Choosing the right extractor fan

Starting a kitchen project? Make sure you consider the extractor
Story by: Trends
Having trouble choosing an extractor fan? cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, home appliance, interior design, kitchen, property, real estate, room, white, gray
Having trouble choosing an extractor fan?

The extractor has become a quintessential part of the modern kitchen, considered alongside the microwave and dishwasher as an essential appliance. Without an extractor, you’d turn your kitchen into a humid mess every time you felt like a stir fry.

Here’s what to look for when you’re shopping around for one.

Key things to keep in mind

Go vented instead of duct-free/recirculated. An extractor without a duct is going to be cheaper, but the units are flawed. Unlike vented units which take the smoke and push it outside, they release it into the kitchen after passing it through a filter.Strength: The power of an extractor (how fast it sucks up smoke and air) is measured in cubic metres per hour. Try and find a unit capable of at least 800m/h. Anything less will likely get overwhelmed when you start cooking.Noise: Strength ties directly into noise. The more powerful you go, the louder it’s going to be. Units that produce around 60Db will be fine for most kitchens. Any louder and it’s going to be annoying. It’s definitely a balancing act.


Extractor fans come in a number of types cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, interior design, kitchen, room, black, white, gray
Extractor fans come in a number of types

What type should you buy?

Keep in mind that function usually comes first when shopping for an extractor. For example, if you have a cooktop on your island, you can’t install a wall-mounted extractor – you’ll need to go for a ceiling-mounted or downdraft unit.

Integrated: These units are designed to integrate with a cabinet, usually sitting beneath them. Wall-mounted: You’d install a wall-mounted extractor if you didn’t have cabinets above the stove. Ceiling-mounted/hanging: For kitchens with island cooktop, a ceiling-mounted or hanging extractor is one of the more effective options – although certainly not the only one available. Downdraft: These units connect to a duct and pop out of the countertop when needed. They help maintain a clean look design on an island and can be very effective, but can be expensive.

Other features to look for

Extractor fans come in a number of types cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, interior design, kitchen, room, black, white, gray
Extractor fans come in a number of types

Timers: Chances are you’ll need to keep the extractor on after you finish cooking in order to suck up the remaining smoke. Timers can turn the units off after a preset time. Lights: Lights in an extractor are a great way to kill two birds with one stone. You can brighten up a difficult-to-reach area of the kitchen and make cooking easier. Sensors: Certain models are smart enough to turn on when they detect a certain amount of heat in the area.

Not convinced?

Extractors offer other benefits which may not be immediately apparent. For example, they can help to keep your kitchen clean by sucking out dust and smoke.

Kitchen projects can be stressful, so view some of our other articles if you’re still feeling a little lost. If you want to get started with a new kitchen, read the ‘Getting started’ guide.

Oct 17, 2017






Similar stories

Kitchen designed to integrate seamlessly into apartment interior

Lightly stained white oak kitchen cabinetry extends into adjacent living areas in this New York City loft. Read more

Beginner's guide to kitchen design

It’s often said the kitchen is the heart of the home – and we tend to agree. Take a look at our guide if you're about to start a project Read more

Sleek new kitchen has both a clean-lined design and an organic feel

Modern and minimalist, this wood and black kitchen folds elegantly into its wider natural-look setting Read more

Latest books

Fowler Homes

These high-quality homes proudly designed and built by Fowler Homes are just the starting point for your own inspiration. They reflect the latest and best  ideas, materials and technologies to benefit your own home Read more

Home Trends 3402

Placing the kitchen at the heart of a home is not just about creating a convenient zone for easy food preparation and eating meals.Just as important is the way it's seen as an attractive place where family can spend time togeth... Read more

Home Trends 3401

If you're designing a bathroom for a new home or renovating your existing one, you'll quickly discover how involved the process can be.It's not only the challenge of how to fit the different functional zones into the often limi... Read more

Related profiles


Established in South Africa in 1983, Warmup has grown into an international company providing quality underfloor heating solutions to homes and businesses worldwide. Read more


For more than 30 years, Trends has promoted great home design ideas through its print, digital and online media.The Trends International Design Awards – TIDAs – take that involvement to the next level with the search for the best  kitchens, b... Read more

CDK Stone

Our wide range of natural stone is sourced from the finest quarries around the world where each piece of stone is as unique and individual as nature itself. Read more