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Types and Sizes of Kitchen Extractor Fans

If you are having a brand new kitchen put in, it’s likely you will be putting in a new kitchen extractor fan, and this article walks you through all you need to know about which size and type of fan to choose.

In this article we will not be talking about cooker extractor hoods, which is an entirely different thing (generally these are rectangular items above your kitchen’s cooker or oven.There are plenty of kitchen extractor fans on the market, but which one is right for you? To start with, you need to get the right fan size, which is 6 inches, or 150mm.

If a fan is labeled as a kitchen fan, but is anything other than 6 inches, it almost certainly isn’t the correct fan for your kitchen.

This measurement is the pipe or spigot which sticks out from the rear of the extractor fan, not the diameter of the front of the fan!

4 inches (100mm) fans can be used in bathrooms, toilets and shower rooms, but never in kitchens. This is because they don’t have the power to meet building regulation  requirements. Currently, the requirements are as stated: for a toilet or WC, the minimum extraction rate required is 6 liters per second. In a bathroom, shower room or wet room, you need to install a fan with an extraction rate of at least 15 liters per second. The rate required for utility rooms is 30 liters per second. For kitchens, there are 2 different rates. If the extractor fan is adjacent to the hob, it only needs to extract at a rate of 30 liters per second. However, if it is to be installed anywhere else in the room, the extraction rate must be a minimum of 60 liters per second, or 260 meters cubed per hour.

Now, there isn’t a 4 inch fan anywhere on the market that’s going to extract anywhere near the necessary rate, so you need to get a 6 inch fan. There are also 9 and 12 inch fans available that are labeled as kitchen fans, and they can definitely fulfill that purpose, but almost always in commercial premises, as they would be overkill in a domestic situation.

There are several types of extractor fan available for a kitchen. The most common and cheapest type has a pull cord attached so you can operate it whenever you wish to, it just comes on when you pull the cord, and off when you pull it again. Usually the code will have a “P” at the end, as in “Pull cord”. Usually this type of fan will meet your needs.

You can also purchase a fan with an over-run timer (usually the code will be labeled “T” for “Timer”.) These fans will continue to operate for a few minutes after you turn it off to aid in clearing any smells or condensation after you leave the kitchen.

Fans with a humidistat tend to be the most expensive fans, and operate independently, whether you’ve turned them on or not. They will turn on automatically when the humidity level in the room reaches a certain level, and will switch off when it drops below that level. These fans usually have an “H” at the end of the code number, for “Humidistat”.

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