Does The Jenn-Air Downdraft Really Work?

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

Jenn-Air  |  Downdrafts

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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.

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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.

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