Your Guide to Cooker Hood Noise Levels & Quiet Cooker Hood
If you’re in the market for a new cooker hood for your kitchen, then you’ll want to devote careful consideration to the amount of noise it will produce.
An excessively loud hood can be irritating and since you’ll be using it on a regular basis you don’t want to be using a cooker hood that might contribute to hearing loss over time. The problem becomes even worse if you’re in the habit of listening to the radio (or watching television) as you cook – because you’ll need to turn the volume up in order to hear it over the cooker – raising the overall noise still further.
Fortunately it is possible to select a cooker hood that isn’t intrusive or distracting when in use. We’ve put together this guide to help you understand cooker hood noise levels, how to choose
How can you quantify noise levels from a cooker hood?
The noise level of a cooker hood, as with the noise level of all things, is measured in ‘a-weighted’ decibels dbA. What this figure means is well beyond the scope of this article, but the important thing is that it is not a linear scale; a small change in dbA level translates into larger changes in perceived volume, with the latter doubling every ten-decibels.
So why is this important? It shows that small increments in dbA will make big differences in volume. If you’re torn between Cooker Hood A that generates 60dbA and Cooker Hood B that generates 50dbA, you should always bear in mind that the former is twice as loud as the latter.
Bear in mind however, that dbA ratings are assigned to cooker hoods based on the product’s maximum setting. That means that a hood with a 70+ dbA rating would be much quieter in practice - unless you turn the hood up to full power.
Regardless of how much you do or don’t value peace and quiet in your home, when shopping, don’t be taken in by any manufacturer claims about quietness – the dbA rating does not lie!
How can I reduce the noise of my cooker hood?
If you’ve noticed that your cooker hood has gotten excessively loud, then it might be that you’re running it too hard. This, in turn, might be because of the loss of suction which comes about from not cleaning the cooker hood recirculation filter. Unfortunately, most people rarely – if ever – bother to change their filter, which places added strain onto the fan. Depending on the sort of hood you have installed, you’ll be able to either replace your filter or take it out and clean it. Doing so can restore much of the hood’s suction, and thereby allow you to use lower, quieter settings.
You should also be aware of the effect that ducting can have on noise. Narrow ducting will cause greater levels of pressure, and may rattle as air flows through it. Ideally, you should be aiming for 6” ducting that’s smooth and rigid. This will help to reduce rattle and extend the lifespan of the ducting.
You might also make a few changes to the way in which you use your cooker. Obviously, lower-intensity fan settings will produce less noise. For meals requiring a lot of extraction, you might therefore turn your fan on as early as possible in order to ensure that any smoke is dealt with efficiently. You might even avoid high-intensity cooking altogether. While a gently-simmering ragu might produce a waft of steam for hours on end, a sizzling steak will produce enormous amounts of smoke in just a few minutes. If you want to cook the latter properly, you’ll need more power to your fan – and that will inevitably mean more noise.
The amount of noise a cooker hood can produce can also depend on the size of the cooker hood. For instance, a 50cm cooker hood will recirculate a smaller volume of air when compared to a 120cm cooker hood that would usually be placed over larger stoves.
Where can I buy quieter cooker hoods?
We offer free delivery on our cooker hoods to the entire UK and provide an excellent product guarantee.