Do you own a kitchen extractor fan?

If you do, you’ll know all about its many benefits. If you don’t own one, you should really consider it.

What’s great about a kitchen extractor fan?

Not only does this fan remove unpleasant odours from the kitchen, but it improves your indoor air quality.

There are other benefits, which we’ll explore in this article. We’ll also look at how you can maintain your kitchen extractor fan so that it serves you well for many years.

So, What Are The Main Benefits Of A Kitchen Extractor Fan?

Unpleasant smells and better air quality aside, what are some other good reasons why you should purchase a kitchen extractor fan?

Here’s a rundown of them so you can figure out if you really need one in your kitchen.

  • A stove extractor fan will remove steam and smoke that’s produced during the cooking process. By eliminating them, you can prevent harm to your walls in the form of humidity, which can lead to mould, and smoke damage.
  • This fan will also reduce the amount of grease that gets produced because it removes smoke and steam. This means that you can wash the stove and area around your stove less often.

How Did Kitchen Extractor Fans Come About?

Cooker Hood

It might surprise you to discover that extractor fans, sometimes referred to as kitchen hoods, have been around since the early 1920s.

An inventor by the name of Lloyd W. Ray patented a stove hood in 1928 that was designed for use with a stove or hot plate. It was meant to separate vapour from grease, and remove oily hot air from underneath hot plates.

But, he wasn’t the only one who was keen on inventing ventilation fans.

Henry Broan started a business making these products, and in 1932 he created the Motordor Fan which was a big success.

By the time the 1950s came around, other people were patenting designs for kitchen ventilation fans, such as James A. Nelson and Frederick J. Port, both of whom found a way to cool the top and sides of a kitchen hood.

Then, William A. Pledger found a way to detach and replace the hood’s filters.

In 1967, Donald E. King filed a patent for an exhaust hood that was very sophisticated – it had a drip-proof louver, a water spray to cool the hot air, and a blower to release air pulled into the hood.

Types Of Kitchen Extractor Fans

There are two types of kitchen extractor fans: ducted and ductless fans.

Which one is better for you? What should you know about them?

Here are their pros and cons.

Ducted Extractor Fans

Ducted Extractor Fan

These fans are common in commercial kitchens, but you can also use them in your home.

You have to ensure that they are connected to a duct with pipes that carry airborne particles away from the kitchen and outside the home.

This prevents air from circulating back into the kitchen.


  • Ducted extractor fans are excellent when you want to remove steam and humidity from your kitchen because they are not just filtering the air, they’re eliminating pollutants and moisture.
  • They run efficiently and tend to be quieter than other extractors.


  • As mentioned earlier, these fans must be installed close to ducts, so you might be restricted when it comes to where you wish to place them in the kitchen.

Ductless Extractor Fans

These fans don’t need to be connected to your ducts. They work by filtering the air that they draw in and then they circulate it back into the kitchen. Their filters are usually made of carbon or charcoal to remove smoke and other particles from the indoor air.


  • Since you don’t have to worry about installing it close to ducts, a ductless hood can be much more versatile.
  • Installing a ductless hood can be easier to do than installing a ducted hood.


  • These hoods don’t work as well to remove humidity from your kitchen, and this is because of how they send air back into the room.

How To Keep Your Kitchen Extractor Fan In Good Condition

Cleaning Kitchen Extractor Fan

If you own a kitchen extractor fan, you have to ensure that you maintain and clean it well.

Here are some important tips, bearing in mind that you need to clean your extractor fan regularly because it draws in food particles that accumulate inside it. When combined with intense heat, this can cause a house fire!

Steps to Clean Your Kitchen Extractor Fan

    1. Clean the air filter, which is the most important part of the hood as it removes particles from the air before either expelling it to the outside of your home or recirculating the air into your home. Your fan probably has a metal or charcoal filter.
      To clean a metal filter, remove it and put it in a small container filled with degreasing solution. Leave it there until the grease has been removed. Then, wash it in soapy warm water.
      As for a charcoal filter, you won’t be able to clean it. You have to replace it regularly, which should be done approximately once a year or whenever you can see that it’s not filtering smoke and particles the way it used to.
    2. Give the hood a wipe down. You can do this easily with a cleaning spray that you use in the rest of the kitchen. Just avoid spraying the product on the light bulb or any other electrical part of the extractor fan.
    3. Give the motor a checkup. The hood’s motor won’t need to be maintained, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check it regularly to ensure that it’s not getting damaged from all the humidity and grease to which it’s being exposed. If the motor is acting up, such as because it’s become noisy, then that’s a sign it will need to have its blower wheel removed and cleaned with a degreaser. If this doesn’t help, you’ll have to have the motor replaced.
    4. Finally, regularly give the fan’s blades a good clean so that they don’t become clogged from a buildup of grease and other dirt. You can do this by dipping a wet cloth in a bit of dishwashing liquid and wringing it out before you wipe down the blades. You’ll have to remove the blades before cleaning them, and always make sure they’re dry before you put them back.

Top Signs You Need To Trade Your Kitchen Extractor Fan For A New One

If your kitchen extractor fan is showing signs of not working properly anymore, it might be beyond repair.

Here are signs to look out for so you can purchase a new one.

  • There’s an increased amount of smoke or grease in your kitchen. These are clear signs that your extractor fan isn’t working well to ventilate the air.
    You can tell that there’s more smoke than usual in your kitchen if your eyes water when you’re cooking.
  • Your extractor fan is making a lot of noise. This points to a problem with the inner working of the fan.
  • The extractor’s appearance is looking bad. If the colour of your extractor fan has started to fade as a result of smoke and grease exposure, this can be unsightly and will probably motivate you to repair or replace it.

Why Dirty Kitchen Extractor Fans Can Be Dangerous

Dirty Cooker Hood

Earlier, we mentioned how the accumulation of dirt and grease inside your kitchen extractor fan can be a fire risk.

All you need is for your kitchen extractor to have a layer of grease on it and heat to ignite it, and you can end up with a fire that burns through your kitchen and home. You don’t even need a spark or flame as the grease can spontaneously combust.

When a fire occurs, the smoke, fire, and hot gas from burning grease can spread along with the extractor and escape from any opening. This is not only harmful to the extractor and your possessions but your safety if you’re nearby.

There are also other dangers linked to not cleaning your extractor fan regularly.

  • Dirty extractor fans can lead to respiratory problems. When the extractor’s vent becomes clogged with a buildup of grease, fumes, and smoke, these pollutants won’t have anywhere to go.
    This means they’ll stick around in the indoor air, and can cause health issues such as asthma.
  • There’s also a danger if dust accumulates on the extractor fan’s blades. Since they regularly come into contact with grease, fumes, and steam, these can combine with the dust to produce what looks like sludge.
    When you’re cooking, this substance can end up leaking into your food. This is unsanitary and dangerous to your health as it can contain lots of bacteria.

How To Choose The Best Kitchen Extractor Fan

When you choose an extractor fan for the kitchen, it’s important to ensure that it’s got the most important features. Here are some things to look out for:

  • The extractor fan needs a high extraction rate for the size of your kitchen. If you don’t have the right extraction rate, the extractor won’t be able to remove smells and pollutants in the air as quickly as you’d like.
    You’ll see extractor fans have a m3 per hour measurement. This basically tells you how much air will be processed by the extractor every hour.
    You should choose an extractor that will filter your air at least 10 times in an hour, so it should have 300m3 per hour listed on it.
  • It shouldn’t make a lot of noise. Extractor fans come with a decibel (dB) measurement, but bear in mind that the noise of an extractor will increase if the extractor works faster. That said, higher-end extractors will usually be quieter.
  • It should fit in your kitchen space. You’ll generally need a space that’s between 65cm and 75cm so that your extractor will have enough room.
    When taking measurements, don’t forget to consider the width of the extractor you want to purchase as it’s important to bear in mind it needs to be wider than your hob.
  • It should be mounted in the best way for your kitchen.
    You can find various extractor designs, such as those that are built into the ceiling, which is best for small spaces as they won’t get in the way. There are also extractors that are wall-mounted products, which are usually quite common.
    You could even find decorative pendant extractors, so consider the space you have at your disposal and the style of your kitchen decor

Related Questions

Kitchen Extractor Fan Questions

How often should you clean your kitchen extractor fan?

You should clean it monthly if you use your stove to cook daily, and pay attention to cleaning the inside and outside of the hood as well as the filter.

How much does an extractor cost?

Generally, you can expect to pay approximately £350 for a well-designed extractor. If you want a more visually appealing and stylish extractor that fits into your kitchen decor, you could pay hundreds of pounds more.


Having a kitchen extractor fan can help you remove humidity and pollutants from the air, as well as prevent you from breathing in harmful smoke during cooking.

However, you need to ensure you maintain it, such as by following the tips in this article so that you keep it clean and hygienic while also preventing the risk of fires.


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