Let’s paint a picture to make you drool: the sizzle of vada in hot oil, the cooker whistling away, the aroma of dry roasting chillies in the Tava… the Indian kitchen is a symphony that excites all the senses. But the problem is that all the heavy scents can linger long after we have devoured the meals. That’s why the chimney is a crucial part of Indian kitchens. It absorbs the oil, smoke and scents of cooking. It also protects your kitchen cabinets, tiles and other surfaces from getting soiled by sticky fumes.
With all the different types of chimneys available in the market, how do you choose one that’s right for you? Here’s what you should consider before investing in one:
The size of your chimney depends on the size of your stove. If you have a smaller stove with one or two burners then you can go for a 60 cm chimney. If your stove has three or more burners, it’s better to go for a 90 cm chimney.
Consider your style of cooking while deciding the suction capacity. Suction capacity varies from 700 m3/hr to 1600 m3/hr. If you use the kitchen very lightly, go for one with less capacity. For example, if you are a vegetarian who tends to use minimal oil while cooking, you can choose a suction power from 800 m3/hr to 1000 m3/hr. A non-vegetarian should go for a suction power of 1100 m3/hr or higher. And if you tend to deep fry your food a lot, definitely pick one with 1200 m3/hr to 1600 m3/hr.
There are four basic styles of chimneys available including wall-mounted chimney, island chimney, built-in chimney and corner chimney. Wall-mounted is the most commonly found in the Indian kitchen. It’s fixed on the wall above the hob. If the kitchen has the hob on an island (at the centre of the kitchen), an island chimney can be installed on the ceiling. Built-in chimneys are integrated into the kitchen furniture or cabinets, thus won’t be easily visible. The corner chimney is quite rare, and as the name suggests is placed above corner hobs.
Only a single speed option is available for entry-level chimneys, but the latest models have speed settings. So if you have had a particularly smelly cooking session, you can adjust the speed of suction and have an odourless kitchen quickly.
Chimney filters are divided into three types depending on the structure, material and filtering process. Mesh or cassette filters have multiple layers of aluminium or stainless steel mesh filters. It traps the solid particles and allows the smoke to be sucked into the chimney. They require frequent maintenance as the holes can get quickly blocked. Baffle filters are common in Indian kitchens. They are said to be more efficient than the mesh type. The panels on the filter have multiple curves which trap grease and suck in the smoke. They are easier to maintain and can even be cleaned without the help of a technician. Carbon filters are great at removing the foul smell that seems to linger after a big cooking session. These cannot be washed. The filter must be replaced every 4-6 months.
Nowadays, you can also get chimneys with filter-less technology. These may come with auto clean technology and oil collectors. They may be more expensive but also require much less maintenance than their counterparts.
No matter how high-end the brand of chimney you choose, there can always be unexpected problems with it. Always check how what the warranty period is and whether the manufacturer provides service in your area. You don’t want to end up with such a big investment without being sure that it can be fixed.
If you are still wondering which kind of chimney is right for you, our team at HomeLane can help you make the right decision. Moreover, we can also design a kitchen that is just right for your needs and aesthetics.