How to Select a Kitchen Chimney (A Detailed Buying Guide)

Installation of a kitchen chimney has become a new trend in modular kitchens. Along with providing good aesthetics to the kitchen, kitchen chimneys help expel hot greasy smoke out of the home, keeping the kitchen cool and clean.

But there can be a lot of confusion on how to select a kitchen chimney that suits your kitchen since many options are available in the market.

main image chimney

Well, you can go through the following points regarding various parameters that need to be taken care of while purchasing a kitchen chimney.

Types of Kitchen Chimney 

#1.  Chimney Selection Based on Installation Place

A. Wall mounted chimney

wall chimney

The kitchen chimney fitted against the wall above the cooktop is wall-mounted.

B. Island chimney

island chimney

When the cooking platform is made in the center of the kitchen, away from the wall, the chimney used over there is hanging from the ceiling. Such a chimney is called an island chimney.

C. Built-in chimney( Integrated ) 

integrated chimney

Some people prefer kitchen chimneys to just blend in with the kitchen decor and are covered by the kitchen furniture.

D. Corner chimney

corner chimney

In kitchens where the kitchen hob is set up at the corner of the kitchen, the chimney used above it is known as corner chimney. 

#2. Duct or Ductless Chimneys

ducted-ductless-chimney

A. Ductless chimney 

The ductless chimney has a simple mechanism – it absorbs the air full of hot gases and smoke from the kitchen’s environment, refines – and re-circulates the refined air back to the kitchen.

Pros of ductless chimney

  • Easy to install, as it does not require extra efforts and labour for installing duct through wall.
  • Comparatively cheaper.
  • Require less space for installation.

Cons of ductless chimney

  • Needs to be cleaned regularly.
  • Noisy during the working mode.
  • As it recycles the same absorbed air, the kitchen atmosphere almost feels the same even during the frequent cooking sessions.              

B. Ducted chimney 

The ducted chimney has a duct attached that allows the complete removal of the exhaust from the kitchen and prevents the polluted air to re-enter the kitchen.

Pros of ducted chimney

  • Less noisy than a ductless chimney.
  • Efficient absorption of kitchen smoke makes the kitchen feel cool and fresh.
  • Less maintenance required.

Cons of ducted chimney

  • Large space required for installation
  • More labour required for installation.
  • Expensive

You may like to readbest exhaust fan for kitchen in India

#3. Auto-Clean Kitchen Chimney

automatic chimney

Automatic kitchen chimneys are filterless kitchen chimneys with a digital control panel and motion sensor-based working system.

Auto clean chimneys have a separate oil collector that automatically collects and separates the oil from smoke. Auto clean-up mechanism thus requires less maintenance and increases the life of the chimney. 

Also, read a detailed guide on How to clean a kitchen chimney“.

How to Select Kitchen Chimney (Buying Guide)

#1. Types of Filters

‘ Filter ‘ as the name suggests, is a device to hold the solid substances from the air that passes through it and thus makes the air cleaner. Based on the material and filtration process, 3 types of filters are available in the market.

#1. Cassette/Mesh Filter 

Cassette or Mesh filters are made up of layers of aluminum or stainless steel mesh that trap the oily and solid substances that stick over the mesh and let the smoke escape through it.

The greasy impurities start clogging the mesh and adversely affect the suction power of the chimney. So, the cassette filters require regular cleaning at least once a week for better performance of chimneys.

#2. Baffle Filter

 Baffle filters are made up of different curved panels of stainless steel or aluminum. The smoke produced in the kitchen is sucked by the chimney and the greasy substances are retained by the filter channel while allowing the air to pass through them.

The panels in baffle filters are large enough, so they do not cause hindrance to the airflow by clogging. Therefore, the baffle filters can be cleaned once in 2-3 months.

Baffle filters are suitable for Indian kitchens, as cooking involves the use of oils and spices to cook various dishes that produce a lot of greasy smoke.

#3. Carbon Filter

Carbon filters have charcoal plates with holes in them. Carbon filters are mostly used along with cassette or baffle filters for improved efficacy.

The charcoal plate absorbs greasy substances equivalent to the hole sizes. according to the size of holes. These plates cannot be cleaned, and thus, require replacement after every 3-4 months or as per the usage.

You can compare some interesting features of the filters in the table below.

Cassette/Mesh FilterBaffle FilterCarbon Filter
Suitable for Indian Kitchen NoYesYes
Cleanup RequiredHectic process.
Requires cleaning once a week.
Comparatively easy. 
Requires cleaning once in 2-3 months
Cannot be cleaned.
Needs replacement after 3-4 months.
Durability ModerateHighLess
NoiseHigh Moderate High 
Price Inexpensive Expensive Expensive 

#2. Kitchen Area

  • If your kitchen has ample space for duct installation, you can opt for the ducted chimney. Ducted chimneys are the right choice for restaurants,  hotels or homes with large kitchens.
  • Ductless chimney is the only option for the kitchens with limited space and lack of outlet for duct mechanism. 

#3. Size of the Cooking Hob

  • The  chimney size should be of the same size or slightly larger than the size of the cooking stove. 
  • Chimneys smaller than the cooking hob are unable to absorb the  smoke properly and hence, do not solve the purpose of the chimney. 
  • The ideal size of a chimney for a 2-burner gas stove should be 60 cm . For a bigger 3-5 burner stove, the ideal size of the chimney is 90 cm.

#4. Gap between Chimney and Cooktop

The gap between the chimney and the cooking stove should be taken care of.

  • If the chimney is installed closer to the cooking hob, the extreme heat from the hob may damage the chimney.
  • If the chimney is installed far away from the cooking stove, it will not be able to absorb the smoke properly.
  • The standard height for a chimney above the gas stove should be 24-30 inches, while for an electric stove, it should be 21-30 inches. There should be enough space for the installation of a chimney.

#5. Suction Power

The suction power is the smoke and odor absorbing ability of the kitchen chimney measured in cubic per meter (CPM).

How to calculate the suction power of your kitchen chimney

  • Calculate the volume by multiplying length, breadth and height of the kitchen. 
  • Suction power should always be 10 times the volume of the kitchen. So, multiply the calculated volume by 10. 

For example, let’s assume the dimension of the kitchen is : Length = 5 meters, breadth = 5 meters and height = 4 meters). 

  • The Volume of the kitchen = 5 x 5 x 4= 100m3
  • Ideal suction Power = 100 x 10 = 1000m3/h

Thus the kitchen chimney with 1000m3/h suction power is ideal for a 100 m3 kitchen.

Chimneys with high suction powers are suitable for Indian kitchens. However, there are some other factors to be considered-

Factors Suction power
Larger the size of ductsMore the suction power
More the number of bends in ductsDecreased suction power
Frequent oily cooking Decreased suction power
Filter typeBaffle filters provide better suction than cassette or carbon filters.
Regular cleaning Better suction of smoke and fumes

#6. Budget 

The price of the kitchen chimney depends on the number of features it provides. The chimney prices usually range between Rs 3,000 to Rs 1,00,000.

Ducted chimneys are comparatively more expensive than ductless chimneys. But as discussed earlier, a ducted chimney needs less care after installation. It’s a one-time investment.

Auto-cleaning chimneys are slightly costlier than manual cleaning chimneys.

Most of the manufacturers provide free installation, but for the customized chimneys, it is chargeable. 

For example, if you want a chimney with baffle filters and carbon filters, you need to pay extra for carbon filter installation (around  Rs 1000- Rs 1500).

Similarly, designer chimneys blending up with the interiors of the kitchen would cost you more.

#7. Maintenance 

A chimney filter is the most important constituent of a chimney that needs regular maintenance. Cleaning the filters is a very hectic and time-consuming job, but with a proper cleaning regime, maintenance can be easier. 

Chimney filters get clogged with greasy substances that are very hard to remove. You can follow the following steps to clean-

  1. Immerse the filter in hot water and add baking soda , vinegar or dishwasher into it.
  2. Keep it idle for an hour.
  3. Now, scrub the filter with gentle strokes using a brush or a scrubber.
  4. You will notice that the grease is cleaned.
  5. Repeat the process again if required.
  6. Let the filter dry before re-installation into the filter.

Baffle filters are easier to clean than mesh filters due to their paneled design that does not get clogged by oily dirt. As discussed earlier, baffle filters can be cleaned after every 3-4 months, but cassette/mesh filters require cleaning once a week.

You can also hire a technician for regular chimney cleanup and servicing to ensure complete and safe maintenance of the kitchen chimney.

Ducted chimneys need less maintenance as they completely expel the kitchen smoke outside through the duct, whereas ductless chimneys recycle the same air and thus get clogged much sooner.

Nowadays, kitchen chimneys with automatic cleaning systems provide hassle-free service, as manual labor is not required to clean them.

Automatic kitchen chimneys are perfect for Indian kitchens, as no frequent cleaning is required.

#8. Functionality 

Kitchen chimneys can be classified based on functionality, and can be divided into 2 broad categories-

  • Conventional kitchen chimneys-

Conventional chimneys have traditional designs that provide more focus on performance than the design. Conventional chimneys are also inexpensive and simple.

  • Contemporary kitchen chimneys-

Contemporary chimneys are designer chimneys that are customized according to the interiors of the kitchen interiors and provide better aesthetics to the kitchen without compromising performance. 

However, designer chimneys are quite expensive than conventional ones, and very few people can afford them.

#9. Ease of use

Kitchen chimneys designs have undergone a lot of transformation within a span of a few years, considering the easy use of chimneys. 

Automatic chimneys come with an oil collector mechanism that separates the oil from the kitchen fumes and does not block the airflow. Once installed, you need not worry about clogged filters. 

Modern chimneys are made up of easy-to-clean materials like stainless steel, aluminum (body), and glass. You can operate these chimneys with a  single touch and have sensors that are used for air gestures to operate.

You can get better clarification from some examples provided below-

  • The Elica 90 cm filterless auto clean chimney comes with a digital control panel and touch sensor that activates with just a wave of the hand. Sensor based mechanism prevents the oil or food debris  from the hands getting clogged on the chimney body.
  • The Hindware Nadia 60 cm filterless auto clean chimney has an in-built led light system that illuminates the cooking space. Along with the sensor activation feature, it also consumes less power than its contemporaries.

Top 5 Kitchen Chimney Brands in India

#1. Elica

 Elica chimneys are available in many designs and are loaded with features. From wall-mounted chimneys to auto cleaning chimneys, Elica has a range of chimneys available.

#2. Glen

Glen is the most trusted name in the world of island chimneys.

#3. Sunflame

Sunflame manufactures various types of chimneys in a budget-friendly range. Sunflame kitchen chimneys also design chimneys with an auto-clean mechanism.

#4. Hindware

Hindware provides a wide range of ducted chimneys in an economical range.

#5. Bosch

Bosch is one of the premium brands in the kitchen chimney category. Bosch provides all 4 types of kitchen chimneys – wall-mounted, island, corner hood & in-built. For more details, you can read my bosch kitchen chimney review.

Closing Thoughts 

As per the research,  automatic kitchen chimneys are preferred for Indian kitchens.

A ducted chimney is ideal for larger kitchens or is used in hotels.

While selecting a kitchen chimney, customized chimneys with contemporary designs can be considered. Custom-designed chimneys provide great aesthetics to the kitchen and are available with plenty of add-on features like double filters and glass-covered chimney bodies that make working in the kitchen an easy task.

About Shilpa Gupta

Shilpa Gupta is the editor-in-chief of KitcheAdvisor with a vision to help the reader with providing genuine advice on kitchen hacks & recommending the right product. She loves hills more than beaches.

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