Mercury / Cooker Hoods
Some people pay little attention to the benefits of choosing a quality hood for their kitchen. A good kitchen cooker hood will clean the air making it smoke and odour free, without making too much noise whilst doing so.
When searching for the best kitchen hood for your needs, it is usually a process of weighing up a balance between the stated noise level of the hood (measured in decibels or db), it’s power rating for the appropriate type of hood you need and of course your budget.
To give you an indication of noise levels, human speech is normally around 60db. An increase of only 3db can mean a significant increase in the volume of sound emitted, so it pays to do your research carefully.
The power rating for a hood is measured in cubic metres per hour (m3h), which in simple terms is the amount of air the hood is able to extract at maximum speed in an hour. The larger the number the quicker your air will be cleaned.
Most kitchen hoods will give you the option of being able to extract the air to an externally source outside your building or to re-circulate it back into your kitchen once it has been cleaned. If ducting out externally make sure to use the recommended ducting width, typically 150mm and pick rigid ducting rather than flexible. Opting for the wrong choice can greatly impede the performance of your hood.
The type of hood you will need depends on where it will be positioned in your kitchen, whether wall mounted, integrated into a cabinet or used above an island. Because of the large number of kitchen hoods available we have sectioned them into several categories for you.
Both conventional hoods, wall mounted hoods, telescopic hoods and chimney hoods are wall mounted options. While an Island cooker hood, Ceiling mounted hoods and ceiling integrated hoods are ideal for an island arrangement. For an integrated set up a canopy hood or integrated hood will be ideal. Finally, for a stylish choice a downdraft extractor is the perfect accompaniment to a hob.
Many manufacturers are now using technology enabling a hob and hood to work in tandem, meaning the hood will turn on when the hob starts working and will automatically adjust the power needed according to the hob’s use.
Other recent hood innovations include background colour mood lighting and a shelf to rest your cook book on, so it is at eye level as you read the recipe!
Many hoods will have down lighting to help illuminate your food making it easier to cook in a dimly lit area of your kitchen.
A good little tip with any hood is to turn it on around 10 minutes before you intend to start cooking. That way the air in your kitchen will be cleaner to start with, meaning the hood won’t have to work so hard when you are cooking and will therefore be quieter.
It also pays to regularly clean the grease filters for peak performance. Some manufacturers will allow them to be placed in the dishwasher to keep it nice and easy! Carbon filters for re-circulating should also be replaced roughly every 6 months, depending on how often you use the hood.