Range Hoods - Vent-A-Hood or No?
In planning to remodel my kitchen, I have finally decided on a 48" dual-fuel Wolf range. And so... for ventilation I am pretty sure that I want the Vent-A-Hood contemporary IZTH 54" island hood - unfortunately, the best kitchen configuration involves my range being in the island. The look of this hood is perfect for my space. Now, having done tons of research, I need to know what the real experts - all ya'll CH's out there have to say about Vent-A-Hood. Too noisy? Cleaning issues? Service issues? Any advice at all will be greatly appreciated.
I have a 42" vah installed over an island, and it's not even the island model---it's a 900 cfm wall model that my cabinet maker surrounded with cabinet material and we hung it over the island. I have a 36" Blue Star range top with 2-22k burners and four others. It seems to do a pretty good job. It is installed at 31" over the cooktop, which is high, but still gets about 95% of the smoke when I'm, e.g., doing steak in a grill pan and putting out lots of smoke. It's noisy enough when running full blast, but probably no more than others moving a similar amount of air. I've had no service issues (1 year old) and cleaning is fairly simple---you just unlock the shrouds around the turbine fans and either wipe out the grease from the grease catchers and/or put them in the DW. On the whole I'm happy, but have nothing to compare it to. Everyone says it's the best.
VAH has several different blower options - the higher CFMs are louder, no way around that, but at lower speeds are much more tolerable,and at most speeds not as noisey as true commercial vents. The installation of this thing can be a real bear in remodel, be sure that the contractor and/or designer are consulted before you lock on to this unit -- in an island install you pretty much have to be doing a total gut to get this installed well.
The issue of cleaning the VAH unit is controversial -- it is designed to "make a mess" inside its housing. If you cook lots of things that are going to fling grease in their you'll need to frequently clean it, either in the dishwasher or by hand. I suppose the same is true for other hoods too, but with baffles/fliters other hoods hide the grease better. The VAH insides will look really bad, but that is only an issue if you don't realize how it works...
I have only a 30" wolf with a 30" vent-a-hood. I have two blowers and it's better to have more than less, especially if you are searing, making bacon, fish...It's loud because it sucks lots of air...you can't get around that. It is a bit of a pain to clean, but I suppose all vent hoods would be with grease and such...I can put the shield an blower covers in my dishwasher so that part is easy, but any hood you'll have to wipe out the inside anyway.