How to select a Kitchen Fan

Firstly, you need to measure the size of your domestic kitchen. To use our fan selection tool (located in the search area to the right) the measurements need to be in metres.


Kitchen only: If your kitchen is housed in a single room, the formula to select your domestic kitchen fan is as set out below.

Kitchen with dining area: If you have a dining area as part of the kitchen, you should only measure what you would consider the cooking area of the kitchen, and not include the dining part of the kitchen.

Open plan kitchen and dining area: If you have an open plan kitchen and dining room, you should only factor in what you would consider the kitchen area.


Let’s say the length of your kitchen is 5 metres, the width is 4 metres, and the height is 2.8 metres. That would be: 5 x 4 x 2.8 = 56 m³ (the volume).


For a kitchen we recommend 20 air changes an hour, or a minimum of 216 m³ an hour (or 60 litres a second). In this example the amount of air that should be extracted from the kitchen is:

  • 56 m³ (the area of the Kitchen)
  • x 20 air changes an hour
  • = 1120 m³/​hr

This is above the minimum we recommend of 216 m³/​hr.
So in this example the fan required for a kitchen 5 metres x 4 metres x 2.8 metres is:

  • 1120 m³/​hr or 311 litres a second

Most domestic fan manufacturers publish the fan performance in m3/​hr or litres per second (l/​s).

If you use our fan selection tool a list of fans suitable for your kitchen will be displayed. The only thing left to consider are:

  • Price
  • Design
  • Noise
  • Extra functions e.g. Back Draught Shutters, Run On Timer, Humidity Sensor, Passive Infra-red (PIR) Sensor

Important Note — Building regulations state in a room with no openable window, an intermittent extract fan should be used with a run on facility set to a minimum of 15 minutes.”

We assume this is what the majority of people usually consider – with price being the biggest driver. With that in mind, we would recommend you should consider the following:

  • Price – Remember most of the time you get what you pay for.
  • Design – You will always find a fan to suit your design requirements – remember that, the chances are, you’ll have to look at this fan for years to come.
  • Noise – Most domestic kitchen fans are noisy, this is due to the amount of air they have to move. If you use a multi speed fan the noise level should be acceptable to have a conversation without having to raise your voice on the lower speed. We would recommend a fan with a noise level no higher (at maximum speed) than 60dB(A) at 1.5 metres from the listener to maintain comfort.
  • Environment – Legislation requirements for fans (such as Part F and Part L) now mean domestic kitchen fans are available to suit every environmental need. These include Low carbon and Low voltage as the major options. In the short term, the greener you want to be, the more you pay. But in the long term the overall cost to you and the planet should be lower.
  • Extra functions – We would suggest this should be your last consideration, and would recommend the minimum you should have is a back draught shutter, the rest is to personal taste. If asked, we would suggest a separate on / off switch, and either a multi speed or speed controllable fan. Finally we would always sugest the fan is always vented to outside.
  • Note on Extra Functions – If you think yes!!” I want my Kitchen extractor fan to have extra functions, we suggest where possible these are bought as separate items. For example if you want a fan with a humidistat, buy the fan and humidistat as two separate items, the reason? Buying the fan with a built in humidistat will cost a lot more than without, and if the fan or the humidistat becomes faulty (nothing last forever) you’ll need to spend a more money to replace it. If you buy them as separate items, when one becomes faulty you only need to replace that part, thus saving money. 

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