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Rangehoods are not only a functional appliance but in many kitchens are a focal point. The functional aspect of the range hood involves removing cooking fumes to the outside but the size and prominence of some range hoods means that they must satisfy style considerations too.
Extractors can be hidden in cabinets but these do tend to be the smaller types.
Rangehoods can be used two ways: to vent to the outside or to re-circulate air within the kitchen. Re-circulating rangehoods usually have a grease filter, which must be replaced regularly if it is the paper type or be cleaned regularly if it is a screen. Re-circulating rangehoods tend not to be very satisfactory in use. Venting range hoods are more effective at removing grease and cooking fumes, they usually have screens that can be cleaned in the dishwasher. The better ones also have grease traps.
The most efficient way to vent a range hood is straight up through the roof. A straight pipe works best; bends in the vent pipe add back pressure that requires a stronger motor to overcome. Venting capacity is usually given in cubic meters per hour; that is the number of cubic meters of air that can be moved under ideal conditions. Conditions are rarely ideal of course, which means that you should usually go for the highest capacity you can, especially if you have a long run or bends or both.
Generally speaking 600 cubic meters per hour is the minimum you should look for. Anything less is unlikely to be satisfactory in use.
Noise is the next consideration. The more powerful the motor or the greater the number of motors, the greater the potential noise. Noise levels are expressed in decibels and you will tend to want a range hood with a lower decibel rating.
For long and difficult exhaust runs it can be necessary to provide an extra fan at the outside wall. This will increase the efficiency of your rangehood without causing extra noise in the kitchen.
Remember too that flexible ducting that is corrugated, cause greater air resistance and therefore the need for a more powerful motor. Use smooth ducting wherever possible.
What about the noise?
Rangehoods are an important kitchen appliances that provide ventilation to improve the inside environment and prevent cooking odours from spreading throughout the house. There's no point to having one though if it doesn't get used and the main reason people don't turn them on is because of the noise.
Manufacturers often give noise ratings in decibels but these can be deceiving because there is no standardised measurement system amongst them. The best way to judge the noise level is to actually listen to it but do bear in mind that the noise you'll hear in the showroom won't match the real world experience of the one installed in your home.
Unsuitable and badly installed rangehood ducting is probably the biggest source of complaints about rangehood noise and poor performance. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t make it unimportant. Read more below.
You'll find heaps of rangehoods for sale online but the choice can be bewildering so our guide is intended to help you narrow down your options with handy tips and tricks. So if you’re looking for a rangehood in NZ, read on.
If money is no object then you really are spoiled for choice. Many of the world's leading kitchen appliances brands are available in New Zealand with up-to-the-minute European and Scandinavian styling for your swish, contemporary kitchen. You'll find your money very easy to spend and there’s no need to read any further
For those of us on a budget, which is most of us, the choices are harder to make. Brand junkies have an easier time of course because their choice is limited to the name on the front of the appliance. But what if you’re not a slave to any particular brand?
Remember that branding is where the profit lies for large companies. Brand holders spend vast amounts of money promoting their brands so as to make them memorable and create a following. Individual brands might be promoted for quality, style, technology, reliability, national pride or just value. However, promoting a brand has to be paid for and the bottom line is that the customer pays. This applies to kitchen appliances as much as any other product.
Remember that the brand name does not necessarily denote the manufacturer. For some years now brand holders have increasingly sub-contracted the manufacture of their products to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s). These OEM’s are mostly in countries where labour is cheap, such as China or Turkey. In this way they can reduce the cost of manufacture and increase their profits whilst maintaining their brand image and profits. More recently brand holders are being forced to use OEM’s because their competitors do it and they have to compete on price. For instance, the biggest kitchen appliance factories in the world now are in China where rangehoods for most of the World’s brand holders are turned out.
Price is where it gets really tricky. OEM manufacturing can mean that the same kitchen appliance with perhaps some styling changes can carry many different brands in the same market. The author knows of many rangehoods, with no difference in components and very little difference in styling that are available in New Zealand under several different kitchen appliances brands at wildly different prices. Remember, the value is in the brand, not the product. The smarter the showroom and the bigger the brand, the higher the price.
Don't accept a manufacturer's warranty of less than two years as this will be the time frame during which most manufacturing defects come to light. Check also that it’s not a Return To Base warranty, which are common at the bottom end of the price scale. Not all warranties are created equal. For instance, Parmco, now offers 7-year warranties on rangehoods.
Consumer Guarantees Act
Many scoff at warranties because of course, they do not replace your rights in law. However, although a warranty does not take the place of your legal rights, having to fight in court to have a faulty appliance repaired or replaced is costly in time, effort and and money. Meanwhile your appliance could be out of action for months. So don’t scoff at a warranty that gives you rights over and above those in law.
Rangehood Ducting - The Unseen Problem
You don’t see it and probably don’t think about it, rangehood ducting is taken for granted but next time you switch on your rangehood and hate the noise it makes or the lack of performance, think on.
Rangehood ducting installation is often so bad that it ruins the performance of an otherwise decent hood. Inappropriate duct and duct fittings and simple installation mistakes can make you switch the thing off altogether because of the noise and lack on performance. < Read On >
Buying Advice And Ideas
Kitchen appliances advice for New Zealand kitchens
Copyright Tom McKernan 2017