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My Dad often said that I was the only person he ever knew who could trip over a hairpin. Letís face it; Iím not the most graceful person around. In fact, truth be known, Iím a natural, born klutz!
I canít begin to count the many times I would whack my head on the exhaust fan that was suspended over our stove. Yeah, I know, youíre wondering how on earth did she do that? For me, it was as easy as falling off a log!
When my husband and I were designing the kitchen for our new home, we were in a quandary trying to decide what to do about that problem. We definitely needed some kind of exhaust fan, but which one! Having a center-cooking island with a 12-high ceiling didnít make our choice any easier.
IíLL BACK UP HERE FOR JUST A MINUTE SO YOU CAN UNDERSTAND HOW I SOLVED MY PROBLEM.
Since I was designing a whole new kitchen, that meant all new kitchen appliances were needed. Not quite sure of what I wanted, I wrote to every appliance manufacturer for brochures and/or booklets. I knew Iíd get the measurements and full descriptions to help me make my decisions. It was in one of those booklets that I found the solution to my exhaust fan problem.
KITCHENAID has an exhaust fan that retracts inside the cabinet behind your stove. This is really a fantastic idea. The KITCHENAID RETRACTABLE DOWNDRAFT is a snap to use. When you look at the counter top, all you see is the cook-top. Press a button and up pops the exhaust fan! Press it again and down it goes Ė completely out of sight. As I said, itís fantastic!
Cleaning it couldnít be simpler. The two side-by-side filters snap out so you can just toss them in the dishwasher. Yep! Itís that easy. After the washing cycle is completed, the filters are as clean as new. For the rest of the downdraft, I just wipe it down with a grease-cutting cleaner. The front that faces the cooking area can get splattered with grease while you cook. But it does clean easily.
The amount of suction required for your cooking needs is completely adjustable. Thereís a small dial on the side of the downdraft that you can easily turn with your fingers (itís not one that requires a screwdriver).
When it the up position, it stands about 8-inches higher than the counter top. It lies even with the counter top when itís retracted.
The motor, hoses and wiring for this neat contraption fit nicely inside the cabinet. If you place the downdraft behind a stove that abuts a wall, the hose for the vent can be run directly outside the house. In my case, because itís a center island, mine runs from inside the cabinet under the floor and outside. But even with all that equipment inside the cabinet, I still have plenty of room for storage of other items. The measurements for the motor assembly are: 16-inches from top to bottom, 9-3/8-inches from back to front and 16-inches from side to side.
The cut you make in the counter top for the downdraft is only as wide as the down draft you buy. For instance, in my case, I have a 36-inch cooktop. My downdraft is the same. So, I needed to have a hole 32-5/8-inches wide and 2-1/8-inches deep. Thatís all thatís needed for the vent to pop up or slide back down.
It runs on an electrical supply of 120-volts, 60-Hz and a separate amp service of 15.
The KITCHENAID RETRACTABLE DOWNDRAFT can only be connected with copper wire (but then, why would you use anything else) and must be hooked up directly to the circuit breaker box.
Electrical grounding is necessary. However, if youíre going to use gas to cook with (instead of electric), the ground wire cannot be hooked to the gas pipe. (I know, it sounds like a stupid thing to say - but you'd be surprised just how many people would not think and actually place the ground wire on the nearest spot available - even if that spot is a gas pipe.)
Wire sizes must conform to the National Electrical Code.
The exhaust fan will NOT operate while the filters are not in position.
This downdraft, in my opinion, is the best thing since sliced bread! It has sucked out the odors of the food I'm cooking (which is great when I'm cooking the fish we catch), all the steam from the liquids I'm cooking AND any smoke I might cause when I get distracted and burn dinner. (Okay, you stop laughing now!)
Yes, there are those times (thankfully they are very few) when I do burn something on the stove, but because of this awesome downdraft, my husband never knew and therefore I was saved from years of teasing.
And lastly - yep! Iím still a klutz! I went to sit on the couch and watch TV and smacked my knee (HARD) on the coffee table. I closed the closet door on my foot and got my finger caught as I closed the screen door that cages my lanai. BUT AT LEAST I DONíT BUMP MY HEAD ANY MORE!!! Thanks to KITCHENAID and its great RETRACTABLE DOWNDRAFT.
PLEASE ENJOY THE OTHER MAGNIFICENT REVIEWS BY THE OTHER FANTASTIC WRITERS!
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