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Yale Appliance University: Downdraft Vents

November 1st, 2014 | 1 min. read

By Chris Wurlitzer

Wistia video thumbnail - Yale Appliance University - Downdraft Vents

We're back with another installment of Yale Appliance University -- This time we're discussing downdraft vents. Chris explains the benefits of downdrafts and when they should, and shouldn't be used.

Downdraft Vents

Wistia video thumbnail - Yale Appliance University - Downdraft Vents

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Hi, I am Chris Wurlitzer from Yale Appliance + Lighting in Boston, MA. Let’s talk about downdrafts. Downdrafts are good for certain applications but at the same time they should be avoided in others.

A downdraft is an exhaust that pulls smoke and grease from the what you’re cooking through an intake and out of the house. Some downdrafts have the option of using an internal, inline or external blower motor, allowing for more flexible installation.

There are two types of downdraft systems. The first is a telescopic downdraft. A motor raises the downdraft from behind your cooktop. Some of these can be as high as 14 inches tall. This is the most effective type of downdraft system.

The second type is used primarily by Jenn-Air and is built into the cook surface. Although this type has greater proximity to the heat, it has far less exhaust capability than other options because it relies on the power of the motor to pull air down through the cooktop.

Downdrafts open your kitchen area in a way an island hood cannot. It is also a good solution for kitchens that don’t have the possibility of venting through a wall or ceiling.

But, downdrafts have no capture area. It’s just a small opening. If you often use woks or fryers, a downdraft cannot properly exhaust heat, smoke and grease.

For this reason, I do not recommend a downdraft with a professional or other high BTU cooktop. Consider a hood with plenty of capture area, especially if you really cook.

So although downdrafts are a decent solution, be aware of the limitations. They can never be as functional or efficient as a traditional hood.

From all of us at Yale Appliance + Lighting, I’m Chris Wurlitzer, thanks for watching.

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