Need education on downdraft/range options

kathecOctober 22, 2012

Before the remodel we had Kitchenaid smooth top electric with downdraft. I HATED it.

DH tried to install our overhead vent duct yesterday, but said we don't have enough clearance between our garage wall and a window. We had a contractor who already said it was possible to vent through that wall, but impossible through the roof. The wall part was said without removing any siding. DH has decided to have the contractor do the work, so we'll probably know by next week if it's a no go.

I want to be prepared for the worst case scenario and find out what my options are for downdraft. I have space for a 36" gas range. Right now the electric is not set for a 220V, but it can be done fairly easily for dual fuel.

I saw that Dacor has the Discovery dual fuel range and a retractable downdraft, but the range is over 8K and the vent is $1200- OUCH! I know this is going to cost us, but I'd like to keep the stupid tax to well below 10K

What else is available?

Thank you.

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Beside the Dacor, Jenn-Aire is the only range that has a downdraft. No other ranges are compatible with downdrafts but many cooktops are. You'd be much better off figuring out how to run the duct for an overhead vent hood.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 9:52PM
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We had a downdraft and also hated it. Noisy and didn't do much.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 10:35PM
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I recently saw a comment on another thread about the Dacor being the best and still not very good. I've had a Jennaire and would not repeat that experience. I would stop and figure out a way to get the vent to work,

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 11:18PM
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Another voice for the external vent. I had a Jennair downdraft for years in the old kitchen. Never worked really well. Backsplash grout eventually virtually deteriorated. Could never cook the way I wanted to. Having a range hood with serious power (1200CFM) was one of the primary things I wanted in the new kitchen and it has been a revelation how fabulous it is to cook when you have decent ventilation.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 9:56AM
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My parents' summer home has a very old Jenn Air range with a downdraft that works very well.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 10:16AM
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Do you have to do a range? What about a cooktop with separate ovens? The reason I am asking is that I have a 36" gas Electrolux Icon cooktop in my island with a Broan pop up downdraft. It's been 4 years and works great for my modest cooking needs. I cook bacon and fry things like okra (from the south, can you tell?) and my house never smells like fried foods, which is a big pet peeve of mine. It vents down to the crawlspace and then outside.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 12:28PM
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I went from a JennAir downdraft to a Thermador with a telescope. The latter worked much better. Excellent on back burners and so/so on front burners if you tilted a lid to direct the moisture etc to the vent. Now I have a hood and it is even much better than the telescope. I am saying if possible get an over the range hood. If not go with a high telescope and decent motor.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 2:01PM
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DH is still exploring our options for the vent while waiting for contractor, but I just want to be mentally prepared for the worst case. We are too far along with the remodel and $$$ that we can't do major structural changes. All the cabinets are in place. We're on a slab. This is one of the last items to be hooked up.

I guess what I mean is that I'm not here to debate the merits of one over the other or to solicit a vote. I need product information.

I don't want downdraft or a recirculating vent, but if those are my only options, then I'll have to move forward with it quickly. We've been at this for over 2 and a half years. I'm ready to be done.

I guess I wasn't really clear before. I am looking for other range and separate retractable (aka pop up) vent combos besides the Dacor, NOT a downdraft range like the JennAir. Yes, I need a range and can't do separate ovens, I have no space for them.

The vents I've seen seem pretty narrow. Is that the whole unit? Or is there a blower that is separate? Does this combo work better with the ranges that aren't that deep? Which 36" wide ranges don't have the high back?


    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 2:31PM
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Which Thermador do you have? Is it a range or cooktop?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 2:33PM
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As I said in my earlier post, the only range that can have a pop-up downdraft is the Dacor - there are no other options.

I don't know if this is feasible, but if you already have external ducting from your previous downdraft, you MIGHT be able to run the duct from an overhead hood down through the wall behind the range and hook it into the existing ductwork for the old downdraft.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 2:39PM
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We did almost exactly what weisman is suggesting: we built a powerful external-mounted fan duct into the backsplash above and behind our range, just under the raised counter above it, which is actually a bar. It works incredibly well, and the huge blower (a kitchenaid from a cooktop downdraft) is extremely powerful as well as quiet since it is mounted outside and about 10 feet away. We used a stainless grill over the vent opening and put a washable filter just inside the cover.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 2:59PM
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Sophie Wheeler

It's not a question of A, B, C, or D. It's Jennair or Dacor and that's it for a downdraft range. I'm sure that having already experienced the downdraft, you understand why no other manufacturer is willing to invest in that "technology".

If you separate the components into a cooktop and wall oven, the choices do expand. But the questionable technology and added expense for it remain. Plus the additional cost of the cabinetry to house the cooktop and wall oven. It adds several thousand to your expenses and still doesn't work half as well any low CFM overhead vent.

You just need the right HVAC person to inspect the house to solve the problem. It's not an insurmountable one, even though in your case it might involve a little creativity.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 3:41PM
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Our Thermador dual fuel range with built in cooknvent just stopped working and we are leaning towards an upgrade. I know it's not the preferred method, but (based on kitchen layout) we'd like to go with a slide-in style range plus downdraft. I've seen in a few places, as from hollysprings here, that the ONLY range that works with a pop-up downdraft is Dacor. But why is that? Can someone please explain. We recently looked at the dual fuel GE Cafe and thought that would work nicely for us and could be coupled with a separate pop-up downdraft (maybe the Dacor one). I know the GE Cafe is not intended to be used with a downdraft, but wouldn't that work?

After some more reading, it seems like the issue is that the downdraft vent cannot fit flush to the range, because of clearance issues with the blower. I might be way off, but don't some of the downdrafts allow an inline blower? Would that solve the clearance issues of slide-in plus downdraft? Thanks.

This post was edited by Phaedrus29 on Wed, Dec 12, 12 at 4:40

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 4:27AM
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This is a very timely thread. This past week we were out looking for refrigerators to replace the single door, black board front, counter deep, freezer on the bottom model that is freezing everything. Unfortunately, we can't find single door models and may have to go with the French door type which may be a problem with a counter.

Now all of a sudden tonight our duel fuel Jennair's door hinge broke. I already know they no longer make replacement hinges. We also have the additional tall backsplash and shelf that you could add onto this range. hubby just wants to replace the jennair but I never liked the down draft in the middle. Years ago at another house we had a thermador stove top with a pop up downdraft and loved it. grant it I had an additional draw outside but it did its job without cooling down what I was cooking. We have to use some for of down draft and Im not sure what to do. Does anyone know if thermador has a range with a down draft. Oh yeah and because of the tall jennair backsplash and shelf I have the counter trim backsplash that is everywhere else in the kitchen isn't behind the range.

::::sigh:::: what to do :(

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 10:32PM
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