How to Vent a Downdraft Ductwork

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Removing the gases generated by heating food, or the products of combustion from a gas stove, is important for the quality of air in your home. A stove with a downdraft ventilation system uses powerful blowers to draw these gases downward into the system and then out the ductwork. When installing a downdraft stove your current range hood's ventilation needs to be modified to extend the ductwork to the bottom of the wall.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Stud finder
  • Drywall saw
  • 4-inch round ductwork
  • Self taping screws
  • Drill
  • Duct work elbow
  • Aluminum foil tape
  • Drywall
  • Plaster
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Turn off the power to the existing range hood's electrical circuit at the home's distribution panel. Confirm the power is off by trying to turn the fan on.

  • Remove the screws that fasten the range hood to the wall and pull the hood off.

  • Locate the framing members in the wall with a stud finder and mark their location. Determine which two studs the vent ductwork runs in between by lining up the duct opening with the center of two framing members.

  • Cut along the inside of the wall studs with a drywall saw from the bottom of the cabinetry to the floor. Pull the drywall from this area with your hands.

  • Determine the height the duct outlet needs to be, from the floor, for your particular downdraft stove. This information is located in the stove's owner's manual.

  • Extend the existing ductwork down to this level by securing additional sections of four-inch ductwork to the existing outlet. Each section is pushed into the one above and secured with three or four self-taping screws through one another.

  • Fasten the duct elbow on the bottom straight section using the same method. The elbow should be be pointing out the wall. This elbow is where the stove is connected. Wrap the joints between each duct section with aluminum foil tape.

  • Fasten a new section of drywall over the opening by screwing it into the framing members on either side. Plaster the joints and allow to dry overnight. Sand the plaster smooth and paint the wall to match the existing wall color.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may need to hire a qualified technician if there are electrical wires or plumbing that needs to be rerouted to accommodate the new path for the ductwork.
  • You should be very careful when cutting the drywall not to damage any electrical wires or plumbing.

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