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Up or Down: Which Kitchen Hood Is Best For Your Home?

Most experienced home chefs will tell you that the stove is the most important fixture in a kitchen, but don't forget their humble cousins too.

Designed to clean up your kitchen as you cook, hoods are are essential for preventing airborne grease and food odours from polluting the rest of your home. Here is what you need to know about these hardworking devices and how they prevent your home from devolving into a greasy mess after the big cookout.

Updraft Hoods

Mounted above a kitchen’s cooking surface, updraft hoods make use of an built-in blower to draw any emissions upwards (hence their moniker). This design is what makes updraft hoods the most popular option in Singapore homes by far.

Laying out and installing the ventilation ducts of updraft hoods is easier as they can either be run into or across a wall, rather than through the ground and to the outside (as is the case with downdraft hoods).

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Interior Designer: Form & Space

Depending on their design, suction power and where they are installed, updraft hoods can be categorised into 3 sub-groups, namely:

1. Chimney

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Interior Designer: AgcDesign

Flushed against an adjacent wall and attached right above the hob, chimney hoods are the traditional, bulky models that you will find in most HDB homes. Capable of handling heavy fumes, these hoods are also the ones that you will want for your kitchen, especially if you have a large family or cook frequently.

The only downside? Forget about installing any cabinets above your range because the space will be taken up by your chimney hood.

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You are looking for a hood that offers maximum ventilation for your kitchen in exchange for some storage space.

2. Slimline

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Interior Designer: I-Bridge Design

Quite literally a thin line that cuts across the horizontal profile of your kitchen cabinetry, slimline hoods are much thinner than their chimney cousins and that means they are great for minimalist kitchens.

Once you are done preparing your culinary masterpiece, these seamless fixtures can also be slotted into a recess for efficient storage.

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Interior Designer: Butler Interior

That said, there IS a trade-off for the amount of space saved. Due to their compact size, slimline hoods tend to have less powerful blowers and weaker suction ability. Choose this option if you don’t cook frequently.

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You are looking for an affordable, yet efficient option that won't take up much space.

3. Island

While it may seem like there is not much distinction to be made between island hoods and their chimney cousins, the difference in mounting position matters.

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Interior Designer: Summerhaus Dzign

Installed anywhere else other than a spacious kitchen, island hoods will end up as awkward protrusions due to the amount of space they take up. Plus, if there are multiple hobs installed on your island, you will need a larger, more powerful hood to cope with the additional surface area and emissions.

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You have the space and need a hood with a higher extraction rate.

Downdraft Hoods

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Image Credit: Bosch

Remember what we mentioned about downdraft hoods being more difficult to install because of the duct work involved? If your kitchen is compact, going ahead with the challenge might be worth your while because you will find them a more suitable option in a small space.

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Interior Designer: Interior Woorkshop

Because of how they work by collecting emissions through a horizontal blower, downdraft hoods are mounted on the same level as a cooking surface, rather than above it. This design also enables downdraft hoods to be stored in a cooktop recess, only 'popping up' when they are needed.

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You need space for overhead fixtures (e.g. storage cabinets, lights), or if you simply wish to have a minimalist solution for your kitchen.

Wrapping Things Up…

For a kitchen fixture that is so commonly seen, choosing the right cooking hood can be a deceptively hard decision. Here’s exactly what you need to consider, summarised in a simple infographic:

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