NXR is now selling Range Hoods...

KitchenMonkeyJuly 17, 2014

Costco is now selling a NXR-branded range hood. There is no mention of the range hoods on the Duro website, so I think it's probably a rebranded generic range hood.

I'm trying to identify the manufacturer. Does the NXR hood look familiar to any of you?

My friend who works in the import-export business tells me that many no-name and big-name range hoods (Zephyr, Cavaliere, Golden Vantage, etc) are manufactured and/or assembled in the same factory in Ningbo, China. He also said that Chinese range hoods made for the Chinese market are actually superior because they are made for heavy-duty use in Asian kitchens. What do you think?


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I think that in a competitive environment, one gets what he pays for, or a bit less. Competitiveness includes an assumption of wide dissemination of relevant facts -- not always true of residential kitchen renovation products. In such cases, time and effort are required to find needed facts, or at worst, gather informed opinions.

If Chinese kitchens are spec'd to a higher standard, then they may get a higher standard. However, what matters to a kitchen's productivity versus what matters to a residential kitchen built partially for show (or at least decent aesthetics) can vary. A commercial kitchen that is heavily used in an environment where absolute cleanliness is not considered important, can use lower cost but just as strong metals as what we might choose for perpetual shininess in our own kitchens. Whether lower gauge (thicker) metals are called for depends on what physical hazards the sheet metal parts have to resist.

Put yourself in the shoes of a Chinese head cook in a Beijing hotel restaurant. He has a tile lined kitchen and a stove that may be burning coal, or gas, with at least 100k BTU available from each of several ports/burners. Multiple cooks are moving about. Apprentices are washing metal cookware in metal or stone sinks. Imagine what level of noise is present. Would the cook care if there was a rattle due to imperfectly fitted baffles?

It is best to decide what one's own requirements are, and then evaluate the candidate solutions for those requirements against how well they appear to meet them.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 11:37AM
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This range hood looks exactly like the Proline PLJW108 (or 109). The CFM at Costco shows 900 vs. Proline 1000 but that number is not exact in real life anyway. We just bought a 48" PLJW108.48 from Proline a few weeks ago. It's not installed yet. The construction of the hood (19 gauge 430 Stainless Steel) is nice and thicker compared to Zephyr 22 gauge (also 430 SS). The fan blower itself has no model number or markings on it so we couldn't look that up (claims 1000 cfm). Now that we got the price of $1200 to add make-up air to our HVAC system (required by code for any hood over 400 cfm inour area) we wish someone would make a 48" hood with 400cfm. Anything higher is overkill unless you do indoor grilling.

Costco returns anything so it's a safer bet to buy it there. I'm thinking you could easily pop off the NXR badge too if you don't want that look.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:11AM
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One can buy a hood that doesn't come with a blower, and then install an in-line or rooftop blower from one of several sources, connected by ducting of course. If the blower is rated at 400 cfm, then the AHJ should approve it without added MUA, if 400 cfm is the threshold in your area. (Note that there is always MUA, whether added or not. What the actual cfm is in any situation will depend on the various ways that air flow can have pressure drops. The blower flow rate is only its rated CFM at zero static pressure -- hanging in the air -- and will be less when it is part of an air flow loop: pan to baffles to duct to blower to outside to furnace? to register? to pan).

However, you would be seriously limiting the range of cooking that was adequately vented. An actual 320 cfm, say, through 8 square feet of baffles in a 48-inch hood is only 40 cfm per square foot, or 40 ft/min air velocity. For serious cooking, values upwards of 90 ft/min are desirable, due to effluent plume velocities up to 180 ft/min. (Allowing a factor of two difference is an estimate based on behavior of the plume at the baffles, where the inter-baffle air gap velocity is roughly twice the average velocity.)


    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:11AM
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Thanks KAS for details. That being said, what is your opinion on a $1200 cost for MUA? I have no idea if this is reasonable or not. I have asked for system details to try and understand cost, but right now all I have is a total cost on it. I would appreciate any comments..thanks.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:50AM
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Without knowing what MUA approach was going to be used, I don't think even a HVAC installer could answer that question. There are far too many factors that enter into a pricing decision.

In any case, I am not a HVAC installer, or a HVAC or MUA expert. I am an observer of technical information on kitchen ventilation and its stepchild, MUA. This became necessary for my own reno. The available technical information allows someone with an engineering perspective and a minimal sense of fluid dynamics to extrapolate from reports and measurements.

Some essential reading references may be found at My Clippings.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:15PM
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