Buying Guide: Rangehoods

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Why Do I Need A Rangehood?

Rangehoods are exhaust fans for your kitchen, which are designed to remove excess smoke, steam, grease and fumes while you cook. A good rangehood will keep your kitchen – and the rest of the house – clean and smelling fresh.

What Size Do I Need?

  • Measure the area you have to work with above your stove or cooktop
  • The rangehood should cover the entire cooking area
  • They generally come in either 600mm or 900mm sizes

Which Rangehood For Me?

  • Fixed: The most common type, fixed rangehoods generally cover the entire stove area. They do not extend out, or retract back, so they have a large filter
  • Slide-out: Often referred to as retractable rangehoods, slide-outs extend out over the entire cooking area when needed. They can retract when not in use, saving space
  • Canopy: Once only seen in commercial kitchens, canopy rangehoods are more popular than ever in Australian homes. They look great and can be mounted on the wall or above a kitchen island

What About Smoke-Free Options?

The layout of your home can have an effect on how your rangehood vents the smoke and fumes from your kitchen. Make sure that you check which type of venting option best suits your home.

Ducted: Vents smoke and fumes to the outside of the home through ducted piping. They are harder to install, but they are the most effective means of removing cooking vapours completely. Keep the ducting as straight and short as possible, and never duct into the attic or another room.

Re-circulating: Passes dirty air through a filter (usually made from carbon) before returning it back into the kitchen. Grease and oil particles are removed by a metal filter, which needs to be cleaned (or possibly replaced) regularly.

Bosch 90cm Wall-Mounted Stainless Steel Canopy Rangehood

What's The Word On Suction?

  • Rangehood power, the air extraction rate, is measured in m³/hr
  • Rangehoods with air extraction rates over 600m³/hr are in the more powerful range
  • As a rule of thumb, canopy rangehoods are the most powerful, while slide-out (retractable) rangehoods are the least powerful

Are There Different Types Of Fans?

  • Rotary fans are traditional blade fans
  • Centrifugal fans are barrel-shaped. They move more air, are quieter and perform best in ducted systems
  • Whichever you choose, it's important to have variable fan speed

Is It Loud?

  • The level of noise made by a rangehood is measured in Sones
  • Ask for a demonstration to get an idea of how noisy each rangehood is

Do I Need A Filter?

  • If you choose a re-circulating rangehood option, the filters you use will have a big impact on reducing odours
  • Some charcoal filters are specially designed to reduce offensive smells

Does It Look Good?

  • There are a number of finishes, including glass and stainless steel
  • Make sure that the exterior surface is smooth and doesn't have any crevices for easy cleaning
  • If you're after a sleek industrial look, then you should consider a canopy rangehood

Canopy rangehoodWhat About The Lighting?

Ensure that there are enough lights on your rangehood. The more light you have, the easier it is to judge the timing of your cooking.

Do The Controls Matter?

Check that the controls are easy to reach and understand.

Is It Automatic?

  • Thermostat control will switch the rangehood on automatically when it detects that the temperature below the rangehood is too high
  • An exhaust timer will automatically switch the rangehood off after a certain period of time

Is it Easy To Install?

  • Re-circulating rangehoods can be relatively easy to install for someone with DIY skills, provided there is a power point nearby
  • If not, you'll need an electrician. Ducted systems require knocking holes in the wall for the piping, so it's best to get a professional to install it

How Much Does It Cost?

While ducting is an extra expense, it's important to note that replacement filters on a re-circulating rangehood can cost up to $100 per year.

Matching User Types

Apartment Kitchen
Keep your apartment smelling fresh, even if there's limited space for a rangehood.

  • Size: Measure the space available. Retractable rangehoods are best for restricted spaces.
  • Venting: More than likely limited to re-circulating.
  • Filters: Replace the filter regularly to keep your apartment odour-free.

Slide out rangehood

Bench Cooktop
Ensure that the surrounding cupboards and appliances aren't damaged by excess heat.

  • Size: Measure the space to make sure the rangehood will cover the cooktop completely.
  • Venting: Duct to the outside of the house for more efficient odour control.
  • Lighting: Choose a model with multiple lights to illuminate your cooking.

Island Cooktop
Set off your kitchen's style by making the rangehood a centerpiece.

  • Type: Canopy type will bring an industrial style to your kitchen.
  • Power: Look for air extraction rates of over 600m³/hr.
  • Style: Make sure that the exterior surface is easy to clean and maintain.

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