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What You Should Know about Kitchen Chimney Filters & Maintenance
Posted by Pratham Simha
Love cooking? Roasting, frying, toasting, baking, grilling and broilingare all ways to prepare great food. Nevertheless, even a stainless steel grill means odours, fumes and grease particles, which is why kitchen chimneys can be so useful. They filter the air for you, but remember to keep their filters clean too.
The filter in your kitchen chimney plays an important role in trapping polluting elements in the air in your kitchen. Whether you have a chimney that recycles the air or expels it though a duct, a filter that doesn’t function properly can mean poor vacuumsuction, built-up dirt and a possible health hazard.
Clean or Replace?
Kitchen chimneys that recycle air use charcoal filters to absorb smells and oil. Purification power depends on the quality and size of the charcoal granules inside. The charcoal is not washable. Three to six months is a common lifetime. It’s the same principle as coffee machine filters and hoover vacuum cleaners (unless you have a Dyson vacuum cleaner). Upmarket models will have an indicator you can check to see if it’s time to replace with a new one.
Mesh Filters for Chimneys with Ducts
These filters consist of layers of aluminium mesh, one on top of the other with a slight offset. The chimney sucks the air through the filter. Fumes and odours pass through the duct to the exterior. Grease particles adhere to one or other of the layers of mesh. If you use a lot of oil or fat in your cooking even with a steel grill, they will clog up all the more rapidly. Check manufacturers’ instructions to see if you can put them in your dishwasher or for recommended cleaning agents.
Baffle Filters for Effectiveness
Baffle filters are a step up from mesh filters in terms of both effectiveness and ease of cleaning. They are recommended for cooks who fry and grill food, with a steel grill or grill machine. Both of these release grease particles into the air. Baffle filters, made out of steel or aluminium, change the direction of the air flow to make grease settle on the baffles, but without affecting the air suction power of the chimney.
Finally, you can also avoid the ‘clean or replace’ issue altogether if you opt for an auto-cleaning chimney. These models are low or no-maintenance, with components like the electric suction motor sealed against dust and grease.