Kitchen hood filters: types and differences
Kitchen hood filters: types and differences article detail

Kitchen hood filters, how to make the right choice.

The kitchen hood is a must have for the livability of this room. Its main duty is to treat air, which is made possible by hood filters found in the extraction system.

Kitchen hood filters come in various materials and structures, meeting precise features and project specifications relating to the specific hood where they are installed. From this viewpoint, choosing the best kitchen hood filter may not be an easy task: different materials and features can be easily confusing. But don’t worry: just a few precautions and information about kitchen hood extraction systems will easily lead you to a functional and economic hood filter choice.  Below are the main features of kitchen hood filters, along with some useful advice in selecting the right technology for your needs. 

Kitchen hood filters: duct out or filtering hood?

The first step in selecting the best hood filter for your kitchen, is to find out what technology your kitchen hood uses. There are two air treatment hood system technologies, which give the name to the corresponding hood category:

  • Duct out hoods are equipped with classic extraction systems that have been used in our kitchens for years. The air over the hob is conveyed by an extractor fan into the extraction duct, that expels air outside the home and allows for constant air exchange inside the kitchen.
  • Filtering hoods are more modern extraction systems. The air extracted from the kitchen passes through special filter systems that allow for the removal of both greasy substances and organic molecules, which are the main causes of “bad odors” from cooking vapors.

Depending on your kitchen hood type, you will need different types of kitchen hood filters: 

  • For duct out hoods, a grease filter is necessary, that retains most fatty and greasy substances present in cooking vapors before they are released into the air. Hood lifespan also depends on the ability of the filters to hold most of these greasy substances.
  • For filtering hoods, in addition to grease filters , a secondary filtration barrier is needed in the recirculation system: activated charcoal filters, which remove standard unpleasant cooking odors. It is essential that the activated charcoal filter is properly maintained to guarantee a healthy kitchen space.

Kitchen hood filter technologies 

For both grease filters and activated charcoal filters, technologies are available in various structures and materials to be carefully evaluated according to personal, functional and financial need.

Grease filters: types and characteristics

Grease filters are by now a mature and well-established technology.  They have always been used in our kitchens, and our available technologies are the fruit of many years of experience. 

Acrylic filters are a not frequently used type of disposable grease filter, and for this reason they must be changed as soon as the system filtering capacity is at saturation.

Aluminum or stainless-steel filters are washable grease filters. They are made up of metallic grids, that capture fatty and greasy substances found in extracted air within their surface.  Aluminum or stainless-steel filters can be washed by hand with neutral detergents or in the dishwasher at a low temperature, without losing their filtering capacity.  Furthermore, stainless steel filters do not fade from washing, differently from aluminum ones.

Activated charcoal filters: which one should I choose?

Activated charcoal filters are special odor filters for filtering hoods. The special feature of activated charcoals, is that they retain the molecules responsible for bad odors found in cooking vapors. The most advanced technologies can reach filtering efficiency levels of up to 80%.

The simplest type of odor filter is the standard charcoal filter, that requires replacement once its first filtering cycle is completed (i.e. 3-6 months).

Long life and long life hp charcoal filters are highly efficient and can be regenerated up to 3 years, through regular washing (every 2-3 months).

Lastly, ceramic filters reach very high odor absorption efficiency levels and have high mechanical strength. Even this type of filter requires periodic maintenance (2-3 months) by heat regeneration.

So, which kitchen hood filter should I choose? Once you have understood their specific characteristics, all you need to do is select the technology that  can best meet your kitchen needs in both short and long term.