downdraft system as a built-in feature, integrated into the cooking surface itself. However, if you don't want to buy a new cooking stove or if you want to buy a stove separate from your ventilation system, don’t worry. You can also buy a them as a separate unit and install them in or on top of your counter. To save some extra space, some of them can even be raised from and lowered into the counter.
The obvious nice thing about having a downdraft ventilation system is that you won’t have a big clunky range hood hanging in your kitchen. Especially on cooking islands seem these downdraft ventilation systems seem to give off a stylish and modern vibe. However, their position also has some downsides. Normal range hoods are installed above your cooking stove for a good reason: heat, steam and smoke naturally go upwards. Since downdraft ventilation systems are placed to the side of your cooking stove, they have to have a lot of extra sucking power to be effective. Downdraft ventilation systems generally do a good-enough job with smaller pots and pans which are located right next to it. However, when you're using tall pots and pans or locate them a bit away from the fan, these systems seem to struggle with capturing the air pollutants.
Another issue is that downdraft ventilation systems seem to get overwhelmed more easily. Since the the bottom side of a normal range hood matches the size of your cooking stove, it has a big capture area for the rising fumes. Downdraft ventilation systems have no capture area, which means they it can get overwhelmed easily if there are a lot of fumes. This means that normal ducted range hoods will generally outperform downdraft ventilation systems with the same amount of power.