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Choosing the Right Chimney for You and Your Kitchen
Posted by Malvika Jain
There may be more – or is that less? – to kitchen chimneys than meets the eye. While your kitchen chimney or cooker hood is there to extract those fumes from the air and your pots and pans, you can also choose whether to make a bold statement or tuck it away discreetly.
Combining the fashionable with the functional will depend on whether you’re starting with a new kitchen or enhancing an existing one. But rest assured – to suck up cooking smells, smoke and other air-borne particles from your saute panor electric skillet, there’s a solution just for you.
Extract or recycle? Some kitchen chimneys recycle using filters: they give you the same air back, but cleaner. Others completely remove the air they extract via a duct to the outside. Duct-out systems also extract heat and water vapour, things filter systems don’t.
Good Looks. Possibilities include imposing kitchen island hoods, slick pull-forward chimneys, fixed visors and discreet under-cabinet models. Choose from stainless steel curves, designer glass, natural wood cover, and functional plastic. Mix and match with your pans, cast iron grill,designer cookware and kitchen appliances.
Power. Bigger cooking surfaces and pansneed bigger chimneys with more power. Performance is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). Cooker types affect this too. By way of comparison, if electric cooker needs 300 to 450 CFM, plan for 600 to 1,200 CFM for gas.
Is it quiet? Aim for a chimney that is as quiet as your refrigerator. Noise output is often measured in ‘sones’. A fridge operates at 1 sone (or 40 decibels), normal conversation is 4 and light traffic is about 8. Look for the sone ratings on chimneys to see how they compare.
What can it do? Basic manual controls are for on/off, fan speed and lighting. More sophisticated models have electronic controls and variable speeds. Top models feature sensors to detect heat and air-borne particles from your skillet panor saute panand automatically switch themselves on.
Easy to install? For larger models, make sure wall or ceiling mounts can take the weight and get a friend to help you (or a professional installer). Duct-out models need a duct to the outside that should be reasonably short and wide.
Kitchen chimney basic models can be very affordable. Naturally, as functionality increases, quietness and lighting improve, the budget goes up. You decide what price you put on your kitchen happiness!