What Is the Difference Between a Cooker Hood and an Extractor Fan?

What Is the Difference Between a Cooker Hood and an Extractor Fan?

What Is the Difference Between a Cooker Hood and an Extractor Fan?

Cooker hoods and extractor fans have similar uses, so naturally, some people would be confused as to what actually makes them different. This can lead to further questions such as ‘is it necessary to have both of them?’ and more.

With that in mind, In this blog, we will address the question ‘What is the difference between a cooker hood and extractor fan?’

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 applications such as extractor fans and 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.

The benefits of a cooker hood

The benefits of a cooker hood

To understand the differences between a cooker hood and an extractor fan, we must firstly understand the functions and benefits of a cooker hood. They are…

Cooker hood functions

  • The removal of smoke, steam and smells:

Cooking over a cooker requires the use of heat. As a result of the heat, you can expect smoke, steam and smells to rise. A cooker hood captures and extracts these, preventing them from lingering in your kitchen and home.

  • Reduce grease residue:

When you cook, you can sometimes find grease on your pan, but did you know that grease can travel within air particles? Of course, they will be too small to see, but if left unattended, over time the grease will coat surfaces. Using a cooker hood will extract this immediately. 

  • Maintain air quality:

Cooking fumes, and pollutants such as smoke, can reduce air quality if it is not extracted. By using a cooker hood, it naturally helps the air quality in the kitchen from becoming worse.

  • Reduction of condensation:

Condensation can occur in a kitchen when cooking as a result of the heat and steam that comes from cooking. By using a cooker hood, it is being extracted instantly, without roaming the room and finding a cold surface to settle on.

Cooker hood benefits

  • Comfort in the kitchen:

By using a cooker hood, you have air that is fresh and breathable. 

  • Less cleaning time:

As a result of using a cooker hood, there is little to no grease on surfaces that would have otherwise settled elsewhere, this dramatically reduced cleaning times.

  • Protection against grease:

The airborne grease that is accumulated by cooking, if left unattended, has the potential to damage your appliances, and latch on to your furniture. This would likely require a deep clean to fix, depending on the amount, and surface it settled on.

  • Increased house value:

This benefit can change depending on the home and cooker hood, but a well-maintained cooker hood has the potential to help maintain or increase the overall value of your home if you are looking to sell it.

Extractor fans explained

Extractor fans serve a particular purpose. Extractor fans operate in order to remove stale air (and sometimes replace it with fresh air). It also removes smells and crucially helps to remove humidity which can eventually become condensation, and then mould.

Mould is a critical issue that must be avoided in any dwelling, if left unattended, it can spread quickly, and has the potential to cause severe health implications and allergic reactions.

Mould removal options

So what are your options? You will be happy to know there is more than one way to remove mould. Here are a few that we will list for you.

  • Contact local mould removers, they will not only assess the cause but treat it too, however, this may cost more.
  • Contact your landlord. If the landlord has highlighted issues like these as their responsibility in your tenancy agreement, then you can legally ask them to take care of it.
  • Enquire about the ventilation, how old is it? Is it working efficiently?

What is the difference between a cooker hood and an extractor fan?

What is the difference between a cooker hood and an extractor fan?

Although they may have similar functions, there are large differences between cooker hoods and extractor fans. Below, we will list the key differences between the two.


The placement of a cooker hood is only located in one room of a house or building, this is in the kitchen area, and is always above the cooker itself. On the other hand, extractor fans can be located in more than one room in a building or house, which is generally in both a bathroom and kitchen.


The function of a cooker hood is to remove steam, smells and smoke that directly comes from using a cooker. Extractor fans remove steam humidity and smells that can occur in a room’s atmosphere.


Cooker hoods are always larger than extractor fans (unless it is an industrial unit). This is due to the amount of steam etc that comes from a cooker while you are cooking. If the unit was smaller, it would struggle to extract directly from the cooker effectively.

Cooker hoods can come in various sizes depending on the cooker it will be complimenting. However, they are almost always larger than an extractor fan.


In terms of extraction power, cooker hoods are much stronger than extractor fans, this allows for direct extraction from the cooker. Although extractor fans are smaller, they are still effective and energy efficient. They are made to remove a certain amount of humidity in the atmosphere, as a result, they can run for longer and not use as much power as a cooker hood.

Is it better to have a cooker hood and an extractor fan in my kitchen?

Yes. It is much better to have a cooker hood in addition to an extractor fan in your kitchen. There may be days when you don’t use your cooker, but humidity still occurs. Most modern extractor fans work automatically, allowing for them to remove the humidity as soon as it is sensed.

If you only had a cooker hood in your kitchen, you would need a separate device to measure humidity, and use the extractor fan, or open windows until the humidity level has decreased. This can be cumbersome, and using a cooker hood more than required can result in heftier energy bills.

By the same token, if you never use a cooker hood, and only use your extractor fan or open windows, you can expect humidity to form in one or more areas in your kitchen.

Purchase a kitchen extractor fan today

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.

Within this blog, we hope to have answered the question ‘What is the difference between a cooker hood and an extractor fan?’

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:

Call us on 020 8463 9696

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Sidcup, Kent

DA14 6ES

United Kingdom

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