Final Range Hood Insert Decision

p.ball2September 3, 2012

Okay...after months of deliberation, we're down to 2 choices (we think) for our range hood (above a Blue Star 36" - no grill).

Zephyr AK9340AS or Vent-A-Hood M40PSLD. Both are around $1,300. The VAH may (or may not) have non-dishwasher safe filters...go figure).

Anybody have an opinion?

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How will you make up the @ least ~2" deficit in depth of these hoods?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 8:12PM
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pbx2-these are inserts/liners not hoods.

I would get the convetional Zephyr if the choice is between Zephyr and VAH.

I don't buy "magical" or "fantastical" lung pumping twice that of normal blower of the same CFM rating.

IF you are leaning VAH I would have a salesman demonstrate how you clean a VAH. Many find it to be a PITA.

If it were me I would spend the extra $400 and get the Prestige though.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 8:43PM
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deeageaux- my mistake. S/B inserts. Still the 22.5" is not the optimal depth for capture.

Kaseki would tell u @ least 24" deep unless you can divert the effluent into the fan.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 10:25PM
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Specifically, I would note that hoods in common use (including commercial hoods) do not have enough flow rate to suck in cooking effluent unless it arrives at or very close to the hood aperture. Because the effluent expands as it rises, the hood has to overlap the area of the cooking surfaces (pans).

The expansion angle varies with cooking type, but it might be sufficient to assume 22.5 degrees half angle. That is, the effluent fulls a 45-degree cone truncated at the pan. Hood size for full capture, then, depends on hood height above the pans. Other factors, such as a wall behind and cabinets on the sides can aid capture.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 7:59AM
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Thanks for the responses.
so it seems that the Zephyr is the better choice as far as cleaning the filters and despite VAH "magic lung" claims.

With that said I am surprised by the responses that our hood is not deep enough. In our reading and searches it seems that the hood should be at least as wide as the range (we are going 4" wider) and our stove calls for 1000 CFM, the Zephyr is 1200 cfm (I also know CFM is not the only factor to consider). Since these posts I have been looking at many pictures of kitchens with pro-style ranges and none of the hoods are as deep as the stove? Are they all doing it wrong?
My concern would be:
1. finding a hood inseert that is 25" deep- most are either 15', 18' or 21" I know most stoves are deeper than that right?
2. when and if I do find one that depth the cost would be prohibitive
3. The appearance/function when the wood hood sticks out 26" from the wall when the cabinets are only 14" deep on either side.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 1:04PM
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a) A large fraction of commercial photographs of kitchens are of poser kitchens intended to show off various designers' aesthetic tastes. I've seen some with no hoods at all.

b) Perhaps my comments above were too cryptic; using grid paper and ruler, sketch to scale a side view of the range and hood. Establish pan surface positions on the sketch and draw upward expanding cones at 22.5 degrees half angle with the aid of your protractor. Determine for the hood mounting height you intend to use whether all of each cone intercepts the hood aperture or some of it escapes to freedom (your walls).


    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 10:43AM
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Intuitively, I can safely say that unless you have a 24+" hood depth, nothing is capturing the smoke unless you fabricate an angled hood extension at the rear of the hood insert hanging down several inches to deflect smoke back towards the front - a inverted hanging back splash if you will.

Not having said also that, the hood would need to be mounted forward & away from the back wall as to be able to capture the front burner smoke.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 11:48AM
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Thank you both for your comments. I will have do some more research since we never even looked at hoods in that depth range.
Any recommendations for deep insert hoods that are good quality, performance and reasonably priced?

Do you think that 1000-1200 CFM is the right amount considering with deeper hood? Can the CFM be lower or is that the correct range?

So as an aside- who can use a 15" depth hood? I can't think of a stove/rangetop that is that shallow?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 1:56PM
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Remember. An 'insert' goes inside a hood. In this case, the hood is usually custom-made.

It would seem to me that if you had a 22" insert and a 27" hood, you would center the insert in the hood with about 2.5" front and back. The insert would not be flush with the bottom of the hood but raised. There would be panels (steel perhaps) front and rear that would act to funnel 'effluent' toward the insert.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 3:20PM
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Yes, our hood will be inserted in a wood hood. I am not sure about the dimensions since he is waiting for me to select a hood before he makes the surround. We do know that the wood hood will be 42" wide.

Are you saying that with the insert being centered that you feel it might be deep enough since it will likely be more than 22 1/2" from the back wall?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 5:06PM
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Will your insert have an addl. outside liner or deflector?
No way wood will deflect any smoke that's for sure.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 11:10PM
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This is why I am on this site- for you all to point out the things I did not think about or know nothing about.

I thought that the liners were for when the width of the hood was smaller than the wood cabinetry it was being put into- basically filler.
Could you explain the reason/function of the liner or deflector to me since I think I do not have a grasp of it's full purpose.
Someone over on the Kitchen forum mentioned that Trevor at Eurostoves might be a good resource for me. Does he follow/comment on the appliance forum?

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 11:57AM
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It very simple really. Your cooking smoke expands as it rises in all directions.

Contrary to a lot of people's belief, high CFM doesn't do much except make more noise.

If you ever go to an open kitchen restaurant & see a hood over an open grill, the smoke IS NOT being sucked up @ any great rate & that's with a commercial hood.
Smoke is rising but it's being evacuated but based on the smoke rising INTO the hood not that it's being sucked like a vacuum that's for sure.

So having a wider hood only mitigates the capture in some direction - not all.

So therefore, if you are going to have a hood without adequate depth, then you need to ask the vendor if they have a liner that will make up that depth deficit. @ least then, the cooking smoke has a chance to hit something & hopefully deflect into your blower on it's rise.

& yes Trevor at Eurostove does answer on He has provided valuable feedback for me here & via email.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 11:06PM
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In my lexicon, a liner is a hood without a fancy exterior that is intended for placement in a wooden enclosure. There should be no gaps between the liner and the wood interior, but this can be accomplished using stainless steel flat panels covering the gaps.

For larger capture aperture with a given liner, make the enclosure larger, "push" the liner higher, and use extension stainless steel panels to cover the gaps while directing the rising effluent into the liner. Better is to use a liner sized for the enclosure.

The height of the enclosure from the burners has to meet code so the wood is not affected (flambéed).


    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 8:44AM
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Thank you for the additional information.I was worrying too much about CFM and not enough about capturing the smoke.

I have contacted Trevor at Eurostoves and we are going to talk on the phone to sort this all out.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 9:48AM
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Please keep us up to date with your progress!

I think that kaseki has rightly educated many of us in the importance of capture area vs. the over reliance on CFM figures.

A recent thread I saw some1 who basically was endorsing the buying of a gas range in an apartment without proper over range ventilation because it's been done for years.

I can't imagine the smoke & smell if living there & the quality of air.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 10:56AM
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K: that's what I was trying to say, but failed miserably.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 4:10PM
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Hmmm... The rendering of e-accent-a-gout is correct in the message preview but becomes é in the thread (and, it seems, vice versa.)


    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 9:38AM
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I vote for the Zephyr as well based on experience. It has more features, costs less and will be easier to clean than the VAH.

You don't have a huge 48" range so you don't need to over think this so much. If the insert/liner is performing as intended the 22-1/2" depth along with the overlap you've added in width will be plenty to handle your Blue Star range.

Everyone's cooking habits are different, but most of us are only using a couple burners on medium to high at the same time (unless you're cooking a Thanksgiving day dinner of course). So to be honest you will probably end up only using your insert/liner on the low - medium speeds anyways.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 12:37PM
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p.ball2, what did you end up deciding? i just found this post as i'm in the same quandary with our renovation. Need a hood rec for my new Blue Star 36inch.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 12:42AM
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Kitchenconfused: After much deliberation and discussion how deep , how wide, how many CFM.... We went with the Zephyr Monsoon II 40 3/4" wide and 22" deep. It was just installed yesterday and I have been able to turn it on and hear it run. I can't use it for cooking yet as we are still about a month away from a usable kitchen. The fan is very quiet. It is certainly louder at the higher CFM's but definitely not as loud as I expected. This fan goes up to 1200CFM. The depth is not as deep as some people felt I should go but a deeper one was going to really mess up the hood design and also cost us quite a bit more. I am sure some people will disagree that I should have gone deeper but I am fine with it- Once I use it I can let you know how it works but that may too late for you and your decision making.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 12:11PM
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p.ball2 OK thanks for the name. i will be picking it out early next week. Any reason I should not look at Best or the Blue star brand for my hood over zephyr? are they all essentially the same. i think i'm looking at a 36 hood panel for my 36 inch BS with 6 burners. I really can't change the cabinetry to do a 42 inch hood.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 5:51PM
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