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May 4, 2011 02:52 PM

Range Hood you like???

I was reading the comments on the older post on the Vent a Hood and wonder if anyone has a range hood they actually like. Something that's quiet, or reasonably so, and effective at removing the smoke and grease from cooking. We're about to start a kitchen remodel and the hood is the one thing I'm still not comfortable with. We have been considering the Vent a Hood, actually saw one in a house on a Kitchen Tour last weekend and asked to hear how loud it was. I didn't think it was bad, at least compaired to other hoods I've heard. Yet I'm still concerned about the hood for our kitchen. Your comments and expert opinions are greatly appreciated, I can only afford to do this once, maybe once, definately not twice.

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  1. There are hoods that have the motor located outside of the house. These are usually much quieter than the ones with the motor located in the hood housing itself. I have used the Thermador and Vent A Hood models this way and had fine results. Another brand to look into is Best.

    5 Replies
    1. re: JEN10

      Thank you JEN10, our small town has an annual "Kitchen Tour" as a fund raiser for one of the local philanthropic organizations, and while touring new and remodeled kitchens, I remember talking to one home owner about having the fan in the attic. His vent was very quiet, but I have no idea how effective it was. A friend recently remodeled her kitchen and the designer put a grid in the cealing over the island stove to vent. Again, it's quiet, but in this case we know from the home owner, this was a poor idea, as it doesn't work well at getting smoke and steam out of the kitchen, but at the same time sucks out hot air any time it's on. She is having a hood installed.

      I've read that you need an additional 100 cfm airflow for every 3 inches a hood is mounted above the manufacturer's reccomendation, typically 27 to 30 inches above the range top. If this applies to the fan location, then putting the fan and motor in the attic would greatly increase the need for air flow. I'm just not sure if it applies in this case. I don't want to suck all the hot air out of the house all winter when cooking inside. After talking to the Vent a Hood rep at a nearby appliance superstore, he was quite convincing that this wouldn't work and wasn't necessary, that the motor was not the cause of the noise, but the air flowing past filters, baffels, and fan blades. I have to agree, some electric motors are very quiet all by themselves, and I would assume this type of motor is what is used in most vents.

      Consumer Reports rates Viking VCWH3048 very good and GE Profile as very quiet, they rate Vent a Hood about 10 points lower and only "Good" or what I would consider average for noise. Broan didn't rate very well and Best by Broan was rated only "Fair" what I consider below average for noise on their Island hood.

      I'm hoping I can get some more feedback, Thanks.

      1. re: mikie

        The additional airflow is only for the hood location. As long as the hood is there, it doesn't matter if you have a remote-mounted fan. I'd keep to 30" above the cooking surface, max.

        We have a VAH and it does make noise. A lot of that is air movement, but I suspect having the motor and fan blades right there doesn't help. I wasn't looking for a quiet fan, however. Just wanted it to do the job of getting the exhaust out.

        My only complaint is the cheapo plastic damper flaps that I finally was annoyed enough to make stainless replacements for after 5 years.

        I have no idea what they do now, but at some point VAH either made the Viking hoods or leased them the design. My Mom has an early 90's Viking hood that looks very similar internally to my VAH.

        1. re: ted

          Ted, can I ask why you got annoyed by the flaps? Mine are 1/4" thick, and what appear to be nylon - not sure if that's what you had when you got yours 5+ years ago.

          1. re: pramjockey

            Mine were probably nylon, too. I'd say they're 1/16" or so thick. The fan box design isn't set up for there to be a tight seal from the flaps. There isn't a seat for them to close against on all 4 sides, and the corners are cut off so they can open due to the duct connection above.

            With use, my flaps, on top of not closing well to start with, warped so that they closed even less well. The stainless flaps won't do that, and I fitted them to fill the opening more where I could.

            We don't have a separate spring-loaded damper in the duct, so these were the only thing stopping the house's hot air from going up the exhaust duct in the winter. When it was 15F for an extended period last winter (very cold for GA), I took to stuffing a dishtowel in the fans when I wasn't using the hood.

          2. re: ted

            I've had a Viking hood for about 15 yrs, and I love it because you can remove the baffles and put then in the dishwasher, which I do about every couple months; its amazing how much grease comes off.
            I fry alot of fish, and my house never smells of it.

      2. I have a 900 CFM VaH that I put in in December. Motors are in the hood (by necessity). Is it "loud?" I guess that depends on perspective. Yeah, it makes some noise in the kitchen if you're standing at the stove. But, if you're a little ways away, or outside of the kitchen, it's not noisy in the slightest. It's certainly not intolerable.

        IMHO, for my installation and the cooking that I do, noise was #2 or #3 on the list - I needed actual exhausting effectiveness to be #1. And, yeah, the hood does exactly that - it exhausts that air as I need. The only time I've ever overwhelmed it was using the 2 edge burners with a grill pan and getting a bit of ignition (whoops - still getting used to the stove). While the flames stayed inside the hood, apparently a bit of the smoke escaped and triggered a smoke detector. The hood cleared the kitchen quickly and it wasn't an issue, and if I'd used the middle burners I'd have been fine.

        It also seems to be reality that if you're going to be moving sufficient air, but leaving the grease at the hood to be cleaned (something the VaH does very well), you're going to make some noise. I don't believe that you're going to be able to get quiet (at least in the sense of "oh, I can barely hear that") and effective at exhausting, and filtering out grease.

        2 Replies
        1. re: pramjockey

          Thank you very much for your input. I figure everyone or almost everyone has some kind of range hood, either no one likes theirs, or I should have titled the post "Range Hoods you don't like?"

          I have to agree the noise level is not number 1, but it's a close 2nd. This may be because the hood we have now is neither effective nor quiet, in fact it's so noisy that it will drive you out of the kitchen. You can't run it and stir a pot for more than a minute or two. Essentially, we would like the quietest hood that is also effective in removing smoke, steam, etc. It's funny how past experience influences your priorities and your decisions. From what I have garnered from talking to the VaH representative, the noise isn't motor noise, it's air movement noise. Something he claims is reduced in VaH by the fact it has no filters or baffels. Still there are hoods out there that at least on paper run quiet and still move a lot of air. Air movement is in CFMs and noise level is in Sones in the US, both standard tests which should be compairable from brand to brand. The combination of the two should be enough to pick a hood, but there are obviously other factors that effect the decision. Below are some numbers for comparison:

          Broan Elite wall mount: 450 CFM 9 Sones

          Vent a Hood B200: 600 CFM 6.5 Sones note: equivelent to 900 CFM according to VaH

          Imperial Wall 1900PS: 750 CFM 4.6 Sones

          Sirius Professional Wall: 1,100 CFM 5.1 Sones

          Air King Professional wall: 600 CFM 5.5 Sones

          Air King Professional wall: 900 CFM 11 Sones

          But these are just numbers and I'm not really sure how these play out in the real kittchen world. If anyone has any experience good or bad, please post.


          1. re: mikie

            I bought a Broan Elite E661 after checking Consumer Reports and other reviews on the web, and being impressed with the quietness in store.

            Soanes are rated as follows: 0.3 (110 CFM), 3.0 (300 CFM) and 8.5 (550 CFM).

            Practically this means that at low, we have to look at the LEDs to see whether it is on or not. There is also a setting for about 220 CFM, which is only about as loud as our fridge. On these two settings guests sitting at the table 8 feet away can't hear it running. We cooked a roast in the oven and only needed these two settings to remove most of the smell while cooking.

            The higher two settings are audible, but not in the noisy, irritating way you think of with hood fans. Instead, there is a rush of air sound, and it's not too bad at 300 CFM.

            For our electric stove, it is definitely powerful enough. I can make a stir fry with the fan on at 550 CFM and there is no smell. Usually I only turn the fan that high when needed though.

            All the LEDs flash after 25 hours, and we put the screens through a dishwasher cycle. There's a 5 minute off delay if needed. The screens extend pretty much right to the front of the stove, so you can cook using the front two burners.

            For my wife, who is picky about smells in the house, and me, who hates a loud fan, we are both pleased. If we upgrade to stainless steel appliances we'll probably buy the same hood fan in stainless steel, even though the cost is about $650.

        2. Mike, the information Jen and Ted gave you was right on the money. For high end homes I always make sure the contractor has ordered the hood with the remote motor location, it makes all the difference with little change in cost. It is especially easy to do if you have an attic, although I have done one where we had to roof mount it. A bit unsightly at first, but it was under a custom built copper cover, and once that aged it pretty much disappeared.

          1 Reply
          1. re: KaimukiMan

            Thanks, both to you and others who have responded. I was in a home with a Vent A Hood and it's not unreasonably loud, so it looks like that's the way we will go for the remodel. I found some others on-line, but can't find a local (2 hr drive) establishment to look at one inperson.

          2. We had ours custom made out of 316 stainless steel. We got the dimensions we wanted at a fraction of the cost of a "designer" unit. We had a very good grease filter from the old hood and had it mounted in the new hood. FanTech in attic with a muffler. Its so quiet we took out the multispeed fan switch and run it full blast all the time. Performance is excellent.