Honest opinions about how to buy Appliances and Lighting.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

How to...Buy a Downdraft

Downdrafts have become especially popular with island type of installations. Instead of an overhead hood, the downdraft will pop up behind a cooktop and evacuate the smoke and odors down and through ducting underneath the floor. It is retractable, so it disappears into the counter

A couple of misconceptions:

You can not place this behind a range, because a downdraft with either a remote or internal blower uses too much cabinet space.

A downdraft is not as efficient as an overhead hood. The key to optimum ventilation is CFM of the motor and capture area. Although a downdraft has plenty of CFM, it has no area for smoke to be channeled. An excess of smoke will bypass a downdraft, because it cannot be effectively captured.

Do not use a downdraft behind a Professional cooktop, because of the reasons outlined above.

There is a multitude of brand choices...Consider these two:

Broan 273003...Rises 7 inches over the cooktop and is inexpensive at about $500. Filters are hard to remove unfortuntely:

Broan Downdraft

Thermador Cvs236.. rises 10 inches over the cooktop with better CFM at 600 to 1000 and easily removable filters. Then again, it should at $1500:

Thermador Downdraft

Both are available in 30 and 36 inch sizes. Thermador is also available in 45 inch.

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