Downdraft Vent is very important and can be bought for far less than you might think, yes, thanks to the Internet. But do you really know the do’s and dont’s of downdraft or other types of kitchen vents? If not, keep reading to learn far more than you ever knew about downdraft vent and other types of vents, to help you.
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Top 3 Best Downdraft Ventilation Systems
One thing that makes a decent downdraft ventilator is its ability to be ready when you want it to be ready. It would be quite annoying to set up the ventilator manually every time you get ready to use the stove. The Broam ventilator has solved this issue, by automatically raising into position. It then can be turned on with the touch of a button. This makes life much easier for anyone who needs to use the stove. It also has a speed control function, which is on the side of the unit. This makes it easy to dictate the pace of the ventilating.
Because of the varying speeds, the Broan ventilator can get extremely loud. This can especially be seen when it is adjusted to higher speed settings. The reason for this is because of the way it actually ventilates. The blower that does the ventilating is inside the unit, meaning it needs to use fans in order to operate. Therefore, the faster it operates, the louder it can get. Additionally, it has two washable grease filters. This doesn’t seem to be a very negative thing, but in a kitchen, a grease filter can often be ignored, and the grease filters in the Broan ventilator are no exception to this.
It’s good to have choices with nearly any kind of appliance, and downdraft ventilators are no exception. One thing that sets the Nutone range hood apart from others is it has a choice of two blowers instead of just having one. You can place the blower on the inside for more power, or on the outside for it to be more quiet. The Nutone range hood also has a front access panel which can be cleaned easily. This front access panel can be removed rather easily, and this makes it much easier to clean than most other range hoods, which are not as easy to clean.
The options that the Nutone range hood has when it comes to ventilation comes at a price. This price is that the fans involved are very big, and it can be difficult for the range hood to install. If you have drawers underneath the stove, they may need to be replaced in some aspect to fit the fans that support the range hood. This can be an inconvenience. No matter which blower you use, the fans on the range hood extend downwards and actually can take up space underneath the stove top.
There is no shortage of options when it comes to the Broan downdraft shell. It contains four exterior and four inline options, which is a very good thing because it allows ventilating from more than just one source. There are just as many options when it comes to the ducting, as the blower connection can be ducted to the left, right, or downwards. Most other downdraft shells can only be ducted downwards. This is all accomplished without being at the expense of under cabinet space either, as the fans involved with the Broan downdraft shell are not so big to where they are taking under cabinet space. The chimney can rise and lower with the push of a button, which is also nice because doing this manually is less than desirable.
These options involved in this particular downdraft shell come at a cost. The four exterior and inline options, while they exist and are available, must be purchased separately. And because it is more ideal to have a complete downdraft shell, it is ideal to purchase all four. Additionally, the motor that is installed into the Broan downdraft shell is not self contained and must also be purchased and installed separately. This is because of the fact that while the motor and fan are powerful, they are smaller than most.
Kitchen Ventilation Do’s and Don’ts
- Several years ago, a customer of mine kept trying to get a different answer from me by asking the same question over and over. “Can I mount my hood 42″ above my range?” No! This went on for several months. A couple months after he moved into his home, he called me and said he was having problems with his hood. “It’s not venting properly” he said. I asked him several questions about the installation and couldn’t figure out what the problem was so I sent a technician out to look at it. The technician called me after he left. “The hood won’t ever work for him” explained the technician. I asked why? “His hood is mounted 42″ above his cooktop.” Aha! I didn’t think he’d actually do it after I said no so many times.
- For quite some time designers were fixated on putting the cooking surface on the island. The thought was it was nice to not have to turn your back on guests while you are entertaining and cooking at the same time. The problem is how do you vent properly? Downdraft cooktops are not as efficient as updraft hoods, and island hoods aren’t as attractive when you’re trying to preserve a view. Function and form clash more in this category than anything else in kitchen appliances.
- If you are using a pro-style cooking surface with a high BTU output, or induction cooktop it is best to consider a better performing hood. Look for a high CFM (cubic feet per minute) rate. I really like to recommend a brand called Vent A Hood. They are powerful and have ample capture area – an important consideration, too. Capture area holds heat, smoke, and steam before the blower can extract it.
- Another factor to consider is noise. Moving air at higher CFM rates will cause more noise. Some hoods are better than others (Vent A Hood being one of the least noisy – notice I didn’t say quiet?). Mesh type filters are noisier than commercial style baffles. Another way to quiet a hood is to use a remote blower instead of putting the blower inside the hood. Not all hoods are capable of this option. This is also typically available for downdrafts, as well. You will spend more with this option, but if quieter ventilation is important to you, it may well be worth the expenditure. Don’t bother with a remote blower if the duct run is under 6′ long. You may not benefit from the reduced noise as the vibration may transmit through the wall that houses the blower.
- If at all possible, keep 90 degree angles to a minimum. Too many 90′s will put more backpressure on the blower and will decrease efficiency, not to mention create more noise. Also, it is far better to use round ducting than rectangular ducting. Air travels in a circular motion. You may not be able to avoid rectangular ducting if you are going through a floor joist. Round ducting will also produce less of a noise factor, too.
A quick tip: Crack a window in your kitchen about a ¼” and start your hood while you are doing prep work for the meal. You’ll create an airstream, and it will give you much better draw into the hood.
When planning your kitchen ventilation, it really is best to make sure you do the proper research and planning. The extra work you do will help you not smell bacon for 3 days after you cook it!