Kitchen Chimney | Ducted v/s Ductless Which one is Better

When buying a new kitchen chimney, one question that usually confuses the buyers is whether they should go for a ducted chimney or a ductless one. We have often seen people making the wrong choice and then regretting it later. In our article, we have jotted down all the essential information regarding the two chimney types so that you don’t regret your purchase later.

While talking about the two types, we have also touched upon the working principle of each, their pros, cons, and all the differences for your better understanding. To simplify the buying process, we have included a dedicated section guiding you about the factors that you must keep in mind before making a choice for yourself. Read on to find out more.

Ducted Chimney

Ducted Chimney

A ducted chimney is the more conventional type of kitchen chimney, having a duct or a hole that connects to the PVC outlet to expel the smoke and odour outside the kitchen. It is also known as an extracting chimney as the polluted air is sucked in and then thrown out of the kitchen, keeping it fresh and clean for a long time. However, these are more complex to install and can also cost you more.

But, efficiency and low maintenance make them the preferred choice of millions of people. With these, you can also enjoy a peaceful cooking session as the noise levels are comparatively low. For commercial kitchens and Indian households with a lot of oil and spice usage, That’s why ducted chimneys are considered as best kitchen chimney in every Indian house hold

Working Principle 

A ducted chimney works on the principle of extraction. It draws in the polluted air inside the kitchen and expels it outside the kitchen. This ensures that there is no smoke or condensation build-up inside your kitchen environment. Also, all the odours are removed too, thereby leaving a fresh and clean kitchen for future use.

How does a Ducted Chimney Work

The main work of a ducted chimney is to suck in the smoke and oil particles and throw them outside the kitchen. Though ducted chimneys follow an elaborate installation process, their working is quite simple. These consist of a grease filter (either a baffle or a mesh filter), a fan or a blower, PVC pipe, and a vent to route out the polluted air.

When the air laden with smoke, grease, heat, etc. rises up from the cooktop, the oil or grease particles are trapped by the highly efficient grease filters. The filtered air then passes through a fan, which then throws the moisture, smoke, heat, odours, etc. out of the kitchen with the help of the PVC pipes. One must make sure that there are no or minimum bends in the PVC outlet for improved suction and better performance.

This method of expelling smoke, smell, moisture, etc. outside the kitchen environment ensures that the kitchen is kept clean, dry, and fresh for a long time. Also, the noise levels are less as the fans work quietly to route out the air instead of recirculating it back into the kitchen. It also does not contain carbon filters, which have to be replaced frequently, thereby making it very low maintenance.

Therefore, a ducted chimney generally offers a better cooking experience and is also more efficient in removing heat, smoke, oil, etc. as compared to a ductless chimney.

What we like

  • More efficient in removing large amounts of smoke, steam, and fumes
  • Noise levels are low
  • Less condensation build-up inside the kitchen as steam or moisture is effectively vented out, thereby the kitchen remains dry and fresh
  • Easy to maintain as filters do not have to be replaced frequently


  • It can be more expensive as compared to ductless chimneys
  • It requires an elaborate installation process
  • Construction for duct can disturb your kitchen aesthetics

Ductless Chimney

Ductless Chimney

A ductless chimney is an advancement of the ducted chimney and does not require any duct construction. It is also known as a recycle or a circulating chimney. These are designed to absorb the air that rises from the your gas stove, filter it by removing any grease and odour, and then recirculate the filtered air back into the kitchen environment. Since no construction is needed, installing a ductless chimney becomes extremely easy.

These chimneys offer you a spatial advantage as they can be installed in tight areas just as efficiently as in large kitchens. If you are planning to shift your chimney inside your house from one place to another, even in that case, these are more convenient than the ducted chimneys. However, the efficiency is reduced as it makes the kitchen environment more humid by recirculating the steam or moisture inside the kitchen.

Even the noise levels are on the higher side, which can be disturbing for few. Nonetheless, ductless chimneys are still preferred for the flexibility they offer. Also, these are less expensive, which acts as an added advantage.

Working Principle 

A ductless chimney works on the principle of recirculation. The polluted air is sucked in where it is filtered or recycled, getting rid of any odour, smoke, and oil particles. The filtered air is then recirculated back inside the kitchen.

How does a Ductless Chimney Work

The functioning of a ductless chimney is slightly different from that of a ducted one. Instead of venting out the air, a ductless chimney recirculates it back inside the kitchen. It is mainly used to get rid of the grease, smoke, odours, or any unpleasant smell.

It typically consists of a grease filter (either a baffle or a mesh filter), a carbon filter, and a powerful fan or a blower. The air filled with smoke, oil, etc., is drawn in by the filtration system, where it condenses on the grease filters and is then separately collected. It happens because of rapid change in the direction of the hot air, which causes steam and grease to condense and separate.

Then, the charcoal filters trap odours and smell from the air before it is circulated back inside the kitchen with the help of a fan or a blower. Therefore, the recirculated air is free from any odour and oil particles. The downside of this process is that it does not remove heat and moisture, thereby leading to more condensation build-up inside the kitchen.

Also, the carbon filters cannot be washed and have to be replaced every two to three months, thereby raising the maintenance costs. Even the noise levels are higher because of the fans used. However, ductless chimneys are more flexible in terms of location as no ducting is required.

What we like

  • Easy to install
  • It is more flexible and versatile in terms of location
  • Suitable for kitchens with space constraints


  • More condensation build-up inside the kitchen
  • Noise levels are high
  • It requires frequent replacement of filters

Ducted Chimney v/s Ductless Chimney

Feature Ducted Chimney Ductless Chimney
Working Principle Extraction Recirculation
Installation Difficult to Install (Construction has to be done) Easy to Install (Needs no construction)
Filter Type Baffle or Cassette Filter Carbon or Charcoal Filter along with Baffle or Mesh Filter
Suction Capacity More Lesser
Efficiency More (Heat, moisture, smoke, odour, and grease or oil particles are expelled outside the kitchen) Lesser (Heat and moisture are not expelled outside the kitchen but recirculated back)
Maintenance Low Maintenance (Filters just need to be washed) High Maintenance (Filters need to be replaced frequently)
Cost Expensive Cheaper
Noise Levels Lesser More

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Ducted or a Ductless Chimney


Since kitchen chimneys are massive household equipment, space consideration should always be kept in mind before purchasing one. If you have a smaller kitchen, a ductless chimney would suit you better as it is pretty easy to install and no extra set up is required. Whereas, a ducted chimney requires more space and a proper set up to create ducts and connecting pipelines. This might be troublesome in congested kitchen spaces; and therefore, ductless chimneys would be a better option.


When installing a kitchen chimney, one factor that must be paid attention to is the flexibility level of the chimney. In general, ductless chimneys are more flexible as these require no ducting or construction; and therefore, can be installed anywhere without any hassles. Ducted chimneys, on the other hand, are less flexible or versatile as a duct or a hole has to be constructed inside the kitchen for their installation.

This might cost you more and also disturb the aesthetics of your kitchen. Also, shifting a ducted chimney from one place to another inside your house becomes a nuisance and a difficult process. But, if you already have a duct in your kitchen, we recommend opting for ducted chimneys as these are more efficient.

Heat and Condensation Build-up

If heat and condensation build-up inside your kitchen is something that you want to avoid, a ducted kitchen chimney is the better option for you. But, if you are someone who is okay with some humidity and heat build-up in your kitchen. In that case, a ductless or a circulating kitchen chimney would do the work as well, as it doesn’t expel the smoke-laden air outside but recirculates it inside the kitchen after cleaning the air.

However, for a comfortable and fresh working experience, we recommend opting for a ducted chimney.


Since kitchen chimneys are expensive appliances, they also need regular cleaning and maintenance for optimum performance. But, there are always some chimneys types that perform better than the others, without requiring much maintenance, thereby suiting the busy bees out there. In general, a ductless chimney requires more maintenance as its filters need to be cleaned and replaced frequently. This raises maintenance costs in the long run.

In contrast, the ducted chimneys expel all the odour and smoke outside the kitchen, which reduces the number of times the chimney has to be cleaned, or filters have to be replaced. This, in turn, makes ducted kitchen hoods low maintenance. So, if you are someone who does not have enough time for cleaning the chimney, a ducted one is the more appropriate option for you.

Noise Levels

In general, ductless chimneys produce more noise than the ducted ones as these have to suck the air inside the kitchen and move it through the filters before recirculating it back into the kitchen. The fans have to move at a faster speed; and therefore, more noise is produced. Whereas, in ducted chimneys, the fans move smoothly and quietly, thereby producing lesser noise.

So, if noise while working inside the kitchen bothers you, a ducted chimney is a better option for you.


Both ducted and ductless kitchen chimneys are expensive machines. But, what makes all the difference is the installation price, which should never be ignored. If you are buying a ducted chimney, but your kitchen has no prior ductwork done to accommodate the hood, it will cost you a lot of money. In the same way, if you want to shift your ducted chimney, it will again cost you money to construct a new duct and fill the old one.

In this sense, a ductless chimney is more affordable and has low installation costs, which significantly reduces the overall costs. It is also more versatile as it can be installed anywhere. But, if budget is not an issue, a ducted chimney would have far more benefits than a ductless one.


However, ducted chimneys seem to be the better option for commercial kitchens. But, for residential ones, it certainly boils down to your preference. While ducted chimneys offer higher efficiency, ductless ones score more on the flexibility parameters. With these, you don’t have to worry about the location and the elaborate installation process. However, we recommend opting for the type that offers you both functional advantage and enhances your kitchen interiors.

Which kitchen chimney type was more suitable for your kitchen? A ducted chimney or a ductless one, what did you choose? Was the article helpful? Please write to us in the comments below. We would love to read your comments and would answer all your doubts as soon as possible.

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