A busy kitchen can be a noisy place at the best of times, but you may have noticed that it is especially raucous when your extractor hood appears to be contributing to the problem. Why is this particular component noisy, and could this indicate a bigger underlying problem?

In order to rid the preparation area of steam and unwanted smells, a cooker hood is typically designed to run at a variety of different speeds. By its very nature, it will make a certain amount of noise when it is in operation, but this should be reasonable and should certainly not cause you any consternation. If there is an unusual level of noise, you may want to check for the following possibilities.

Valve Problems

You may be able to fix the issue quite quickly by looking at the flap on the end of the exit duct. This is basically a nonreturn valve and is supposed to prevent any fumes or dirty air from falling back into the kitchen. You will need to trace the ducting to the point where it reaches the outdoor air and then take a look at the valve. If it is not seated properly or is covered by grease or other debris, you will need to clean it so that it works correctly. Once you've done that, you may notice that the excess noise has disappeared.

Fan Issues

Otherwise, the issue could be traced to either the electric motor or the fan. The fan itself will be bolted in place, but it may have worked loose over time. If this happens, the fan will vibrate uncontrollably, and this will surely make a lot of noise.

Electric Motor

On the other hand, the electric motor may be playing up or could have become dislodged. Once again, this could lead to excess vibration if the issue affects the casing. However, you may find that the fan motor is the culprit and that the noise is the result of overly worn bearings. Sometimes, household grease can build up and clog the valves, sensors or relays, and if this is the case, the entire motor may need to be replaced.

It may be difficult to access either the fan or the motor unless you have the correct tools and a certain amount of manual dexterity. You may feel that your time is better spent preparing the food and cooking the family meal, so you should call in an electrician skilled in appliance repairs to help you restore normality to your kitchen.