ARTICLE Gareth Poley
My downstairs living space is completely open plan with the kitchen smack in the middle allowing me to socialise with family and guests while cooking whether they’re sitting at the kitchen island, in the dining room or even in the living room. My kitchen is as much about socialising and entertaining as it is about cooking.
But until recently, there was something that was getting in the way - my previous rangehood, which like most rangehoods on the market, just wasn't conducive to this kind of lifestyle. The moment they’re turned on, conversations or background music is drowned out.
Enter Schweigen’s range of silent range hoods – New Zealand’s quietest, strongest and most energy efficient rangehoods on the market.
What a difference it has made to entertaining and general enjoyment of the kitchen having this new rangehood installed. Here are a few of my favourite features the Schweigen rangehoods offer.
Silence is golden
This is a key feature that the Schweigen line-up of rangehoods offers. By installing the motor approximately three or four metres away from the kitchen on the outside of your house rather than inside the kitchen like traditional rangehoods, you can achieve silent extraction in your home too.
When used on lower speeds, our new rangehood cannot be heard over the ambient noise inside our house.
When we crank it up, some wind noise can be heard but nothing compared to the motor and fan noise that you would be used to hearing when using a standard rangehood.
Under mounted silent rangehood
Restaurant quality extraction
Because the motor is installed on the outside of the house, rather than on the inside of the house, it is working to suck the air out rather than push it up and out against gravity like other rangehoods on the market do. This allows the rangehood to use less power but still remove more cooking steam, smoke and cooking smells than what you would be used too.
Our new rangehood is so effective, maybe too effective as I am no longer woken up to the smell of bacon luring me out of bed and down to the breakfast table in the morning.
I must admit, I was a little apprehensive about the installation as a few things crossed my mind – will it cost more to install than standard rangehoods, will the warranty be valid if I install it myself and how would I power the motor if it is outside the house, would I need to hire an electrician to install a plug point outside?
The great news is that the Schweigen rangehoods are just as straight forward to install as a standard rangehood and should not cost any more to install.
Although Schweigen recommend that you use one of their recommended installers listed on their website and that you first check with your local Council for building regulations - you are still covered by the warranty if you choose to install it yourself.
I chose to trust it to the professionals to install it and they managed to remove the old, and install the new in a little under four hours.
There is also no need to get an additional power outlet installed for the external motor as the motor connects to the rangehood which is plugged in inside the house. Schweigen really have thought of everything.
Ceiling mounted silent rangehood
The Isodrive motor
Schweigen’s silent rangehood's secret weapon is the isodrive motor - a German fan and motor assembly.
They realised that it doesn’t make sense to install the noise maker right next to your ear so instead developed the isodrive system taking the fan and motor out of the rangehood and installing them as far away as possible.
The S-bend and fire-rated flexi bend used in installation also help to reduce noise in the kitchen.
The isodrive motor housing has an anti-water intrusion system to enable it to be fixed to the roof, under the eaves or to an external wall depending on what suits your situation best.
For even stronger extraction, you can double up and connect two isodrive motors to your rangehood using a double adaptor if you are planning on doing a lot of cooking at home.
Dishwasher safe filters
Instead of using the standard HEPA filters which are almost impossible to keep clean, Schweigen has fitted their silent rangehoods with stainless steel dishwasher safe filters which come with a lifetime warranty making cleaning a breeze!
The isodrive motor is installed on the outside of the house to silence the rangehood on the inside of the house.
Sleek European Design
A rangehood is actually quite a feature in your kitchen, eye level and often in the centre – if you have invested in a great looking kitchen, you are probably going to want your rangehood to look the part too.
We selected the wall mounted DS31709S for our kitchen (shown above) for it’s bold, clean and minimalist design as it suits our kitchen best, but they have a wide range of European inspired designed rangehoods that will look great in your kitchen too.
As mentioned earlier, the isodrive motor pulls the air rather than pushing it out against gravity which has an added benefit - there is much less resistance to the airflow which means that the Schweigen range uses less power than standard rangehoods.
The isodrive 650 system runs on just 62 watts! Numbers only make sense to most when there is a point of comparison – traditional systems use approximately 190 watts or more to develop enough suction making Schweigen's rangehoods approximately three times more energy efficient.
You can take it a step further and get the optional LED lighting which uses 1.8 watts instead of the 25 + watts that halogen lights use. The LED lights also generate very little heat.
Installing a back draught stopper will help to prevent outside air from entering the motor when not in use. This will help reduce energy costs by not allowing the warm air from inside the house to escape in winter nor the cool air in summer. The stoppers come standard on some models only, so best to check when purchasing if you need to order it as an optional accessory.
Because the motor is separated from the rangehood, this also provides you with further options when choosing your motor - there are five to choose from starting from 650m3/hr of airflow right up to 3200m3/hr of airflow.
10 year warranty
If all these features weren’t enough, Schweigen also offer a 10 year warranty on the German-made motor to give you peace of mind about your investment.