Chimney versus Exhaust Fan, which one is better?

Kitchen Chimney versus exhaust fan

A decade ago, kitchen chimneys were not that common in India. Also, the manufacturers did not make kitchen chimneys keeping Indian cooking in mind. But this scenario has completely changed in the past few years. Many brands have started manufacturing chimneys for the Indian customer base. Before that period, the only solution to the problem of smoke in the kitchen was an exhaust fan. Most people had exhaust fans in their kitchen for this purpose. For comparing the features of the various kitchen chimneys, please do read our buying guide on the best kitchen chimneys in India.

But the question arises how a kitchen chimney is better than its cheaper rival exhaust fan? Let us look at the pros and cons of both of these products to let you decide what you want to buy for you home.

How does an Exhaust Fan work?

An exhaust fan is a simple appliance which absorbs the air from the kitchen and releases it outside. The exhaust fan is generally fixed on the wall which is a direct access to open air. All the smoke and heat from the cooking is sucked in the fan and released out directly in the open air. The impure air is thus thrown out to be replaced by fresh air. The suction power of fan cannot be measured.

How does a Kitchen Chimney work?

The hood of the kitchen chimney is placed directly above the stove top. The distance is around 25-30 inches from the stove top. The chimney is equipped with a powerful fan which sucks the air and smell from the cooking. The oil and other particles from this air are filtered and the gases are released outside the kitchen through the attached ducts. The impurities are collected in the filters and the oil is collected in the oil collector box. The impure air is replaced by fresh air in the kitchen. In case of ductless chimney, the same air is filtered and then released in the kitchen after being cleaned. The suction power of the chimney can be measured in m3/hr.


An exhaust fan is normally 10” x 10” in size with the power of 40 watts. It is placed at a higher level. Hence the suction power of exhaust fan is much lower than the kitchen chimney. Whatever the size of your stove top, or the number of burners, the size of the exhaust fan remains the same. The exhaust fan cannot collect all the oil and grime. The suction power cannot be measured in an exhaust fan.

On the other hand, a kitchen chimney hood is placed above the stove top at a height of 25”-30”. This makes the hood quite closer to the burner and the flame than the exhaust fan. Plus, the kitchen chimney has a powerful fan inside the chimney to help suck all the air from the kitchen. It also has filters to collect oil, grease or other particles. The size of the kitchen chimney varies as per the size of the kitchen and the number of burners. The larger is the kitchen, the larger the chimney. Kitchen chimneys are available in various sizes like 60 cm to 90 cm. If you have more number of burners, you can go for a larger chimney. The suction power of the chimney also varies in accordance with your need. If you fry or grill more you should buy a chimney with a larger capacity.  


The exhaust fan makes a lot of noise as it is purely mechanical equipment. You cannot control the speed of the exhaust fan in case you feel it is making too much noise. On the other hand, a chimney makes much less noise.

 Most of the kitchen chimneys do not make more than 58 Db of noise. It is sophisticated equipment with better controls. Additionally, you can control the speed of the suction as per your requirement. There are controls given to help you with that task. Many brands also provide motion controls which allow you to control your chimney with the movement of your hand. You will feel special while using a kitchen chimney.


An exhaust fan is not at all good looking and is just for the purpose of assisting you while the kitchen chimney looks fabulous and smart in your kitchen. Most of the kitchen chimneys are fitted with LED lamps which look good and help you make the preparation for your cooking.


Exhaust fans are fixed higher up on the kitchen wall. It is very difficult to remove the cover and clean it. Moreover, the fan itself cannot be removed completely for the purpose of cleaning. Hence, somewhere it will always be dusty and oily. If you have any problem and you want to get it serviced, it is not very costly.

Kitchen chimneys feature filters which are removable. You can remove these filters from time to time and clean them with soap and water. The inside of the chimney is not normally dirty. The efforts to clean the chimney are much less as the height is also lower. On the other hand, if there is a problem with kitchen chimney, the servicing by the professional is pricey.


The biggest advantage of the exhaust fan is its price. You can get exhaust fans starting from Rs.1000. The servicing, installation, repairing, etc. are also affordable. This gives an edge to exhaust fan over kitchen chimney if you do not have a huge budget.

A kitchen chimney costs a lot more than an exhaust fan. In India, the costing starts from Rs.10000. Hence, it is almost 10 times than an exhaust fan.

The other cost is the electricity cost. While an exhaust fan consumes just 40 watts of electricity, a kitchen chimney consumes 230 watts of electricity which is a recurring cost.


A kitchen chimney has many advantages over an exhaust fan. If you do not have a problem with budget then a kitchen chimney is a much better option. From being aesthetically attractive to being functionally effective, a kitchen chimney is better than an exhaust fan on any given day.

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