Ventilation is very important in a kitchen and chimneys play an important role in maintaining good ventilation in the same.
The cooking generates smoke, odor, steam, and air-borne particles which might cause skin and eye irritation.
Chimneys play an important role in maintaining the ventilation and temperature of the kitchen.
This article is a buying guide for purchasing the best chimney for your kitchen. So without further adieu let’s get started.
What is a Chimney?
Chimneys are used to vent out the smoke, greasy particles, and oil from the kitchen which is generated while cooking.
They contain powerful suction motors and filters which help in venting out the smoke, greasy particles, and oil out.
Why do kitchens need chimneys?
The grease and oil particles generated while cooking is present in the cooking air which sticks around the surroundings of the stove like on the tiles, cabinets, and ceiling of the kitchen.
The chimneys when placed on the top of the cooking top vents out the oil and grease particles outside the kitchen and play a major role in avoiding the grease and making the kitchen sticky.
Chimney Buying Guide:
There are various kinds of chimneys available as per the usage. There are various features which you should keep in mind before choosing between buying a chimney.
Also, there are various advanced features as well available these days which make your life simpler.
Major points to consider while buying a chimney:
The following are the points which you should consider while buying a chimney:
Filter Type: Depending on the filtering process based on the type of food cooked, filters can be categorized into 3 categories:
Cassette Filter: This filter is made up of aluminum mesh.
These meshes are stocked on each other. The gap present in between the mesh allows the air to pass through these gaps.
The oil and grease particles get clogged in the aluminum mesh and that is why the cassette filter requires regular cleaning at least once a week for better performance, else because the grease and oil particles inside the mesh reduce the suction power of the chimney.
The filter can be easily washed by immersing it inside a bucket of hot detergent water for some time and then scrubbing it so that the filter is free of oil and grease particles.
Baffle Filter: These filters are best for Indian food. It is a flow control filter.
The filter is made up of multiple curve structures and so when the cooking air passes through these curves, the direction of smoke air changes, leaving the heavy grease and smoke particles inside the baffle filter.
These particles even when stuck in the baffling power do not affect its suction power and so it does not require regular cleaning.
You can wash these filters once in 3 months and so it requires less maintenance as compared to cassette filters. These filters are robust and are efficient for many years with very little maintenance.
Carbon Filter: These filters are made up of charcoal, and so they are also known as Charcoal filters.
The main objective of these filters is to absorb the odor, since charcoal is best for absorbing the odor.
This is an optional filter that can be clubbed with a baffle filter or cassette filter.
The oil and grease particles get stuck inside the filter which reduces their suction power and so these filters need a replacement every 6 months.
Size of the Chimney: Most chimneys come in standard sizes, i.e. 60 cm and 90 cm. The size of the chimney depends upon the size of the stove as well as the size of the kitchen.
The key takeaway is that the size of the chimney should be slightly larger than the size of the stove for better results.
Mount Type: Based on the location and type of kitchen, the chimneys can be categorized into 4 types. They are:
Wall Mounted Chimney: The chimneys that are mounted on the wall right above the cooking top are known as wall-mounted chimneys.
Island Chimney: These chimneys are ideal for island kitchens where the stove is located at the center of the kitchen. The chimney hangs to the ceiling right above the cooking top.
Built-in Chimney: These chimneys are fixed inside the wooden furniture against the wall, and it is placed right above the cooking top.
Corner Chimney: This type of chimney is rarely used in India. In this, the cooking top is at the corner of the kitchen and so there is a dedicated type of chimney for them.
Suction Power: The suction power of the chimney depends upon the size of the kitchen.
For example, in a living space having 2-3 rooms, the suction power chimney with 500 m3/hr to 600 m3/hr suction power is sufficient and effective whereas for larger homes the suction power chimney with 650 m3/hr to 1000 m3/hr suction power is effective.
Here is a calculation method through which you can decide the suction power of the chimney for your home:
Thumb rule: The suction power of the chimney should be able to suck the air outside 10 times in an hour and this depends on the size of the room.
Calculate the volume of the room:
Volume of one room = Width x length x height
The suction power of the chimney = 10 x no. of rooms in the home x volume of the kitchen
Must read: Best Kitchen Chimneys in India
Duct/ Ductless: Duct and ductless chimneys have their advantages and disadvantages.
It sucks out the smoked air from the kitchen back to the atmosphere.
- Maintains the temperature of the kitchen.
- Better suction power.
- Disturbs the kitchen aesthetic.
- If lengthy ducting is required, it might add a lot of overhead costs.
These chimneys recycle the smoked air. This is done through a carbon filter which absorbs the oil and smoke particles and lets the cleaned air enter back into the kitchen.
- Do not affect the kitchen aesthetic.
- A good option when the duct chimney requires lengthy ducting.
- Carbon filters are an add-on expense.
- Lesser suction power.
Advance Features available in Chimneys these days:
- Auto Clean: As the name suggests, auto clean chimneys are self-cleaning chimneys. They are capable of cleaning their parts on their own. The working mechanism of the auto clean chimney is as follows:
- The cooking air mostly contains oil and grease particles. These particles are the main reason to block the filter of the chimney and reduce its suction power.
- When the cooking air enters the chimney, its turbine blower forces the cooking air to move towards the wall of the chimney and thus letting the oil and grease particles stick on the container walls of the chimney.
- The container walls have a bowl in which all the oil is collected. This bowl is detachable and is recommended to be washed once a month.
- This avoids the extra time required to open the chimney and clean its filter. Also, the suction power is better in these chimneys.
- Soft-touch push buttons: They are convenient to use and provide an elegant look to the kitchen.
- LED Light: The LED light provides better visibility while cooking, especially when the natural light is dim.
- Auto-heat Sensor: As the name suggests, the auto heat sensor detects the heat and oil particles and automatically switches on/ off as per the heat.
- Indicator/buzzer: They automatically let you know that it’s time for you to clean them or replace the filters.
- Soundproof Kits: Many chimneys are very noisy. This feature ensures that there is minimal noise while the chimney is turned on.
Must read also: Best Auto Clean Chimney under 15000 in India
How to clean a chimney:
Cleaning the chimney can be quite a time-consuming and tedious task.
The baffle filters are less time-consuming than the mesh filter one, and also the frequency of the regular cleaning required is less.
You can follow these steps to clean the chimney:
- Use a dish wash liquid or baking soda for cleaning the chimney.
- Take a tub filled with hot water in which the filter of the chimney can be fully immersed.
- Sprinkle the dishwasher or the baking/ caustic soda on it.
- Let the filter absorb it for about 30 mins. You can increase or decrease the duration depending on the dirt and grease.
- Take the filter out and scrub it with the help of the scrub.
- Rinse the chimney with clean water after scrubbing it, and let the chimney dry in sunlight for about an hour.
The chimneys these days come with the auto-clean feature and if you’re someone who is petrified of the regular maintenance and cleaning of the chimney then you can opt for the auto clean chimneys.
I hope that these points help you out while deciding the ideal chimney for your home.
Remember to consider the main points while making a choice, and also you can club the advanced features in them as per your choice and need.
Where should a kitchen chimney be placed?
The placement of the chimney in the kitchen plays an important role in its effectiveness.
The placement of the chimney in the kitchen depends upon the location of the cooking stove. If the stove is placed adjacent to the wall, then the chimney should be mounted on the wall.
Read more: Best Small Modular Kitchen Design Ideas
In India, mostly the chimneys are mounted on the wall. These are few tips to remember while the installation of a chimney against the wall:
- Chimneys should be placed in such a way that it vents the oil and grease particles outdoors and not into the attic or crawl spaces.
- Choose the metal duct wisely. The metal duct should be smooth and the diameter should be as prescribed on the chimney.
- The metal duct should be installed in such a way that it has the most direct way out i.e. avoid the number of bends as possible. More the number of bends, lesser smoke and odor will vent out.
- The exterior surfaces should be flashy and all the seams around the wall fan and wall and the roof penetrations should be sealed with the help of spray foam or mastic.
Also read: Kitchen Chimney Vs Exhaust Fan
Similarly, in the case of an island kitchen, the stove is in the center of the kitchen, and so we should hang the chimney from the ceiling; the chimney pointing towards the cooking space.
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