Electric Chimney Buying Tips

 

Introduction:
Electric Chimney is an efficient way of removing smoke and odor compared to exhaust fans from a kitchen. For one thing, an exhaust fan will remove the fumes from your kitchen but not before it goes to your eyes. An electric chimney, on the other hand, is your ticket to cooking wholesome tadka meals without suffering from watery eyes. The other advantage is that it will save the ceiling (area right above the gas) from being marked with everything you've cooked in the week. There are two types of chimneys that you can choose from - traditional and designer. The traditional is for the utilitarian users, who want a chimney purely for their smoke absorbing abilities, while the designer chimneys are for those who along with the utilitarian aspect, want a chimney that enhances the decor of their kitchen.
You would go for this because:

  • You like a smoke free kitchen
  • Your cooking involves a lot of frying
  • Your eyes are over sensitive to fumes

Electric Chimney Price And Budget:
You may already have a budget in mind as to how much you would like to spend. However, electric chimneys cost anywhere between Rs 3,000 to Rs 110,000. This comprehensive price range includes both the traditional as well as the designer chimneys. The prices are primarily dependant on the suction capacity of the kitchen chimney.
Material:
Avoid buying chimneys made of wood as these can catch fire.
Electric Chimney Filters:

  • Grease filter And Mesh filter: The aluminum mesh filter also known as aluminum cassette filters is a multi-layer, metal filter; made of three to seven layers of aluminum mesh for effective purification. The Aluminum mesh is used to retain the grease particles that are present in the fumes. This filter is easily washable either by hand or in a dishwasher. The aluminum mesh filters contains very small holes. A small particle such as masalas and oil clings on to form a coating thereby blocking the filters and impeding suction. So these are not very useful for Indian conditions.
  • Baffle filter: Baffle filters came as improvement after aluminum mesh filters. Baffle filters use the cut-and-chop technology, to separate oil molecules and spices from smoke. It is very useful in an Indian kitchen, as the food cooked is greasy and oily. If the oil is stored in the lower layer too, it does not affect even 1 per cent of the suction power of the chimney. To top it all, Baffle filters are supposed to be 30 per cent more effective than mesh filters. Cleaning baffle filter chimneys is quite easy.
  • Materials of Baffle filter: The baffle filters are available in stainless steel or aluminum. Aluminum filters are lighter than steel and hence easier to handle. However, aluminum baffles may rattle, or even be drawn back into the hood. Also, you should be careful when cleaning an aluminum baffle. As most caustic solutions can and will scar, burn or even melt the aluminum.
  • Charcoal filter: This filter is mainly used for odour absorption and is used only once the electric chimney is installed in the Recycling mode. The absorption and purification capacity of these filters depends upon the thickness of these filters and the charcoal granules used. This filter, however, needs to be replaced periodically after every 3-6 months depending upon the cooking habits of the user and most importantly, it is not washable. The charcoal filter does not come in-built with all the electric chimneys, but is available at an extra cost.

Features:

  • Air Suction Capacity: This refers to the motors capacity to suck the odour and oily vapour and is measured as m3 per hour. An electric chimney with a higher air suction capacity is ideal for an Indian home as the cooking involves a lot of frying. For heavy cooking such as non vegetarian food or deep frying go for HIGH SUCTION above 401 m3/hr. For normal cooking go for MEDIUM air suction capacity at 400 m3/hr and below.
  • Number of blowers: The blowers run simultaneously with the motors to provide effective exhaust of unwanted smells and oil vapours at different speeds, thus providing better operation at lower noise levels. Higher numbers of blowers ensure more effective removal of unwanted smells, oil and grease. If your cooking largely involves deep-frying, then going in for more number of blowers is a better option.
  • Size: Consider the size of Electric Chimneys before buying; generally they are available in two sizes - 60 cms and 90 cms.
  • Island chimneys: They seem like they hang out of nowhere. These are for the counter-top cooking ranges and gas stoves. For the hobs with the western styled counters, an island chimney is an ideal choice.
  • Auto Clean chimneys: There are various features in the auto clean chimneys in the market today. These are from viewpoint of Indian cooking which uses oil and also easing maintenance and cleaning. The basic features to look for in these are:
  1. Auto cleaning facility which implies zero or least maintenance
  2. Motor is sealed not allowing any dust or smoke to get in
  3. Aluminum non-stick turbine blower to prevent oil clogging. Motor also use non - stick material like alumunium, and thus there is no need of periodic servicing of internal parts.
  4. Filter less Kitchen Chimney - hence no regular scrubbing of filters is needed.
  5. Detachable oil collector to collect oil particles

 Modes/Fittings:

  • Ducting: In the ducting mode, heavier particles of Oil/grease/spice are trapped in the baffle / mesh filter, and the smoke/fumes are ducted out of the house. Ducting requires PVC pipes. Since this is a permanent fixture, it also requires some carpentry work. But this is a good solution for those who don't want to spend time and money on changing their charcoal filters every now and then. It is a one-time investment unlike the charcoal filters.
    For ducting check details like pipe diameter, ducting length, maximum number of bends your ducting pipe can have from your manufacturer to ensure reliability.
  • Recycling: In recycling mode, heavier particles of Oil/grease/spice are trapped in the baffle / mesh filter and the smoke/fumes are filtered through the activated charcoal filter. The clean, deodorized air is then re-circulated into the room.
Other Tips Like Cleaning etc:
Depending on the type of chimney that will suit your household as well as your budget, you can get yourself a fume-free kitchen while cooking.A few tips to remember though, before you buy an electric chimney:
  • Cleaning is easier depending upon the filter design of the chimney - mesh filters should be washed in in warm detergent water every 8-10 days. Baffle filters need to be cleaned in warm detergent water every 2-3 weeks. Charcoal filters need to be changed every 3-4 months. These time periods are for regular use.
  • Noise level is high, more than in an exhaust fan
  • Install the chimney at lower heights so that you can easily reach to clean. And also be effective in getting the smoke out.
    It is recommended that the chimney should be at least 4 feet above the appliance cooking surface.