On the quiet: Kitchen extraction that doesn’t disturb daily life

KitchensFeatures Tue 17th Jan 2023 by Lisa Hibberd

On the quiet: Kitchen extraction that doesn’t disturb daily life

On the quiet: Kitchen extraction that doesn’t disturb daily life

Feature by Lisa Hibberd | Tue 17th Jan 2023

Lisa has a background in working on consumer titles, and as the former associate editor of Your Home magazine, over 15 years' experience writing about kitchens and bathrooms. She now works as a freelance, contributing to both consumer and B2B platforms. More

The noise level of an extractor is a key consideration for many, especially those with open-plan spaces. Lisa Hibberd explores the technology behind some of the latest models with maximum noise levels of around 60dB – equivalent to the sound of normal conversation.

“Over the last 20 years, the importance of effective extraction for daily life in the kitchen has been gaining traction, especially in the area of noise levels,” reports Sean Drumm, UK MD of Falmec. “In real terms, poor extraction is the foremost offender for sound levels in the kitchen after a cheap kettle – and we all know what a noisy kettle sounds like! Many premium brands have therefore seen the necessity to introduce more Quiet System products into their portfolios, such as the Falmec NRS Noise Reduction System. We are now generally living, eating, gathering and entertaining in the one main all-purpose room. That means when all the appliances are working, the decibel levels really begin to rise. If you’re entertaining, you want to be able to talk to your guests in a quiet, convivial atmosphere. That’s why all manufacturers are determined to get noise levels down. For Falmec, this has been a priority for the past 25 years."

Falmec’s new Lumen Isola island hood features its unique NRS that reduces noise to an almost imperceptible level. It boasts an extremely low decibel rating of just 37dB on minimal speed and only 45dB at its highest level, making it the ideal choice for multi-purpose kitchens where keeping noise down is a primary factor for consumers

He continues: "To best illustrate this to customers, we advise our retailers to put a working model on display and let people actually hear the difference in the showroom. At Falmec, we have had tangible success with retailers who upgrade the extraction in their showroom to one of the quietest models, such as the new Lumen Island 175 NRS, attached. With a quick demonstration, the consumer can experience the difference between a standard hood and a quiet one at first hand in order to make a considered choice on the spot. There’s no sales talk involved because the noise levels will speak for themselves!”

The EVS90BL from CDA is a beautifully designed 90cm ceiling extractor with star effect. it features an external motor which helps to reduce noise level, resulting in decibels ratings from 53 to 63dB. Along with its ultra-modern design it also offers a timer function, two speeds, two intensive modes and 20 micro LED lights which are all controlled by remote

With 58 Quiet Mark-certified cooker hoods, Belgian extraction and induction specialist Novy’s silent efficiency is renowned. In Episode 21 of The Quiet Mark Podcast, Henk Huisseune, innovation director was asked whether it was possible to create extractor fans that were both powerful and quiet. “Yes! In fact our target, at Novy, is to make goods which are as quiet as human conversation at 60dB or lower. The first thing that you want in a cooker hood is for the extraction efficiency to be high enough to do the job well. From there we start trying to make it as silent as possible, without compromising on the extraction efficiency, usually starting with the aerodynamics of the hood, using proper insulation materials and selecting a stable and silent blower, which is the core of the hood. Taking all these things into account, with the technical choices we make and the design optimisations that we do, we can make hoods which are as quiet as possible.”

The Novy Panorama PRO 90 features a 90cm induction hob with a downdraft extractor that rises up to 30cm from within the hob’s surface to extract cooking vapours at source, directly behind the pans. Positioning the cooking zones side-by-side directly in front of the integrated extractor ensures that aerodynamic flow is continually optimised, resulting in a positive effect on the Panorama’s noise levels. In vented mode, the minimum noise level is 37dB, and a maximum continuous noise level of 57dB  (Photo: Searle & Taylor Kitchens/Paul Craig)

Quiet Mark, the independent global certification programme associated with The Noise Abatement society, tests not only decibels, but also tonalities and sound frequencies, and certifies only the quietest and most pleasant sounding 10% to 20% of products, in any category, on the market. They have certified a selection of cooker hoods and extractor hobs from leading manufacturers including Belling, Miele and Novy.

Owain Harrison, country manager for Novy, adds: “The ongoing trend for open-plan kitchens and diners has meant that there has long been a need for quieter appliances, particularly cooker hoods and downdraft extractors for shared-use spaces. Combining this with the trend for hybrid working since the pandemic, means that many more consumers are choosing to work flexibly between the office and their own dwellings. Whether cooking, entertaining or working from home, they do not want to be living in a noisy environment. In 1973, Novy patented perimeter extraction, a game-changing technological advancement that is now industry-wide, where air is withdrawn through a vent around the edge of the hood’s base. The airflow accelerates when entering the constricted space and then slows down when inside the hood. The result is that extraction is more effective, and most of all, much quieter. Most hoods and ceiling hoods in Novy’s product portfolio feature perimeter extraction to this day.”

Even when working at high power levels, the BORA Pure cooktop and extraction system is extremely quiet, operating at a maximum of 54 decibels. This is thanks to an optimised, patented airflow through the appliance and the use of a silent, modern fan. In recirculation mode, the power level automatically adjusts according to cooking conditions, always operating at minimum volume to prevent noise pollution

“Noise is without doubt a practical concern in open-plan kitchen living spaces, as there is no opportunity to physically separate the cooking and living areas and therefore form a sound barrier,” says Willi Bruckbauer, founder of BORA. A downward extractor is likely to be significantly quieter than a head-height model, while being extremely effective at removing cooking odours at their source. In fact, a BORA appliance will only make around the same level of noise that a steak makes when cooking, so it won’t disturb any other activities taking place in the room.”

Smeg's HOBD472D 70Cm Venting Induction Hob is composed of a single piece of premium glass. Protected by an elegant cast iron grill, its extraction system allows the entire surface to appear completely seamless – where pans can be moved freely between positions. It boasts effective performance and low energy consumption rated efficient A++, combined with noise levels from 49dB

Smeg’s KLTI12L4X 120cm T Shape Island Hood is constructed from brushed steel and glass can be ducted externally or recirculated, offering flexibility for installers. A-rated for energy efficiency, it can be as quiet at 43 dBA and at its maximum extraction with the boost function, offers an extraction rate of 739 m3/h, making it a powerful choice

“Consumers are more aware than ever that noisy environments can lead to increased stress, poor concentration and irritability,” suggests Jo Sargent, sales and marketing director at Franke UK. “They want to find ways to improve their emotional wellbeing and recognise that quieter appliances, including cooker hoods, can help create a more peaceful home environment conducive to working, socialising and relaxing without noisy distractions. This is why decibel ratings and noise reducing technology is increasingly important when it comes to consumer purchasing decisions. When it comes to cooker hoods, limiting the noise they produce is important, but equally it’s about improving the sound they produce so that it’s more pleasant and easy to live with. Recognising this, we’ve redesigned the shape of the blower in our cooker hoods to ensure less internal turbulences and vortices in the internal air flow. This improves sound quality by limiting the noise threshold of the hood by up to -6db and optimising the sound produced by reducing the disturbance caused by high frequencies. The Sound Pro Blowers now feature across the majority of our hoods including the Avant Silence wall and ceiling hoods.”

Franke’s T-shaped Avant Silence Wall and Avant Silence Island cooker hoods combine high performance and timeless design with a more peaceful cooking experience. They feature Franke’s innovative new Sound Pro Blowers which offer noise reduction of up to -6db and a more pleasant operating sound. Made from stainless steel and black glass, the hoods measure 90cm wide, offer three operating speeds plus an intensive setting with a quiet 68db sound level and an extraction rate of 750 m3/h in intensive mode

Miele’s KMDA 7476 FL Induction Hob with Integrated Extractor is ideal for clients who do not want to compromise on aesthetic or functionality. The centered flush fit downdraft extractor is framed by two XL PowerFlex Zones, ideal for cooking using larger pans. Miele’s exclusive Conn@ctivity technology allows users to fully concentrate on cooking, as the wireless hob to hood communication automatically adjusts the extraction power of the hood, helping to preserve energy. The ECO motor is powerful yet extremely quiet, ranging from 45dBA, to 73dBA in Boost mode

Designed for busy homes, the integrated ventilation on Fisher & Paykel’s CID834RDTB4 induction hob works effectively and unobtrusively in the background, featuring nine fan speeds, plus a boost function, for quickly removing odours and steam. Offering true freedom for kitchen designers, this hob can be placed anywhere – eliminating the need for bulky overhead ventilation and helping to create a seamless flow between kitchen and living spaces. Its noise level ranges from 38dBA to a maximum of 70dBA

Tags: kitchens, features, extraction, cooker hoods, noise levels

In other news