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Downdraft vs. Hood Fan for Kitchen Ventilation

By February 9, 2023February 13th, 2023No Comments
kitchen ventilation

If you are considering a remodel in your kitchen, one topic of discussion is undoubtedly what type of ventilation system you will be using. Do you want the expense of a hood system or can you safely get by with a downdraft ventilation system? We are going to take a look at this today to help ensure you have made the safest decision possible on this front.

Kitchen Ventilation

There is a lot of talk about kitchen ventilation these days due do a proposed “ban” on gas ovens. All of a sudden, it has become a hot potato issue in our political world. For many of us growing up, gas ovens are all we know. Today, however, electric ovens have become much more popular, especially in apartment and high-rise living. But how can you decide what system is best for you?

Why Do We Need Ventilation?

Comfort – have you ever worked in a kitchen with poor ventilation or weak ventilation? You are soaked to the bone before dinner is ready. So, just for sheer comfort, you want to make sure you have proper ventilation in your kitchen.

Savings on Energy Bills – imagine how much harder your AC units have to work if the kitchen is not being properly ventilated during the summer months.

Controlling Odors – We all love the smell of a home cooked meal, but the food is not the only odors that come from the kitchen. Not only that, some smells from prepping can get overwhelming, such as onions and garlic, or even strong fishy smells. The ventilation will help flush them all out.

Air Quality – this is a very big deal these days, and we will go into his a bit more in the next section.

Cleanliness – do you have other appliances that tend to get a greasy residue every time you cook? Well, chances are, you ventilation system is not adequate.

Downdraft vs. Hood Fan


In most cases, this is a very simple system that relies heavily on the screens that are placed to help clean the air. These are what we commonly seen in apartment settings with electric ovens. They are preferred in these settings because you do not need to install expensive duct work and they are much easier to install. The downside is that the are far less effective than a hooded system, they are not as effective in drawing steam off the stovetop, and they are not really recommended for gas stovetops.

Hood Fan

This is far more effective and would be the preferred ventilation system if you have a gas stove top. They are much more expensive, and they are generally very visible, not as easy to incorporate into he design of the kitchen as a downdraft system. However, these days, designers can use that to their advantage and actually make the hood system a “wow” factor in the kitchen design. With the current concerns of gas stoves and air quality, you are definitely going to want to install a hooded ventilation system if you have gas.