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What is a Downdraft Range Hood?

by Spencer’s TV & Appliance

Couple Cooking and Trying Food

At a Glance:

What is a Downdraft Range System?

Why Are Range Hood Vents So Important?

Downdraft Range Models Are Fashionable and Functional

Best Range Hoods on the Market

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Trust Spencer’s?

Smell is an important component in cooking. Your nose will alert you that your fresh-baked cookies are almost ready while the smell of various herbs and spices enhances your proteins. However, that doesn’t mean you want food smells to travel through your house and linger after the meal is done. Dinner odors and smoke are hardly welcome in the bedroom.

A range hood is a key appliance that catches odors and other airborne particles while you cook. These hoods filter the air, so it is cleaner (less risk of your smoke alarm going off) and more enjoyable to breathe. If you are in the market for a hood, consider a downdraft range model. This is a new style that is quickly becoming popular with homeowners. Learn more about your downdraft range hood models and the benefits of choosing this style. 

What is a Downdraft Range System?

Most range hood vents are built above your stove or cooktop. For example, you might see an over-the-range microwave that also has a ventilation system built in. Some homeowners buy large ventilation hoods that become part of the kitchen design. The functionality is simple: as your food preparation produces smoke and odors, the hoods catch them when they rise into the air. Heat rises, so your smoke will naturally float up.

However, downdraft range systems are different. Instead of waiting for the smoke to enter your kitchen, these vents actively pull it down into the range. Smoke might only rise an inch or two above the pan before the ventilation system catches it and brings it through a filter. This is why it is also known as an under-cabinet range hood.

There are many benefits to choosing this type of hood. The main objective is to prevent smoke and heat from spreading in the first place, rather than letting the fumes enter the kitchen where the filter needs to catch them. These vents are also useful for homeowners who don’t have a lot of space for ventilation – especially above their cooktops.

Why Are Range Hood Vents So Important?

Your range hood vent can make your home feel cleaner – especially if you don’t like lingering odors spreading into different rooms. However, these vents also play an important role in your indoor air quality.

Gas burners produce nitrogen dioxide, which can irritate your respiratory system. While a healthy person might not notice any effects on their throat or breathing, someone who has asthma or is more sensitive could experience discomfort while cooking or living in a space while someone cooks. These burners also produce carbon monoxide, which can be harmful in large quantities.

Nearly all forms of cooking (gas, electric, and induction) can produce smoke. While some dishes produce more chemicals than others – steamed and oven-cooked food is usually safest – smoke and grease are natural parts of preparing meals. All of these chemicals and fumes fill your kitchen and enter your lungs when you breathe.

This information is not meant to scare you, but rather to make sure you take safe cooking steps. Installing a ventilation system in your home is akin to adding smoke detectors and surge protectors in your space. You can cook as much as you want, and your ventilation hoods will keep you safe. 

Downdraft Range Models Are Fashionable and Functional

The good news is that you can keep your family safe without having to remodel your kitchen to install a range hood. First, they make ductless vents that clean the air without connecting to your air ducts – which is ideal if your range is nowhere near your duct system.

Next, downdraft ranges don’t need any space above your stove. Whether you cook on a kitchen island or just below cabinets, you have space for a downdraft range.

Some kitchen appliance companies are working to build downdraft ranges into their systems, which means you will get a stove, oven, and vent system when you buy the product. You can also look into range attachments that you pull out whenever you need to cook something.

More homeowners prefer these hidden vents and consider them an asset to your home. When you decide to move and sell your house, make sure your Realtor and future buyers know about the filter. Otherwise, they might not even realize it is there! 

Best Range Hoods on the Market

If you think a downdraft model would be a good choice for your home, look at the different options on the market. Here are the three top products you can choose to improve your ventilation system without sacrificing your kitchen design.

Best Cattura 36" Stainless Steel Downdraft Vent

Best Cattura Downdraft Vent

Best Cattura 36in Downdraft Range Hood

When you aren’t cooking, it might look like you don’t have any ventilation systems at all. However, with a touch of a button, this hood can rise above your range to start filtering the air. It can reach a height of 18 inches to ensure the smoke and grease don’t spread throughout your kitchen.

This model is known for being quiet. It is 35% quieter than other downdraft vents on the market. You can run the system at its highest power level and still won’t have to yell over a loud fan. You actually might not have to set the power levels yourself. The Heat Sentry™ system detects nearby temperatures and adjusts the power to accommodate them. Fire up the stove and know that this system is ready to help you. 

GE Profile™ Universal 30" Stainless Steel Telescopic Downdraft System

GE Profile Universal Telescopic Downdraft System

GE Profile Universal 30in Telescopic Downdraft System

GE Profile is considered a reliable brand in today’s kitchen appliance market. This particular downdraft system comes with a hidden design that is also powerful. It has a 500 CFM ventilation system that catches smoke, grease, and odors. The fan speed is adjustable with a knob on the side, so you can increase or decrease the power levels depending on your preferences.

This model rises over the cooktop when you need it and then tucks back into your stove when you are done. You can easily remove the aluminum mesh filters that are also dishwasher safe.

You can read customer reviews to see what buyers think about this model. Many people mention how they purchased this filter as a replacement for their old ventilation systems.

Maytag® 36" Retractable Downdraft Ventilation-Stainless Steel

Maytag Retractable Dowdraft ventilation

Maytag 36in Retractable Downdraft Ventilation System

This downdraft range fan by Maytag has a little more power than the GE Profile model. It can circulate the air at 600 CFM and still has adjustable power levels for your convenience. The system automatically turns off when retracted which makes it easy to use. You can buy this vent for your 30-inch or 36-inch range.

The customer reviews of this vent system highlight how easy it is to tuck the vent away when you aren’t using it. One person writes, “This system was installed in my new custom kitchen and I love it! Not only is it functional and quiet, it is quite a conversation piece. Everyone wanted to check it out!” If you have friends who aren’t familiar with downdraft hoods, don’t be surprised if someone asks you about it.


What does CFM mean?

CFM stands for cubic feet per minute and reflects the amount of air a ventilation system can filter within 60 seconds. Most range hoods should fall between 200 and 600 CFM for their maximum speeds. If you are in a commercial kitchen, the range hood might have a 100) CFM or more.

How do you improve the indoor air quality of your home?

There are two easy ways to improve your indoor air quality: cook with a ventilation system and change the filters in your air conditioner quarterly. Both of these systems cycle air through your home and clean it in the process. You can also dust frequently and try not to track pollen and dirt inside.

Why Trust Spencer’s TV & Appliance?

Since 1973, Spencer’s TV & Appliance has grown to 10 locations throughout the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. The secret to our longevity is simple: personal service. Customer satisfaction has always been the focus of our business, and throughout the years, we have been able to work hard with our suppliers to bring you the best prices. After all, getting customers the best price and personal attention is how we compete with big-box stores, day in and day out.

Not only do we offer top-rated appliances, name-brand electronics, and the best mattresses on the market but we also provide water treatment solutions and perform kitchen design services. Stop by your nearest Spencer’s and see what you’re missing!

Shop Range Hoods at Spencer’s

At Spencer’s TV & Appliance, we provide high-quality, name-brand products at great prices — check out our catalog to shop downdraft range hoods online today. Your friends in the business are always happy to help you decide if a downdraft range is right for your kitchen. Call us, or better yet, stop by at one of our locations in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale regions. Visit us today!

Learn More: 5 Tips for Choosing Your KitchenAid Range