The main function of cooker hoods is to filter steam odours and airborne grease out of your kitchen. A hood with a re-circulating fan guides the air through filters and re-circulates fresh air back into the kitchen. A hood with an extractor is more effective at removing odours as it pulls the air through a duct outside for it to work more efficiently, the ducting must have few bends and be no longer than 11 metres.
When buying a hood, choose one that’s at least as wide as your hob; buy a 90cm hood for 60cm hob. “Ideally the hood should be at least 15cm bigger than the hob” says Ruth Wassel, appliance specialist at Houseworks.
Filters are one of the most important aspects of a cooker hood. Buy hoods with stainless steel filters that can be washed in the dishwasher. “Aluminium filters have to be washed by hand as they turn black in the dishwasher”, says Wassel
Carbon/Charcoal filters for cooker hoods, can last up to 12 months (depending on usage) and must be replaced with a new one.
Look for models with variable speed controls so you can control the speed of your fan. Also, most good hoods come with lights built in.