Written by: Subhasish Adhikary

Kitchen Chimney Vs Exhaust Fan

A good and ventilated kitchen is very important.

The food when cooked generates smoke, steam, airborne particles, and an odor that might cause eye and skin irritation or might cause respiratory troubles.

Thus, a well-ventilated kitchen is quite important.

Exhaust fans and Kitchen Chimneys play an important role in maintaining the ventilation, odor, airborne particles, and also the temperature of the kitchen.

This article will cover everything you should know about kitchen chimneys and exhaust fans.

Happy reading 🙂 

What is an Exhaust Fan?

What is an Exhaust Fan?
What is an Exhaust Fan?

We installed an exhaust fan in the kitchen to vent the smoke, steam, and odor out of the kitchen.

It allows the fresh air to enter the kitchen through opened doors and windows in the kitchen then maintaining the ventilation and temperature of the kitchen. 

Where should a kitchen Exhaust Fan be placed?

The placement of the exhaust fan plays an important role in serving its purpose of installing it in the first place.

The best locations for the exhaust fans to be installed are:

  • The ceiling above the stove.
  • Inside, the cabinet above the stove so that they are not visible.
  • The wall behind the stove.

Advantages of using an Exhaust Fan in the kitchen

Advantages of using an exhaust fan in the kitchen are:

  • Vents out smoke and odor.
  • Eliminates excessive moisture in the air.
  • Enables ventilation, thus improving indoor air quality.
  • Better cooking experience.
  • Very less expensive as compared to Chimneys

Disadvantages of using an Exhaust Fan in the kitchen

Disadvantages of using an exhaust fan in the kitchen are:

  • Do not vent out oil particles and grease.
  • Noise emission while it’s in use.
  • They might depressurize your house.

Choosing an exhaust fan for the kitchen:

Finding a quality product can be challenging, that’s why proper research is very important.

These are the factors that will determine the factors while determining the exhaust fan. 

  • Exhaust fan material: Exhaust Fans are available in various materials like plastic, metal, etc. Deciding the material of the exhaust fan depends upon the layout of the kitchen and also in the location you stay for example for coastal areas, one should not opt for metal material for exhaust fans because they are prone to rust because of the moisture content in the air.
  • Less noisy exhaust fan: Consider the exhaust fans which produce less noise while they are functional.
  • Warranty: Purchase an exhaust fan that comes with a warranty of a minimum of 2 years.

What is a Kitchen Chimney?

Kitchen Chimney Vs Exhaust Fan 1

Kitchen chimneys are capable of sucking out smoke, greasy particles, and oil from the kitchen.

They are equipped with powerful suction motors and filters because of which it vents out the smoke, greasy particles, and oil out. 

Why do kitchens need chimneys?

The grease and oil particles stick around the surroundings of the stove like on the tiles, cabinets, and ceiling of the kitchen.

Exhaust fans are not equipped to suck out the oil and grease particles.

Chimneys are equipped with the same and thus chimneys play a major role in avoiding the grease and making the kitchen sticky.

Also, it is less noisy than the exhaust fan.

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Where should a kitchen chimney be placed?

The placement of the chimney plays an important role in its effectiveness.

The placement mostly depends upon the location of the stove.

If we place the stove adjacent to the wall, then the chimney should be mounted on the wall.

Usually, a ducting version of the chimney is preferred in this case. The tips to install a chimney against the wall are:

  • We should place chimneys 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 per the prescription by the exhaust fan manufacturer. 
  • We should install the metal duct in such a way that it has the most direct way out, i.e. it should have the least number of bends as possible. More the number of bends, lesser smoke and odor will vent out.
  • The exterior surfaces should be flashy, and we should seal all the seams around the wall fan and wall and the roof penetrations with the help of spray foam or mastic.

Similarly, if the stove is placed away from the wall, then the chimney should be hung from the ceiling, the chimney pointing towards the cooking space.

Must read: Best Small Modular Kitchen Design Ideas

Choosing a chimney for the kitchen:

There are factors on which the selection of the chimney depends on your kitchen. They are:

  • Placement of the stove: The placement of the stove plays an important decision factor in deciding the chimney. The stove can be placed next to the wall, or someone can place away it from the wall like in the case of an island kitchen. For the stoves located adjacent to the wall, we must fit the chimneys against the wall whereas, for the stoves located away from the wall, the chimneys hang from the ceiling on the cooking area.
  • Type of food usually cooked: The type of food usually cooked determines the oil content used. For example, if Indian food is cooked frequently then the chimney will be required to be cleaned monthly whereas if non-Indian food is cooking then the chimney will be required to be cleaned weekly. So the filter of the chimney will depend on the type of food usually cooked. For example, prefer a baffle filter if mostly Indian food is cooking.
  • Fitting: Check the layout of the kitchen if it has proper space for pipes or not. For example, if you have enough space then you can go for the ducting version.
  • Noise: Decide if you want a noise-free chimney or not. For example, if you are okay with the noise chimney then you should prefer a normal chimney.

Advantages of using a chimney in the kitchen:

  • Vents out grease and oil particles from the kitchen.
  • Noise-free chimneys are available.

Disadvantages of using a chimney in the kitchen

  • Expensive as compared to the exhaust fans.
  • Consumes a lot of electricity as compared to the exhaust fans.

What can we use instead of a chimney?

The major purpose of installing a chimney is that it sucks out the oil and grease particles but chimneys are quite expensive and also they require regular cleaning and maintenance.

There are few alternatives to chimneys that are less expensive and serve the purpose of the chimneys.

They are:

  • Splatter Guard: Splatter guards are placed on the adjacent wall of the stove. It guards the oil splatters which are caused during cooking.
  • Filter Fans: These fans are used to vent the odor out of the kitchen. It is ideal for those who frequently do aromatic cooking.
  • Window fan: If your kitchen has a properly ventilated window, the installation of the window fan will work as a ventilator and will provide fresh air.

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Some Frequently Asked Questions:

Do we need an exhaust fan if we have a chimney?

You can have both a chimney and an exhaust fan in your kitchen, but you shouldn’t use both together because while you are using the chimney and your exhaust fan is also switched on, then it will create air pressure fluctuations which will affect the chimney’s suction.

Is the kitchen chimney useful?

The chimneys are extremely useful to vent the air pollutants, oil, and grease out of the kitchen.

Chimneys are expensive, so there are different alternatives available if you have a tight budget.

I have mentioned the different alternatives of the chimney in this article.

How is an exhaust fan different from a ventilation fan?

The key difference between an exhaust fan and a ventilation fan is that ventilation fans bring clean and fresh air inside the closed space whereas the exhaust fan vents the smoke and other pollutants outside from the kitchen or any other closed space.

Can a regular fan be used as an exhaust fan?

Install a fan that meets the rate-measured measures as mentioned in the airflow codes. Any fan which meets the airflow codes can be used, but the exhaust fans are preferable.

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Subhasish Adhikary

I'm constantly in search of the latest gadgets & technology news that I can share with you. In my meantime, I blog on topics ranging from digital marketing, online business, startups to tech gadgets.


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