Looking For Recommendations - Under Cabinet Range Hood

amck2February 25, 2014

I've decided not to go with a chimney hood in my remodel. I like the look, but because of my open layout I think an under cab or more traditional style better suits my home.

The main things I'm looking for are that it be effective and as quiet as possible. I know there has to be noise, but some are better than others.

Do any of you have recommendations?

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Unfortunately, my new undercabinet hood isn't fully functioning yet but wanted to document what we have so far. And also even if a bit premature, try to give a little back here since this forum has been extremely helpful for me.

Broan QP330ss

FYI - I'm in the middle of an installation where I need to switch contractors for other reasons so my comments do not refer to an active function hood yet.
I did look at Consumer Reports. The choices there if I remember were low end or very high end. It steered me in the direction of Broan. Not sure yet if that was a good thing. But I think Consumer Reports was a good place to start since they also give you some guidelines.

My kitchen is Ikea (with an induction cooktop) and my installer would not install a 30 inch wide chimney hood in my space since the fit would have been exactly 30 inches. The installer didn't want the chimney butted up to the cabinets so tightly. Other installers may have different opinions since I have seen this config in pictures here.

I read the Amazon reviews for this item. Many were not so good. My hood is currently installed except for the duct. My contractor didn't have any problems with the installation. FYI - many on Amazon seemed to think it was tricky especially if a DIY.

I didn't order mine online. I went to Lowe's and ordered (without a discount) because I wanted to look the salesman in the eye in case I wanted to return. Also, I'm convinced that the delivery is the most critical part of ordering on line. I felt if I ordered from Lowe's, the deliveryman would be accountable to Lowe's and I could make that discussion happen without needing to go through some telemarketer in Pakistan or whatever.

Not all features reviewed below but these were what I remember was important.


The CFM rating was better than most of the under cabinet range hoods I looked at (if I remember correctly).

halogen lights can be switched out for LEDs. I didn't find this out until after purchase. Kind of funny because I almost ruled out the hood because it was halogen. (By the way, I like the setting that turns the lights into a night light after dark. Going into the kitchen late at night is easier to navigate for us.)

it is a new model so there is a chance that new technology will make it quieter (I hope, I hope)

I liked that it had the feature where it will automatically change to the higher CFM mode if a lot smoke is detected. (Other hoods have this too but I thought this was a good thing if it works.)

two options for routing duct. If you choose going back rather than up, your duct will be 3X14 which is a new size for range hood ducts. The good thing about this size is that it is larger and I am anticipating that this will make it quieter according to info I have read on the web. I don't have the duct installed yet so I don't know for sure.

I wanted a good hood (and I couldn't fit a chimney style). I chose this in some ways because it was MORE expensive. (You get what you pay for sometimes?) I wanted a GOOD HOOD - our old kitchen didn't have one at all so I know first hand how much grime and grease can coat the cabinets without a functioning hood, at least in our kitchen.


There are definitely cheaper and less powerful hoods out there.

though the larger size of the duct may cause this hood to be quieter, it does take up more room in the walls. (Mine is being routed through a closet behind the kitchen. - wish it didn't extend quite so far out from the wall.)

Biggest disappointment for me so far is that the surface underneath hood and above the counter is not totally flat - it slants down in back. This does not show on the pictures on the Broan web site. I am disappointed because I have a bottom open shelf on each side of the stove and the straigtness of the shelves doesn't line up with the slanted surface of the hood by about 2 inches. I may be the only one to notice but had I know about this "slant" I would have passed over this style.

Once it's running with the duct (may be another month or two the rate things are happening), I'll come back and report on noise level and effectiveness.

p.s. I just got notified that my review that was the same as above that I posted on the Broan website was rejected because they said it contained inappropriate information. I think their guidelines indicate they don't want any information not directly related to their product such as my comments as to how I handled my delivery.. They didn't say exactly, I'm just guessing. Just wanted to let y'all know that in case you find it as funny (and sad) as I do. I also suspect they didn't like my criticism of the "slant" but I can only speculate about that. Oh well.

This post was edited by elphaba on Thu, Feb 27, 14 at 17:01

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 12:18PM
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Thanks for posting, elphaba. I tried doing a search but became frustrated trying to find recent posts. Models and brand reliability change so fast that many people liked are no longer offered.

We installed a Zepher at the lake house we built 7 yrs. ago. I like it, but I was coming from the perspective of only having had OTR micro vents.

I am getting a 30" induction range and will be going w/ a 30" hood. Like you, I am having trouble finding that good mid-range hood.

We're looking to purchase the appliances mid-March. I will keep an eye open for your review, once you get yours working.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 12:42PM
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" ... Biggest disappointment for me so far is that the surface underneath hood and above the counter is not totally flat - it slants down in back. This does not show on the pictures on the Broan web site. I am disappointed because I have a bottom open shelf on each side of the stove and the straigtness of the shelves doesn't line up with the slanted surface of the hood by about 2 inches. I may be the only one to notice but had I know about this "slant" I would have passed over this style."

This bugged me about my hood, too, at first. Once it was up, I stopped noticing it after a few days. Once I realized the functionality of the slant, it quit bothering me altogether.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 12:45PM
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jellytoast, you have that same model hood? Have you had opportunities to use it? If, so, would you go with the same model, if you had it to do over?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 1:27PM
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No, I don't have the same hood, but I have a hood with the same "slant." Mine has baffles and I guess the point of the slant towards the back is so that the grease from the baffles can drain into the catch basins (?) at the rear of the hood. Some hoods, though, keep the slant on the interior of the hood with straight sides on the exterior.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 2:37PM
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We LOVE our Kobe. It is very quiet on low, and not too intrusive on medium or high. It vents great, our model is rated at 640 CFM. We have the last model CHX 191 series 30 in (I think the newest one is more powerful, but I haven't looked in a while).

It has everything I wanted: LED lights, baffles that can go in the DW, deep (22 in), seamless, quiet, and about 600 CFM on high. I would have preferred back vent, but I guess nothing is perfect. I think they have since started making more models with flexible venting options (some you can vent either direction). I waited for a sale and paid less than $600.

The best advice I have is to pick stuff out as early as possible and stalk the price. You may even find watching 2-3 models works if you are flexible, then when one has a good sale you have your choice!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 12:15AM
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williamsem, did you purchase your vent online or from a local vendor?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 12:32AM
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I also have the Broan QP3 but it's the 36" version. We had it installed recently but haven't really used it much because our cooktop and counters are currently ripped out as we wait for new ones. It will go over a 30" induction cooktop.

We bought this one because it fit our existing ductwork and it provided more light than other models (4 50 watt bulbs, I think?). Just like you, Elphaba, we almost didn't buy it because the bulbs were halogen instead of LED and I didn't realize until doing some online research that they could be swapped out.

As far as noise goes, it is quieter than our old 1970's hood but I don't have much else to compare it with. Since we haven't cooked with it I'm not sure how powerful the venting is. The lights are very bright and hot so we might replace them with LED this summer. I did have to look at the manual to figure out how to deactivate the nightlight feature, which we didn't want. We're pleased with it so far and would buy the same one again.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 10:32AM
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We just installed Zephyr Typhoon (750 cfm) and it is very quiet on low and extremely powerful. We have a Bluestar RNB and it pulled all of the WOKsmoke from the front 22,000 BTU burner using medium power on the fan without problem. It can be installed through the back but unfortunately we had a stud right in the way so it is installed up through the cabinet with a bend to the left and out between the studs. It is thinner in the front than the back which is what we wanted since we had a limited space for the hood. Please ignore the untiled band beneath the hood we just installed the hood and range!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 10:53AM
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We got a Kenmore. I don't remember the model, but the price was about $260. This has been a big disappointment - almost as loud on low as on high. And, it is not very good at venting, even on high. This was not a value for the price.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 10:54AM
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Another vote for the Zephyr Typhoon. With the curved profile it looks great, IMHO and has worked very well. Low is quiet and when you need more you've got it. Excellent hood and installed easily. We used Soapstone for the baksplash and the hood sits on it in the back

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 12:15PM
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We ordered a Zephyr Monsoon (liner). It's being built in to a custom wood hood made by my cabinet maker.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 6:07PM
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Thank you to those chiming in with more suggestions and experiences. I appreciate all the help I can get trying to sort through the various brands and models.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 6:24PM
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I also have the Broan and it is the one item that I hate in my kitchen.
OK - it is quiet
OK - great halogen lights (and if above post is correct - maybe LED!)
OK - the CFMs almost qualify for no make up air.

So, I took out the filters to wash and only one fan on the left side and my big pasta pot is used on the right side.
The house still smells like dinner the next day and I have induction not gas.

I want to swap it for Williamsen's Kobe or maybe the Zypher.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 10:10PM
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I have a Broan Elite 661 undercabinet vent fan that I am happy with. Its "high" setting works well and is quiet enough so that I am not reluctant to use it. It also has a "boost" setting that is admittedly loud. I also like that since it uses a 3 1/4 x 14 duct I was able to run the duct up and out through the roof completely inside the wall, rather than taking up space inside the cabinet above it.

My only complaint about it it that the specifications seem intentionally misleading. They list the output as 600 CFM and elsewhere list the sound for "high" as 2.5 sones, seemingly implying that at 600 CFM the fan makes 2.5 sones. No so. The 600 CFM is on the "boost" setting which I assure you is more than 2.5 sones.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 11:30PM
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Found my confirmation, I got my Kobe through Build.com. I used a coupon they had and ended up paying about $540 (though I think it was just as the new model was about to come out).

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 11:54PM
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I got a private label re-branded Zephyr Typhoon from Signature Hardware on clearance for $350 in black. I know it is the exact same as the typhoon because the interior schematic maps are identical. Their website has it spec'd as 600 cfm but I do not believe this; I believe this is the full blown 850 cfm typhoon. I love this hood and it was a great price, see how strong it is, that is a full size corningware french white quiche pan it is holding up (basically like a pyrex pie pan - and note that in this picture the second fan is wide open during this)!! But do beware this hood is a BEAR to install due to finicky mounting hole locations, and you would need at least two adults if you do it yourself and don't want to be frustrated.

Also, on the "slanted" underside: this is engineered into the hood so the draft is more efficient at pulling the fumes/steam/heat that you want up into the fan. If the surface were only straight down, then some of the fumes/steam/heat would escape up the front surface outside the hood. That angle provides a small CROSS angle current so it is sucking up from directly below and also a small proportion from frontward, so more is captured. A hood is first a functional piece of equipment and secondarily a cosmetic consideration!

Here is a link that might be useful: My hood, powder coated 16 gauge stainless

This post was edited by beautybutdebtfree on Fri, Feb 28, 14 at 8:43

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 8:36AM
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Thanks for all the replies and for providing your source, williamsem.

beautybutdebtfree, I could not grasp what your photo was demonstrating at first glance. I initially thought the picture was posted upside down and your hand was poised over the dish. The suction from that fan is amazing! And the price you scored is almost as remarkable.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 6:39PM
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