The ‘hidden’ benefits of Downdraft Extractors

Sitting flush with your kitchen worksurface, and looking effortlessly sleek, modern downdraft extractors are as much a design feature as they are a practical appliance.

Designed to quietly rise up and extract fumes as you are cooking, downdraft extractors look and feel as if they belong to the future. They’re a firm favourite within modern kitchen design, so we thought we’d touch on the benefits of this clever technology.

What is a downdraft extractor?

A downdraft extractor, also known as a downdraft ventilation system, is a type of kitchen extractor that is installed directly into the cooking surface, rather than above it. It is designed to draw smoke, steam, and other cooking fumes downwards and out of the kitchen, rather than upwards as with a traditional extractor hood.

Unlike overhead cooker hoods, downdraft extractors suck in the air (steam, grease and smells) directly from the source as you cook, stopping the air from rising into the room. When the extractor is turned on, a powerful yet quiet fan draws back steam and smells horizontally across the tops of your pots and pans, where it is filtered and expelled outside the home. Some models, such as the Novy Panorama (a firm favourite with our clients), featured in the video below, even remove fumes at source.

A downward extractor is typically installed directly into the cooking surface and is positioned so that it is directly below or adjacent to the cookware. They work brilliantly with induction hobs, but are not suitable for use with gas hobs. In contemporary kitchen designs, it’s quite popular to see one nestled within a kitchen island opposite oven housing, as pictured below:

Downdraft extractor in closed position

Why choose a downdraft extractor?

The main advantage of a downdraft extractor is that it offers a more discreet option for kitchen ventilation since it is not visible above the cooking surface. This can be particularly useful in kitchen designs where a traditional extractor hood would interfere with the overall look and feel of the space.

The most popular downdraft extractor with our clients is the Novy Panorama, where the cooker hood seamlessly integrates into the hob.

Downdraft extractor closed
Neff induction hob with Rise up” down draught extractor
Downdraft extractor open

What are the benefits of a downdraft extractor?

There are several benefits to using a downdraft extractor in the kitchen:

  • Discreet Appearance: One of the main benefits of a downdraft extractor is that it is an unobtrusive option for kitchen ventilation. Unlike traditional extractor hoods that are located above the cooking surface and can be large and imposing, downdraft extractors are hidden away under the countertop and only visible when in use.
  • Greater freedom of design: With a downdraft extractor, your hob can be located pretty much anywhere without concerns about having space above for an extractor.
  • More open kitchen design: A downdraft extractor can help to create a more open kitchen design since it does not block sightlines or obstruct the view in the kitchen. This can be particularly beneficial in open-plan kitchen designs where the kitchen is integrated with the living or dining area.
  • Improved air quality: Downdraft extractors are designed to pull cooking fumes and smoke downwards and out of the kitchen, which can help to improve air quality in the space. This can be particularly important for people with allergies or if you are cooking with strong spices.
  • Keep warm air in: Downdraft extractors with a recirculation system keep the warm air in the house and are ideal for passive houses as well as low and nearly zero-energy buildings.

Why do our clients like the Novy Panorama downdraft extractor?

Besides meeting all the benefits above, the Novy Panorama is a particularly good choice of downdraft extractor because of its:

  • Beautiful design: Its sleek black minimalistic design makes it a fantastic choice for any kitchen.
  • Powerful Extraction: It has a powerful motor that can extract up to 722 cubic meters of air per hour, making it highly effective at removing cooking fumes, smoke, and odours from the kitchen.
  • Advanced Filtering: The extractor uses advanced filters that are designed to remove even the smallest particles from the air, ensuring a high level of air quality in the kitchen.
  • Quiet Operation: Despite its powerful motor, the Novy Panorama operates quietly, with noise levels as low as 49 decibels, ensuring a peaceful and comfortable cooking experience.
  • Intuitive Controls: The extractor features intuitive touch controls that are easy to use and allow for precise adjustment of the extraction level and lighting.
  • Versatile Installation: It can be installed in a range of cooking surfaces, including induction and gas hobs, and allows you to choose the position of the motor to provide greater design flexibility.
  • Cleaning ease: The extractor is easy to clean and maintain, with removable and washable filters that can be easily accessed and cleaned.

In summary…

Overall, downdraft extractors offer a range of benefits for the kitchen, including powerful extraction, advanced filtering, quiet operation, and a sleek design that is perfect for modern kitchens. It all depends on how you prefer to cook, and the overall look you want to achieve, but it is definitely worth considering if you love minimal design.