General

Best Electric Cooktops With Downdraft Of May 2022 – Forbes Advisor

Best Electric Cooktops With Downdraft Of May 2022 – Forbes Advisor

If you’re considering purchasing an electric cooktop with a downdraft system, it’s worth considering a couple of key factors before making a final decision. The first and most obvious is whether or not a downdraft system is the best option for your home and kitchen layout. You should also consider the airflowmeasured in CFM or cubic feet per minute—required for your kitchen and cooking needs.

Whether you need a ductless system or can connect your downdraft cooktop to a properly ducted ventilation system will also impact your buying choices.

Range Hood vs. Downdraft

Do you need downdraft capability or would a range hood make more sense? We always recommend you ventilate your kitchen one way or another, but a range hood should be the default choice for its more powerful ventilation capabilities.

Most traditional kitchen set-ups include a range hood mounted above the stove with fans to filter cooking fumes, chemicals and more out of your home. Range hoods are especially important when using a natural gas or propane burning stove to avoid dangerous carbon monoxide fumes. Household air pollution is responsible for approximately four million deaths according to the WHO News Room.

While a range hood is best when cooking with fuels, it is still important to ventilate when using an electric cooktop—especially for those who cook regularly. But if a range hood does not fit in your kitchen, many companies now offer downdraft systems incorporated into the cooking surface.

These systems can ventilate bad air directly away from your cooktop before it gets too far away from the surface. Downdraft systems are especially good for those who do not cook as often—lighter cooking operations are less likely to overpower the capability of a downdraft system.

Airflow (CFM)

Another important consideration when determining if a downdraft system is best for you is to calculate the airflow needed to properly ventilate your cooktop.For a quick and easy calculation, take the total BTU or British thermal units of heat output of your cooktop and divide that number by 100. This represents the low end of required airflow for your downdraft system.

Beware:  Low-end calculations are designed to cover the minimum cooking operation and not heavy use. If you plan to manage steaming, smoking and vapor-heavy operations on all burners simultaneously, a standard built-in downdraft system is not likely to adequately and completely ventilate.

Ductless vs. Ducting Ventilation

Most downdraft cooktops come with the option to use either a ductless system or a duct system to ventilate captured cooking fumes. A traditional ducting system runs ducts (pipes for air) from the cooktop to the outside of your home to safely ventilate the fumes. A ductless system uses a filter system to clean the air and then recirculate it back into the kitchen.

If your kitchen is not already equipped with ductwork or it is too difficult to install, a ductless system may be preferable. Ductless systems do, however, need regular service and incur higher maintenance costs. A proper duct system is much more effective and efficient, but of course, requires pre-planning and installation of ductwork.