What Is A Long Life Charcoal Cooker Hood Filter?

If you’ve been looking around and researching cooker hoods for your next kitchen renovation project you’ve likely come across recirculating cooker hoods and charcoal/carbon filters. But have you come across a ‘long life’ charcoal filter? What’s that all about?

In this post, I’ll explain what a long-life charcoal filter is, the difference between one and a standard charcoal filter as well as answer some popular questions about the topic.

Let’s get into it!

What Is A Long Life Charcoal Filter? (For A Cooker Hood)

A long life charcoal filter (sometimes called a regenerable filter) operates the same way a standard charcoal filter does. They are used in cooker hoods that are installed and set up in a recirculating function. However, they have a longer lifespan than a standard charcoal filter as they can be reused.

Charcoal filters absorb the smells and odour particles generated from cooking and helps to filter the air before it is then recirculated back into the kitchen.

Although not as common as a standard charcoal filter, long life filters are beginning to become more popular and are often found in higher-spec cooker hoods.

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What is the difference between a long life charcoal filter and a standard charcoal filter?

A standard charcoal/carbon filter should be replaced approximately every 3-9 months depending on the amount and style of cooking you do.

  • The saturation of the charcoal filter will depend on the amount and type of cooking. As well as how regularly you clean the grease filters. If you do a lot of greasy cooking they will likely become fully saturated after 3 months. On the other hand, if you don’t cook much, they could last 9 months or longer.

  • Standard charcoal filters can’t be washed or regenerated. They must be replaced each time.
    After the filter has become fully saturated and is no longer absorbing any odour particles it will need to be completely replaced. Unfortunately, you can’t reuse them.

A long-life carbon filter has a longer lifespan than its standard counterpart. They can usually be washed and restored when they become fully saturated and are no longer filtering as effectively. 

However, they won’t last forever and you can only clean and restore them so many times before they will stop working properly.

  • Under normal use, a long life charcoal filter should be washed and restored every 3–4 months, or more frequently if you do a lot of smelly cooking.

  • If you use your cooker hood a lot, you will usually only be able to wash and restore long-life carbon filters a maximum of 5 times before they are no longer usable. However, for most casual cooks, the filters can be washed and restored up to 8 times before it is necessary to replace them.

  • When the filters no longer absorb the smell from food preparation, you need to replace them.


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Can you clean and reuse a long life charcoal filter?

Yes, you can clean, restore and reuse a long life charcoal (or carbon) filter. This is the main benefit of long life charcoal filters compared with standard charcoal filters. However, they do not last forever and will eventually need replacing.

Long life charcoal filters allow you to save some money when it comes to replacing cooker hood filters, while still performing the same function as a standard charcoal filter. They generally last around 3 years or can be washed and reused every 4 months up to eight times.

They can be washed with hot water (no soap or sponges) or put in the dishwasher (always double-check they are dishwasher safe). It is recommended to wash the filter in the dishwasher at a temperature of 65 degrees and dry it in the oven at 60-100 degrees for 5-10 minutes. Until it is completely dry. Once cool, you can then put it back in your cooker hood.

replacing long life charcoal filter
Replacing long life charcoal filter

Can I replace my standard charcoal filter with A Long Life Filter?

Yes. It is possible to replace your standard charcoal filter with a long life filter equivalent. However, this will depend on the cooker hood manufacturer and model as to whether they offer a long life filter alternative.

Elica, a popular cooker hood manufacturer, offers both standard and long life charcoal filters for many of its cooker hood models. The long life filters will cost more, but then again, they do last longer!

Final Thoughts…

There you have it! Everything you need to know about long life charcoal filters.

Still ‘relatively’ new to the cooker hood market and certainly not as commonplace as a standard charcoal filter. Long life filters go some way to help reduce the costs of having a recirculating cooker hood. It cuts back on the expense of replacing the filters every few months. As well as less waste in general. Which is always nice for the environment.

However, long life charcoal filters will cost more than a standard filter when it does come time to replace them. Still, they usually work out cheaper in the long run.



Michael from

Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.