You should not vent a range for a variety of reasons. This option did not exist until recently. A range and downdraft could not fit because the duct attachment box of the vent was too big to accommodate both. Best, however, just re-engineered their Cattura downdraft eliminating much of the larger venting.
In this blog, we will look at the Cattura system, an acutal installation, the reasons to not install it, and I will show you some better options to consider.
How to and (When to) Downdraft
Best's Cattura Downdraft System
Have a look at this unit:
Traditional Gas or Electric Cooktops
Drop-in Gas Rangetop
Freestanding or Slide-In Range
Built-In Oven with Cooktop
The FlexBlower system installs in front of the downdraft like a traditional downdraft or you can install under the floor in a side or rear cabinet. This allows you to incorporate ovens into your design or to open up cabinet space under your cooking surface.
Front Exhaust - The blower, which is attached, can rotate for left, right, or downward.
Front Exhaust - Duct transition in front of the downdraft when the blower is installed below the floor line.
Side Exhaust - This has in-cabinet blower placement, left or right side... you can see how most of the ducting is on the side in this installation.
Side Exhaust - Transition through the cabinet to blower installed below the floor line.
Rear Exhaust - Remote transition behind downdraft blower installed above or below the floor line.
It looks like a downdraft with one important twist: the duct attachment box can be remotely installed under the floor or on the side freeing up space for all those installations.
Now you can downdraft a range in theory. You will still need 27 inches in depth. The average cabinet is only 24 inches, so this can only be used on an island or with extra deep cabinets.
Here is a video of the Cattura downdraft system from our installers:
Pros and Cons of the Cattura Downdraft System, According to Our Installers
1.) 18-inch rise versus the typical 9-13 inches to capture exhaust from front burners
2.) 9 blower options, with the option to exhaust either right, left, rear, front, and bottom. You can also choose to vent using 2 methods such as right to the left to maximize your CFM power using the optional duct adapters with a remote or external blower.
3.) Recirculating Method
4.) Can work with all cooking configurations. This includes cooktops, rangetops, wall ovens with a cooktop above, or ranges
5.) FlexBlower can be mounted on the unit or remotely in the adjacent cabinet
6.) LED lighting for convenience
7.) 30, 36, and 48-inch sizes
8.) It's still the same depth as your traditional downdraft of 2 1/4 inches (frame depth)
9.) Keeps an open line of sight when you are cooking and entertaining versus an island hood
1.) When used with a range, rangetop, or wall oven combination, the install will require a minimum depth of 27 inches
2.) Careful planning is a must as pertains to the ductwork installation
3.) If right or left venting is requirement you will lose the adjacent cabinet for the mechanical components
Why you should NOT install the Cattura downdraft
I look at this picture and just cringe.
This picture is screaming, "Future Vent Problems." You cannot reverse all the heat grease, and air through a 2-inch capture area. The grease settles in your kitchen with your home smelling like what you just cooked.
Many gas ranges will have two 15,000 BTU burners like the basic Whirlpool gas range.
Whirlpool Gas Range
The down vent has to reverse these power burners further on a range than a cooktop.
It is not possible, and not just with the Cattura, but any downdraft. I like the downdraft concept, especially on a kitchen island because your kitchen is kept clean looking without a bigger hood.
First, let me show you how to vent... This becomes very important if you cook on the top with high heat and bigger pots.
How to Vent
Venting is very simple (we cover this in our Ventilation Buying Guide). You want to exhaust the air straight up like its natural flow.
Venting horizontally or straight back is also acceptable. Refrain from using elbows to redirect the ducting as best you can. They reduce the airflow and efficiency of the blower.
You probably know a high CFM (cubic foot per minute) is better for exhausting air faster. Hood capture is as important because smoke is chambered and then exhausted. These professional hoods are large to handle the high heat of a pro range.
Wolf Professional Range
If venting is about directing air flow without elbows and a bigger capture area, then downdrafts should be a last resort. The utilize at least one elbow and have zero capture area. The downdraft is also pretty far away from the front burners.
You need a hood if you cook a lot. It is that simple. The Cattura is only for most new construction at 27 inches deep, so planning the right hood should not be a problem.
The island hoods are pretty nice. You can even enclose a blower with wood.
I know some of you still want to downdraft, so here are our best tips:
- Do not downdraft a professional gas range. It will not work.
- Use no more than 1 elbow.
- Use an induction stovetop or range. It is more powerful than gas and does not emit as much heat.
You can down vent a range somewhat effectively with induction, but first, look for better options.
Want to learn how to plan your vent? Get the Yale Ventilation Buying Guide with features, specs, and a how to plan CFM, capture area, makeup air and ducting. Well over 230,000 people have read a Yale Guide.
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