Chimneys are an essential part of any modern kitchen these days. Its use may be limited only to the urban area at the moment as far as India is concerned. However, with the passage of time and modernisation, chimneys are expected to be an essential part of every kitchen.
There are essentially two types of chimneys currently in the market- filter chimney and filterless chimney. In this article, we will be putting some light on the filter chimney variant. Here we go.
What Is A Filter Chimney And How Does It Work?
A filter chimney comes with a mesh or a barrier that absorbs all the oily particles and pollutants and lets the fume out through an outlet. If this is not clear, think of a sieve that we use to separate the tea from the leaves while pouring it into a cup. The device used to separate the particles from the liquid is called a filter and the process is called filtration. The same principle is applied in the case of a filter chimney too.
It contains three main parts: a suction motor, duct and a filter. A filter chimney is placed right on top of the stove so that it can pull the fume and smoke soon as it is generated while you are cooking. Once the device is switched on, the suction motor will rotate and drag the fumes while the greasy particles get caught in the filter. The fume will be expelled into the open air through the outlet pipe connected to the duct.
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Types Of Chimney Filters
With the advancement in technology, new components and features are added to the chimneys which increase its application and its effectiveness by a big margin over the years. Currently, there are three types of filter chimneys in the market: Mesh Filter, Baffle Filter, and Charcoal Filter. For our readers benefit, we will share detailed information on each of these variants.
The most basic of all filters, it is used in almost all chimneys variants as a primary layer of protection. The mesh has several tiny holes through which the air passes while the oil and other pollutants get caught. The mesh is made of aluminium or stainless steel. Multiple layers of this filter are used to increase the efficiency of the chimney.
|It is very effective in capturing grimes and oily particles. The filter is easy to remove and assemble. There is no hassle over removal and fixing of the filter||The filter needs frequent cleaning if you want it to work effectively. The filters can be susceptible to high temperatures which lead to warping of the mesh.|
|The mesh is easily replaceable and can be purchased for a nominal cost.||The suction power is reduced since the mesh acts as a barrier|
|The filter is lightweight and can be handled easily.||This variant of chimney makes more noise than others.|
|The filter can be cleaned by a dishwasher provided it is made of stainless steel.||The filter is harder to clean since it has a lot of holes where the dirt gets stuck.|
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The baffle filters are made of many curved panels. The surface is made with a curvature that allows the air to flow through it and then capture all oily particles. The design is made such that it becomes no more an impediment to the suction motor installed in the chimney. As a result, the suction power of the motor functions in full force.
|Baffle filters are easier to clean. You can also clean it in a dishwasher||The filter is heavier since it is made of stainless steel.|
|You need to clean the filter only once a month.||These filters are on the expensive side.|
|The filter is durable since it is usually made of stainless steel and can tolerate high temperature|
|It is perfect for Indian cooking which generates a lot of fume and oil particles|
|The suction power of the chimney is not reduced as a result of this filter variant|
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Charcoal filters are used in addition to the primary filters such as mesh and baffle filters that capture any remaining particles suspended in the air. As the name suggests, these filters are made of charcoal. The absorption power of these filters depends on the thickness of the filter and the charcoal granules.
|Charcoals are known to be great filtration devices. Hence, this filter will be very effective.||This filter is not washable. It needs to be replaced every 3-4 months depending on the usage.|
|The filter is durable and will last for a reasonable period||Replacing the filter increases the maintenance cost over time|
|It is economical and can provide that extra filtration you require if you cook oily food more often.|
Related reading: Ductless Chimney vs Duct Chimney
How To Choose The Right Chimney Filter?
Granted, the fundamental purpose of the chimney may remain the same irrespective of the variant you choose. However, we can all agree on the fact that no one wants to take up the unnecessary effort of maintenance if it can be avoided.
The type of cooking and frequency of the cooking determines which chimney works best for you. If you live on your own or a small family of no more than 3-4 members, a mesh filter chimney will work best for you since the frequency of cooking will be lesser. Also, the mesh will need lesser rounds of maintenance.
In case you are a big family or tend to cook a lot of spicy and oily food items, a baffle filter chimney will be more suitable as it is more effective in handling the grease and fume generated while cooking a meal. Of course, if the frequency of cooking increases, the filter is used more often which means its effectiveness will reduce with time if not cleaned at regular intervals. A baffle filter chimney can take on heavy-duty cooking for longer periods and more effectively in comparison to a mesh filter chimney.
As far as a carbon filter is concerned, it’s essentially an add-on to the other two variants and doesn’t come as an independent variant for the time being. To conclude, all chimney variants come with their benefits and challenges, this comparison is in no way an indication of one being better than the other. The challenge here is not to find the “best filter” but to find the “filter that works best for you”. Happy smoke-free and oil-free cooking!