Is It a Legal Requirement to Have an Extractor Fan in Kitchen UK?
Extractor fans are an extremely helpful tool in combating everyday humidity that can accumulate into condensation in your kitchen. But do you actually have to have one in your kitchen?
In this blog, we will answer the question ‘Is it a legal requirement to have an extractor fan in the kitchen in the UK?’
With new buildings being made to be as energy efficient as possible, and the UK aiming for 95% of its electricity usage to be low carbon by 2030, it is imperative to understand how we can make the most of our ventilation. This is where heat recovery ventilation units come in.
To prevent mould, fresh air should constantly be introduced into your dwelling daily, as it helps to regulate temperature and reduce condensation. Introducing fresh air can be as simple as having a ventilation routine, or installing extractors or MVHR units. Almost all of this is facilitated by ducting.
What is an extractor fan?
An extractor fan is a ventilation device that is used to remove humidity, smells and stale air from the room it is placed in. This is done to maintain a comfortable environment, as well as mitigate condensation that is caused by humidity, which if left unattended, can become mould.
Mould and its dangers
Mould will affect your health, especially if you have underlying health conditions, a mould allergy, or a weak immune system. There are many ways mould can impact your health. Common symptoms include…
- A rash.
- A cough/sneezing.
- Red, sometimes swollen skin.
- Watery eyes.
- A runny nose.
- A sore throat.
Less common symptoms can include…
- Hair loss.
- Frequent bouts of illness.
- Breathing issues/ increase in asthma issues if you already had asthma.
- Bowel issues.
- Stomach aches.
Understandably, these symptoms can coincide with a multitude of other health issues. If you have visited a doctor frequently for these symptoms with no resolution, but you also have mould in your home, it could be worth removing the mould.
Why do kitchens need an extractor fan?
Kitchens need extractor fans as they are one of the main rooms in which steam, humidity, and smells are generated, the other room being a bathroom. An open window allows air to escape, but it doesn’t extract the air, this is where the extractor fan comes in handy.
That being said, kitchens can also have another type of extractor fan in the room, which is sometimes known as a cooker hood. This is a larger and powerful extractor fan designed specifically to intake any smoke, smells, or steam from the cooker whilst it is in use.
Due to the size and power of a cooker hood, they can be more expensive than an extractor fan, but we would recommend having both in your kitchen for maximum cover, especially if you have an open-plan kitchen.
Open-plan kitchens, due to the larger space, can allow humid air to travel to other sectors of the room, having a window open, and the extractor fan on, can mitigate the humidity travelling and possibly becoming condensation.
Is it a legal requirement to have an extractor fan in kitchen UK?
If your kitchen was made before 2006, you are under no legal obligation to have ventilation in your kitchen, though we would strongly recommend it. If you neglect to do this, your kitchen can easily develop mould over time.
When it comes to ventilation in your kitchen, the options you have are either a kitchen extractor fan, which is generally placed against a wall in the kitchen that leads to the outside. The second option is a cooker hood, which is typically located above the cooker in the kitchen.
The difference between the two is strength and size. A cooker hood is better at extracting, though this comes at the expense of noise, and a higher usage of electricity. A cooker hood is mostly meant to be used whilst cooking to remove smoke, steam and smells that can affect the rest of the home.
The strength of a kitchen extractor fan is much weaker than a cooker hood, though it is much quieter. And depending on the model you purchase, it can activate once it recognises excess levels of humidity in the air, which is a surprisingly common occurrence in a kitchen.
Where can I get a kitchen extractor fan?
Reputable providers such as I-Sells have a wide variety of kitchen extractor fans available for you to purchase today. With brands such as Kair and Nuaire, and much more. Our range starts from the affordable, to premium smart extractor fans. View our range here.
Does a window count as ventilation?
Yes a window is a form of ventilation, however in the context of the aforementioned building regulation, a window is not a form of mechanical ventilation. This is why it is not counted as an option to have in your kitchen.
Opening a window, in conjunction with using your extractor fan or cooker hood, can speed up the process of ventilation in your kitchen, meaning you will end up using less electricity in the long term.
Mould in kitchens
As we mentioned, not having ventilation in your kitchen is a guaranteed way to have mould growing within it. Even though mould should not be in any area of your house, having it in your kitchen is extremely dangerous.
This is because if mould gets into areas where food is stored or prepared, or even in its vicinity, you could end up eating food with mould molecules all over it. This can cause mould sickness, amongst a host of other issues.
How else can mould form in a kitchen?
There are other ways that mould is likely to form in a kitchen, not including condensation that arises from humidity, you are left with these scenarios…
- An appliance, or its contents, is leaking without being addressed.
- There is a pipe behind the kitchen wall that is leaking and has spread through the wall.
- There is an unsealed crack or hole in the kitchen coming from outside.
- Never wiping down wet surfaces.
How to remove mould in a kitchen
We must clarify that ventilation prevents mould, it does not destroy it.
If you want to get rid of mould permanently, you should use a mould surface cleaner, followed by an anti-mould paint. Anti-mould paint has fungicidal properties that prevent mould from growing on that surface for years.
Purchase a kitchen extractor fan today
At I-Sells, all things ventilation and ducting related is our speciality, we are here to answer the questions we know are common for those new to HVAC and what it encompasses.
We at I-Sells endeavour to ensure our customers have all the information they require before investing in our mould solutions. Be sure to visit our blog page to learn about the vast array of factors and issues surrounding ventilation, mould, condensation, and much more.
We hope to have answered the question ‘Is it a legal requirement to have an extractor fan in the kitchen in the UK?’
We understand you may have more questions, do not hesitate to contact us for more information about whatever you need our help with. If you’d like to email us, click here. For other contact options, see below:
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