Kitchen Remodeling – Cooktop downdraft or Island Hood Ventilation

Kitchen Remodeling – Downdraft or Hood Island Cooktop Ventilation

If you’re considering a kitchen remodeling project choosing your cooking appliance is one of the biggest and most exciting choices you’ll make. Whether your project includes a professional range, or a wall oven and cooktop in the island, an important, and often overlooked element of your cooking area is your range hood.

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Proper ventilation is a critical element in a functional kitchen. Your ventilation system removes all of the steam, smoke, food particles, grease and odors from your kitchen. It’s in fact, one of the most important elements of a functional kitchen, especially in an open concept home. If your kitchen features an island, ventilation is even more important and can also be a prominent focal point in your kitchen.

Today, you have a choice when it comes to ventilation options for an island cooktop. A free hanging range hood is functional and can add an exciting focal point to your kitchen design. Your second option is a downdraft ventilation system. Depending on your kitchen design, this is an appliance that can be hidden by flush mounting it with the countertop of your island, and when needed, raised at the push of a button.

Let’s take a look at some considerations when choosing a ventilation option for your kitchen remodeling project.

Your Kitchen Remodeling Project: Ventilation Guidelines

Whether you choose a range hood or a downdraft system there are some guidelines you’ll need to be aware of. When choosing a system, the minimum airflow required will be based on the BTU output of the cooktop. A good general guideline is to divide the total BTU output by 100 to get the flow rate of ventilation in feet per minute.

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For example:

A cooktop with a combined burner output of 70,000 BTUs would require a system that is rated at 700 cubic feet per minute or higher. Generally, electric cooktops, including induction systems will require 200 cubic feet per minute of airflow per foot of cooktop width. For most electric cooktops and induction systems, a minimum of 400 cubic feet per minute is appropriate.

Local building codes may specify how cooktop hoods are exhausted. Some require that your system deliver exhaust out of the house through ductwork rather than recirculating it back into the kitchen. Local codes may also specify materials to be used for ducting, typically galvanized steel, stainless steel or copper. Your design build remodeling contractor will know the local requirements for ventilation systems and can help you to make the correct choice.

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Ducted or Ductless Range Hood Systems

A range hood can be a wonderful focal point in your kitchen. They come in a variety of styles and when used over an island are known as free hanging range hoods. The main distinctions when choosing a hood is the airflow rate and whether they are ducted or ductless systems.

A ducted range hood tends to be more expensive and requires placement of a vent to the exterior of your home, which can increase costs. The system includes a fan which draws air through the hood into the ductwork and exhausts it out of your home. If you are undergoing a complete gut to the studs kitchen remodeling, ductwork would be placed in the ceiling to the exterior of your home. You may be limited by the layout of your kitchen. If this is the case, a ductless range hood might be an option.

A ductless system looks exactly the same as a free hanging ducted range hood. The difference lies in how it functions. With a ductless system, the air is drawn into the hood and then passed through activated carbon or charcoal filters that trap and remove odor, grease, and food particles. The clean warm air is then recirculated back into the kitchen. The main advantage of a ductless system is that it can be placed anywhere, requires no additional construction or venting and is generally less expensive.

Range hoods are available to fit any style kitchen from traditional to industrial. They can be an interesting focal point in your kitchen design and come in a variety of materials from wood and copper to stainless steel and glass to match any design style.

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Downdraft Ventilation

A downdraft vent is a sleek, modern looking ventilation system that is at home within an island and is a great option in a modern or contemporary kitchen design. Unlike a range hood, a downdraft system, (also known as a pop-up vent) sucks the fumes, cooking grease and food particles down and pushes them out of the house through ducting located under the floor.

They are ultra-modern, typically installed behind or below the cooktop. When you need ventilation, push a button and the vent rises 8 to 10 inches above the cooktop surface. A downdraft system is invisible until engaged, making them perfect in a modern kitchen design where clean lines and a minimal look are popular. Pop-up vents take up significantly less space than a range hood and are great in small kitchens where you may lack the space for a full range hood.

They tend to be a little more expensive than a range hood and are not available in a wide a variety of styles. Because they only rise 10 inches, steam and grease coming from tall pots may be problematic. If you often cook using multiple pots and pans, downdraft ventilation may have a hard time keeping up.

Proper ventilation is a key element to a functional kitchen. When planning your kitchen remodeling and design, work with your design build contractor. They can offer you information and options when it comes to choosing the proper ventilation system for your new kitchen.

If you’re ready to remodel your Dallas kitchen, contact us at (800)371-8970 or click here! Joseph & Berry are Greater Dallas’s preeminent design-build firm and has completed hundreds of bathroom projects.

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