Modern Aire or vent-a-hood for 2k bucks less

ZivmanJanuary 19, 2014

I am about set to order my Modern Aire PS-14 (42") in SS and I have come across an outlet deal on a Vent-a-Hood PY30 in white. (current model is the PYH30)

the VAH is 2k bucks cheaper, but is white vs the SS I had kind of decided on. the white will match my upper cabinets, but the model is the older style with fluorescent lighting and and doesn't have the newest easy clean magic lung box.

they are the same dimensions, same ducting requirements, and physically look the same, minus the color.

I have the money for the modern-aire, but 2 grand is a lot of money and I have over projects I could put the money towards in the house. would I be settling with the VAH? a lot of people on the forum complaining about them.

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Also check Prestige hoods... You can buy directly from the distributor at a discount. That is what I got, looks great but I have not installed it yet. I also recommend a giant remote blower--mine sits on the roof.

I got mine from Thomas Cioletti at Signature Marketing (800-358-8886 ex.16) I have no affiliation with these guys.

Cheers, Shawn

PS: I didn't like the VaH that I saw--thin SS folded over and did not buy into their blower design. MA was waay more expensive.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 3:14AM
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I would choose modernaire. I have a VAH now but the quality and design of the modernaire is no comparison.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 8:59AM
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I have talked to prestige, unfortunately they really don't do island hoods unless you custom order for nearly double the price of other hoods.

the modern aire unit I am looking at is ~3700 bucks... the VAH is in the 1700 range. I know modern aire is the better unit and it has the following on this forum, but am I really getting 'that' much more hood for an extra 2 grand? we aren't talking 4-500 bucks.

Not to mention I would have the VAH unit this week vs a 6 wk lead time on the MA.

maybe the price difference is worth it. not owning either unit now, is why I am asking. outsider looking in, 2k bucks is hard to swallow

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 11:45AM
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I had to make an Island hood decision a little over a year ago. In my search, I narrowed it down to Modern-Aire and Prizer, based on quality of build, fit, finish, etc. Both are in another league from most of the others, but since the hood is such a predominate feature in my small kitchen, I bit the bullet and went for the Prizer, which as I recall, was even a bit more than the M-A.

Here is a link that might be useful: Prizer Hoods

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 11:59AM
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I was looking at 5k+ for a prizer... I've priced out just about everything and was set on the modernaire until I came across the deal on the VAH.

I appreciate the comments and suggestions, but not much is being said about the price difference. It's easy to spend other peoples money and say get the MA, but 2 grand is nothing to shake a stick at... I am looking at a 35k remodel to put things into perspective.

Like I said, I have no doubt the MA is better (along with prestige and prizer... and abbaka.... and others) but is it 2.5x times better?

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 12:34PM
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I don't own either so my comments are based on lots of stuff I've read on this forum over the years. The biggest complaint I've heard about VAH is the difficulty in cleaning the magic lung. Not everyone feels that way but those who do have expressed very strong feelings about it. I also seem to remember someone complaining about cutting himself on a sharp edge while trying to take the hood apart to clean it. Have you seen the VAH in person and figured what's involved with cleaning it? If it were me, that would be the major determining factor in my decision along with the extra 2K for the other hood.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 1:28PM
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Yes, it easy to spend other peoples money, it may boil down to, is the $2k more worth it to you?
At the risk of using a worn analogy here on GW, for arguments sake, say the VAH is a Ford or Chevy, and the Modern-Aire or Prizer are a Mercedes or BMW. If both get you from point A to point B, why do some choose one over the other? Or, why do some choose a Sub-Zero over a Frigidaire, when they both keep your food cold?
As I mentioned in my post, my 36" x 27" hood is a main element hanging 30" down from the sloped ceiling of my small 10'x10'-6" kitchen, so it was worth it to me to spend almost as much as I did on my range, on my hood. I haven't regretted the purchase one bit, but I likely may have, had I gone for a much less expensive hood. (notice I didn't say inferior)
Hope this helps, and good luck with your decision!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 3:12PM
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weissman - this forum is the only place that seems to have the negatives to say about the VAH. I am trying to figure out if it is legit or it is the squeaky wheel type situation. My local appliance store pushes the VAH a lot as a stand alone brand of range hood.

ctycdm - I completely agree it is up to me whether it is worth the price premium but having no personal experience with either, that's difficult. I wouldn't go so far to say the VAH is ford and the MA is a bmw... there are plenty lower teir brands that would follow that analogy more accurately. from what I see and read, the VAH is more like maybe a high end toyota; dare I say lexus compared to a mercedes in the MA hood.

ctycdm - in terms of asthetics, I think both will be equal, one being white, one being SS. both nice imo.

the cleaning doesn't really scare me on the VAH, but I don't want to spend 1700 on crap and a couple years down the road regret it.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 4:40PM
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I googled VAH cleaning and found this thread on chowhound - I just skimmed it but there are diverse opinions about cleaning the hood - I suggest you read it and see the hood in person and judge for yourself

Here is a link that might be useful: Cleaning a VAH

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 5:00PM
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I went ahead and ordered the VAH. talked to the dealer a little bit about it. i feel for the price difference, it is a great value. time will tell.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 5:40PM
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Please store the URL of this thread and come back with a review when you have some experience with it.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 5:53PM
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Yes, do let us know how things work out once the VAH is up and running, thanks!
BTW my reference to Ford and Chevy was not in any way meant to be derogatory, I just tried to pick generic auto examples. I have a Chevy truck with 245,000 miles on it! :). You may insert Toyota, It's just I've never owned one, so I have no experience with where they fit on the scale...

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 6:53PM
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Zivman -- we all get a little passionate about products, service, and differences around here. In the end, a great deal on a floor model from an authorized dealer is a great value, overall. There are many happy VAH owners here, so I'm certain things will turn out fine for you. (For the record, I ended up with a ModernAire)

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 7:53PM
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thanks for the input.. I found the deal through kitchen foundry. I don't believe it is a floor model. from what I am told it is just new old stock.

from the link weissman posted, people weren't complaining about the quality nor the performance. that was my main concern. people state the finish comes off the baffle boxes over time. after talking to Erik from kitchen foundry he stated that is mainly due to harsh cleaners people are using..... and worst case they can be replaced for 170 bucks.

the other complaints were noise, but most seemed to state it was due to improper install or unbalanced fan wheels.

My only real reservation now is the fluorescent lighting. I plan to look into an LED tube replacement.

This post was edited by Zivman on Mon, Jan 20, 14 at 21:22

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 9:21PM
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If I recall correctly, forum participant clinresga did a measurement with a sound pressure meter of his hood in his home vs. his hood in a second home. The first was a roof/silencer/hood combo, maybe by Modernaire; the second was a VAH. He reported that the VAH was materially louder. I don't have a link but the thread may be findable using Google search pointed at this site's root URL.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 10:15AM
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kaseki... not applicable to my situation, nor a true comparison. how can you compare a remote mount fan(with silencer) to an internal setup? of course one closer to your work area and your ears is going to be louder.

from what I have gathered in my research...
-MA is likely a better unit than a VAH
-most people have very little to b!tch about in their lives that they complain about the noise and cleaning of their vent hoods

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 11:32AM
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People who suffer from migraines or have sensitivities to sound would be concerned about the loudness of the hoods in their homes. I know you made your decision so this is not to convince you to make another decision. You mentioned that the hood has fluorescent lights. I don't know when VAH stopped using fluorescent lights but my hood is from 2001 and they were discontinuing it at that time. My hood does have fluorescent lights. You may want to reach out to VAH to determine the age of the hood.
Best of luck!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 12:08PM
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I know I bought new old stock. my local dealer says the current price on this hood (in SS) is 4500 bucks. for the near 3k savings or even the 2k savings vs the MA unit, I can live with a fluorescent light regardless of its age.

This post was edited by Zivman on Tue, Jan 21, 14 at 23:26

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 11:25PM
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Picked up my hood today from the freight terminal. VERY well crated and strapped to a pallet. it is what I expected. brand new old stock.

might be a couple weeks before it I install it, but at this point it looks like a good, if not great buy

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 9:00PM
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Fori is not pleased

Sounds like a great deal. Do report back!

(For the record, though, I am frugal enough to have 3 Fords in my stable--one each diesel, gas, and electric powered. The gas is the loudest. :P )

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 10:38AM
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I love my Vent a Hood Excalibur -- a display model (of course, thatâÂÂs after yearsâ of cooking with a Jenn-Air Downdraft -- the very best that 1991 had to offer!). And the $2K savings would have sealed the deal for me, especially since the aesthetics are the same -- I could justify an expense previously deemed too extravagant (in my case custom window treatments) based on the savings realized with my âÂÂbrand new old stockâÂÂ! Enjoy your VAH!!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 7:05PM
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got the hood up today. took almost 6 hrs. reran the exhaust. 8" piping with new exterior vent. Ceiling wasn't level so that cost us a bit of timing shimming the hood to level it.

it's all wired and functioning and I actually think I prefer the white to the SS. It is a monster of a hood, and I think the white makes it blend a bit into the surroundings more than a SS hood would.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 5:40PM
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