You probably don't give your cooker hood all that much thought, but if it wasn't there, you'd be scrubbing away at ceilings and splashbacks regularly - as grease from cooking builds up fast and is tough to shift.
So, if you're redesigning your kitchen, replacing a hood that's seen better days or installing one for the first time, make sure you get the right kind for your kitchen.
Fitted snugly above the hob and hidden by a door or panel, this type of hood usually only works once you pull it open. Almost all such hoods are around 60cm wide, and they can be either extracting or recirculating (see 'Venting Types')
These are typically fitted to the underside of a kitchen cabinet, but unlike fully integrated hoods, remain on show all the time. Once again, they come as extracting or recirculating (see 'Venting Types')
Got your cooker in the middle of your kitchen (or planning to have one there)? Island cooker hoods suspend from the ceiling, leaving you free to put your cooker almost anywhere you want to.
Don't go confusing this with an island cooker hood - it definitely has to be wall mounted. It's an extremely popular style, and comes in a range of looks besides the typical pyramid shape:
There's an important choice you need to make when buying a cooker hood, and that's how grease and steam will be dealt with. Here's a guide to the differences between recirculation and extraction.
Air is drawn into the hood through filters that neutralise odours and remove grease particles. Once the hood has cleaned the air, it recirculates it into the kitchen. It's vital to have a carbon filter pad or recirculating kit for this type of hood. To clean the hood, you simply clear out its grease trap, wash the metal filters and replace the carbon filter pad as necessary.
Recirculation can be used in all types of kitchen and is particularly useful if there's no access to an outside wall for extraction (see below). While the installation costs are low, you'll still need to spend money replacing carbon filter pads. You also won't remove any excess moisture from your kitchen.
Extraction hoods filter grease into a trap and expel the filtered air through an outside vent. All you have to do is clean the metal grease trap from time to time (most are dishwasher safe).
Extraction is highly effective at removing not only grease but also odours and excess moisture from your kitchen. It does, however, need an available outside wall to vent through, making it unsuitable for certain types of kitchen layout.