Vent-a-Hood Nouveau or Zephyr Tempest II

dryslickFebruary 19, 2012

WeâÂÂre looking seriously at the Vent-a-Hood Nouveau or Zephyr Tempest II. Does anyone have any thoughts on the units? Are both of them quality units and quiet or should we stay away from them and look for something else?

Many forum users seem to like Modern-Aire or Kobe but none of our local dealers seem to have much experience with them (in MD / metro-DC area). We also like the look of the Broan Elite E6036SS. We havenâÂÂt seen it but we wonder if it works well given it is much cheaper than the other brands.

WeâÂÂre remodeling and looking at 36â hoods over a 30â range top. We plan to vent through the roof of a bump out using a 600 cfm internal blower.

We definitely like the rounded look of the VAH Nouveau but it is more expensive and IâÂÂm not excited about cleaning given what IâÂÂm reading on this forum. It sounds like the VAHs are quiet at higher speeds.

We donâÂÂt like the look of the Zephyr quite as much as the VAH (but it is a similar shape). The Zephyr is cheaper and it seems like it would be easier to clean. The salesmen from the different stores say Zephyr makes quality units but I havenâÂÂt seen many reviews.

We plan to go back to the stores this week to look at their features in detail but I wanted to post this first since I didnâÂÂt see many hits on either of these units in the forum.

Thanks in advance.

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Just spent another weekend cooking at our lake house, where we have a 600 cfm VAH installed. It was the first hood I purchased, under circumstances similar to yours. The dealer we used for appliances just raved about them, told us how superior they were to all the others and "that's why they are the only hood we carry."

What a load. Now that I'm totally spoiled by our Modern Aire hood with remote Fantech blower, cooking with the VAH is actually unpleasant. The incredibly loud din, as deafening at the lower settings as on High (it's NOT that VAH are quiet at high speeds, they are just equally noisy at low speeds, see the real scoop on noise), the markedly inferior performance, the ugly underside (compared to the beautiful baffle work in our MA), and the depressing realization that I will soon have to take down and hand wash the nasty "squirrel cages" all make the experience disappointing.

I definitely am far on the negative end of the spectrum regarding VAH, but I also keep pointing out that I'm one of the few who have personal experience with the two hoods. If you search Vent a Hood, you'll get dozens of posts. One thing you'll see is that a lot of VAH defenders have only ever had a VAH. Many even say things like "of course, it's the only hood I've ever had, so I can't really compare..." Well, I can, and do on a regular basis.

If you're mainly focused on the appearance of the hoods, rather than performance, that's OK, it's one approach, but it does lead to poor performance choices. If you search Vent a Hood and Zephyr on this forum, you'll get dozens of hits. I'd keep reading.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 12:07PM
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... and if you procrastinate disassembling and cleaning those squirrel cages, oh my goodness! Disgusting! Gag!

I got a great deal on a VAH (and did no homework about vents) and I don't mind the looks, and it sucks stuff up like no tomorrow. But it is loud, and I don't like cleaning it.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 12:32PM
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Thanks for the reply. Great posts on the decibels too. IâÂÂve got a similar SPL to your Radio Shack version that I use for home theater too.

Before seeing your post this afternoon, we went to an appliance store. After unhooking the VAH and pulling everything down, I can see why it is such a pain to clean. We wonâÂÂt get that. The Zephyr baffles come easily for the dishwasher.

I also checked out Modern-Aire in greater detail, emailing the company and putting a call into Eurostoves. IâÂÂm waiting for a callback from them. Everything on the forum is positive about the company. I donâÂÂt think they have a dealer in our area (metro-DC). In this case, do people order from them direct or from the Eurostoves? Is it a problem that there isnâÂÂt a local dealer and the unit requires maintenance?

The PS1118 looks good. Given all the custom work they do, we hope their price is competitive for a non-customized hood. Another forum entry has me hopeful.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 6:37PM
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@dryslick: thanks. We love the baffle system and really find it superior to other options.

Re Modern Aire: obviously you know I'm a huge fan based on our hood and more importantly on the fabulous support and relationships with them during the build. If you are NOT in an area with a dealer, that's GREAT--because it means you can deal with the factory directly. I know Eurostoves gets great props on this forum, but this is one case where you don't want a middleman.

By dealing directly with MA, you'll be able to speak with the actual folks who are building your hood. You can be sure that it is exactly to your liking, since what they do is essentially always custom.

As for maintenance, the hood itself should really never require any, since it's a hunk of metal. If there were a defective part, I am sure they would make it right. They do resell the other components--we bought our Fantech blower from them--but these are covered by the original manufacturer's warranty anyway. If our Fantech needed service, I'd find an authorized repair company from them.

Emailed you some more info directly. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 3:06PM
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not to change your mind, but to be fair and give my experience:

- no internal hood will be quieter than a remoteblower.
- i don't think i tried out the Tempest II, but we did try the Tempest I (?) i tried out when we were looking a couple of years back, and it was definitely louder than the equivalent internal blower VAH we eventually bought (see my db measurements at the end of clinresga's thread she referred to).
- for an internal blower hood (which was our only option) the VAH was the quietest hood around for medium to high speed. as i note, at low speeds, the Kobe, Zephyr, and almost all of the hoods we tried were quieter than the low speed on our VAH, but we hardly ever run it at the lowest speed, nor would we do so with the other brands.
- finally, i agree. if you think the squirrel wheels need to be clean, then you're in for a hassle. (i don't worry about them so much) i don't mind the other part (every 1-2 months it is a ~3 min job), but i can also agree tossing two baffles in the dishwasher would be easier than maintaining the VAH. we didn't choose the VAH because of ease of cleaning, but chose it because of quietness at higher blower speeds.

bottom line, for an internal motored hood, in my experience, the VAH was hard to beat for the higher blower speeds (and clears out any fumes wonderfully*). but for cleaning, that's another story.

(and i of course envy those with a remote blower ;) )

* finally, make sure you have adequate ducting. for 600cfm, you'll want a minimum 8" diameter ducting.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 5:45PM
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Sorry it took me a while to get back to you. Norovirus got me behind on everything. You may be right that it is the quietest hood on high speed, and I appreciate your comments, but I think we'll go with a baffle-based product. In terms of style, we really like the VAH. However, in terms of the trade-off between high speed noise performance vs. ease of cleaning, while I have no doubt VAH is the quietest on high, I think we'll tolerate a little more noise given the way it cleans up. Right now, I plan to purchase a Modern-Aire when we get ready for kitchen construction.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 12:39PM
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We have a 36" Tempest II with 1100 cfm blowers -- internal blowers with basically a straight run of duct work through the attic and then the roof. The hood is nicely finished, the lights are good, the baffles are easy to remove and clean, and the system has an excellent ability to deal with serious fumes. I wouldn't say it's super quiet. Not the noisiest system I've heard, by a long shot, but the top-end setting is a little loud -- steady (no rattles or groans or weirdness), but not quiet.

Personally, I have no regrets about the system at all, but I don't know that I'd pitch it to somebody super-concerned about a quiet unit.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 12:12PM
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no worries, dryslick. just wanted to give another perspective.

hope you enjoy your MA.i can definitely appreciate the tradeoffs one needs to make! (wish we could have done remote blower, but that wasn't in the cards for budget and other considerations)

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 6:15PM
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