The kitchen is an integral part of any home or to be more apt, of any family. It is the place where you rustle up a delicious meal for your loved ones. You surely love to cook those tasty fries, delicious gravies or those sumptuous kebabs for your family. However, this kind of cooking calls for the use of various spices and plenty of oil.
This takes a heavy toll on your kitchen. There are fumes and smoke in your kitchen while you cook or fry something. Moreover, a thick layer of oil and grime gets collected on your counter, cabinets, tiles and stove top. This is something which becomes very messy and difficult to clean.
The modern day kitchen, however, has a very simple solution to this problem. The solution comes in the form of an electric kitchen chimney.
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A kitchen chimney is an appliance which is installed above your stove top. It can be used very easily at just the press of a button. Once switched on, the chimney sucks in all the oil, smoke and fumes while you cook. Thus your kitchen remains clean and smoke-free even after you cook your favourite dishes.
The chimney is fitted just above your stove top. It sucks in all smoke and fumes and the oil is trapped in separate compartments. All the fumes and oil is then either let out of your kitchen through a duct or recirculated.
The market today has a number of leading kitchen chimney brands. You can surely choose a good chimney for your kitchen from among them. However, just randomly selecting a chimney for your kitchen will not serve any purpose. There are a number of things which you will have to keep in mind before buying your kitchen chimney.
Now, you must be wondering what those things are?
Don’t worry! We have or you here a detailed buying guide for your kitchen chimney. All the factors which need to be considered before buying have been discussed in detail. This guide will surely help you choose the right chimney for your kitchen.back to menu ↑
Things to keep in mind before buying a kitchen chimneyback to menu ↑
Type of Kitchen Chimney
Wall Mounted Kitchen Chimney:
This is the most common kitchen chimney and is best suited for Indian kitchens. This chimney is installed right above your stove top. A host of designs are available for the wall mounted chimney and you can surely make your choice from amongst them.
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If the cooking counter is in the middle of the room then this kind of chimney will be suitable for you. This chimney is installed in the ceiling and hangs from just above the stove top in the middle of the room. These chimneys require ducting.
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If you are looking for a kitchen chimney with a very stylish design, then the downdraft chimney is the one for you. This chimney comes with a button which you will have to press. The chimney will come over your stove when in use. You simply have to press the button after use and the chimney will retract.back to menu ↑
The built-in chimney is also called the integrated chimney. It is installed underneath the cabinets. The suction power of this chimney is very good. The smoke and fumes are sucked in and routed out of the kitchen.
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Auto Clean Chimney:
This type of chimney is equipped with an auto clean function. Some amount of oil does get collected in the filter after repeated use. Hence, cleaning the chimney from time to time is very essential.
Cleaning chimneys with an auto-clean function are very simple. This chimney comes with a bowl for oil collection. When the chimney is in use, its blower forces the air filled with oil particles towards the walls of the kitchen. The oil is then collected in the bowl. Thus the oil does not clog the chimney filter.
You simply have to clean the detachable oil collection bowl once a month. Thus cleaning and maintenance of this chimney is very easy. This keeps your chimney in good shape for a longer period of time. You can check best auto-clean chimney review below.
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Kinds of filters
This filter is also known as the cassette filter. This filter is made up of around 3 to 7 layers of aluminium mesh. The layers of mesh contain small holes. All the grease and oil gets collected within these layers while you cook.
The major disadvantage of this filter is that the oil and grease get collected in the pores of the mesh. Hence, if the filter is not cleaned frequently the pores get blocked and it adversely affects the suction power of the chimney. Thus, this filter requires frequent cleaning. It can be cleaned using detergent and water.
The baffle filter also comes with layers of steel and aluminium. However, the filter comes with a more efficient design. The filters are curvaceous and change the direction of air flow. The oil and grease is sucked in from the air. The curves of the filter allow free airflow and the cut and chop technology separates the oil and grease from the smoke. The effective design of the filter does not affect its suction power.
Maintenance of this filter is also easy. The filter requires cleaning every three to four months. Cleaning is also simple and you just need warm soapy water to clean it.
The charcoal filter, also known as the carbon filter can be installed additionally along with the filter for your chimney. This chimney is used for absorbing odour from your kitchen. The filter consists of a carbon block containing charcoal granules. The carbon block can be of various sizes. The size of the block and the thickness of the filter will determine how much odour is absorbed.
The carbon block needs to be replaced every within three to six months.
Charcoal filters are usually used in ductless chimneys.back to menu ↑
Ducting or Ductless Chimneys
The kitchen chimney can be installed either with or without a duct. Let us see how each of them functions.
- If the chimney has a ducting then it will require ducts or pipes to be installed. In these chimneys, the air is sucked in by the chimney. All the oil and grease sticks on to the filter while the air goes out of the kitchen through the pipes or ducts which have been installed.
- You will require the help of a plumber to install the pipes in the kitchen.
- In chimneys with ducting, the suction power depends on the length of the duct and the number of bends it has.
- Chimneys with a duct usually have a baffle or mesh filter.
- Having a chimney with ducting is a good alternative to using charcoal filters which are usually installed in ductless chimneys. You have to bear a one- time installation cost for a ducting while the charcoal filters will have to be replaced at regular intervals.
- Tests have also revealed that chimneys with ducting have around 30% better performance when compared to ductless chimneys.
- Another advantage of a ducted chimney is that it does not allow condensation to take place since all the heat is sucked in and expelled out through the ducts. The ductless chimneys do not expel the heat from the kitchen.
- One disadvantage of these chimneys is that they cannot be repositioned.
- As the name itself suggests, ductless chimneys do not require pipes or ducts during installation.
- These chimneys have a mesh or baffle filter. A charcoal filter is additionally installed in these chimneys.
- The air passes through the baffle or mesh filter where the oil and grease is trapped. The charcoal filter sucks in the smoke and odour and the purified air is again let out into the kitchen.
- Maintenance and care of these chimneys is not as easy as the ducted chimneys. The charcoal filters need replacement at regular intervals.
- The performance of these chimneys is also said to be lesser when compared to ducted chimneys.
- Heat does not get removed from the kitchen in these chimneys. Hence, ductless chimneys cannot prevent condensation.
- A major advantage of these chimneys is that they can be repositioned easily.
- The initial installation of these chimneys can also be done at a lesser cost since no ducting is required.
The suction power of a kitchen chimney is a very important factor which needs to be taken into consideration before buying. A chimney with a good suction power is sure to perform well.
- The suction power of your kitchen chimney must be 10 times the volume of air in your kitchen.
- The suction power of a chimney is measured in cubic metres.
- The chimneys available in the market today have a suction power ranging from 400mᶟ to 1250mᶟ.
- The following calculation will help you understand how you will choose a chimney for your kitchen with the perfect suction power.
Consider that your kitchen is 4 metres in width, 5 metres in length and 4 metres in height. Then the volume of your kitchen will be 4x5x4 = 80mᶟ.
Then the required suction power of your kitchen chimney will be 80×10 = 800mᶟ.
- A chimney with a high suction power, above 400mᶟ per hour, is ideal for kitchens where a lot of heavy cooking, like cooking non-vegetarian food or deep frying, is done.
- A kitchen chimney with suction power of 400mᶟ per hour or below should suffice for kitchens where light cooking is done more often.
Kitchen chimneys usually come in two main sizes which are as follows:
- Chimneys with a 60cm width, and,
- Chimneys with a 90cm width.
Chimneys with 60 cm width are ideal for small cooktops. If the kitchen cooktop has two burners and is about 2 feet in width, then a kitchen chimney with 60 cm width will be appropriate.
Chimneys with 90 cm width are best suited for cooktops which have more than three or more burners and are more than 2 feet in width.
Another very important thing which should be remembered before installing a kitchen chimney is the distance between the chimney and the stove top.
The distance between the stove top and the kitchen chimney should be somewhere in between 26 to 30 inches.
Installing a chimney at a lesser height can be very risky. If the chimney is installed at a lesser height then there will always be a risk of a fire which might catch.
Hence, special care should be taken to install the kitchen chimney at an appropriate height from the cook top.
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Care and Maintenance of the Kitchen Chimney
Regular cleaning of the kitchen chimney keeps it free of oil, grease and any kind of foul smell.
Cleaning your kitchen chimney is not all that difficult. However, you have to ensure that you devote some amount of time towards your kitchen chimney cleaning at regular intervals.
Most of the recent models of kitchen chimneys have detachable filters or are equipped with the auto clean function. Hence cleaning them is quite simple.
However, in case you do not wish to do the kitchen chimney cleaning on your own, you can always hire the services of professionals.
Here are a few things which you should remember while cleaning the kitchen chimney.
Cleaning the filters:
The frequency of your cleaning will depend on the kind of filter your kitchen chimney has.
Mesh or cassette filters
Chimneys with mesh filters have to be cleaned at least once a week to ensure optimal performance.
The aluminium mesh of these filters gets clogged as the oil and grease is sucked in. The clogged mesh if not cleaned at regular intervals can adversely affect the suction power of the chimney. Hence it has to be cleaned every week.
The filter can be cleaned very easily by immersing it in some soapy water for a while and then cleaning it with water. A scrub can also be used to clean off the oil and grease.
Baffle filters can be cleaned once in every three months.
The unique design of the baffle filter does not allow the trapped oil and grease to adversely affect the suction power of the chimney.
Hence, cleaning the baffle filter once in every three months is sufficient.
These filters can also be cleaned very easily using some detergent, water, and a scrub.
The filter should be dipped in detergent water for some time. This will loosen the oil and grease particles.
The filter will then have to be cleaned under running water using the scrub.
Cleaning the hood:
Always ensure that the hood of the kitchen chimney is clean.
Not cleaning the chimney hood frequently would lead to layers of dust settling on it.
The hood can be cleaned by simply wiping the hood with a clean cloth soaked in liquid soap.
Do not use any abrasive substance while cleaning the hood.
Cleaning the Blower:
The blower is a very important part of your chimney and should be cleaned at regular intervals.
Always get the blower cleaned by professionals authorised to do the job.back to menu ↑
Kitchen Chimneys are available in a range of prices. There are a host of brands in the market and each of them has a range of products in different price ranges. You can definitely choose the right brand which will suit your budget.
The price of kitchen chimneys start from Rs.3000 and the designer ones can cost even more than a lakh.
While you can get a good 60 cm kitchen chimney at anywhere between Rs. 4000 and Rs. 6000, a good 90cm kitchen chimney can cost you around Rs. 12000.
The price will definitely vary according to the brand, the model and the suction power of the chimney.
Glen, Faber, Sunflame, Kutchina, IFB, and Pigeon are some of the leading kitchen chimney brands.
Installation for most chimneys is done free of cost. However, additional charges are levied on the installation of ducts or pipes.back to menu ↑
Most of the kitchen chimneys available today come with a one year warranty. However, there are a few brands whose kitchen chimneys have a lifetime warranty.
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Other things to be kept in mind before buying a kitchen chimney
Blower or motor: The blower or motor of the chimney is a very integral part of the appliance. Before purchasing a chimney, always make sure that it is securely closed. Dust might enter if the motor is not closed and this, in turn, might be harmful for the appliance. An aluminium blower which is non-sticky is the best choice.
Thermostatic protection: Also see whether the chimney you select for your kitchen has a thermal overload protector. Overheating or burning of the motor can be very risky. Kitchen chimneys with a thermal overload protector provide thermostatic protection and immediately cut off the power supply in case of overheating. This will prevent the motor from burning out.
Twin motor chimneys: Kitchen chimneys with two motors are equipped with a bi-rotational technology. The two motors rotate in the opposite direction and create a low-pressure zone. All the smoke and fumes are sucked into this low-pressure area. This results in an increased airflow. Hence always go for kitchen chimneys which have two motors rather than one.
Concealed hood: If you lay more emphasis on the aesthetics and design of your chimney then you can think about buying a kitchen chimney with a concealed hood. These hoods are built within the ceiling. They have a visually appealing design. They also come with attractive lighting and glass panels which enhance the overall look of the kitchen chimney.
External motors: The kitchen chimney which comes with an external motor is called a spilt chimney. The special feature of this chimney is that the motor of the chimney is installed externally, that is, outside the kitchen. Hence the noise is much less when compared to other chimneys where the motor is installed internally, within the chimney.
So if you are looking for a chimney for your kitchen which is not very noisy, then the split chimney will be the one to go for.
Noise: There will be some noise when the chimney has started working. This noise is created due to air circulation. If you don’t like much noise, you can check for silent kits which are installed in a few chimneys. These silent kits reduce the noise or even make the chimneys completely silent while working.
Speed: A few kitchen chimney brands which have advanced technology, offer various speed options. Choosing a high speed will ventilate your kitchen quickly.
Convertible kits: There are a few kitchen chimney brands which come with convertible kits. This is another thing which you can look out for before selecting the chimney for your kitchen.
These convertible kits can convert a ducted chimney into a ductless chimney. This kit can come really handy in situations where you want to reposition your chimney and convert it into a ductless one.
Indicator: Many kitchen chimney brands provide indicators or alarms in their appliance. The indicator light or the alarm goes off in order to notify you that the filter of the kitchen chimney needs to be cleaned or replaced.
Auto heat sensor: As the name itself suggests, this sensor automatically senses heat and oil particles in the air and goes on and off.back to menu ↑
This detailed guide must have surely given you a fair idea about a kitchen chimney and its functioning. A kitchen chimney is one such appliance for your kitchen which you should choose with extreme care. There are various things which you need to think about before finally making the choice. This guide has covered all those points in detail. Once you have considered all these factors, you will surely be able to buy the perfect kitchen chimney. A good purchase will surely put an end to all your worries about cleaning up all the oil, grease and grime from your stove, countertops and kitchen cabinets. You can enjoy cooking your favourite dishes while your kitchen still remains smoke, odour, and oil free.