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Can You Install A Downdraft Vent Behind A Range? (Reviews / Ratings)

Steve Sheinkopf  |  November 10, 2020  |  6 Min. Read

Ventilation  |  Downdrafts  |  Cattura Downdraft

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Many appliance companies are starting to promote using a downdraft vent for your range, especially if you're placing it in your kitchen island.

It won't work.

Even a basic Whirlpool gas range with two power burners at 15,000 BTU needs stronger ventilation than what a downdraft can provide.

As much as you may dislike hoods, downdrafts lack the capture area to vent a range effectively.

This option did not exist until recently.

A range and downdraft could not fit because a vent duct attachment box is 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, the reasons not to install it, and better options to consider.

Let's get started.

Best Cattura Downdraft System

Best by Broan Downdraft D49M36SB - $1,718

Best Cattura Downdraft - KitchenBest Cattura Downdraft 

 

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 extra deep cabinets.

Installing The Cattura Downdraft

The FlexBlower system for the Cattura installs in front of the downdraft, or you can install it under the floor in a side or rear cabinet. This allows you to incorporate ovens into your design or open up cabinet space under your cooking surface.

Front Exhaust With Blower Attached: The blower can rotate left, right, or downward.

Front Exhaust: Duct transition in front of the downdraft when the blower is installed below the floor line.

Front-Exhaust-with-Blower-Attached Front-Exhaust
Front Exhaust With Blower Attached Front Exhaust 

Side Exhaust In Cabinet: This has in-cabinet blower placement. 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 the downdraft blower installed above or below the floor line.

Side Exhaust transition Rear Exhaust
Side Exhaust With Blower Placement Rear Exhaust

Here is a video of the Cattura downdraft system from our installers:

Downdraft Behind Range Installation [Video]

 

Pros And Cons Of The Cattura Downdraft System, According To Our Installers

Pros:

  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 two methods, such as the 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

Cons:

  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 a requirement, you will lose the adjacent cabinet for the mechanical components
Short on time? Get our free Ventilation Buying GuideLearn More

How To Vent

Ventilation-System-at-yale-applianceBest Blower System at Yale Appliance in Boston

 

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.

A downdraft has the CFM but reverses the flow of the exhaust and then adds an elbow.

However, the downdraft does not have one of the most important factors to ventilation - Capture.

Capture is a fancy industry term for depth.

Smoke, especially if you cook a lot, is never immediately exhausted. It's "captured" by the hood and then exhausted by the blower.

For that pro range in the first picture, you need a 27-inch deep hood, not a two-inch slot of a downdraft.

The Cattura is only for most new construction at 27 inches deep, so planning the right hood should not be a problem.

Have questions? Click here to check out our Learning Center.

Alternative Options

If you want a range or cooktop as part of your kitchen island, opt for an island hood instead of a downdraft.

The island hoods are pretty nice. You can even enclose a blower with wood.

 

Sub-Zero-And-Wolf--Island-HoodSub-Zero and Wolf Island Hood

 

Entertaining is the best argument for placing cooking on an island. You want to face your guests.

I get it, but you don't want to smoke them out of your house either. Your other option is to not place your cooking appliances within your kitchen island. 

Your best option is to place a sink on your kitchen island. 

Think about it. You are at your sink more than any other appliance.

The-Galley-Workstation-IWS-5-example-1Kitchen Galley Workstation at Yale Appliance in Hanover

 

A sink also completes your "kitchen triangle," so you are never more than two steps from any other appliance. If you want to entertain, try a Galley sink.

Can You Install A Downdraft Vent Behind A Range?

Cattura Downdraft - BestBest Cattura Downdraft

 

Yes, you technically can, but we don't recommend it. If you're hoping to downdraft a professional range, don't. It won't work.

I know some of you still want to downdraft, so here are our best tips:

Use no more than one elbow.

Use an induction stovetop or range. It is more powerful than gas and does not emit as much heat.

Best downdraft with induction cooktopBest Downdraft With An Induction Cooktop

 

You can down vent a range somewhat effectively with induction, but first, look for better options.

Also, consider placing a sink on the island instead. It's a better idea than placing a cooktop or range. If you still want a range or cooktop as part of your kitchen island, opt for an island hood. Island hoods are attractive, or build your own with a wood hood.

Additional Resources

Download the Yale Ventilation Buying Guide with features like ducting, the proper CFM for professional ranges, downdrafts and much more. Over 800,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

view our ventilation buying guide

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WHY SHOULD YOU TRUST US?

A few review sites have placed this at the bottom of their articles. So here is our take: Our mission is to find reliable products for you to buy. Other review sites may say this as well.

However, we don’t love every product. Quite frankly, it costs us way too much money in repair costs to support less reliable brands.

In fact, we sell fewer brands than most appliance stores. Here is why:

We feel it is our responsibility to repair your appliances after you buy them.

We now have 30 service technicians, each averaging 8-10 calls a day Monday through Friday, plus another 110 on Saturday. That's over 30,000 service calls logged in one year.

The labor rates of fixing an appliance do not come close to the true cost in any product’s warranty period.

That is why no major retailer has a service department. It costs too much labor, money and time.

Our Blog is a bit different than most others you will read. We cannot write glowing reviews of unreliable products.

Hopefully, the bloggers and organizations who write such glowing product reviews for every brand consider servicing these products first. Only then they will understand the consequences of their marketing.

Steve Sheinkopf

My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.

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