Chimney is a quintessential appliance in the modern kitchen. It helps to maintain the cleanliness and also the ambience of the kitchen, especially an Indian kitchen due to the kind of foods made in an Indian kitchen. Indian food requires regular tadkas and masalas which have a tendency to form a grease built-up on the kitchen tiles, walls and even the ceiling. It also causes fumes which can be difficult for people with breathing issues. Using a chimney helps to maintain a sparkling kitchen without much time and effort.
Benefits of using a chimney
- Protects kitchen surfaces from grease and dirt.
- Enhances indoor air quality.
- Prevents foul odors.
- Gives a visual appeal to the kitchen.
- Makes easier for people with breathing trouble to cook and enhances cooking experience.
Factors to consider before buying a chimney
- Size of the chimney
- Filter type present in the chimney
- Suction power of the chimney
- Type of chimney – duct or ductless
- Chimney hood design
- Mounting style
- Autoclean vs manual cleaning
- Level of maintenance
- Additional features
- Installation / warranty / service
Size of the chimney
Size of the chimney depends on the size of the stove. 60 cm and 90 cm chimneys are the commonly available commercial ones in the market. The length of the chimney should cover the length of the stove. Usually a 2 to 3 burner stove requires a 60cm chimney while a 3 to 5 burner stove requires a 90cm chimney.
There are 3 types of filters for chimneys.
- Mesh / Cassette filter
- Baffle filter
- Carbon filter
Chimney with Mesh / cassette filter
These types of chimneys come with an aluminium or stainless steel mesh which traps grease and particle waste and allows the smoke to escape. Since the mesh entraps almost all the solid waste particles it is more prone for blockage. The mesh filter is easy to remove and has to be cleaned regularly at least once a week. This requirement of high maintenance might be a problem for people with time constraint.
Chimney with baffle filter
Baffle filter is the most common and the most suitable type of filter for the Indian kitchen. It contains panel filters which traps the oil and waste particles and allows the smoke to pass through. It is relatively easier to maintain compared to mesh filters. Though it requires cleaning only once during 2 to 3 months, regular cleaning once a month might increase its lifetime and quality. It can be removed and cleaned easily and it’s a better option than mesh / cassette filters.
Chimney with carbon filter
This type of filter is made with charcoal. It removes oil, dust, smoke and odour from the kitchen. Though it is more efficient than other types of filters the filter needs replacement for every 6 months which might be economically burdening.
Suction power of the chimney
The suction power of the chimney depends on various factors including oil consumption, size of the kitchen, type of cuisine, etc. Commercially chimneys start with suction power of 400m³/hr to 1600m³/hr are available. While choosing a chimney keep in mind that a chimney should extract 10 times the volume of air from the room in which it is installed.
If your kitchen dimensions are,
Length – 16 feet
Width – 10 feet
Height of the ceiling – 10 feet
Your volume of the kitchen will be,
Length x width x height = 16 x 10 x 10 = 1600 ft³
1600 ft³ = 45 m³ ( converted to meter )
So your kitchen which has a volume of 45m³ will require a chimney which has a suction power of at least 450m³/hr.
Type of chimney
There are two types of chimneys,
Ducted chimney is the most commonly preferred type and is more efficient too. These types of chimney sucks the air from the kitchen and passes it through the filter allowing the smoke to pass through while trapping solid particles and grease. They usually come with a mesh / baffle filter and are easier to maintain.
Ductless chimneys commonly have a motor and fan or a blower with which it collects the air from the kitchen, processes the air and releases the clean air inside the kitchen itself. They come with carbon filters and are more economically feasible but still you will have to replace the filters every 6 months.
Chimney hood design
There are 5 commonly available chimneys based on the design of the chimney hood in the market. They are,
- Curved glass
You can choose any one based on your personal preference and your kitchen design.
Curved glass chimney
Curved glass chimneys are the most popular ones with a good suction power.It has an indoor and an outdoor unit and is compatible with both small and large kitchens. It is less noise producing when compared with its counterparts and comes fitted with a led focus light.
Straight-line chimneys usually come with a stainless steel finish and are commonly used in space constrained areas. It can easily be installed in a small space and is less visible. These types of chimney prevents smoke circulation from the entire area of the kitchen apart from just above the stove. It comes with a fitted led light and removable filters.
Angular chimney is commonly used in Indian kitchens and is more efficient than its counterparts. It has a sleek and elegant design making it a wonderful accessory in the modern kitchens.
Pyramid type chimney
Pyramid chimneys come with baffle filters and hence it is a low maintenance choice. It also consumes less power than other types of chimney.
Box type chimney
These chimneys are small and compact and relatively easier to clean. Their surface finish is such that it resists accumulation of dirt particles. It comes with a led light and touch panel.
Mounting style depends on the design of the kitchen.
- Wall mounted chimney
- Island chimney
- Corner chimney
- In-built chimney
Wall mounted chimney
Wall mounted chimney is common in India and comes in both ducted and ductless types.
Island chimneys are used when a cooktop is placed away from the wall. It is not common in India, though some urban kitchens flaunt this type.
Built-in chimneys are installed inside the kitchen cabinets and its parts are concealed giving a minimalist and an elegant look to the kitchen. It is usually fitted against the wall.
Corner chimney is used when a cooktop is designed in such a way that it occupies a corner of the kitchen. It’s usually rare to see this kind of design.
As the name suggests autoclean chimneys cleans themselves with automated technology and comes with an autoclean button. When you switch on this autoclean button, the chimney separates the oil from the smoke and dust particles and collects it in an oil compartment. This oil compartment can easily be removed and cleaned once a month. These chimneys save time and effort and come with low / no maintenance. Though they are a little expensive it comes with a high suction power and has a long lifetime.
|Autoclean chimney||Manual chimney|
|The oil gets collected in a oil collector||The oil and smoke pass through the filter|
|Low maintenance – just clean the oil collector bin once a month||High maintenance – must clean the filter regularly|
|Good option for people with time constraint & heavy usage||Good option for people trying to buy within a budget|
Though low initial cost might tempt us to buy an economically feasible model with high maintenance, always try to choose one which has almost no or low maintenance which will be beneficial in the long run.
Best brands of chimneys in India
Additional features like noise cancellation, touch panel, timer and alarm to remind you that it’s time to clean the chimney are some of the few additional features which are available in few models.
Installation / warranty / service
Though a chimney model is good, if it does not have brand installation, warranty and after sales service it is always better to avoid that model. Always choose a brand which provides professional installation and service support. This saves you a lot of trouble in the future.
|Size||2-3 burner – 60cm|
3-5 burner – 90cm
|Filter type||Mesh filter – high maintenance|
Baffle filter – apt for Indian kitchen
Carbon filter – have to replace every 6 months
|Suction power||Suction power must be 10 times above the volume of the kitchen.|
Available from 450m3/hr to 1500m3/hr
Usually around 1000m3/hr for Indian kitchen
|Type of chimney||Ducted – Separates oil and pushes the air outside|
Ductless – Recycles the air and again lets the clean air into the kitchen
|Hood design||Curved glass|
|Mounting style||Wall mounted chimney|
|Autoclean / Normal||Autoclean – Low maintenance & time saving|
Normal – Regular cleaning & maintenance necessary
|Additional features||Noise cancellation |
Installation / warranty / service