Choosing the Right Kitchen Ventilation

Close up of hand pressing buttons on kitchen hood vent.Cooking a great meal can make your entire home smell wonderful. But without the right kitchen ventilation, it can also:

  • Wreak havoc on surfaces
  • Makes your kitchen look worn and dingy
  • Create heat, fumes, smoke, and/or odors that can make you and your family feel unwell

Choosing the correct kitchen ventilation system is essential to having a positive experience in the kitchen. Before you decide which type is best for your home, it’s important to learn about the difference between the two most common kitchen ventilation methods: kitchen hood fans and downdraft ventilation systems.

Downdraft vs. Hood Fan Ventilation

Let the experts at Mr. Appliance® introduce you to these two common contenders so that you can choose which method would work best for you...

Kitchen Hood Fan (Updraft) Ventilation

This common option is mounted directly above the stovetop area. An updraft system is designed to pull steam, grease, smoke, and vapors up from the cooktop, pass them through a filtration system, and direct the filtered air through the duct system to the outdoors.

 Kitchen updraft system vent.

Consider these pros and cons:


  • More effective than downdraft systems are
  • Innovative design with low-profile options available


  • Harder to install
  • Visible at all times

Downdraft Kitchen Ventilation Systems

If you don’t have anywhere to put a range hood fan, consider a downdraft system. A downdraft system is integrated into the cooktop or countertop and is positioned behind the burner area. The vents remain hidden.

Most models are designed to rise to a height of 10 inches or more when in use and lower into the base when cooking is complete.

Downdraft system vent.

Pros and cons include:


  • Clean design
  • No ductwork needed
  • Easier to install


  • Less effective than a kitchen hood fan is
  • May interfere with gas cooktop flames
  • Less efficient than a kitchen hood is at drawing steam from taller cooking vessels

Downdraft vs. Hood Fan Systems

Still trying to make a final determination? Think about what matters most to you.

If your kitchen is small, a hood fan could make it feel even smaller. It could also serve as an eyesore when coupled with certain decor. Downdraft ventilation systems remain hidden for a sleeker look.

If efficiency is the main factor you’re after, your best bet may be a hood fan since it’s more effective at filtering harmful and odor-causing particles.

Downdraft System

Range Hood Fan

Small Kitchens

Checkmark with solid fill

Gas Ranges

Checkmark with solid fill

Electric Ranges

Checkmark with solid fill


Checkmark with solid fill

Connected Design

Checkmark with solid fill

Freestanding Design

Checkmark with solid fill

Lady cutting vegetables in the kitchen.

Benefits of Proper Kitchen Ventilation

Once you have determined which option works best for you and have had it installed, the benefits of proper kitchen ventilation are clear. Check out just a few of them below:

1. Safety from Fumes and Toxicity

Incorporated HEPA filters can remove allergens from the air, including the air pollution naturally created by cooking. They provide the filtration needed to help keep you and your family healthy, and can even help filter fumes from spices that may make your home’s occupants uncomfortable.

2. Increased Comfort

Cooking generates a number of different by-products including heat and steam, which can lead to discomfort for you or your guests. Adequate ventilation helps to remove excess heat and moisture from the room for superior comfort and temperature control.

3. Energy Savings

Poor design, quality, or placement of your ventilation system can draw in clean, conditioned air along with the bad. A proper system will differentiate between the two types of air more efficiently, working with your HVAC system rather than against it.

4. Odor Control for the Whole House

Strong cooking odors, such as from fish or garlic, can linger in your clothes, furniture, or other cloth surfaces for days to come. By turning on a kitchen ventilation system at the beginning of your cooking session, you can avoid this unpleasantness.

Let Mr. Appliance Install Your Kitchen Ventilation System

Our appliance professionals will install the kitchen ventilation system that best fits your preferences. For gas or electric stove repair or installation services you can trust, call us, or schedule an appointment online.