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A cooker hood, even though it may not seem so, is a very important household appliance. Someone choose it as a distinctive feature of their kitchen, while others hide the whole apparatus in the upper cabinet instead.

Cooker/fume hoods are used in the kitchens to exhaust fumes and odours caused by cooking. The types include the suspended hood, built-in hood, fireplace hood, chimney hood to the wall or chimney hood into the interior (i.e. islet hood). In this case, the term “chimney” does not mean that the hood must be connected to a chimney, but rather that looks like a chimney. The suspended (overhead) hood is mounted directly below the upper cabinet, the built-in (recessed) hood is built in the cabinet and the chimney hood is inserted between the upper cabinets.


Cooker hoods are manufactured in various colours, black and white are the most often, as well as of various materials, such as aluminium and stainless steel. At present, the hoods made of combination of stainless steel and glass are undoubtedly prevailing. It is also possible to have the whole hood, or its part, sprayed with paint from the RAL colour range. The width of the hood should correspond to the width of the cook top and it should not be narrower, but it is possible and appropriate that the hood is wider than the cook top. Most frequently, a hood 60 or 90 cm wide is used.

The most important parameter of a cooker hood is the suction power. This should correspond to ten times the volume of the room, but if you get a fume hood with a more significant reserve, it will sufficiently extract even at lower power levels and it will be quieter. The exhaust air should be conducted out of the room and of the building, so the hood can be connected to a chimney (be careful not to connect it to the chimney from a boiler or a fireplace!), or the exhaust can be diverted through the wall out. There is a wide range of special accessories on the market, that allow conducting fumes almost invisibly out to a flue outlet located a few meters away.


If there is not the option to divert the vapour out, it is also possible to put an activated carbon filter into the fume hood using recirculation. The filter must be replaced every 6 months. The re-circulating hood has a slightly lower output and increased noise. Each cooker hood is equipped with a grease filter, which is used to capture grease from the fumes. A metal filter that can be cleaned in a dishwasher is a better choice than a fabric filter that cannot be washed and must be replaced regularly. The built-in light is a matter of course.

When choosing a fume hood, it is good to get some advice from an expert. However, you have to pick up the design yourself according to your own taste. Fortunately, manufacturers keep this in mind and offer you various, often somewhat extravagant, design types.

We are not perfect and sometimes we are too busy, so we can forget one thing because of another one. These appliances can make your life easier in the kitchen at least, because they can think for you to some extent.


The Hobs

You can find a safety lock on gas hobs, as on the free standing ones and on the hobs incorporated into stoves. The safety lock closes the gas supply off if the flame goes out accidentally. In addition to it, most modern types have an automatic ignition in a button, so you do not need to handle matches or a lighter.

Some ceramic plates offer the function of protection against overflow, which turns the hob off automatically, when a liquid overflows from a pot and gets to the control panel. At the same time, the buzzer lets you know about an accident.

The “residual heat indicator” means another handy help, which informs you about higher temperatures of the cooking zone, when the hob is turned off. You can find it in induction hobs, too.

The induction hobs have many security features, e.g. they work only when they detect the presence of the correct container on the surface. Each zone is activated only if the container has adequate size and if it is magnetically conductive (so it does not start heating when you lay your glasses or a ladle on it by mistake). And finally, the hob is not so hot during cooking to burn you, if you touched it.


The Smart Ovens

From a number of cool things, we can mention the “cold door” function, when the door does not burn you, however clumsy you were (e.g. the temperature of the oven door, with the function of the dual air control, does not exceed 35 ° C).

The function of pyrolysis is also very helpful. It is an automatic cleaning, during which the door is blocked, so that it cannot be opened by mistake.

The telescopic rails are very practical, so you do not need to worry about a roasting pan accidentally slipping out on the floor, or even worse, on you.

And as to the timer, it controls the time needed to prepare a meal.


The Refrigerators and The Freezers

Does it ever happen to you, that you do not close the refrigerator door fully, or even completely? With the acoustic or light warning signal, you will be informed. The appliance will alert you in the same way, if the internal temperature increases, which may occur e.g. during a blackout. These are some of the clever features used in modern refrigerators and freezers.

You can hardly forget the ice build-ups inside it, but you can be too busy or the fridge may be full of food at the moment. This problem will disappear when you purchase an appliance with the “automatic defrost” function. Moreover, it will save your money, as the system prevents energy losses that occur because of the ice build-up.


The Dishwashers Can To The Job For You

Are you afraid to turn the dishwasher on and walk away, because something might happen with it? The dishwashers are, however, equipped with a safety system, which can interrupt the water supply form the mains in case of overfilling with water. Furthermore, there is one more security element: a filling hose with double coating, which cannot crack due to the wear or because of excessive pressure.


The Child Lock

The “child lock” can block the appliance so that no one can turn it on by mistake, or it changes the settings during use; this function is used in hobs, ovens, microwaves and dishwashers. Certain appliances, such as dishwashers, offer a “double child lock”, which does not allow opening the door, as well.


Small Household Appliances

Many small appliances are also equipped with the functions that think for you to some extent. For example, toasters with quartz glass and a temperature sensor regulate the time of toasting, so you do not burn the toast. Electric kettles can have the function of maintaining the water temperature for up to 30 minutes. So when you forget the kettle during the morning rush for a few minutes, you do not have to reheat it.

Nowadays, household appliances are so effective that it is not difficult to choose one. But how about in case, you need to pay attention to every inch of space in your home? Can you find a quality appliance then?

The answer is – yes, you can. However, the offer of Slim (narrow) appliances is not so wide.



The Options You Can Choose From

The washing machines and the dishwashers are the most common Slim appliances. Broader talking, there are also other kinds of space-efficient appliances that are commonly referred to as “compact appliances”. These include microwave ovens, steam ovens or conventional hot air ovens, as well as two plate cooking hobs, or even Slim coffee machines (espressos). There are also certain types of refrigerators and vacuum cleaners that occupy less space. On the contrary, you cannot find a tumble drier in the category of Slim appliances, and the offer on the washer-dryers combos is limited, as well.


How About Washing Machines

“The Slim washing machines with the front filling have a depth of 33-47 cm, while the standard depth is 50 cm and more. As to their functions and programs, they offer the same user experience as the standard washing machines,” a salesperson says.

“However, you need to expect a more limited capacity, which varies from 4 to 8 kg of laundry, while the standard large appliance can hold up to 11 kg. The only drawback is that a Slim washing machine cannot be stacked with a dryer. A tumble drier is larger and needs to be placed on an appliance with the minimal depth of 50 cm.”


The Top Filling

Another way of saving space is offered by the top filled washing machines, which are 60 cm deep and only 40 cm wide. The Slim appliances are designed especially for apartments, where is not enough space for a standard sized appliance there.

This holds for the refrigerators, too, with a “Slim” width of 50 cm and a standard width of 60 cm and more. Their main, but only advantage is saving the space.


washing machines

The Dishwashers

The narrow dishwashers are 45 cm wide and can hold 9-10 cookware sets, while the standard dishwashers (60 cm wide) can accommodate up to 15 sets. There is a smaller capacity, too, but the narrow dishwasher is functionally comparable to the standard one. And how about the situation, you do not have even the spare 45 cm in your kitchen? On the market, the table dishwashers are also available, and because of their small dimensions, they are reminiscent of a bigger freestanding microwave oven. Anyway, they are sufficient for smaller households, as they can hold about 6 sets of dishes.



The Built-In Appliances Are Also Available

However, you can find this design only on dishwashers. There are refrigerators available with the height of only 85 cm which correspond to the height of a worktop, but they are wider and the foods are kept in the drawers inside.

And how about other appliances? You can purchase them in a compact size, e.g. a two plate cooking hob with the dimensions of about 30 x 51 cm, as well as compact built-in ovens, microwave ovens, wine coolers or coffee machines, all with the height of 45 cm. And if it seems too much to you, you can look for the real “thin” freestanding versions.


Do Not Seek What Does Not Exist

We have already explained that you cannot find any significant functional difference between the traditional large and the Slim space-saving appliance. But how about the power and the water consumption, are they the same? Or can the Slim appliances be noisier or maybe harder to maintain? The experts assert, that there are no other pitfalls, expect for the smaller capacity mentioned above.

And small things are beautiful, aren´t they?