heathrli

Does anybody LIKE the pop-up downdraft vents for stoves?

Heather L
February 6, 2016
last modified: February 6, 2016

I've read a couple older posts regarding downdraft ranges and nobody seems to like them. I've been doing a lot of Googling for alternatives and the ceiling mount range hoods are amazing - but way out of my budget.

I know the consensus is overhead range vents are preferred and the most functional. However I am doing a complete demo/reno to my kitchen and would love to put a gas slide-in stove/oven in the peninsula that faces the living room. The peninsula would be deep enough for counter space on all 3 sides + an overhang for stool seating. I really really don't want an overhead/island vent coming down from the middle of the room.. it just obstructs the "open-concept" I'm working so hard to achieve, even if the island vent looks nice.

Alternatively I could put the stove on an exterior wall with a vent but I really really REALLY would prefer having it in the peninsula.

Therefore I'm intrigued by these telescoping/pop-up downdraft range vents.

  • Do they do a good job?
  • Has anybody used both a hood vent and pop-up downdraft and prefer the latter?
  • If you use a pop-up downdraft vent and like it, what brand did you buy?
  • Do the pop-up downdraft vents work with regular (not downdraft specific) gas slide-in stoves?

As far as usage, I am not a chef nor professional cook. I enjoy cooking but to be honest, I either spend all Sunday cooking for the whole week, or just cook dinner 3-4x a week. The extent of my frying are veggie/chicken stir-fries and fried rice. I some times saute veggies or sauces. Most of my stove-top cooking though is for pastas or soups. I primarily use the oven to cook my meats. If I do cook something greasy over the stove, it'll probably be 1-2x a week. I probably sound like I have a terrible diet, I know. :)

Comments (91)

  • visualizemaven

    Sounds like the smart and right decision for you and your space! Please let us know if you are happy with the end result and send pics of your kitchen remodel! Best.

  • PRO
    Designs by Michele

    While most of these ceiling mounted fans are made with 1500 - 1800cfms or more they are efficient and the sones are 1.0 which are quite, (comparable to a refrigerator motor). The old adage you get what you pay for. They are a bit pricey but performance is great and when you think of....

    Downdraft vs. Island Hood

    Functionally, island hoods are way better for a number of reasons.

    1. Smoke rises so it simpler to redirect where it is already headed

    2. CFM: The max power on a downdraft is 1,000 CFM versus 1,500-1,800 on an island hood

    3. Most importantly, there is a huge difference in capture area. Smoke is first channeled, filtered and then exhausted. An island hood has plenty of capture area, but there is almost none in a downdraft. If you grill or wok, the downdraft will not be able to handle the smoke and grease.

    4. just an added thought...

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    I'm glad I found this old string. We currently have a Thermador dual fuel range with a pop-up downdraft in the island, and it's time to replace it (bought it in 2001). The downdraft never worked very well at all, and anyway I seldom use it. I guess there is just plenty of air circulation. and we don't do a lot of smoky cooking. No noticeable grease anywhere in all these years. When there is a smoky problem, I just open the window. In our old house, when we remodeled, we also had a range in the island, and we just had an exhaust fan (and just a small one at that) in the ceiling. It worked at least as well as this downdraft did! The only downdraft ranges (must be a range, not a cooktop) available, Kitchenaid and JennAir, don't look great to me. We like gas cooking, and that style of downdraft just sucks the flame over. I'll get one if I must, but I'd really prefer. to get a range I love and put an exhaust fan in the ceiling (there is nothing above the kitchen, just a flat roof). The range I like best so far, just from internet research, is the Samsung Flex Duo. Gas or dual fuel. (thoughts?) I know I know I know, code code code, grease grease grease, resale resale resale, and I promise to consider all that carefully before making a final choice. But in the meantime, would someone please recommend an exhaust fan for me? Thanks in advance for your advice, o wise ones! - Gellchom ("Our Lady of the Tapmaster")
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  • visualizemaven

    Michele - someone said induction cook tops require less drafting. Do you agree?

  • Quiana Sternie

    I see that this thread revived! I actually did not to the Cattura downdraft. After all of the duct work and opening it up to outside etc, the total cost of using the Cattura was too prohibitive. It was actually a cheaper to reroute the old hood vent duct and use an island hood. I am not happy with the overall look vs the downdraft but sometimes you have to sacrifice for your budget (*sigh*). Best of luck to everyone working on their remodels.

  • Theresa Doell-Hahnel

    The bottom line is , If you are looking for a system that is truly effective, a range against the wall with a hood mounted as close above as possible. 24-36" from the cook top is ideal, with a velocity of at least 200 cfm per lineal foot and the front of the hood should stick out as far as the front of the range.

    This is why the majority of commercial hood systems that you would see in most restaurants are against the wall , they are most effective in this configuration. Most of the Island type hoods used in a commercial kitchen would often be over an automatic broiler type piece of equipment and mounted so the hood is almost directly over within 20-30" above the equipment, NOT at ceiling level. Usually with a minimum velocity of 250-300 cfm per lineal foot. The edges of the hood span 6" beyond the edges of the kitchen equipment.

    When designing a system , never go by the rated cfm. 1800 cfm sounds wonderful, but in reality , you may only have 1100 or 900 cfm of airflow after the ducting , also known as delivered airflow.

    Delivered airflow will usually be 15%-40% less than the out of the box cfm rating, mostly depends on the length of the ducting, number of elbows. Size & type of ducting also, style of termination are all factors. Type of blower is a factor as well.

    For example, a Euro styled chimney hood rated for 420 cfm (sounds impressive) vented with 4 lineal feet of 6" rigid duct with one 90 degree elbow and an exterior wall hood type termination, will result in a reduction in airflow of 30%. Install the micro mesh filters, now add another 5%. 420 cfm minus 35% = 274 cfm delivered airflow, it all adds up very quick.

    Another example, a blower unit for a down draft rated for 900 cfm, Installed with 14 lineal feet of 7" rigid ducting with one 90 degree bend and an exterior wall hood type termination, would suffer an approximate reduction of 35-40% . The 900 cfm will then become around 550 cfm delivered airflow, good airflow for an overhead hood, not great for a down draft.

    Reverse curve high velocity type blowers suffer much less loss, in the 15-20% range. These cost a bit more, and not commonly found in residential applications. Also, any type of flexible ducting will reduce flow capacity even more, 50%+ range.

    There are several different types of blower units available for residential applications. Squirrel cage type blowers are the most common , mounted in the hood , or on the roof. Squirrel cage type blowers are prone to higher ducting losses and very difficult to clean. High velocity reverse curve inline blowers are better performance wise, these can be hard to clean as well and may not have easy access, could be located in the attic or within floor joist cavity behind drywall . Roof top up blast mounted units also have a high velocity reverse curve blower wheel, and can be easily cleaned. Similar units are available for exterior wall mounting application.

    Any good commercial hvac contractor will always design a system based on delivered airflow , not what the airflow out of the box reads. You will always experience some airflow loss through the filters and ductwork, most commercial companies have an engineer on staff to address this issue, and ensure the proper exhaust blower is selected to achieve the required airflow at the inlet of the hood.

    Especially when dealing with residential hvac contractors, they always tend to cut corners and definitely go the cheapest or easiest route.

    If a unit requires 10 inch ducting, they will usually say " Yeah, 6 inch duct is more than enough!! Don't matter!! ducting is ducting! 10 inch is overkill !!! Enough air is gonna flow through 6 inch!!! " No, It won't.

    I've seen lots of residential hoods with correct sized ducting, but had a roof or wall termination three or four times too small, a vigilant hvac contractor should never have allowed that to happen. This will reduce the airflow to 20% or less of the gross rated cfm.

    The question is, do most people expect a system to perform well , or just to look good? Have most people even used good kitchen ventilation? How would they even know what to expect? Maybe they would think it is normal for a ventilator to miss 40% of cooking exhaust/smoke/odor.

    In my experience, Most people don't seem to bother using kitchen ventilation even if they have it. I often go into a home to make a warranty repair, and the home owner is sauteing meat on the front burner with the hood on the lowest setting, meanwhile the entire house is filling with the aroma of overheated cooking oil and charred meat, gross me out the door!!

    It seems a lot of people insist the hood is just too noisy , or might cost too much money to use. Sometimes they forget to turn it on , or perhaps they love the stench of fried sausages.

    Worse yet, are the home owners who never turn a bathroom exhaust fan on either.

    What I've also noticed is that people will usually purchase a hood/ ventilator based on how it looks, rather than how well it will perform.

    I understand that minimalist decor is all the rage right now, less is more. No one wants a hood to obscure the view in the new kitchen . It's a kitchen, why would you put a ventilation hood in this wonderful new kitchen?

    First came open concept . Now It's no color, no furniture or fixtures , what's next? No exterior walls?

  • visualizemaven

    LOL ! Again, form over function or function over form.

    I'm sorry Quiana that you are not happy with the look of the hood you ended up with because of budgetary constraints. I probably will be facing a similar dilemma. I just don't want the hood to end up dominating the other features of the kitchen, that's all. I get it that there are low profile hoods but no matter what, it will be sticking out of my feature wall.....yuck.


  • Theresa Doell-Hahnel

    To answer the question, " do induction cook tops require less ventilation? " The answer is yes, but not a significant amount less.

    You'd likely require about 12-15% less airflow compared to a gas cook top.

  • visualizemaven

    Thank you , good to know!

  • puneetbhatia

    We just had the 36” cattura installed behind a Viking cooktop on our cooking island. Pared the telescopic downdraft with 1100 CFM in-line blower from Best. Changed the ducting to 10” all the way as recommended by the manufacturer. We chose the rear venting option on the downdraft. After spending nearly $4000 for the downdraft, blower and installation I must say that as good as it looks, the performance is anything but. It doesn’t capture even half the smoke. My original Jenair style cooktop performed much better and it was fraction of the cost. Totally disappointed.

  • Theresa Doell-Hahnel

    puneetbhatia- Sorry to hear about your situation, It sounds like you chose products with promising specifications and proper sized ducting. Your inline blower is a powerful high velocity type,1100 cfm. Still depending on the length of the 10" ducting, you likely have a delivered airflow of 800-900 cfm.

    A telescoping down draft set up like this would likely require an additional 500-600 cfm delivered air flow to be considered effective , meaning a blower rated for 1800 or 2000 cfm would be required. A very inefficient system when you factor in the amount of makeup air required that needs to be heated or air conditioned.

    I have the perfect set up , from a performance perspective. A Sakura hood mounted 24" above an electric range with oven , against the wall. The Sakura is rated 580 cfm, gives a delivered air flow of 507 cfm. I purchased it for under $500.00, and it doesn't stand out like a sore thumb. It is 7" thick and extends out as far as the front of the range.

    I have a velocity of 200 cfm per lineal foot of hood , at 24" above the cooking surface I have more air flow than a medium duty commercial back shelf hood would provide.

    I can char tandoori chicken in the oven , and grill shrimp or chicken on an a 7000 btu electric grill on the stove top which also which also creates a ton of smoke, the Sakura takes it all, and blasts it out the roof termination. Sakura hoods were built for wok cooking, so not surprising they perform well. It also comes apart very easily to clean the turbine wheels and entire turbine housing, eventually the grease build up will go rancid, and begin to emit a bad odor. ( A problem that most residential hood designs don't allow for disassembly for cleaning purposes).

    I also installed a secondary ventilation system with it's own makeup air , (another $600.00 or so) It consists of two 8"x 8"ceiling grills. One grill over the dishwasher area 100 cfm, another grill over the formal dining room area 80 cfm. This system removes humidity from the dishwasher while it is running, and removes odors of meals after the cooking process. This system will remove all residual odors from the entire house of food or cleaning products within 45 minutes or so.

  • paul beaudette

    WOW, I am just starting the downdraft research for 36" island cooktop, in an open format area. Never thought of make up air or types of blowers, thank you.

    Now to 2 questions that may see "novice" after this reading. 1/ can i vent to the crawlspace below the stove as there is nothing down there besides a few boxes; 4' max. height.

    2. are there Good Units that do not have the blower system built in to require being under the cooktop. There is an oven built into the cabinet below the cooktop?

    OK, one more ?: what is repair history on downdrafts as installation may mean less access once built into island. thanks in advance on any of this for this newbie. paul

  • PRO
    The Cook's Kitchen

    1. No, you cannot fill your crawlspace with moisture and smells! Moisture is what you're trying to get out of your house.

    2. You cannot use a downdraft below a cooktop with a wall oven mounted there unless you have a cabinet behind that on the opposite island side that can contain the mechanicals. The blower motor isn't the only bulky part. And none of these are what I'd call a "good" system. Especially with gas. If it pulls enough CFM to cause the normally rising heat, odors, grease, steam, and smoke to reverse direction and go down, then it moves enough air to negatively affect the flames of a gas burner.

    3. Repair history. Most people end up not using them at all, because they don't work well. You can see those on Craigslist often, full of old rancid grease. But they advertise "still works"! The Jenair family brand are very repair prone if used.

    No downdraft will ever replace an overhead vent. That will always remain the best choice. Better still is an overhead vent against a wall. It's much cheaper, and easier to accomplish.

  • Theresa Doell-Hahnel

    Most local codes prohibit venting of any exhaust fans or clothes dryers into crawl spaces or attic spaces, must terminate outdoors into open air.

  • KD

    So from a venting perspective is the “fireplace” type design you see in older or farmhouse type kitchens sometimes a better bet? The walls of the ‘fireplace’ would help funnel air and fumes to the exhaust system?

    Tried to include a photo but the website is being weird. :(

  • tdeem9994

    I finished a new kitchen install with a cooktop and downdraft in the island about 6 months ago. I love that it doesn’t block my view like a regular hood would, and I can still hang the oversized pendant lights I like. I cook every day and it works for everything I need.

    Just a couple words of caution because I learned the hard way. You can not put an oven under the cooktop with a downdraft. You can reverse the motor on the downdraft from front to back but you still have a piece of the downdraft that sticks out in front. Trust me, I tried. Even with the downdraft, I still have plenty of room to store my pots in the cabinet. Installation can be difficult. I know my electrician said mine would be the last he would install!

  • Theresa Doell-Hahnel

    A fireplace type design would likely be an effective set up, given the intake area of the hood / ventilator is not mounted too far above the cook top and that it extends far enough out to cover the entire range.

    I've seen too many designs that utilize an air pack that only extend out 18- 20" from the back wall and mounted 40" or more above the cook top. That would be considered ineffective, especially while using the front burners.

  • KD


    Luxury Bespoke Kitchen | Hadley Wood · More Info

    This is the sort of thing I meant, although some of them are even more fireplace like. In very old houses they probably WERE fireplaces for roasting a whole boar or something. :D

  • Theresa Doell-Hahnel

    Yes , that is exactly what I had pictured from what you had described. That set up has a big advantage over many types, in the fact that the two side walls minimize any cross drafts.

    Judging by the size of the range in the picture, a delivered airflow of 900 cfm would give more than acceptable performance. Cheers.

  • Brenda Wale

    Boy, listening to you all, do I have problems. The kitchen island in the 30 year old house we bought four years ago has the original Dacor electric cooktop, half of which has finally quit working. The 30" wide Dacor downdraft behind the stove, running along the centre of the island, has a one inch high flip up top, which makes the downdraft a real food catcher, as we chop food and then reach across the downdraft to the frying pan or soup pot. The opening is too narrow to get my hand down to clean it. The vent itself goes to the basement, then along the rafters, then up the wall of the attached garage to exhaust in the garage, where the fan unit is! Is there a code problem with the exhaust in the garage?

    Do you think I should re-locate the range to the only piece of outside wall I have so a range hood can exhaust straight outside, or, since we have the venting in place, should we wire in a new fan motor(either in the basement or the garage and get a 18" tall downdraft at great expense? Thanks for listening, at least I have the options clearer in my mind.

  • Theresa Doell-Hahnel

    Brenda Wale - Most local codes prohibit an exhaust vent terminating into a garage, they must terminate/ discharge outdoors into open air.

    It also sounds like there is an awfully long run of ducting and bends/ elbows in the existing ducting system, and from the sounds of things probably full of all kinds of debris. Probably doesn't pull much air, I'd imagine.

    If you truly are considering a telescoping ventilator, I would highly recommend relocating the venting so the the venting can terminate outdoors through a relatively short run of of duct. Just make sure you choose a blower unit that is well over a thousand cfm,(1800 cfm) otherwise performance will be lacking.

    If you were to relocate the range to the outside wall with an overhead hood mounted no higher than 36" from the cook top, you would have a better performing and more efficient system. Given the hood has the correct delivered airflow for the size of the range.

    If you were to have lets say a standard 4 burner gas range, an overhead hood rated from 600cfm up to 900 cfm would likely be satisfactory. Personally I would go with the higher cfm rating, as the delivered air flow will likely be about 30% less.

  • cmshop55

    Thank you @Klaus Kremmin and @tdeem9994 !!! I've spent two nights searching for whether it was feasible to install a downdraft and still keep my drawers for storage. We have only one small wall and cathedral ceilings, so cooktop in the island without a hood is really our only option. Now just to decide between the Viking or the Cattura and see if we can find a really good contractor for what seems like a really difficult install! I will update this string with the process/outcome once we are finished.

  • Klaus Kremmin

    Since many of you liked my long winded, but hopefully helpful original comment, I decided to post a couple completed project pictures. The overall goal was to create an open layout and modernize a dated cherry kitchen. All this while giving an organic, flowing, "chef worthy" design.

    The large duct work of the 18" Best Cattura downdraft unit was hidden behind the driftwood piece in front of the cooktop. The driftwood was purchased in Miami. It took four painful hours of hand chiseling the back of the driftwood to make space for the 90 degree ducting. Driftwood is extremely hard! A small chainsaw would have been a better option if I had one. The duct vent was a tight 90 going through the floor into the basement and then out the house. As you can see with the design of the kitchen a hood would not have been a desirable option.

    Here is a link to find the driftwood.

    http://nobleandrustic.com/index.php?id_cms=6&controller=cms

    Take note of the Kohler Stages 45 sink with dual Brizo Solna articulating faucets. This is a $3000 (parts only) setup I would do again in a heartbeat and will if ever I move. Love it as would any home chef looking to work together with a partner simultaneously without any trouble fighting for space or a faucet.

    Here is a link to a video of the Kohler Stages sink. It comes with all the trays, ceramic containers and beautiful cutting block shown in the video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JacTxiVAhY

    Here is a link to a video of the faucet.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1eBMFxqF28

    When the project was all said and done, I hope I solved the problem of how to take an aging cherry kitchen, modernize it without removing or painting the cabinets white. But what do I know about kitchen design, I'm just an engineer that likes curves and was inspired from a documentary about minimalism...

  • visualizemaven

    Thank you for sharing your very cool solution to a problem! Way to conquer function with natural form- Beautiful.

    I think the driftwood piece would be highlighted even more if you replaced your existing counter stools with natural fiber chairs or natural form wood seating; do you know what I mean?

    Also, my eye is drawn to the white doors and trim in the kitchen area which I feel is distracting and not enhancing the vibe you now have going on. Please consider switching out the white door and trim in the kitchen as well as the door to the right with the same wood or stain as your cabinets.

  • visualizemaven

    and thank you for the great links!

  • suezbell

    Emphatic "NO" to downdraft stoves.

  • Klaus Kremmin

    Yes! I agree with you on the doors and trim in the kitchen area. I will look into changing that also. You do realize this is like a snowball when striving for perfection :)

  • KD

    @Klaus where are you located? That’s a fantastic view.

  • visualizemaven

    yes, I call it the almost inevitable domino effect in design ;) LOL

  • annvw

    We have a 36" Wolf down draft installed on a Viking gas cook top. We chose the downdraft as the cooktop is on an island and a overhead would block scenic views to the outside. As my husband is tall the overhead vents are always in his way and the downdraft prevents any unnecessary collisions. The downdraft works very well. Our Wolf comes with a control box that can be mounted anywhere. Ours is installed to the side of the cooktop so that there is no requirement to reach over open flame / hot steaming pots etc to operate the fans.

  • Rick Kelly

    For the record, and not to be obnoxious, technically these are not "Downdraft hoods". They are properly called "backdraft hoods". You can get a downdraft hood for a range (I actually have such a Jennaire), and they are not the same animal as a real pop up (or stationary) backdraft hood. For cooking (a hot process where vapors and smoke tend to rise) a downdraft is usually the worst choice (although mine kinda works much of the time). A backdraft is much better, as long as the hood is tall enough.

  • soodeejay
    I've been researching hoods since I began designing my dream kitchen two years ago and have never heard of backdraft hoods. Ivory search literally hundreds of different models and have yet to come across that term. You may want to check your terminology.

    The "down" in "downdraft" simply means it's pulling the air downward and out instead of from above.

    I've only seen wall-mounted, island (both pulling air up and out) and conventional and telescopic downdraft (both pulling air down and out).
  • jsantee294

    I am stuck with an island cook top and no option for a hood. We currently have an ancient gas cook top (36") with a non-functioning built-in vent which will be replaced as we install new counter tops. I am willing to change to induction, but my husband wants to keep gas. Neither of us cooks very much and we will be empty nesters in the fall. I do not need a show piece - just somthing functional, reliable and easy to clean (and not ugly :) ). Here are my questions:

    1 - cost, performance, selection of built-in vent vs. a separate pop-up vent that I assume would go behind the cook top

    2 - induction vs gas, considering that the cook top will be in and islands

    3 - product suggestions that are not crazy expensive

  • Theresa Doell-Hahnel

    @jsantee294 - I guess the question is, do you feel you need kitchen ventilation? Do you think you would use it regularly? Or only after you have burned something?

    Myself, I use the hood anytime the range is turned on. Even for boiling pasta, rice, anything that will generate moisture or any type of odor. (Boiling pasta reminds me of urine, and cooking rice smells like stinky feet and popcorn).

    Walking into someone else's home after they have simply made Kraft Dinner with no ventilation, creates an odor that makes me think of a public washroom that is dirty and frequently used.

    When we use the toaster, it goes under the hood as well. I have zero tolerance for any odors, food included.

    You may find the induction top to be a bit more down draft friendly, and a lot easier to clean than a gas cook top.

    It is important to find a ventilator that has a blower powerful enough to move sufficient air through the ducting. I would highly recommend choosing a blower unit that is rated for at least 1800 cfm, you will likely loose up to 50% air flow through the ducting and will end up with a delivered air flow around 850-1100 cfm.

    I'm not a fan (no pun intended) of down draft vents , telescoping aka pop-up, but in your case there aren't many options. There is a product available , which I feel could assist most downdraft/telescoping vents to perform reasonably well. It is sold by Revena, It is the " folding series" stainles steel collapsible shroud.

    When the range is in use, it sits over half of the range, boxes it in so to speak with the vent in the back of the box. When you are done, it folds up and can be stowed out of sight.

    It probably Isn't perfect, but I'm sure it would allow the ventilation to capture nearly all of the smoke and odors. I encourage everyone to look it up.

    I can't really suggest one brand or product, they all seem to have drawbacks from brand to brand. They are all quite pricey, and I've heard Jennair may be more prone to functionality problems.

  • Gail S

    I'd be interested in comments on my situation: 36" Wolf 5-burner cooktop with Bosch 14" snorkel 600 CFM telescoping downdraft which I use frequently. The blower unit is in the cabinetry underneath the cooktop and vents less than one foot directly beneath my pier and beam house, which has about a 3' open to outdoors crawl space (I live in the South). So, no turns. Two main problems: 1) 3-speed motor is starting to lose its lowest setting (big noise) and 2) When I use the back burners at high temp for a sear, for example, the metal filters bow from the heat. Called Bosch about the latter and they indicated the installation was to spec, but it has still discouraged me from using the back burners as much.

    Can't do hood venting because I can't afford it (plus it would ruin the asthetics of my kitchen); can't do flush-mount ceiling vent because I have 10'+ ceilings.

    Blasted Bosch is only 2 years old and I am really ticked at this failure of German eningeering. Open to suggestions. Pix of setup attached.


  • ninigret

    i don't know about heat deflection (my thermador never has....) but i'll say that having the motor in the basement rather than in the cabinetry makes it a lot less noisy. whoosh, not ROAR.

  • Gail S

    I'd love to do that...but, no basement! Have heard mention of outside installation of the unit, kind of Iike A/C? Not sure if that would degrade the unit's efficiency.

  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler

    Sorry but do an overhead hood. Your aesthetics will be improved actually, since it will block the in your face view of the unattractive top freezer refrigerator.

  • Gail S

    You're kind to point that out. We do intend to replace the refrigerator with a modern, counter-depth appliance at some point, but it's not in the cards right now.

  • PRO
    Wooster Design Inspirations

    Some of your comments are helpful, but in my situation I have to add a downdraft vent. Our slide-in range is in an island. The ceiling above the island is 11'. And, I have a custom pot-rack centered above the island. An island fan that would work in such a tall room would be prohibitively expensive, and couldn't be mounted low enough to function well because of the pot rack, which I will not part with. So, downdraft it is. Our range has low-profile gas burners on a glass top, and an electric oven. We have done without a range vent for almost 24 years, but I'm tired of the cooking smells and ready to add a downdraft vent. We would be able to install it ourselves, and it would vent straight to the outside wall. Given all this information, which models would anybody suggest we should look at? Money is definitely an object, so don't send us on a $4000 wild goose chase, please.

  • laurarum82

    I have also spent hours researching downdraft ventilation for an island install, and I am happy to have seen @Klaus Kremmin post recommending the 30" Best Cattura. Thank you!

    Klaus, are you happy with the performance of your Best Cattura so far? Please give us an update. I am an avid cook, and will be using an induction cooktop (either Bosch or Jenn air) I have fretted about not being able to place the cooktop on an outside wall, but we do not want to take away from the mountain views, and have decided that the island install will work best for our open layout with many windows. I hope I won't regret this decision. The only fear I have is when I sear salmon or filet of beef in my cast iron pan....usually I get the pan really hot...to 400-450 ' F Hopefully the Best down draft will capture the fish smells! Klaus, please send feedback on the performance when searing fish etc.

    Thank you!

  • ninigret

    you will have an issue with a glass top stove and cast iron pan... best sort that one out first. i'd not use my Lodge or my Le Creuset on my glass top stove at my vacation house, they are for the gas stove at home only. i stick with the gold variety of non-stick grill pan, very smooth on the bottom no idea if they are good for induction tho.

  • ubermommy

    Lots of good info here related to the initial question of whether or not people like their downdraft venting. My thanks to those, like Klaus, who added a lot of relevant detail and also included photos :-) I just want to mentioned a couple things related to induction:

    Yes, you do need venting as there are still smells, steam and grease to consider. But I love my Thermador Induction cooktop as there is WAY LESS HEAT and no gas fumes to consider. I have had it installed on a large island with an overhead hood for over 10 years now and it works very well with an exterior exhaust vent. For those of you who haven't seen induction up close, I encourage you to attend a demonstration at your local appliance center. It is far better than gas IMHO for the average cook -- Induction is much faster, safer, and WAY easier to clean. It also ideally suited for island installations as it provides valuable countertop space when covered with a large cutting board for chopping or setting out hot and cold dishes for serving guests "buffet-style."

    As for pots and pans to use with Induction -- it is NOT the big deal some people want to make it out to be. Any quality iron/steel pan will work! In all the years we've had ours, we have never come home with a new pot or pan and been surprised by it not working (I had already gotten rid of any aluminum and/or teflon cookware for health reasons.) In contrast to ninigret, above, I have no issues using cast iron or non-stick cookware on my induction cooktop...I even have two teenage boys learning to cook on it without issue as well. We use it with all of of our extensive Le Creuset collection, as well as several stainless steel pans with a ceramic non-stick interior, in addition to many standard thru pro-quality stainless steel "uncoated" pots and pans.

  • HU-24790863

    I have a pop-up, downdraft by GE paired with a Thermador 5-burner gas cook top in a central granite island that was installed in 2007. We bought GE because the purchase cost was several hundred dollars less while installation cost was comparable. The pairing is a bit off due to design - different corners of the cooktop (more rounded) vs the dropdown but the granite was cut to accommodate. I have had absolutely no problems with this combination. Relatively little exhaust escapes the draw (I'm sure there is some because the upward extension is about 12 inches); it is pushed down under the floor with one turn of 90 degrees to the outside. And, yes, I can stand outside and smell the exhaust - especially bacon. The pop-up has two filters which are easily removed and cleaned regularly depending on frequency of use. There has been very little build-up in the under-floor (unfinished basement) exhaust tube (8 inches) and little to no build-up in the outside, through-the-wall cap. We have effectively used the pop-up to exhaust smoke from burned spills in the stove which is also in the island but not immediately beneath the cooktop. Under the cooktop is cookware storage giving good access to the fan motor, wiring, etc if needed. We're happy with the choice we made.

  • Beverly Nias

    Not sure if this thread is still going but thought I would try. We are installing a remote blower range hood over the induction cooktop. What I need help with is finding a vent for the island which will only be used for a prep space. I am sensitive to the smell of ut onions and the kitchen will be open to the family room. I don't want a hood as I don't want to lose my sight lines, so a down draft or ceiling mount vent is preferred. The house will be on a concrete slab so the island duct work will need to be installed early in the build. Any assistance is welcomed.

  • cmshop55
    @beverly - I think the downdraft would work much better due to its proximity to the work surface. We have the Best Cattura and love its sleek look and operation. We did a remodel (not a new build) and decided to just install attached blower and recirculate instead of trenching through post tension slab (not to code in our area...ssshhh). It is very loud due to the interior blower, but we hardly need to use it. Since it sounds like you are on this early and can accommodate any configuration, I highly recommend installing per the remote blower configuration since you are venting outside.
  • HU-923902369

    I have been reading all the comments and am a bit dizzy just absorbing all the information that has been shared. Thank you all for your input, I have learned quite a lot. I am in the process of renovating a mid-century modern house in the shape of 3-hexagons and have designed my own kitchen taking one entire glass wall as backdrop for a counter since we have lake views on 180 degrees. The cooktop has to go on the island but I do not want an exhaust fan blocking the lake view. My 1st choice was the Faber glass ceiling type but after reading the comments, I realize the distance from cook-top to 8" ceiling would negate the effectiveness of the system. How effective are the downdraft with recirculating air? do I need to have a blower? If I have to trench the slab the most direct exhaust route would be out to the patio rather than the roof which is a very unusual shape. I am at a loss and frankly I would rather not have an exhaust system at all if I can help it. Thanks in advance for any feedback.

  • Beverly Nias

    Thank you for the response. After researching the recommend working distance of the ceiling vent, I agree that a downdraft would best suit our needs.

  • Rick Kelly

    Just for the record, it is most technically accurate to refer to these pop up vents as "Backdrafts" rather than "downdrafts". In the world of local exhaust ventilation engineering, this distinction is quite important. Down drafts don't work nearly as well for cooking, although I have to say my 30 year old Jennaire downdraft did the job 75% of the time. Also, our hood exhausts to our somewhat enclosed deck outback via the crawlspace, it works fine, but occasionally, when grilling and making a lot of smoke, the area does get a bit smokey.

  • Theresa Doell-Hahnel

    Regarding the comment by HU-923902369, please don't waste money on a recirculating ventilation system.

    It will do absolutely nothing for smoke , odors and very little for grease.

    Many people spend thousands on venting hoods, and downdrafts, most do not work well for many reasons.

    Mainly incorrect sized blowers ,or too long duct runs, too small diameter ducting. Hoods installed too far above the range, or too far back from the front of the range make performance so poor that most people don't even bother tuning them on unless they've burnt something and the smoke alarm is chirping.

    Most people want eye candy, trendy things , they don't care if it only catches 50% or 75% of smoke and grease . They mostly care what their friends and co-workers will think of their choices of decor and appliances, and hopefully not judge them for a home that smells like a rancid steamy seafood buffet.

    I've seen so many homes where people paid $3500.00 + for a ventilator , and never use it.

  • Katie F

    I have a GE island popup downdraft. They are impossible to clean. Never again. It would have to be removed to clean it thoroughly. The filters trap less grease than the backwall of this.


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