Exhaust Fan vs Chimney for Kitchen- Which is Better?

By Consumer Advise Team
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If you are confused about buying an Exhaust Fan or a Chimney, firstly, you need to understand the function and working of each. Secondly, you should compare the merit and demerits of an Exhaust Fan vs a Chimney before making any conclusion.

Unlike cooking in other countries, Indian Style cooking produces a lot of smoke and oily substances as cooking involves a lot of frying and grilling. In such a situation, the kitchen gets highly polluted if the kitchen does not vent the smoke out. When left over for a long time, oily and greasy substances stick to the walls, ceiling, and interior of the kitchen making it look dirty.

Do you think that an Exhaust Fan is a solution for this?

The answer is NO!

But Why an Exhaust Fan is not a solution? To find the answer, you need to check what an Exhaust Fan is lacking. An Exhaust Fan has been an integral part of the old-fashioned kitchen for a long time. Eventually, it was the cheapest solution too. Check how an Exhaust Fan works to understand its advantages and disadvantages.

How does an Exhaust Fan work?

exhaust fan for kitchen

An Exhaust fan is very similar to a ceiling fan that consists of a motor and attached blades. Usually, these are used in the bathroom and the kitchen to remove bad odors and polluted air. While the exhaust fan is good to install in the bathroom, we do not recommend it to install in the kitchen for its limited features. When the Exhaust fan is powered on, the motor starts to rotate and eventually drags the inside air to the outside of the kitchen.


  • The Cheapest solution is to vent the polluted air out of the kitchen.
  • Easy operation by just switching the motor on from the switchboard.
  • The Exhaust Fan is installed on the wall near the ceiling, so it is out of human interference. This increases safety.


  • It cannot drag the whole volume of air inside the kitchen as installed far away from the source of smoke/ burners.
  • The walls, Ceiling, and interior get oily and dirty even if you install an Exhaust Fan.
  • High maintenance for both the kitchen and exhaust fan.
  • As the Exhaust Fan is installed away from human reach, you might need a ladder or other arrangements to clean and maintain it.

From the above advantages and disadvantages, it is quite clear how an Exhaust Fan works and what are the limitations of the exhaust fan. If you install a Chimney instead of an Exhaust Fan, the cost will be a bit higher but can save you from indoor air pollution that can lead to respiratory problems. Now read how a Chimney works to distinguish the limitations of an Exhaust Fan.

How Does a Chimney Work?

Kitchen Chimney

The working of a Chimney for a typical Indian Style Kitchen is not as straightforward as an Exhaust Fan. There are two types of chimneys available in the Indian Market- ducted and ductless chimneys. By comparing ducted and ductless chimneys, you can get a clear idea of their differences.

How does a ductless chimney work?

The Ductless Chimney consists of a suction unit with a blower motor, and a filtration unit (with Baffle, Cassette, and/or carbon filter). The Ductless Chimney basically recirculates the polluted air through the filters to take the oily/ greasy substances out.

Working of a Ducted Chimney

The Ducted or Ducting Chimney does not recirculate the air, instead vents out to the atmosphere. It consists of a hood, an operating interface, a suction unit, a filtration unit (optional), and an attached vent. The blower motor sucks the smokey air, passes it through a filter to absorb sticky oil particles, and vents the purified air out.

How a chimney works

Check the Best Kitchen Chimneys in India from Top-Rated Brands with wonderful Quality, Design, and brilliant performance.

Exhaust Fan vs Chimney in India- Which is Better?

As you now have got a broad knowledge of the workings of an exhaust fan and a chimney, we can now get a clear idea about which one is better. According to the efficiency of cleaning, filtering the smokey air, ease of use, safety, and quality of the cooking environment we can compare exhaust fans vs chimneys in India to find out the best one.

1. The efficiency of Cleaning & Filtration of Air

We know that the Exhaust Fan does not filter the air, instead, it vents out to the atmosphere directly increasing the pollution. In this process, the air is displaced from the kitchen and you can get partially clean air during cooking.

On the other hand, a chimney is placed directly above the source of smoke generation. So, the smoke does not even have a chance to spread throughout the kitchen. With Ductless Chimney, the air is recirculated in the kitchen after filtration, and with a ducted chimney, it is vented out of the kitchen.

2. Cooking Environment

When the environment of cooking is concerned, the chimney is far better than the exhaust fan. As the exhaust fan is mounted far away from the heating/ cooking source, the smoke and hot steam move all around the kitchen, and after a certain time, it gets exhausted by the exhaust fan. In the meantime, your kitchen gets full of smoke and odor.

The chimney, on the other hand, vents out the smoke as soon as it produces it. So, the kitchen gets less polluted.

Hence, we can conclude that the exhaust fan is not the best choice when your concern is mostly the environment of cooking. Therefore it is best to select a chimney.

3. The expense for Exhaust Fan vs Chimney

When the cost of the product is the most concern to you, you may find an exhaust fan that is most suitable for your requirements. The expense to buy an exhaust fan is at least 1/6th of the cost of a Chimney. However, you need to keep in mind the limitations of an exhaust fan.

The best exhaust fans in India are perfectly suited for Indian kitchens if you are looking for an affordable solution.

4. Safety and Maintenance

It is a very important aspect when the concern is safety. Both Exhaust Fan and Chimney have merits and demerits of their own.

An exhaust fan is installed away from human reach. you need a ladder or other arrangements to clean and do maintenance on it. So, everyone does not have access to them. However, you need to do proper maintenance. The sticky oily and greasy particles from smoke get stuck to the blade and the body of the exhaust fan. you should clean it once a month to ensure the proper safety of the equipment.

On the other hand, the Chimney has many more components and functionalities than the Exhaust Fan. For Auto-clean chimneys, you may have less involvement to maintain safety. For this reason, auto-clean chimneys are better to use. So, when it comes to the comparison of an exhaust fan vs chimney, both are good from a safety point of view when the maintenance is done well.

5. Reliability and Durability

When you focus on Durability and Reliability, it varies with brand and product for both the exhaust fan and chimney. However, to maintain the best working conditions, maintenance is very important, especially for chimneys. A ductless chimney may create noise and perform badly if the filters are not cleaned regularly. The frequency of maintenance is lower in the case of the exhaust fan. But routine maintenance is indeed needed to maintain the optimum condition and make it more reliable and durable.


From the above comparison of an exhaust fan vs a chimney in India, we can see that a chimney is way better than an exhaust fan when the cooking environment and cleanliness are the most concern. Although the price of a chimney is a bit higher than the exhaust fan, it can provide you with more comfort and a cleaner environment when cooking.

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