The kitchen hood is an important factor that you need to consider when installing a new cooking range. They can be primarily categorized as ducted and ductless or recycling chimneys.
In ducted kitchen hoods, a duct pipe is fixed to the chimney that takes away the heat, odor, smoke and other particles out of the house. But in case of ductless or recycling chimneys, smoke, odor, and other impurities get filtered and fresh air is circulated back into the kitchen.
Of the two, ducted chimneys have been observed to be more effective. But ductless chimneys have to be installed in homes where there’s no space for ducts to be installed. Ultimately, which one you go for will depend on your range and kitchen setup, but you need to make an educated choice as well. The following is a list of few things that you have to be careful about during kitchen chimney installation.
Things to Consider While Installing A Kitchen Chimney
Kitchen chimneys extract heat, smoke, food odors and air-borne grease with the help of its internal fan and filter. Ducted chimneys use a duct to transfer the stale air from the chimney and release it to the outdoors. However, ductless or recycling chimneys take in the stale air and purify it by advancing it through a set of charcoal filters. The purified air is then circulated back into the kitchen.
As the Indian style of cooking involves a lot of frying and use of ground spices, ducted chimneys work better as compared to ductless chimneys. There are several options of chimney models to choose from according to the kitchen design and homeowner’s preference, such as the under-cabinet kitchen chimney, a wall-mounted kitchen chimney or a ceiling-mounted chimney.
1. Chimney size
60 centimeters or 90 centimeters is the standard width in which ducted chimneys are available. If the cooktop has two to four burners, going for a 60-centimeter-wide chimney works well enough. However, if you need a chimney for a cooktop with three or five burners, it is recommended to go for a 90-centimeter-wide chimney.
It is important to note that the size of the chimney must always be slightly bigger than the size of the cooktop or of the same size. This ensures that the chimney sucks up all the fumes without letting them escape into the kitchen.
2. Chimney filter
Chimney filters are available in two types – cassette filter and baffle filter.
A cassette filter has numerous layers of metal mesh to accumulate the oil, grease and other kitchen pollutants, and release the smoke through a duct or a PVC pipe. However, it comes with a drawback. The cassette filter tends to clog up with the kitchen pollutants from time to time, and the suction power of the chimney subsides.
The baffle filter, on the other hand, has steel and aluminum layers that overlap with each other and change the direction of airflow. Baffle filters use ‘cut-and-chop’ technology to separate the grease from the smoke, and their suction capacity doesn’t decrease over time due to clogging.
Note: Only ductless chimneys have carbon filters. Grease and charcoal filters clean the air further before releasing it back into the kitchen.
Besides, these filters need a lot of maintenance and also have to be replaced every three to six months.
3. Chimney suction power
Choosing a chimney with the right suction power is essential. The suction power of a chimney is measured in cubic meters per hour, and for Indian style of cooking, it is recommended to go with a power range of around 400 to 1000 cubic meters per hour depending on the size of your kitchen.
4. Chimney duct
The duct size and number of turns or bends in ducts is an important factor to consider. If the duct size is really long, you need to make sure the suction power of these chimneys is higher. The suction here needs to be high for the smoke and other impurities to travel out completely from the duct leaving the kitchen air clean.
The length of the chimney duct should not exceed more than twelve feet. Make sure that the chimney is positioned in a way that the pipe connecting to the outdoors is short so that the air suction power of the chimney can deliver maximum efficiency. But in most Modern houses you will find a window or say a wall which has some hindrance because of which you have to install the chimney further away. This certainly drops the performance level of the chimney.
Usually, people prefer using stainless steel for the chimney duct pipes because it is durable and offers good resistance to corrosion. PVC and aluminum can also be used for chimney ducts. It is advisable to keep the bends in the chimney duct to a maximum of two as shorter pipes with fewer bends work more effectively than a long pipe with more bends.
5. Cut-out for chimney duct in the external wall
Make a 6-inch-wide circular cut-out in the external wall for the chimney duct. Also, the cut-out needs to be made on the external wall such that the chimney height in the kitchen is seven feet from the floor level or above the window-lintel level. In case your kitchen doesn’t already have a circular cut-out, get the job done by a chimney installer. They can make the hole in the correct position of the external wall and install the chimney.
You could also use the cut-out or position of the external exhaust fan for passing the chimney pipe through it. However, if you are living in a rented apartment or building with restrictions, going with a ductless model is the only option.
6. Height of chimney from kitchen platform
The distance of the chimney from stove or countertop must fall within the range of 26 to 30 inches.
No matter what type of cooking range you have, like an electric cooking range, built-in hob or a usual cooktop, the distance to be maintained is the same. The distance shall not be less than 26 inches nor more than 30 inches. Anything more than that will not draw in the cooking fume effectively as the chimney will not be able to take away all the smoke, heat, odor and impurities completely out of the room. Anything less than 26 inches can block the use or view of pans and vessels while cooking. Therefore, to avoid any major consequences and ensure the chimney works well, the distance shall be maintained anywhere between 26 inches to 30 inches.
Choosing the Best Hood/Chimney for Your Kitchen
To decide which type of hood works best for your kitchen, you have to consider the workspace, your cooking style, and personal preferences. The following points may help you pick the right kitchen hood for your kitchen.
Flexibility: You can choose between ducted or ductless kitchen hood if you have ducts in your kitchen, else going for a ductless one will be the only option. Generally, a ductless hood will offer more flexibility. The type of hood you can have will also depend on where you are planning to put your kitchen range and cooktop.
Humidity and air quality in the kitchen: You need a ducted hood if you have a humid kitchen. If you can manage with recirculating air and a bit of noise, a ductless hood will be fine.
Budget: Installing all-new ductwork that fits your duct range can be a bit costly. If you are planning to replace an old range and hood, it is easier to go for the one that you had before and also saves you from a lot of money and stress. However, it is recommended to check the budget and cost of kitchen chimney installation before selecting a hood.
Finally, it is your choice whether you choose a ducted or ductless kitchen hood. Ducted ones may offer better efficiency in most scenarios, but ductless hoods can also work fine in a lot of settings. All you need to do is examine and research your options and consider the pros and cons of both the types of kitchen hoods and then select the style that you like the most.
Entrust a Professional
Usually, unless you understand and can differentiate between the different kinds of Kitchen Chimney types and installation limitations, it becomes impossible to source the modular kitchen essentials for your home. We at Contractorbhai make the decision easy for you by providing the service bundled with the rest of our Interior Design services at a clear transparent pricing.