Chimney vs Exhaust Fan – Which is Best for Kitchen?

Here is the guide that compares Chimney vs Exhaust Fan in detail to select the best for your kitchen.

Indian cuisines are known for their strong flavors and delicacies. When you cook Indian food in the kitchen, the smell of spices stays longer. When the exhaust fan and kitchen chimney help you clean the odor out of the room. Though both of them serve the same purpose, their internal work is different.

This article gives you detailed insights into what is a chimney and what is an exhaust fan? It helps you in making a clear purchase decision.

What is a Kitchen Chimney, and How Does it Work?

A chimney is a kitchen appliance that sucks the bad odor and smoke from the kitchen and keeps it free from oil and grease. The kitchen chimney consists of three major components: duct, filter, and hood.

Currently, there are two types of kitchen chimneys available in the domestic market: ducted chimneys and ductless chimneys.

Working of Ducted Chimney

A ducted chimney does not recirculate the air in the kitchen. Instead, it pushes out the smoke and dust particles out of the room through a suction unit and a filter. The blower sucks the smoke particles, lets the filter absorb oil or grease particles, and lets the pure air out.

Working of Ductless Chimney

A ductless chimney consists of a suction motor and a filter (carbon filter, cassette, or baffle). This kind of chimney recirculates the air within the kitchen by absorbing the oil particles from smoke.

Advantages of Kitchen Chimney

  • A well-designed kitchen chimney keeps your kitchen tiles and floor clean from oil and grease stains.
  • It pulls out the bad odor from the room, keeping the room fresh for longer hours.
  • The designs of the kitchen chimneys are very appealing. Moreover, with the growing competition, many advanced features are offered at a competitive price.

Disadvantages of Kitchen Chimney

  • Chimneys are costly compared to exhaust fans.
  • It consumes more electricity for cleaning.
  • Since chimneys come with many components, they need to be cleaned regularly.

What is an Exhaust Fan, and How Does it Work?

An exhaust fan is a kitchen appliance that pushes warm air or smokes out of the kitchen and maintains a cool temperature. It is designed similar to a ceiling fan, and a ceiling fan moves air from top to bottom, whereas the exhaust fan pushes smoke from the kitchen to the outside.

An exhaust fan has three major components: a frame, an electric motor, and a blade setup. An electric motor is connected to the blades, which can include three or more leaves, and as the number of blades increases, so does the suction power of the product. A sturdy frame supports the electric motor and blades.

Advantages of Exhaust Fan

  • It is one of the cheapest solutions to push the smoke or hot air out of the kitchen.
  • The operation of the exhaust fan is effortless compared to the chimneys.
  • Most of the chimneys are mounted near the windows or ceilings where there is no human interaction. Therefore, it is safer compared to chimneys.

Disadvantages of Exhaust Fan

  • It cannot push a large volume of smoke outside at once. It takes long hours to remove the smoke from the room.
  • The walls and ceilings can still get oily and dirty despite installing the exhaust fan.
  • It requires high maintenance both for the exhaust fan and the kitchen.

Chimney vs Exhaust fan

The cleaning efficiency

Exhaust fans do not have any filters to separate the grease and oil particles from the smoke. Hence, you can still see stains on the floor and kitchen walls after cooking. On the other hand, chimneys use powerful suction motors to remove smoke from the kitchen and keep the walls stain-free.

Filtration of air

As exhaust fans do not come with any filters to clean the air, it causes more pollution. You can expect partially clean air inside the kitchen, with exhaust fans. On the other hand, chimneys are placed directly above the stove, where the chances of getting smoke are high. Chimneys remove the oil and grease particles from the smoke with the help of a filter and release clean air.

Kitchen environment

Chimneys are more effective than exhaust fans in terms of maintaining a proper kitchen environment. Chimneys have powerful suction motors to suck the air and separate smoke from oil particles immediately. It helps release the clean air outside and maintains a proper kitchen temperature. On the other hand, exhaust fans can only expel smoke out of the kitchen, but they do not have any powerful suction motors to keep the kitchen free from oil and grease particles.


Since exhaust fans are mostly installed on the ceilings or near the windows, one must have access to ladders to clean them. However, exhaust fans do not require human interaction. Hence they are a bit safe. On the other hand, auto clean chimneys are very safe to use, as they do not need any human interaction for cleaning and maintenance.


Exhaust fans are very cheap compared to the cost of the chimneys. However, one must also consider the functions that an exhaust fan can perform for the price it comes. Chimneys are more powerful and advanced in removing smoke from the kitchen. Hence, they are a bit costly compared to the exhaust fans.


Exhaust fans require heavy maintenance, as they accumulate a lot of smoke, grease, and oil particles around the blades. Moreover, the motor needs to be cleaned frequently for effective performance. On the other hand, chimneys require very less maintenance, as they, by default, come with suction motors and filters that are capable of removing grease and oil particles from the smoke. Moreover, auto clean chimneys do not require any maintenance, as they can clean the appliance by themselves.


Now you know the difference between what is a chimney and an exhaust fan, and how both of them work? We assume that you can now make a clear purchase decision between these two appliances to remove smoke from your kitchen.

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