A retractable downdraft vent is a great space-saving solution in a kitchen where an over-the-range vent hood is not practical. This is especially true for kitchen island installations. The retractable vent sits neatly behind the cooktop, and stays level with the countertop when not in use. Here are the most common problems with retractable downdraft vents and possible solutions.
If the vent isn’t working at all, make sure there’s not a problem with the power cord. Check the house circuit box for any tripped breakers or blown fuses. If the power supply looks okay, the issue may be the control board or power switch.
If the vent comes on but will not raise, lower all the way or lower at all, look for an obstruction in the path of the intake area. Unplug the unit before removing the obstruction. Some retractable vents have a switch that is activated by the filter–the vent will not work if the filter is not installed correctly. If the filter looks okay, there may be a problem with the drive motor or drive arm.
If a spill occurs on the cooking surface and seeps down into the vent system, immediately turn the vent off. Damage could occur if water gets inside the vent while it’s operating. Unplug the vent and let it dry naturally. Do not open the vent system to remove the water. Once the unit is dry, clean the vent’s exposed surfaces following the instructions in your owner's manual.
The up/down button pad located on top of the air vent engages the activating switch when pushed to raise the air vent. Replace the up/down button pad if damaged.
The gear motor raises and lowers the air vent when you push the activating switch. Replace the gear motor if defective.
The most commonly asked questions about downdraft vents are answered by our experts.
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