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There’s no doubt that Indian food is incredibly delicious, but though the tasty smells of cooking may make your mouth water, you don’t want them to linger in your home. Plus, smoke hovering over the stove, or the accumulation of grease on surfaces, is quite unsightly and can even be unhealthy and unsafe. This is why a kitchen chimney is an absolute must! With a motorised mechanism that pulls out cooking fumes and replaces it with clean air, an electric chimney is faster and more efficient than other forms of ventilation. Today, modular kitchens in particular, are most often designed with a chimney in mind; for a modular kitchen, chimney styles that are integrated into the design are most popular, as they can be chosen to match the overhead cabinets, or even built-in to be completely unnoticeable.
Whatever the layout, style or size of kitchen you have in your home, finding the perfect chimney is merely a matter of knowing what to look for, and what you want in terms of cost, appearance and functionality.
There are five basic shapes that chimneys come in, these are Box Type, Straight-Line, Angular, Curved Glass and Pyramid. And while the shape of your kitchen chimney is mostly a factor of aesthetics, functionality depends on other factors. Let’s go through those below.
1. Wall Mounted: A popular style that is often seen in Indian kitchens, as the name suggests, these chimneys are mounted against the wall, on one side of the kitchen.
2. Built-in (Integrated): A staple in modular kitchen chimney choices, they are placed within the overhead cabinets, creating an unnoticeable, integrated look that doesn’t interfere with the overall kitchen aesthetic.
3. Island / Ceiling-Mounted: Mounted from the ceiling, such chimneys hang over the stove, making them particularly ideal for island kitchens with a central stove-top.
4. Corner Chimney: While a space-saving option, they’re not common in Indian homes, as they are the best chimney for kitchen layouts in which the hob is located against a wall.
1. Ducting (Extraction): The ducts are passages that vent out of your home. They channel heat, smoke and gases out of your kitchen through a PVC or aluminium pipe.
2. Ductless (Recycling): A ductless chimney functions by recirculating air through its filters. Since it has no external vent it can only remove odours.
3. Mesh / Cassette Filter: Created with multiple layers of aluminium or steel mesh filters, this style of filter traps solid particles while allowing the smoke to escape. This mesh will require frequent cleaning and upkeep to ensure the chimneys suction capacity isn’t affected.
4. Baffle Filter: About 30% more efficient and much easier to maintain than mesh, these filters have a slatted design and are usually made of steel; panels have multiple curves that allow smoke to escape while preventing grease from getting through. Despite being slightly more expensive, baffle filters are more popular in India.
5. Carbon or Charcoal Filter: Crafted from a charcoal slate with holes in it, these filters can be used in a chimney without duct pathways or ones with them. Since they absorb oil and smoke particles, these filters are very efficient at removing bad odours, but cannot be cleaned and must be replaced.
6. Filterless Chimneys: This is the latest advancement to auto clean chimneys. Grease is stored in an oil collector, while a strategically placed motor ensures an enhanced suction capacity and clear flow for air, smoke and other gases. Though they are extremely easy to maintain since there are no filters to clean, they are also more expensive and not very efficient in kitchens with a high oil or spice use.
Standard kitchen chimneys come in two sizes – 60 centimetres and 90 centimetres. Which size you need is dependent on the size of the stove or cooktop in your kitchen; a basic rule of thumb is that the chimney should be exactly the size or slightly larger than your hob. When picking a chimney for small kitchen design spaces with a single or two-burner stoves go for a 60cm chimney, and a 90cm chimney for three or more burner stoves.
When finding the best chimney for kitchen layouts suited to Indian homes, particularly for a simple kitchen design, there are a few essential, functional features that shouldn’t be overlooked. These features can play a crucial role in determining the efficiency and overall performance of your chimney, and can also impact the look and feel of your kitchen. Consider the size of your kitchen, the type of cooking you do, and the kitchen design to help you make an informed decision when choosing a chimney of your home.
Suction power is a measure of the motor’s ability to suck up oil particles, fumes and odours. Chimneys with longer hoses generally have a greater suction power. If your cooking is heavy on the spices and oil, as most Indian cooking is, you need a more powerful exhaust in the chimney, to ensure it works efficiently.
While entry-level chimneys usually only have one speed, most have multiple speed options that will affect the rate at which the kitchen is ventilated. Choosing this kind of electric chimney for kitchen layouts that do not have a lot of natural air-flow will help ensure there are no lingering fumes or smells, regardless of what is being cooked. Of course, the air being vented and circulating within the chimney will make an audible noise. Some chimneys do have a silent-kit installed that can remove or reduce this sound.
When picking a kitchen chimney, auto clean options greatly reduce maintenance but are also more costly. With other chimneys, different types of filters will require different levels of cleaning and maintenance, for example, a ductless chimney vs. one with ducts, needs to be maintained in different ways. Other factors to consider are the motor – a sealed motor is protected from smoke and dust particles – and whether it has a detachable oil collector that will help keep your kitchen grease and grime free.
Whether you want to make a statement with a contemporary chimney – with stylish shapes and finishes in various colours, metallics, glass and even a fusion of both – or you prefer the more conventional look – traditional pyramid or straight-line styles in stainless steel or black – there are many choices of kitchen chimney available today. There’s even the option, offered by a few brands, to customise the look to match your kitchen décor. Adding on extra features like energy-saving LED lamps, or soft-touch controls are also options that can add to the overall aesthetic.
The price point for kitchen chimneys varies greatly depending on if you choose an entry-level option or something with more functions, such as soft-touch controls or similar. Likewise, while most chimneys come with a 12 month warranty, some do have an extended life-time warranty option. If it’s within your budget, try to pick a chimney with after-sales service and easily available spare parts, to make your ownership experience hassle-free.
Are you still asking yourself, “do I really need a kitchen chimney?” Here’s a quick look into the benefits and possible downsides to help you make up your mind.
Whether it’s price-point, functionality or aesthetics, given the many varieties, designs and styles available today, you’re sure to be able to find the perfect kitchen chimney by using the information above.
Still need a little help in designing that perfect Modular Kitchen to suit your home and family's needs? Partner with us at Beautiful Homes Service by Asian Paints; our expert team will help guide you through the big and small details. From functional layouts and the best chimney for Indian kitchen designs, to kitchen furniture and curated décor accessories that will add that extra flair to your spaces, we’ve got your back!
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