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

Steve Sheinkopf  |  December 13, 2017  |  6 Min. Read

Ventilation  |  Downdrafts  |  Cattura Downdraft

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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.  

Cattura Downdraft - Best-1.jpg

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. 

Best's Cattura Downdraft System

Have a look at this unit: 

 Cattura Downdraft-bestrangehoods.jpg

Traditional Gas or Electric Cooktops

Downdraft with Drop-in Gas Rangetop.jpg

Drop-in Gas Rangetop

Downdraft with Freestanding or Slide-In Range.jpg

Freestanding or Slide-In Range

Downdraft with Built-In Oven.jpg

Built-In Oven with Cooktop

Installation

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 with Blower Attached.jpg

Front Exhaust - The blower, which is attached, can rotate for left, right, or downward.

Front Exhaust.jpg

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

Side Exhaust in cabinet.jpg

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.jpg

Side Exhaust - Transition through the cabinet to blower installed below the floor line. 

Rear Exhaust.jpg

Rear Exhaust - Remote transition behind downdraft blower installed above or below the floor line.

 duct attachment box.jpg

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:

The Cattura Downdraft Installed

 
 
 
Video Thumbnail
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Pros and Cons of the Cattura Downdraft System, According to Our Installers

Best Cattura Downdraft - Kitchen-1.jpg

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 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

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 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. 

Professional Gas Range with Downdraft Installed - Houzz

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. hero-WFG505M0BS.png

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

DECESARE_SOUTHWEST_KDC_13-14_03 (1).jpg

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_stove_repair.jpg

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. 

Your Options

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. 

yale-appliance-gas-cooktop-display-featuring-wolf.jpg

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.

Additional Resources

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.

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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