We must all admit that good and effective ventilation is called for in any kitchen, no matter the size. A kitchen that cooks for an average-sized family can accumulate a total of four gallons of grease per year.
The best downdraft vent can clear the air of smoke, odor, smells, and even small particles that can accumulate on your ledges, cabinets, curtains, and a lot more.
Choosing the perfect vent, however, can be overwhelming. This is why we’re here.
In this guide, we show you the five best vents in the market to choose from. Also, we give you tips before your purchase and even provide you a rundown on how to install vents.
Let’s get started!
#List Of The Top 3 Downdraft Vent In The Market – Editor’s Choice:
What to Look for Before Choosing Your Downdraft Vent?
Downdraft appliances are responsible for directing steam and grease from the cooking surface downward and out of your house.
But before you purchase your first (or maybe nth) downdraft, let us tell you a few things that you need to consider.
Here they are.
- Look for a Downdraft with Good CFM
CFM is short for cubic feet per minute. This refers to the number of cubes of air that can be removed in a minute. So, if you see a downdraft range with 700 CFM, it means that its blower can remove 700 cubes of air per minute.
When looking for a downdraft vent, the blower speed is essential. The reason for this is because blower speed has a big role to play in pushing or pulling odor out of your home.
Whether you have a professional range, a high-output gas range, or any normal range, as long as there’s cooking that’s happening in the kitchen, a vent’s blower speed is important.
- The Capture Area
When we say “capture area,” it simply refers to the amount of space in a hood where the smoke can be pooled.
No matter how high your CFM blower is, cooking smoke will first be channeled up until your blower can blow the smoke out of your home. This is important, especially when you do heavy cooking like grilling.
Woks also tend to emit a lot of smoke. And so if you are cooking in a wok, the capture area is an important factor to consider.
If you have a professional range, or if you tend to do heavier cooking all year round, a larger hood would be ideal for your kitchen.
- The Duct Run
Ducts are passages where the smoke passes through on its way out of your home. Some homes have ducts; some don’t.
While for some homeowners, duct runs that go straight up provide optimum performance, other duct runs are still viable. There is a horizontal or straight back duct, which is a workable option if you ask us.
In the matter of duct runs, you can always choose whatever works for you. If possible, avoid elbowing or bending vents as they minimize efficiency. The rest works great.
Also, go with shorter runs. They are more efficient.
- The Duct Size
When choosing ducts, sizes do matter. Always make sure to choose anywhere from a 6-inch round duct to 10-inch duct sizes.
While duct sizes from 8 to 10 inches are ideal for professional cooking, it won’t hurt even if you install these at home, as long as it keeps the smoke and grease out.
Top 5 Best Downdraft Vent Reviews
In order for the bad stuff to be removed from your kitchen, you need a reliable downdraft installed. Here are 5 of the best in the market to choose from.
1. GE PP9830DJBB Profile Series Cooktop with Downdraft Exhaust System
Comparing this model with other brands in the market, this is more affordable. The reason perhaps is because other brands come as a complete stove while this is a cooktop.
What we like about this model is that it is quite similar to the other competitive ones in the market. The only difference is that this is more affordable than the rest.
It comes with 330 CFM, an amount that is good enough for home use. The model heats up faster as compared to most brands. In the looks department, this model is top-notch.
This is also easy to clean as long as you have the right cleaning materials. Anyway, your purchase comes with a cleaner that you can use for the first few months.
Speaking of hassle-free cleaning, you can wipe the cooktop with cotton cloths or other cleaning supplies. To achieve a mirror-like finish when cleaning, use a microfiber cloth.
Strategically-built in the middle of the cooktop is its knobs. When placed on the sides, the knobs tend to limit the size of the pan that you can place on the cooktop. And because the knobs of this model are at the front, the cooktop can accommodate pans that are even larger than the default burner size.
The burners come with a lock and an alarm. For safety reasons, the alarm sounds off when the burner is operated while in lock mode. This is a useful child safety feature.
This burner is engineered with fans in three settings. Such a feature makes sure that you adjust the exhaust power according to your needs. When operated at a lower setting, the fan emits lesser noise than the other brands.
- Heats up faster than most brands
- Comes with lock and alarm features
- Less noise at lower settings
- Knobs are placed at the front
- Easy to clean
- Does not come with a mounting bracket
2. Broan-NuTone 273603 36-Inch Eclipse Range Hood with Downdraft Vent
This model is made of 36 inches of high-quality stainless steel. Ideal with any self-contained cooktop, this model is built with a sleek design that makes this compatible with any kitchen, no matter the size. And because of its high-quality materials, the model is sure to last you for many years of regular use.
With a strength of 500 CFM, this model can quickly suck out smoke and odor from your kitchen air. Not only that, but it can also rid you of grease and other particles that float in your kitchen air. If there is one thing we can assure you, it is that this model can pull a lot of air in, giving you clean and fresh kitchen air.
The cooktop is made with infinitely adjustable speed controls. They are accessible and are easy to use. Aside from that, the front access panel allows for easy cleaning.
As for the blower, what we like about this is that it can discharge smoke and other particles, either right, left, or down. This is also easy to install.
One thing we would like to let you know, though, is that its hum is a bit louder than other brands in the market. We don’t mean it to be a loud hum. It is the kind of noise that maybe a few decibels louder than the others. But if this does not bother you in any way, this is a great choice for a downdraft vent.
- Sleek design and fits most kitchen spaces
- Compatible with self-contained cooktop
- Comes with 500 CFM that is strong enough to pull a lot of air
- Adjustable speed controls
- Front panel allows easy cleaning
- Easy to install
- A bit noisier than other brands
3. Renaissance Epicure ERV3015 30 Downdraft Range Hood
Upgrade your kitchen with this reliable unit from this brand. While it may be a bit pricier as compared to other models in the market, we assure you that this is worth your every penny.
For a start, the unit is made of high-quality stainless steel materials. At first glance, you are already assured that the unit is built to last. It has a sleek and modern design that will look spot-on in any kitchen.
What we like the most about this unit is its design. Upon installation, it sits flush and comfy against the wall. So, if you have a smaller kitchen, this is your perfect choice.
The duct size is 10 inches, which provides enough space for proper ventilation in your kitchen. It is also built with easily adjustable settings. Thanks to its Variable Speed Control features, its controls come looking uncomplicated and are easily adjustable.
Each unit also comes with halogen lighting. This helps illuminate your range while you are cooking.
The vent can pull greasy air out of your kitchen to as much as 15 inches above your cooktop. It is also built with removable and easy to clean filters.
If there is something that needs to be improved with this model, it is that it is loud when on full power mode. Also, the vent works best when you are cooking using the back burners or those that are nearest to the vent. Even on full power, the vent needs improvement in pulling out air from a pot or pan at the front burners.
If you don’t mind these minor concerns, this is a great addition to your kitchen.
- Halogen lighting to illuminate your cooking
- Built with Variable Speed Control features
- Easy to remove, easy to clean filters
- Sleek and modern design
- Made of stainless steel materials
- Loud on full power settings
- Works well with the back and not much with the front burners
4. Best D49M36SB Downdraft Ventilation
This unit is a 30-inch downdraft model that comes with an outside blower. The unit is made of stainless steel materials. Its design is created to run at 500 CFM.
Looking at the unit itself, what we like the most is its compact design. It is sleek and easily rests on a cooktop upon installation. Just like the previous unit we discussed, this is also ideal for smaller kitchens as it does not take up too much space.
Not only does it save you space, but it also gives your kitchen an elegant touch.
Your purchase of this downdraft unit comes with an adaptable blower speed control. Such a feature provides effective operation. Not only is it effective, but it is noiseless as well.
Also, something that we like the most about this is its Heat Sentry function. Such a function allows the unit to automatically adjust its blower speed to high upon detection of excessive heat. You no longer have to worry about manually making adjustments to the blower speed because the unit itself will do it for you.
Aesthetically, this is also a winner with its 4-speed glass touch control panel. Additionally, it comes with LED lights to provide your kitchen with that subtle glow when cooking.
Finally, you can easily remove its filters. These filters are also made of stainless steel and are dishwasher-safe.
- Comes with LED lights for added illumination while cooking
- Built with heat sentry function
- 4-speed glass touch control panel
- Sleek and compact design
- Made from stainless steel materials
- Easy to remove and easy to clean stainless steel filters
- Quiet operation
- Pricier than other brands
5. Broan 273003 30-inch Stainless Steel Downdraft
Built with an innovative design, this unit is compatible with almost any self-contained cooktop. Its sleek design can blend well with any cooktop or kitchen style. No matter what color your cooktop is, this vent simply goes well.
This is a standalone vent and can work with any brand, which makes this model one of the most preferred among homeowners.
The unit is made of high-quality stainless steel materials. Just one look at the unit, and it is obvious that this is built with durability in mind. You can rest assured that this would last you for many years of regular use.
What we like about this is that it automatically raises itself into position with just one touch of a button. It connects well with a cooktop and sits comfortably against a wall, saving you enough kitchen space for other tools.
Its speed controls are infinitely adjustable. They are easy to reach. Aside from that, they are also simple to use.
The machine comes with 500 CFM of interior blower and goes along with a couple of washable aluminum grease filters. And speaking of washable, the whole unit itself is easy to clean. Thanks to its front access panel, cleaning of the unit is a breeze with just a few wipes of a dishcloth.
This blower is made to discharge right, left, or down. It also slides from side to side, making installation hassle-free.
- Comes with 500 CFM power, enough to pull greasy air out of the kitchen
- Washable aluminum grease filters
- Front access panel allows easy cleaning
- Infinitely adjustable speed controls
- Easy to install
- Sleek design and saves kitchen space
- Automatically raises into position with one push of a button
- No instructions on where to fit the filters
- More expensive than most brands
How to Install a Downdraft Vent
Upon purchase, downdraft vents come with manuals that explicitly show how to install the vent. But to give you a bit of an idea, here’s how:
- Step 1: Preparation
First of all, make sure that you have everything ready. Measure your cooktop and ensure that the vent fits. Important factors would be to measure the sides and ensure that there is room for clearances as you need these.
Also, make sure you have the electrical socket that adheres to the unit’s energy requirements.
Once you have these ready, you may proceed.
- Step 2: Ensure the Stabilizing Bracket
Before its installation, make sure that you have a stabilizing bracket installed. As the name itself implies, this is to ensure that the unit is stable and will not wobble during or even after its operation.
- Step 3: Install the Downdraft Vent
The countertop should already have a cut-out where the downdraft vent is going to be lowered. Lower the downdraft vent. When positioning the unit, ensure that the back flange of the vent is positioned on top of the countertop.
- Step 4: Secure the Screws
Now, secure the stabilizing brackets to the cabinet back wall. Aside from the stabilizing bracket, the screws will secure that the unit remains in place.
- Step 5: Install the Ducts
Connect the ducts with the vent. Secure its joints with self-tapping screws. Once done, you can apply duct tape around the joints. This ensures an airtight seal.
As previously mentioned, the shorter the duct, the more efficient it is. Also, you have to use the straightest duct you can lay your hands on.
The ducts should lead outside your home where the smoke can be let out.
Frequently Asked Questions
We want you to make informed decisions. This is why we took the time to answer some of your most common questions.
Q: What is downdraft ventilation?
Answer: Unlike the traditional range hoods, downdraft vents pull out air, odor, and fumes within itself and throw them down and out of your house through a duct.
Until you need them, these vents are usually hidden behind (or below) your cooktop.
Q: Where is a downdraft vent ideal?
Answer: Downdraft vents are ideal for kitchens with islands. These are the kinds of kitchens where traditional hoods are hard to install.
Q: Can you install a downdraft vent behind a range?
Answer: It depends on the model of the unit, but yes, this is possible.
Q: When you are using an electric stove, do you need to have it vented?
Answer: Technically, no, you don’t need to.
But it doesn’t mean you cannot. Vents on electric stoves can take away the odor and other smells, which can improve your cooking experience.
Q: How do you clean a downdraft vent?
Answer: Turn off the unit. Remove the filter. Clean the filter. Put it back.
You can wipe the exterior with a dishcloth and light detergent.
Q: Do downdrafts work well?
Answer: Yes, they work well with pulling air, smells, and odor out. Other hoods are more effective, though.
Q: Where does the downdraft duct lead to?
Answer: It should lead outside your home, where it throws the smoke out.
List Of The Best Downdraft Vents At A Glance:
- GE Downdraft Ventilation System
- Broan-NuTone Eclipse Range Hood with Downdraft Vent
- Renaissance Epicure Downdraft Range Hood
- Best D49M36SB Downdraft Ventilation
- Broan 273003 30-inch Stainless Steel Downdraft
When cooking, you tend to compromise the quality of your kitchen air. Mixed with the inviting smells of the food that you cook are smells of grease that lower the quality of your air.
The best downdraft vent can ensure that these unwanted smells stay out of your house.
We hope that through this guide, we have improved your cooking experience with fresh, clean kitchen air.