobs.

However, they also require a series of ducts and vents to ensure the air is properly extracted, which can add to the installation cost and hassles. Installing the ductwork is much easier in new construction rather than during refurbishing.

You want to consider the overall power of the extractor hood you are considering purchasing. The movement of air is measured in cubic feet per minute. This will depend on the model and manufacturer’s recommendations for minimum distance, so always check your user manual for the best cooker hood height.

Different Types of Cooker Hoods

You can easily find a variety of different hood options to fit into your specific room style and layout. These can include wall-mounted, ceiling-mounted, under-cabinet and in-wall extractor styles. You can also find chimney hoods or ducted hoods, which include a canopy over your hob and a chimney that takes smoke and odours up and away from the pan on the hob worktop. These are also common for installation above an island or central electric or gas hob station, and the minimum distance you can install them may vary.

You may even find models installed on your wall, leaving a very streamlined and sleek look for your kitchen aesthetics. Also, downdraft ventilation models can be installed at an angle, such as in a corner or vertically, if you are very limited on space. These units normally don’t have a chimney but can still use a duct discreetly to maintain your overall aesthetics near or against a wall.

Extraction or Ducted Hoods

The purpose of an extraction or ducted kitchen hood is to remove odorous air from the kitchen so fresh air can move in. This also helps to increase airflow in the room as it pushes air outdoors through the ducting.

Since they need vented access to an outside wall, there are limitations on where you can install them. For example, they are not always the best choice for corner installation or over islands since there is no direct wall access in this position. 

You should also remember that the cooker hoods that require duct installation will not come with that ducting. While it may differ with the style of hood you purchase, most ducts will be 120mm or 150mm in diameter. You should always go with rigid ducting as it provides a higher airflow rating than flexible ducting does.

Recirculating or Recirculation Hoods

Cooker hoods that are made to recirculate the air in your kitchen can be much more versatile. However, you will need to maintain a grease filtration as well as a carbon or charcoal filtration. The latter will need to be replaced on a regular basis since as it traps odours over time, the active charcoal will become less effective.

The downside to using a recirculating hood is that you may notice more noise from the fans. They are not only extracting air from the room but are also pushing it through the filtration material and into the room.

The purchase price for a recirculation hood will be lower as it does not require ducts to be installed in your walls. You also have more freedom in where the hood can be installed since it can be built into a cabinet or decorative canopy to fit in with any decor while still providing the downdraft you need above your hob.

Island Hoods 

Installing a cooker hood above a hob that is positioned on a kitchen island may be difficult. You need a hood that is able to stand alone from a ceiling installation while still looking pleasing to the eye.

You also want to be sure it fits the cooking surface to collect all of the vapours before it has a chance to get into the rest of the kitchen, so be sure to measure your hob width and the distance from the hob worktop.

For cooker hoods installed above an island, you can go with a large hood and make it a decorative feature, or you can opt for a much more discrete venting addition that does not detract from other features in the kitchen. 

The Best Extraction Rate

The majority of cooker hoods you can purchase will have different speed settings for the fan depending on the distance the extractor hood is from the hob. This changes the extraction rate of the air to counter odours.

Cooker hoods will display many changes of air per hour it can achieve. This is normally seen in cubic meters per hour. You want to try and find a hood that can perform at least six air changes per hour, but up to 12 is recommended if you will be cooking large amounts of pungent foods.

The easiest way to calculate the extraction rate is by finding your room volume. To do this, multiply the length by the width by the height of the room. This will give you the room volume. Then multiply by six or 12 to get the extraction rates per hour and see how they compare with your cooker hood.

Tips for a Smoke and Odour Free Kitchen

Installing a cooker hood at the perfect height is just part of ensuring you get the highest quality air and best odour removal in your kitchen. You should also consider the style of the hood and whether or not it will be placed above an electric or gas hob.

Once you find the perfect spot and can ensure the hood meets your required extraction rates, you will notice improved air quality in the kitchen. Be sure to follow the cooker hood installation regulations that came in the user manual.

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