A kitchen chimney or an exhaust fan, what to choose for your kitchen? If you also find yourself asking the same question, you have landed at the correct place. In our article, we have focused upon the working and the crucial differences between the two household appliances. It will help you determine which one do you need and will prevent any unnecessary expenditure. Keep reading to find out more.
Though an exhaust fan is a common household appliance, people are still unaware of its purpose. In simpler terms, it is more like a ceiling fan but with different functioning. Unlike a ceiling fan that pushes air down, an exhaust fan expels the sucked air out of the room. Let’s see how this electrical appliance works.
How Does an Exhaust Fan Work?
An electric motor, blades, and a frame make up an exhaust fan. There can be three or more number of leaves attached to the blade, which move upon switching on the electrical plug. It is the blade that determines the suction capacity of an exhaust fan.
It then sucks the smoke from the kitchen and vents it outside, removing odours and keeping it fresh. The removed air is replaced by the fresh air from outside. The volume of air that is removed in a minute by an exhaust fan is calculated in CFM or cubic feet per minute. The rate at which the air is replaced depends on the size of the kitchen.
- Efficient in removing smoke and odour
- Easy to operate
- Relatively safe to use
- Suitable for small places
- Not efficient in removing oil or grease particles
- Maintenance is high
- Cleaning is difficult
- Noisy operation
A kitchen chimney or a kitchen hood is generally seen as an advancement from the age-old exhaust fan. It not only adds to the aesthetics of your kitchen but also improves the cleaning performance, which is lacking in an exhaust fan. Unlike an exhaust fan, a kitchen chimney can suck grease or oil particles too, along with smoke and odours, leaving the kitchen clean and fresh.
Since kitchen chimneys are installed just above the cooking top, they cover more surface area, and more smoke is drawn in from the kitchen. Also, the noise levels are reduced, allowing a disturbance-free cooking session. However, these are expensive and require more space for installation.
How Does a Kitchen Chimney Work?
A kitchen chimney is of two types – A Ducted chimney and a Ductless chimney. The functioning of a kitchen chimney is different from that of an exhaust fan. These are designed to suck smoke, grease, and odours from the kitchen and either vent it out or purify the air and recirculate it inside the kitchen, depending on the type.
A ducted chimney works on the principle of extraction. It consists of a suction unit, a filtration unit, and a PVC outlet pipe attached to a duct. The smoke or air filled with oil and odours is sucked from the stove and areas inside the kitchen. As the air rises, grease and oil particles are trapped by the filters in the chimney. Whereas smoke and odour are extracted out of the kitchen with the help of the outlet pipe. This type of chimney ensures that moisture levels are reduced inside the kitchen, and there is no grease or dirt build up.
In contrast, a ductless chimney works on the principle of circulation. It comes with a suction unit, containing a robust blower and a filtration unit to purify the air. Grease or oil particles are trapped by the mesh or baffle filters and are collected separately. Whereas, a carbon or a charcoal filter traps odours from the kitchen. This filtered air is then recirculated back inside the kitchen with the help of a blower. If one doesn’t mind some moisture build up inside the kitchen, this type of kitchen chimney is a suitable option for smaller kitchens.
- More efficient cleaning performance
- Improves the quality of air
- It makes the kitchen more aesthetically pleasing
- Less noisy as compared to exhaust fans
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Electricity consumption is high
- More space is needed for installation
|Kitchen Chimney||Exhaust Fan|
|It expels or recycles smoke, odour, grease, etc. from the kitchen||It removes smoke and odour from the kitchen and allows fresh air from outside to take its place|
|More expensive, costing more than 10,000 rupees||Less expensive, costing around 1,000 to 2,000 rupees|
|Cleaning it is comparatively easy||Cleaning requires the removal of the exhaust fan, which can be tiresome|
|Cleaning performance is enhanced||Cleaning performance is not as efficient as kitchen chimney|
|Energy consumption is high, consuming 200 to 250 watts of electricity||Energy consumption is low, with only 50 to 60 watts of power requirement|
|It requires more space for installation||Exhaust fans work efficiently, even in small kitchens|
Is an Exhaust Fan Required in Kitchen With a Chimney?
In kitchens with chimneys already installed, it is not necessary to have an exhaust fan. It is because smoke and odours will be sucked and vented out or filtered by the chimneys alone. Moreover, a ducted chimney is equal to the functioning of fifteen exhaust fans. Whereas, a ductless chimney offers better performance than at least eight exhaust fans. This shows the superiority of kitchen chimneys over exhaust fans when it comes to performance.
However, if you still have both the kitchen chimney and an exhaust fan installed in your kitchen. In that case, you need to make sure that you don’t use the exhaust fan while cooking.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Kitchen Chimney or an Exhaust Fan –
Now that we have discussed the functioning, advantages, and disadvantages of both exhaust fans and kitchen chimneys, let’s see the factors that can make a difference in your purchase.
If cleaning efficiency is your point of concern. In that case, kitchen chimneys are a better option than exhaust fans. As we know that exhaust fans are incapable of trapping grease or oil particles, these can merely expel smoke and odour from the kitchen and replace it with fresh air from outside. This makes cleaning of the kitchen a little less efficient as grease and dirt stick on the kitchen furniture and on the walls.
On the other hand, kitchen chimneys come installed with specially designed filters to trap oil and grease particles, and collect them in separate oil collectors. It does this in addition to removing smoke and odour from the kitchen. Therefore, kitchen chimneys are the preferred choice for a more efficient cleaning performance.
Ease While Cooking
Ease while cooking is one of the most sought after factors when purchasing a kitchen appliance. Solely on this factor, kitchen chimneys offer more ease while cooking as compared to the exhaust fans. This is because exhaust fans are installed higher on the wall, which allows the smoke and grease to spread in the kitchen before being expelled out by the exhaust fan.
In contrast, kitchen chimneys are put up just above the cooking surface, which allows them to trap smoke and fumes almost instantly. This ensures that smoke doesn’t get a chance to escape to other areas in the kitchen, thereby keeping the moisture, smoke, and odour build up inside the kitchen low. Moreover, the noise levels of a kitchen chimney are also on the lower side, thereby allowing you to cook without any disturbance.
The durability of both an exhaust fan and a kitchen chimney depends on the brand and the product. Though both require some level of maintenance for optimum performance, a quality ducted chimney will be more durable and better performing in the long run.
When investing in an electrical appliance, maintenance becomes a crucial factor for selection. With busy lifestyles, a low maintenance device is always preferred. Since exhaust fans are mounted high on the wall, they are usually out of human reach, thereby requiring some climbing equipment to remove and clean the appliance. One needs to clean them at least once a month to get rid of all the dirt and grease particles stuck on the blades of the exhaust fan.
In contrast, kitchen chimneys are somewhat easier to maintain as these come with advanced auto-clean technologies. Auto clean technology ensures that the chimney is cleaned within seconds, without any human intervention. Moreover, filters in chimneys require cleaning with plain water once every three to four months and would last a long time. Therefore, on a maintenance scale, kitchen chimneys score more than the exhaust fans.
If budget is your criterion for selection between an exhaust fan and a kitchen chimney. In that case, an exhaust fan is the most suitable option. A good quality exhaust fan will cost you around 2,000 rupees. In contrast, a kitchen chimney can cost you at least 10,000 rupees, depending on the brand and the features offered. Also, the low energy consumption of exhaust fans will further reduce the overall costs of the product.
Kitchen Chimney or Exhaust Fan, Which One is Better?
Having compared both exhaust fans and kitchen chimneys extensively, we can conclude that kitchen chimneys are a better option than exhaust fans in India. This is because they offer exceptional cleaning performance and also allow for a disturbance-free cooking experience. On the other hand, exhaust fans are an economical option but lack in performance, which is needed for the Indian style of cooking.
The kitchen chimney or an exhaust fan, what was your pick? Were your doubts cleared, or you still have some questions left? Please let us know in the comments below. We would love to read about your experience.