Range Hoods - Broan vs. Windster vs. Imperial

air_upserJuly 29, 2010

I'm looking at the Windster "H" series wall mount stainless/glass range hood. It's available online for $462, shipped. It is very similar to the Broan B5630SS, available from Lowes for $499. I just found the Imperial TW5030PS which is $797 online, also nearly identical to the other two hoods.

I called one on the online sellers of both the Windster and Imperial and asked why I should consider paying nearly $350 additional for the Imperial vs. the Windster. I pointed out that the Windster has a two year warranty while the Imperial only has a one year warranty. The sales person told me "Imperial is one of our higher end brands." I asked what design features make it "higher end?" She had no answer.

So, I'm leaning toward the Windster. Just looking for some feedback from anyone who has experience with these three models before I make a purchase.



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Imperial makes hoods in Brea,Ca.

Windster will not say where their hoods are made, 99/100 times that means China.

Imperial uses 304 SS.

Windster will not say what SS they use, 99/100 times that means 430 SS, which is less rust resistant than 304.

A warranty is only as good as the company guaranteeing it.

Imperial has manufacutred hoods in the USA for 45 years.

Windster has marketed hoods in the USA since 2003.

Is that worth $350? That is your call.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 7:31PM
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Another factor pertaining to capture and containment, the primary functions of a kitchen ventilation hood, is actual air flow rate (usually specified in cubic feet per minute). The rated rates are typically of the fan alone or of the assembly alone. When ducts are added, the flow rate will decrease. When the house is closed up, the flow rate will decrease further. How much it decreases is dependent on many factors, but the one under the control of the manufacturer is the blade design. Unless the design supports significant flow at typical pressure losses, the flow will decrease to too low a level to provide effective ventilation.

I haven't dealt with any of these sources, but from what has been written above I would guess that Imperial is most likely to provide you with advice about actual flow for a specific setup. Broan publishes fan curves, so with some study one might estimate the flow for their units. No idea about Windster.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 11:11AM
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For your information, Windster Hood units are made in Taiwan and not China. Look at Imperial's glass series and the Windster's glass series. They are exactly alike. And I know that Windster is the original manufacturer. So you're pretty much letting everyone know you have no idea what you're talking about by comparing two model that's exactly alike and by the same manufacturer. Just because Imperial is a manufacturer located in California doesn't mean that they are any good. You should go do more research before even talking about nonsense about a company/manufacturer that you have no idea about. So to sum it up, 99/100 times you have no idea or have any clue to what you are saying.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 2:51PM
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Did I say they were made in China?

I said Windster will not say (on their website) where they are made.That implied China. Yeah,Taiwan. Big huge difference. People's Republic of China vs Republic of China. If Windster is so proud their product is made in the Republic of China why don't they just say it on their website?

Most things made in California are of superior quality than those made in China. Whether ROC or PRC.

They don't make dog food or candy with lead here in California.

You are just showing people you don't know what you are talking about.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 3:06PM
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I bought Broan several times and liked it very much. Very quiet and when I needed a part for the metal screen they sent it for free. Very very good customer support.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 8:45PM
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"FWIW, I recently installed an Imperial 42" island hood with twin blowers (about 1300cfm) over my BS 6 burner range top.

I checked out several different hood brands and chose Imperial because of high power-low noise, quality construction and excellent customer service.

I called Imperial with a problem and they could not have been more responsive and supportive. I'm demanding and not easily impressed and believe me, I was very impressed with their service. I was assisted by an exceptional guy named Oscar.

Hoods and ventilation are somewhat complex and it is easy to make the wrong choice, so do your homework. I researched and spoke with several sellers and had the best experience with a salesperson named Donald at vent4less.com. He was honest and patient with me and more than delivered on everything he promised.

Anyway, my hood is working great, is powerful and is not too loud."

Especially with range hoods, shortcuts are expensive because of the complexity of the installation, etc. Bottom line, you get what you pay for.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 8:43AM
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Kelsold, would you be able to post a photo of your Imperial island hood? I would love to see a photo of how it looks from the front.

I am considering their Slim Line model for my 36" Bluestar which is in front of a window.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 6:15PM
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I went with the Broan.


Shot at 2011-02-18

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 7:46PM
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>>I went with the Broan.

How is the function, noise, etc? Is it annoying keeping that glass clean?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 8:43PM
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>>>>>How is the function, noise, etc? Is it annoying keeping that glass clean? The hood works well. I guess it's a bit loud but I only need to use it on "High" occasionally. I don't really have much basis for comparison.

I had to truncate the stainless flue covers because they are intended for an 8' to 10' ceiling height. The soffit conceals a structural beam, so I was unable to eliminate it...resulting in a 7' ceiling along that wall (the ceiling is sloped).

Insofar as the glass...I'm not certain if you're asking about the glass backsplash or the glass hood but in either case, they are no more difficult to keep clean than any other kitchen surface.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 6:29PM
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Beautiful! I love the backsplash! What type of stove is that? I will most likely get a GE Cafe slide in and I am, too, looking at Broans and Windster hoods. I am a bit concerned w/ the stainless finishes matching the appliances...how is your match? Thank you and hope you are enjoying your new space!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 8:20AM
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Thanks very much. The range is KitchenAid Architect Series II, as is the fridge and dishwasher. The microwave is a Sharp under-counter drawer unit.

The stainless all match very well. Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 2:12PM
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On Imperial glass models, they give only a 1 year parts & labor warranty, in home service, because they are made for them in Taiwan. Windster(also made in Taiwan) gives a two year PARTS ONLY warranty, NO LABOR. You get to uninstall the hood to fix it yourself, send them the defective part and only then will they send you a replacement part. Simply put, Imperial will back up their product. All Imperial hoods that are made in California(mostly all of them) come with a 7 year in home parts and labor warranty.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 11:18PM
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@deeageux: there is, in fact, a big difference between Taiwanese and Chinese manufacturing when it comes to stainless steel and range hoods.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 7:15PM
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I am going with Broan - just the right CFMs to prevent MUA system and like the bright lighting over the cooktop. Hopefully will be installed soon.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 9:39PM
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My builder's appliance 'package' is GE Monogram, including the vent hood. Anyone have experience or an opinion on the GE vent hood?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 6:09AM
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