Range Hood VS Downdraft – Which Ventilation Type Is Better?

Selecting the right appliances for your kitchen could be confusing, particularly when it comes to air ventilation. When you discover that there are more options than just the traditional vent hood, it could get a little overwhelming.

These appliances are designed to exhaust smoke, heat, steam and fumes, but how should you know what differentiates a range hood and a downdraft ventilation system? You don’t learn these things in college.

That’s where we jump in: we are here to assist you in identifying the nuances of both models, so you can find out which one is best suited for your kitchen and needs.

Advantages Of a Range Hood (Also Known As an Updraft Vent)

The most traditional type of kitchen ventilation is a range hood above the cooking area. This type of ventilation is also referred to as an updraft ventilation. Air is pulled through a fan, passing via filtration and then released outdoors through a duct or is returned to the kitchen after being filtered. This kind of ventilation is the most efficient way to eliminate smoke, odors and pollutants.

updraft ventilation range hood

The biggest drawback to an updraft system is cleaning the unit: you have to routinely inspect the filters and they need to be either cleaned or be replaced at certain intervals. Range hoods also tend to be somewhat louder than their downdraft counterparts, but there are also quiet wall mount range hoods and quiet under cabinet range hoods on the market.

Range hood, vent hood, kitchen hood, stove hood… a dear child has many names. Most such exhaust systems are commonly used on top of a range (or stove, whichever term you prefer), but it’s not unusual to see one placed over a cooktop either. So, why are these scent removers so crucial for a kitchen?

First of all, traditional range hoods are significantly bigger than downdraft hoods, making them more effective in bigger spaces. The built-in lighting that range hoods come equipped with is also an obvious advantage. Even if they are big and often bulky, they could also be beautifully designed. Getting a vent hood opens up a lot of possibilities for all kinds of styles and designs.

Advantages Of a Downdraft Hood

Downdraft ventilation, on the other hand, is built into the countertop or range to enhance its look. There are even telescopic downdraft vents which rise up and go back down with a press of a button. A downdraft system will ventilate the exhausted air through the kitchen cabinetry and then either release it outside or recirculate it back indoors after it has passed the filtration.

Interested? Check out the best 30″ gas cooktop with downdraft!

Downdraft hoods are an excellent choice if you want something that blends in more easily. With just one flip of a switch, some telescopic downdraft units will rise mere 10″ above the cooktop. Such exhaust systems do add up to a high-end and luxurious feeling of any kitchen.

Making the Final Call

Making a decision between two strong contenders is never an easy task, but before you jump straight into buying mode there’s a few things you should think about:

  • Need additional storage space? You could utilize the space on your kitchen walls above the stove that’s left empty thanks to a downdraft ventilation system.
  • You hate cleaning? In case you do we have some good news: downdraft hoods can be cleaned easier than a huge range hood.
  • Have you got a stove? In case you do, a downdraft ventilation unit will only work with cooktops except if you purchase a downdraft range.

Whether you opt for a traditional hood or a downdraft system you now have all the knowledge you need to make a decision that you won’t regret. Both designs will take care of the business they’re set up to: exhausting excess smoke and fumes. The rest is up for you to decide!

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