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Aug 23, 2009 04:50 PM

Do Telescopic Downdraft Systems work?

Has anyone seen or used a "Telescopic Downdraft System" - what I call a pop up vent for the range? I need to know if they 1)work, 2) if they suck heat away from the burner like a downdraft that's part of the range top does and 3) how much room they take up in the cabinet below. Thanks for any help!

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  1. I've never heard anyone say anything positive about them. My mother had one with her very expensive Thermidor range, and I can tell you by firsthand experience that it was 100% useless. I'd never consider one after using that. Can't say how much room they take up, but I'd imagine each one varies by manufacturer, and you should be able to view the installation guide online before purchasing.

    1. I had a Jennair countertop gas cooktop with a downdraft. I loved it!!! The downdraft sucked eveything in the air for miles lol. It was a little hard to clean, but u could put the filter in the dishwasher and there was a jar that collected the grease underneath. My jennair took no cabinet space below. I used the area for pots and pans storage. No heat was sucked, in fact, the downdraft barely fanned the flame. I do not know anyone who has liked the thermador pop up. Good luck.

      2 Replies
      1. re: hipchick47

        Hipchick47, your Jennair had the downdraft in the center of the unit, correct? Did the downdraft come on any time the stove was on or only when you turned it on?

        1. re: Misshiggy

          It has a separate switch. You don't necessarily want it on in Winter sucking out all that heated air. And there is some noise to consider. They work reasonably well but do not do as good a job as a ventilator hood. I have only worked in two kitchens with downdraft units. One was a Dacor - can't remember the other. Neither of the owners thought them worth the investment.

      2. Misshiggy, I've never had one, so I can't speak about them directly from personal experience.

        However, we custom-built our home about four years ago. Our kitchen designer and the electrical contractor both advised against them. For both, the main reason seemed to be that a downdraft exhaust system by definition require a more circuitous venting route to the outside than does overhead exhaust.

        Therefore, by virtue of both longer distance to the outside, and usually more turns and angles in the venting, downdraft systems are less efficient than overhead systems. Less efficiency usually means less functionality and higher operating costs.

        As I said, I've never had a telescopic system, so I can't swear to this, but it simply sounded like common sense, once they each explained it, independently of one another. So I put my range on an exterior wall, with a short, direct venting route to the outside.

        1. Thanks everyone for your input...don't think I'll be getting a telescopic downdraft!

          1. I have had a GE Monogram with down draft for years. It was not as good as my JennAir I had years ago. The only problem is the distance the fan has to pull the smoke and steam. My repair person said it can be remedied by putting a booster fan in there to help move things along. Other than that it is fine.