Depending on where in the world you live, these kitchen appliances are referred to in a number of ways: range hoods, exhaust fans, stove vents and cooker hoods, to name a few. Today, cooker hoods are as decorative as they are practical and sometimes serve as the focal point of the kitchen. Cooker hoods efficiently remove or filter unwanted cooking odours from your kitchen and home. Kitchen layout is the key factor in determining which of these types of cooker hoods is best for you.
Under cabinet cooker hoods are just as their name implies. These cooker hoods are mounted directly to the underside of a wall cabinet above the heating elements of a range, cooktop or stove. The exhaust ductwork is located inside the wall, soffit, cabinet or ceiling. Smoke and cooking fumes travel through the ductwork and are vented to the outside. When cabinet depth is not sufficient to cover the cooking area, a thin extension vent slides out from the main hood unit when in use. This design protects the upper cabinets from smoke and steam damage, routing the offending fumes toward the rear of the main cooker hood element. The under cabinet type of cooker hood is the best choice for kitchens where space is at a premium.
Wall chimney cooker hoods are perfect when upper cabinets are not an issue. The chimney hood unit attaches to an exposed vent stack that runs up the back wall. These cooker hoods are frequently made of stainless and have a contemporary feel. For an old world design, consider canopy chimney hoods crafted from copper, stone, wood or stucco. This hood design completely conceals the vent stack and narrows as it reaches the ceiling. Wall chimney cooker hoods are impressive and look particularly good with six burner commercial ranges or gas cooktops.
Island cooker hoods are designed for ranges or cooktops mounted in a kitchen island. They do not depend on a wall or cabinets to chase the ductwork. These types of cooker hoods are attached to a stack that vents through the ceiling. Oversized versions of island hoods are mounted without a stack directly to the ceiling and are equipped with powerful suction to handle high BTU appliances.
Ductless ventilation is most commonly found in under cabinet cooker hoods in kitchens where there is no ability to route cooking fumes to the outside. The ductless system pulls smoke, vapour and heat away from the cooking area. The fumes travel through the unit and recirculate back into the room as filtered air. A woven aluminium filter is typically used to trap grease splatter from fried foods. In some models, a carbon or charcoal filter neutralises cooking odours. This type of cooker hood is recommended for low BTU ranges or cooktops that produce a minimal amount of smoke and grease.
Downdraft venting systems, as in Jenn-Aire gas cooktops, remove cooking fumes through an exhaust system built into the cooktop and out through floor or wall ductwork. This type of ventilation works with any kitchen layout. The downdraft method is most suitable for homes that will not accommodate ductwork in the ceiling.