What is Downdraft Ventilation and Is It Worth It?

Proper kitchen ventilation raises the age-old question of form vs function – which do you prioritize? There is a considerable number of manufacturers who design ventilation hoods that are both functional and stylish, but as the open concept kitchen becomes more popular and more and more home chefs begin leaning towards island and jenn-air-downdraftpeninsula cooking, installing ventilation appliances has become a more daunting task. The easy answer many salesmen will pitch is downdraft ventilation, and now you’re left asking: what exactly is downdraft ventilation, does it work, and is it the answer to my problems?

To be frank, ventilation hoods are king. If you have the option to install one (and there are many stylish ventilation hoods to choose from), then you have peace of mind that you’re cooking space will be properly ventilated. However, it’s easy to see why many renovators are looking for an alternative. If you appreciate unobscured views and a streamlined open concept kitchen, then traditional ventilation will obstruct that design.

built-in-downdraftWhat is downdraft ventilation?

In response to that, downdraft ventilation uses proximity ventilation to pull smoke and grease downward, versus traditional ventilation which captures exhaust as it goes up. Downdraft ventilation is sometimes built into cooking appliances such as the Jenn-Air downdraft cooktops, while others are installed directly behind the appliance and are retractable, staying hidden within the cabinetry when not in use, and rising when needed. Downdraft ventilation is the answer for whenever traditional ventilation isn’t plausible or it simply does not work with your design.

Using proximity ventilation, built-in downdrafts will pull exhaust down into concealed ducting immediately as it is produced, and retractable downdrafts will rise above the cooktop (usually 12” – 18”), which increases the capture area, extracting the smoke from its perch. Retractable downdrafts rise and retract at the touch of a button, and unlike hoods which have controls that require you to reach up and stretch above your cooktop, downdraft ventilation features those same controls right in front of you.

Is downdraft ventilation worth it?

In conclusion, downdraft ventilation is discreet, sophisticated, and effective. It’s perfect for those looking for an uncluttered seamless kitchen, and for providing ventilation for kitchens Retractable-downdraft-ventilationwhere traditional ventilation isn’t possible. While the traditional vent hood is more effective, downdraft ventilation will also get the job done, and do it without obscuring your beautiful kitchen design.

For help finding the right kitchen ventilation for you, give us a call to speak with an appliance specialist today! Stay up to date on all industry news, tips, and deals by connecting with us on Facebook, Twitter, or subscribing to our newsletter.

 

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