Appearance and design aren’t just enough to buy a kitchen chimney. The performance of your chimney merely depends on the type of filter it has.
There are basically three types of kitchen chimney filters, Baffle, Mesh and Charcoal; each with varied properties, performance abilities and cleaning processes. The type of filter you must choose depends on the type of cooking you mostly do.
For instance, a mesh filter can be good for you if your cooking doesn’t involve much oil. A baffle filter can be your option if your cooking takes much time.
A charcoal filter is good for capturing pungent smells preventing occasional coughing and sneezing while your spices splutter.
Confused? Let’s discuss these types of chimney filters in detail and so that you choose the right one for your kitchen. We have also answered some of your queries to help you make a better purchase.
What is a Kitchen Chimney Filter?
Indian cooking mostly involves oil and spices which release heavy smoke, soot and sticky particles that can be difficult to remove. Here’s where a chimney filter comes into action.
It has the potential to suck the smoke, oil particles, and grease from the air which helps you to keep your kitchen odour-free and tidy.
The chimney filters these days are more flexible and can be removed from your chimney and cleaned easily.
Chimney Filter Types:
1. Mesh/Cassette Filter
This type of filter resembles a mesh that traps the oil particles and grease while allowing the smoke to escape through the tiny pores in it.
Mesh filters are usually made of aluminum or stainless steel.
The stainless-steel filters are expensive than aluminum ones and heavier. However, they are easy to clean.
The aluminum filters are lighter but require much effort to clean. These are also prone to corrosion.
Mesh filters can only handle little load. So, Indian kitchens with smaller families where the cooking time is less can go for this.
Cleaning Process and Frequency:
Dip the mesh filter into hot soapy water and let it rest for 30 minutes. Then, using baking soda and dish washing liquid, scrub the filter till the pores of the mesh are clearly visible.
Both stainless-steel and aluminum mesh filters must be cleaned once a week.
You can even hire a member from the chimney cleaning agency to do the work.
Can last for years with regular cleaning.
Cheaper than the baffle filter.
- Less expensive than the other two types of chimney filters.
- Lightweight and can be removed from the chimney easily for cleaning.
- Steel cassette filter can be dish washed.
- Not suitable for heavy Indian cooking that involves deep frying.
- The aluminum mesh filter can develop rust if not cleaned regularly.
- The pores of the mesh tend to get blocked frequently.
2. Baffle Filter
Baffle filter is an improved version of mesh filter that has a panel with multiple curves through which the air passes and in the process the curves capture the grease and oil particles.
According to a research, baffle chimney filters are 30% more effective than the mesh filters in capturing the grease.
These filters are perfect for Indian kitchens as the grease collected does not affect the air flow.
Most of the baffle filters are made of stainless steel.
Aluminum baffle filters are also available in the market but rare.
Indian kitchens with high oil and spice usage and for people who like deep frying and grilling.
Cleaning Process and Frequency:
Can be cleaned easily by dipping the filter into hot soapy water. You don’t need a technician to clean this type of filter.
The baffle filter requires cleaning once in every 2 months.
Can last for 5-6 years with proper maintenance.
Little expensive than mesh chimney filter as it’s made of stainless steel.
- Easy to clean and maintain.
- Perfect for Indian cooking.
- Need not replace frequently. You can replace it once in 5 years.
- Improved suction and airflow than mesh filter.
- Baffle filters are a bit heft and can be tough to remove from the chimney.
- Can develop rust when not cleaned on time.
3. Carbon/Charcoal Filter
This is the secondary filter used in addition to the mesh/baffle filter in most of the kitchen chimneys.
Its main purpose is to absorb the odour and keep your kitchen fresh. This type of filter is mostly used in the ductless chimneys and do not come as a standalone filter in a chimney.
Charcoal filter as the name suggests is made of charcoal granules and the absorption power of this filter depends on the thickness of the granules.
Kitchens with extensive cooking mainly while preparing spicy dishes like the Bengali cuisines. You need pay some extra cash to get this filter installed in your chimney.
Cleaning Process and Frequency:
The charcoal filter cannot be cleaned and must be replaced after using for a certain time.
As the charcoal granules absorb grease and oil quickly, the filter needs to be changed within 6 months.
Expensive than the previous filters.
- As it is a secondary filter, it improves the efficiency of your chimney.
- This filter is readily available in India.
- As the filter is un-washable, it requires frequent replacement.
Some Frequently Asked Questions:
Any type of chimney filter can be much more durable when handled with proper care and maintenance. Regular cleaning with hot water and soap can extend the life of your chimney filter. This can also prevent corrosion.
We suggest you to go with stainless steel chimney filter as it’s more durable.
For Indian cooking, it is always best to with the baffle chimney filter as it requires less maintenance and more efficient.
With the advancement in technology, even the chimneys are upgrading to a new version. The new type of chimney’s now being introduced have no filter but will have a blade fan which rotates at the RPM you set. With this, the oil and other particles get collected in an oil collector. The oil collectors are also easy to remove and clean.
However, as it’s the recent invention, only companies Faber, Hindware and Elica have these filterless kitchen chimneys. We suggest you to wait till these new models prove their efficacy.
There no one particular time to replace your filters. Consider these scenarios:
• If you don’t remember the last time you cleaned your filter, then it’s time to clean it.
• If your walls and ceiling start to accumulate grease, then it’s time to change the filter.
• If you find any damage, holes or dents, you must change the filter.
Your kitchen chimney is only as good as the filter in it. No matter how modern your chimney looks, if there’s no proper filter in it, the efficiency of the chimney will remain useless. Make sure you go through the article clearly and pick the right one for your kitchen needs.