Ductless Chimney vs Duct Chimney

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There is no doubt about the fact that chimneys are a must in any modern kitchen. Most homes in urban areas are closed confined spaces, the need for a chimney increases manifold if hygiene and cleanliness is a matter of concern for you. 

Once used exclusively in commercial establishments like restaurants and hotels, it is now ubiquitous in all homes because of its utility. You can choose from a wide range of brands and variants of chimneys based on your budget and requirement. The pressing matter here is; which chimney will suit your requirements the best. To come to this decision, you will first need to understand the types of chimneys currently available in the market first. Understanding their features and functions will help you identify the right chimney for your kitchen. 

Duct Chimney Vs Ductless Chimney & How Do They Work

There are essentially two types of chimneys in the market currently; a duct chimney and a ductless chimney.

A duct chimney uses a large pipe or a duct through which the hot air or smoke is expelled into the atmosphere. The suction motor inside the duct is effective in sucking large amounts of smoke and hot air in a go. The fumes captured are let out of the home into the environment through the duct. The grease and grime settles down on the chimney filter 

A ductless chimney is not fitted with a pipe that helps in expelling the smoke and hot air into the open space. Its main purpose is to filter the air and maintain the quality of the air inside the kitchen. The suction motor will pull all the air and smoke in which will pass through the filter attached to it. The filter will capture all the oily particles and pollutants and let the clean air pass through. The main idea here is to recirculate the air once it is filtered.

Readers take note, each variant of the chimney can have added features and functionality with time; it becomes difficult and confusing to select a chimney merely based on their name or the type. In such cases, it is advisable to focus on their functions to select the right device for your kitchen.

Pros And Cons

Here’s a quick checklist of the benefits and shortcomings of both variants of chimneys. This chart will help you determine which chimney will suit your requirement the best.

Duct Chimney

ProsCons
It is capable of capturing hot air, smoke, and oily particles produced while cooking and expelling them into the atmosphere.Installation of this device is harder and it requires a duct in the kitchen without which it cannot be installed unless you re-do the entire kitchen.
The chimney is durable and can handle heavy-duty cooking which generates a lot of smoke and fumes.The installation cost/upfront cost is high since it requires a good amount of technical know-how.
It has fewer parts; so lesser need for maintenance visits from the vendor.It takes more space and cannot be installed as per our preference unless the duct is right where we want it.
The suction motor makes very little sound.

Related reading: How To Clean A Kitchen Chimney?

Ductless Chimney

ProsCons
The major advantage of the ductless chimney is the ease of installation. Since it doesn’t require a duct, it can be installed anywhere in the kitchen.Ductless chimneys are noisier than ones with a duct. This is because the suction motor sucks the dirt through the filter.
It costs much lesser than duct chimneys.It cannot cool down the air in the kitchen since it merely filters the air and sends it out through its outlet.
Its takes lesser space than its counterpart.Since it has more parts, it usually ends up requiring more maintenance. 
Suitable for small kitchenThe filters need to be changed every once in a while depending on their usage.

QUICK COMPARISON CHART

Duct ChimneyDuctless Chimney
On the expensive sideRelatively cheaper
Complex installation processNo undue complication
Relatively low noiseMakes noise
High suction powerRelatively less suction power
Low maintenanceHigher maintenance
Filters are optionalFilters are mandatory
Very effective in expelling heat, smoke, moisture. Also lowers the temperature of the kitchen.Less effective. Cannot expel moisture and steam nor reduce the temperature in the room
Requires more space to set upRequires lesser space to set up

While both variants of the chimney have their share of problems, it is not a deal-breaker. The objective here is to put more weight on the benefits than its shortcomings. 

Points To Consider

If we are to do a quick comparison between the two chimney variants, it’s quite evident that a duct chimney outperforms the ductless chimney. The reason being it’s a much effective suction mechanism in comparison to a ductless chimney. So, why aren’t we just using a duct chimney instead of the ductless counterpart assuming the cost is the same?  – That’s because a duct pipe is not readily available in most Indian houses. With the increase in demand for homes with modern amenities, ducts will become a common sight eventually. This, in turn, will increase the demand for ductless chimneys for home use.

Granted, a duct chimney wins hands down in terms of performance but a ductless chimney gives you a lot more flexibility and is cost-effective. So, a person who isn’t too bothered about a little steam and higher temperature inside the kitchen would gladly opt for a ductless chimney instead of the better performing duct chimney just to save on the cost. 

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