VENTILATION SHOPPING GUIDE
Here’s what you need to know when you’re considering ventilation.
Think about esthetics, and how you like to cook.
Several factors should go into your decision on the type of ventilation you select for your kitchen. An important one has to do with your design preference: Do you like the idea of a visible hood above your cooking appliance? Or do you prefer an open space, with ventilation that remains unseen—or appears only when needed?
Before you decide on a specific ventilation system, also think about your overall kitchen space and even the way you like to cook and entertain. Do you plan to place a cooktop or rangetop on an island, or will your cooking appliance be placed against a wall? Do you like to interact with guests as you cook or do you typically prepare everything before guests arrive? Hood placement, duct-free options and noise levels are all important facets of your choice for ventilation.
There are two main types of ventilation: vented and duct-free.
Many homes have exterior venting—ductwork that vents outside—allowing for either vented or duct-free installation. Many other homes, however, do not offer exterior venting: multi-housing units like apartments and condos, homes with slab construction or with other venting restrictions such as no basement. This requires different installation and set-up for a ventilation appliance, such as a duct-free kit for a downdraft cooktop or recirculating option for a microwave-hood combination.
A vented exhaust system pulls smoke, steam and odors out of the air above the cooking surface and expels them outside through ductwork. Both hoods and downdraft cooktop options can be vented. If your kitchen includes an exterior wall, a vented exhaust system may be a good option. This means you can install a hood above your cooking surface.
Duct-free ventilation captures smoke, steam and cooking odors and expels them through a filter, then recirculates the clean air. Select downdraft cooktops can be converted to a duct-free ventilation kit, providing you with a variety of ventilation options. And, many JennAir® hoods can be set up to recirculate.
CFM ratings help you determine the proper ventilation level.
A CFM rating is a measure of the air-capturing power of your ventilation system. CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) is directly related to the level of BTUs (see below) your appliance outputs. The higher the BTUs, the higher the CFM should be.
It’s important to make sure you select a correctly sized ventilation unit as well as opt for the proper CFM level. Check the product specifications of your cooking appliance to determine the minimum CFM requirements. Your CFM requirement is also a function of how far the ventilation exhaust has to travel along ductwork before it’s expelled; the longer the ductwork, the higher the CFM should be.
Assessing the correct CFM rating is important for delivering the proper level of ventilation for your heat output and the amount of smoke, steam and cooking odors generated. A too-low rating might not thoroughly clear the air; an overly high rating might capture too much heated or air-conditioned air within your kitchen environment.
Consider the power of your cooking appliance and the type of cooking techniques you use frequently. Searing, blackening and frying often require more ventilation power to clear the air as you cook, whereas simmering and sautéing require less.
BTUs (British Thermal Units) are the measure of a burner’s energy output, and refer to gas burners. Higher BTU output means higher heat—important for cooking techniques like searing. Lower BTU output means lower heat—important when melting butter or simmering delicate sauces.
Each burner has its own BTU measurement; your appliance’s total BTU level will determine the CFM rating required for proper ventilation.
There are several ventilation mounting options.
The type of ventilation mounting you choose will depend largely on the location of your cooktop within your kitchen. Also consider how you like to cook. For instance, do you frequently sear, blacken or flash-fry? This determines how much ventilation power you’ll need.
Wall mount hoods are a good option when your cooktop is positioned next to a wall. They offer powerful ventilation. Many of our models feature commercial-style design.
Island mount hoods essentially “float” directly over where your cooktop is placed within an island, for powerful ventilation right where it’s needed.
Low profile hoods offer a more minimal-looking installation but offer slightly less powerful ventilation than other hood types. They install directly underneath the cabinet situated above your cooking surface.
Microwave hood combinations offer space-saving design by featuring a microwave with a built-in ventilation system. They can be installed above a cooking appliance to provide ventilation for smoke, steam and cooking odors, and can be vented or set to recirculate.
Perimetric hoods, designed to hang on the wall like a work of art, offer powerful ventilation and will make a dramatic statement in your kitchen.
Telescoping downdraft ventilation can be installed directly into the cooking surface for a streamlined look. Its slim exhaust fan appears with the push of a button to capture smoke directly at cooking surface level, and then disappears when no longer needed.
Custom hood liners are ideal to achieve a distinctive ventilation look. They feature a ventilation system mounted to the inside of a custom vent cover. The cover can be made of metal, wood, plaster or tile, to complement cabinetry or make a bold statement. It offers you a choice of motors for different levels of ventilation power.
Choose a style that combines power and beauty.
JennAir® ventilation systems are available in a wide variety of styles to suit your personal style and enhance the look of your kitchen, from statement-making perimetric hoods to commercial-style wall-mount hoods to unobtrusive telescoping downdrafts. We also offer a variety of finishes to complement your appliances and contrast beautifully with cabinetry.
Have questions? To speak with a Customer Care Specialist, call 1-800-JENNAIR (536-6247). You can also chat live. Phone and Live Chat hours are Mon—Fri 8am—8pm EST. Chat now.