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
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 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.
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