Downdraft extractors – 10 things you need to know before buying a downdraft extractor
Downdraft extractors are a relatively new type of cooker hood. They are hidden away below your kitchen work surface when they are not in use. Here we answer the most frequently asked questions about downdraft extractors…
1. Are downdraft extractors only for cooking islands?
Downdraft hoods can be used close to a wall or in a cooking island. Downdraft extraction is especially popular for cooking islands as it creates a minimalist look. Unlike island hoods, downdraft hoods are out of sight when not in use. And when in use, a downdraft hood doesn’t obstruct your view as the hood only rises 310mm above the work surface.
2. Does a downdraft extractor need to be ducted out?
You can have your downdraft extractor in recycling mode or ducted out. Please note that you have to order the charcoal filters separately if you use the hood in recycling mode. A small amount of filtered air will blow into the cupboard cavity when the hood is used in recycling mode.
3. Do downdraft extractors work as well as island hoods?
As with all extractors, you need to compare extraction rates. BEST downdraft cooker hoods have an extraction rate of 770 m3/h (or more) which is sufficient for most cooking styles and a room size of up to 77 cubic meters (e.g. a kitchen with a length of 6m, a width of 5.5m and a height of 2.3m). You also need to consider whether you can have your downdraft extractor ducted out. If you have it ducted out, then it will work better than when you have it in recirculation mode.
4. How does the ducting work?
The motor can be fitted at either side of the downdraft extractor. The ducting can run from the top, bottom or either side of the motor. It can then pass under the flooring, below the cupboards or along the back of the cupboards. Click here for more information on ducting options. It’s best to decide on your cooker hood before you start the refurbishment of your kitchen! Also, keep in mind that the length of the duct run will affect the extraction performance. Try to keep your duct run as short as possible with as few bends as possible.
5. What is the advantage of having an external or remote motor?
As the motor is not sited in the kitchen, the noise level of the hood will be a lot lower. And, because you don’t have the motor below the work surface, you have some extra cabinet space for other things. The BEST external motor also has a slightly higher extraction rate than the standard integrated motor, so it will clean more air. If you’re having an external or remote motor fitted, then you need to order the hood without the standard motor (as you can’t have two motors).
6. What is the difference between an external and a remote motor?
They are both sited outside the kitchen. A remote motor is located inside your house but away from the kitchen, for instance in another room or loft space. The external motor is fitted outside the house on an exterior wall or on the roof. Please note that you need to order the motor separately.
7. How close should the downdraft be fitted to the hob?
There is no specific distance recommended by BEST. However, the extraction will work more efficiently if it is closer to the hob.
8. Is the downdraft hood safe to use?
All BEST downdraft extractors are fitted with a safety feature which stops the downward movement when an obstruction is detected. The hood will then start to reverse upwards. Once the object is removed, the hood will operate in the normal way. Also, if the filter or glass panels are not fixed correctly a visual warning signal on the control panels will show and the hood will not move until the panels have been correctly fitted.
9. Are downdraft hoods only suitable for electric hobs?
You can use downdraft hoods with a gas or electric hob. Moreover, BEST downdraft hoods are available in either 60cm or 90cm wide.
10. What are the differences between the Movie and Lift downdraft extractors?
The Lift extractor has a higher specification than the Movie. The Lift is operated by touch control while the Movie hood has push buttons. Thanks to its perimeter design, the extraction of the Lift is slightly higher at 800m3/h (the extraction rate for the Movie is 770m3/h). The perimeter design of the Lift looks good, because the grease filters are hidden behind a glass or stainless steel panel. The Lift extractor also features LED lighting.