What Downdraft Is the Least Awful

bradespDecember 29, 2013

I have absolutely zero chance of putting an overhead hood over our new gas rangetop in our new kitchen.

So.... If you absolutely, positively, HAD to choose a downdraft for ventilation, which specific brand/unit and blower type would you choose (inline, external, or integrated).


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If you are actually talking about a rangetop (as opposed to a cooktop) there are almost no choices. As far as I know, Dacor is the only manufacturer that makes downdrafts that work with rangetops or ranges and they are only compatible with Dacor rangetops and ranges.

If you're talking about a cooktop, there are many more options that you can consider.

I can't tell from your post if you've already purchased a gas rangetop, but if you have and it's not Dacor, you have no choice for a downdraft. If you can't put in an overhead hood, then you'll have to live without ventilation.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 9:19PM
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We've not yet decided entirely on our cooktop, but I'm not sure I agree that one manufacturers downdraft is only compatible with one stove top... Frankly they're all the same basic design... the only real difference is their height and location of their blower/fan. I was hoping to hear from others who have experience with the 9, 10, 12 and 15" high units and what kind of stove top they are paired with. Additionally, are they using an integrated blower or remote blower.

Again, my subject line says it all... we know that the ventilation will be unsatisfactory... but if we have to choose, which among the downdrafts is the "least awful"... and why.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 6:25PM
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You're still mixing terms - are you getting a rangetop or a cooktop - it makes a big difference. A rangetop looks like the top of a range with burners on top and knobs on the front and sits on top of a cabinet. A cooktop is lower profile with knobs on the the top of the cooktop - a cooktop sits in a cutout on your counter. There are many downdrafts that will work with COOKTOPS and yes you can mix brands if the specs match up. What I pointed out is that there are almost no downdrafts that work with RANGETOPS because rangetops are much larger and take up the entire depth of the countertop. As I said in my previous post, Dacor is the only brand I know of that makes downdrafts that work with RANGETOPS and they're only certified to be compatible with their rangetops.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 6:39PM
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I've matched several different vent systems with a variety of cook/rangetops and when I'm discussing the options with the owners I stress the recommended venting requirements of the appliance, from the appliance mfg.

Then from the venting appliance mfg. the max. blower CFM that the appliance will support, because of their construction, there is a max. draw.

Next is the rough-in dimensions and the elec.

I prefer an exterior blower mounted on isolators.

Yes I'm aware that these venting appliances have blowers and specific connecters. however, you sometimes need to be smarter than what you are working on, and not let those inanimate objects get the better of you.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 7:32PM
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OK, now i'm clearer on what your asking.

Here goes...

Our cooktop is going in an island.. the cabinets are being custom fabricated... we have room for at least 8", and as much as 10" of depth BEHIND the standard 24" base cabinet in which we install the cooktop.. so virtually any downdraft model we've looked at can be accommodated.

I like the Dacor unit because it's the ONLY downdraft I've seen that's explicitly engineered to accept bottom venting (2" x 16" transition boot to connect to a 10" vent pipe).. allowing us to use no more than 3" behind the cooktop for accommodating the downdraft.

We intend on using a remote inline blower (likely Fantech) that is 1,000-1,500 CFM rated. Higher quality, and lower cost than OEM "branded" remote blowers.

The cooktops (all 36" wide) we are considering includes:

Wolf Gas RANGE Top
Wolf Cook Top
Thermador RANGE Top

I have access to high-end HVAC professional who can fabricate ANY transitions or boots required to transition from the vertical downdraft unit (below the countertop) and the remote blower.

Here's the deal though... all units will be lousy... so I'm trying to MINIMIZE the cost and MAXIMIZE the benefit of the downdraft configuration we install.. Which is why I'm looking at a higher quality (and MUCH lower cost) Fantech inline blower coupled with an "adequate" downdraft hood.

In terms of cooking scenarios.. we simmer daily.. we weekly "boil"... we NEVER WOK...

So... I'm thinking anything in the 10" range will work... I don't think we'll see dramatic improvement with 15" (Dacor, Bosh, etc.). But again, I've posted this question to seek input from those with direct exprience.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 8:14PM
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My 10" downdraft vent pulls the flame on the rear burners on my cooktop and that is a bigger problem for me than the effectiveness of the venting. A taller downdraft would mitigate that to a great extent and when I have to replace it I'll get the tallest I can find. I have a remote blower.

I have been living with a cooktop/downdraft for 8 years, I don't wok and rarely (3x/year?) fry anything other than eggs. The downdraft is adequate for how I cook and is much better than nothing. Multiple competing requirements led to the downdraft choice and I have not regretted it.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 8:30PM
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Thanks judeny!

It would be really great to know more about your cooktop... brand, size, etc.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 8:35PM
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Mount the blower close to the exit damper to minimize the pooling effect caused by back-pressure.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 10:06PM
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