How does a downdraft cooktop work?
Instead of having a typical range hood above the cooking surface that hangs there all the time and sucks air up and out of the building either through the joist cavity or directly through the wall and outside, a downdraft cooktop exhausts steam and odors through ductwork that goes down into the floor first and then out a wall to the outside of the building.
The reason for downdraft cooktops is to allow you to have an oven in an island instead of always putting the cooktop on an outside wall or a side wall of the kitchen. The over the range hood vents that remove air vertically can look out of place in a lot of kitchens and they also can take up valuable cabinet space. A downdraft cooktop only takes up a portion of the back of the cabinet under the island cabinets.
There are different types of downdraft cooktops, there are downdrafts that are fixed in place and are there when needed or there are downdrafts that at a push of a button rise out of the back of the cooktop too remove unwanted air. These downdrafts are motorized and rise up out of the back of the range and are about 8 inches in height, they seem to work very efficiently. They are a modern, stylish and leave the kitchen with an unobstructed view into the next room.
Some thought has to be put into the venting of downdrafts, depending on how far it is to an outside wall you might not be able to properly vent a downdraft without an extra fan to boast the air flow. Other things that have to be considered are which way the floor joist run, this will determine if you require to be in the floor joist or below it to get to the outside of the building. If your below the floor joist then you will require a bulk head in the basement to hide the vent piping.
Downdrafts are a great idea but can be pricey to buy, they do allow you to have a very modern and clean looking kitchen and can help out with cabinet space.
Village Builders Inc.