Extractor Fan vs. Cooker Hood: The Difference Explained

Air circulation is very important in all parts of the home, including the kitchen. Some people opt to put an extractor fan in the kitchen area, whereas others prefer to use a hood. Both have their own advantages and shortcomings. A lot depends on the usage and type of kitchen you have. Generally, cooker hoods that duct to the exterior of the property are the best option to remove vapours and reduce smells and condensation in a kitchen. In case it is not possible to duct to the outside from above your hob, then, an extractor fan is the next best option.

Why do you need an extractor fan or a cooker hood?

When the air is extracted from your kitchen it has to go either outside (extraction hood) or it can be recirculated back into the kitchen (recirculation hood) after filtration. If you don’t have an efficient means to extract the air from your kitchen, you’ll be left with stale, foul, and smelly air along with a lot of condensation. All these are breeding grounds for germs and so, your kitchen will become unhygienic and unhealthy.

What is the difference between extraction fans and cooker hoods?

Extractor fans simply send the air from the kitchen to the outside through ducting. The air is not filtered or processed in any way. Most people prefer sending the air directly outside as it is more effective than recirculating it. But the extraction fans can be louder as they need more power to push the air through the ducting. However, as they use ducting to push the air outside, you have to plan the ducting route right from the start. Also, if not done properly, ducting can look ugly and ruin the appearance of your kitchen.

Cooker hoods

Cooker hoods push the air through filters, which then remove any cooking smells before recirculating the air back into your kitchen. Most modern recirculation hoods come with a basic grease filter as well as a charcoal filter that works in tandem to remove grease, foul smells, and smoke from the air. They are often cheaper than extractor fans as they don’t need ducting. However, they aren’t very effective in removing smells, grease, and smoke as they cannot process the air completely. Furthermore, the filters need periodic replacements.

Extractor fan with exhaust air – the better choice?

It is often seen that the extractor fan offers significantly better performances than a cooker hood. They not only remove the odour and grease thoroughly but also keep the moisture away from your home. Extractor fans offer better energy efficiency and can be cheaper over the long term. They are more powerful than the cooker hoods and hence do a better job. However, extractor fans have higher initial costs and require a duct to channel the air. As such they are difficult to install and need precise planning at the beginning of construction.

To sum up, if your kitchen is used frequently, it is better to go for extractor fans. If you use the kitchen sparingly or for light cooking sessions only, perhaps a cooker hood is a better choice for you. If you need efficient extractor fans at reasonable prices, you can find some great options at RS components.

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