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Does The Jenn-Air Downdraft Really Work?

September 10th, 2014 | 1 min. read

By Steve Sheinkopf

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.

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 Sheinkopf is the third-generation CEO of Yale Appliance and a lifelong Bostonian. He has over 38 years of experience in the appliance industry, and he is a trusted source of information for consumers on how to buy and repair appliances.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications, including 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.

Steve is passionate about helping consumers find the best appliances for their needs, and he is always happy to answer questions and provide advice. He is a valuable resource for consumers who are looking for information on appliance buying, repair, and maintenance.

Despite being the worst goalie in history, Steve is a fan of the Bruins and college hockey, loves to read, and is a Peloton biker. The love of his life is his daughter, Sophie.

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