Does The Jenn-Air Downdraft Really Work?

Steve Sheinkopf  |  September 10, 2014  |  3 Min. Read

Jenn-Air  |  Downdrafts

Now through August 12th, save the tax on qualifying in-stock products plus 0% financing options

Start Here

The downdraft is Jenn-Airs signature product. The vent is in the middle of the cooktop or stove and vented down through the product and out of your house.

That’s the theory, but I never saw it in operation until last Sunday.

Traditional Kitchen by Durham Kitchen & Bath Designers emma delon

Updraft vs Downdraft

I would also sell downdrafts as a last option because a hood is much better. Hoods have greater CFM or blower speed. The Jenn-Air has 310 CFM.

Hoods can be 190 to 1,500 CFM. Hoods also have a capture area or a place where excess smoke is channeled and then filtered. Downdrafts obviously have no capture area.

Gravity also works in the favor of a hood because smoke rises.

Ducting also is better in a hood. You can vent straight up. In a downdraft, however, you have to vent typically through floor joists using less efficient elbows. We cover venting completely in our Ventilation Buyers Guide.

However, a central downdraft has one distinct advantage: Proximity to where the smoke is being generated. It also can be the last option (as it is in this kitchen), so it is far better than nothing.

Have a look at this video

You can also place the pan closer to the vent when the cooking is completed

Key Takeaways

The Jenn-Air does seem to work. However, you need to vent properly with a short duct run with the proper duct work. I am still somewhat skeptical with heavy use like frying or with bigger pots.

Related Articles

Additional Resources

Get our free Ventilation Buying Guide with tips, recommendations and reviews of the best brands for kitchen ventilation. Over 65,000 people have already found answers in a Yale guide.

view our ventilation buying guide

Why Should You Trust Us?

It seems that every appliance review has nothing but glowing comments about almost every product, yet you read customer reviews and they are almost universally bad.

We are here to fill in the disconnect. We'll give you the best features, and the drawbacks as well, including reliability based on over 37,000 calls performed by our service team just last year. Our goal is to give you ALL the information so you know what's right for you.

Please consider subscribing or adding to the conversation in the comments below. We appreciate you stopping by.

Steve Sheinkopf

Steve is the third-generation CEO of Yale and a lifelong Bostonian. He currently resides in Boston, one mile from where he was born. Despite being one of the worst goalies of all time, he is a huge hockey fan of college hockey and the Boston Bruins. The love of his life is his daughter Sophie.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications such as the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.

Suggested Articles