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My Ventahood drives me insane.

Posted by keitel (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 23, 08 at 15:37

That's it. I just wanted to say that I wish, wish, wish I hadn't bought this thing. I wish, wish, wish that I had done more in-person research rather than relying on this forum. It's so loud - I can't stand it. I checked into the VAH website last night and laughed hard when I read "Turn on a Vent-A-Hood range hood, and you'll hear only a whisper of air movement, because the Magic Lung blower system provides the quietest ventilation availablel". What a joke.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

My Vent-A-Hood is quiet. I've never had such a quiet hood in my life, and I have lived in many kitchens.

Typically with noisy hoods, the ductwork is the culprit, not the hood. That's why you can have people with the exact same hood report very different experiences for noise. Either the ductwork is too long, has too many bends, or is too narrow for the exhaust. Keitel, can you give information about your ductwork?


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

shannon: I'd disagree.

I think VAH hoods are intrinsically noisy. I have a 600 cfm VAH liner at the lake house, which ducts straight up directly into and through the attic and out the roof (it's a one story house). It's 10'' duct. Totally straight shot. It is very loud at low not to mention near deafening at high. The ducting is NOT the source of the noise. It's that darn squirrel cage blower screaming away a foot from my head.

In contrast, we just installed a Modern Aire liner at the main house. It's running twice the airflow (a 1200 cfm remote inline Fantech blower and silencer). Also runs through 10'' duct, but a MUCH more convoluted run, as it goes from the first floor, up through the ceiling and through the wall of the second floor guest room transitioning to 18'' rectangular duct, then up into the attic and out through the roof.

Despite the long ductwork, running full out, it is barely audible. Makes the VAH sound like a wind tunnel. And it totally outperforms the VAH in terms of ventilation efficiency. Night and day IMHO.

To be fair, the MA hood should outperform--it was way more expensive esp with the ducting, remote fan, silencer, remote switching etc--but it was worth it for me.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

I'm using an 8" duct (as per specs.) and the chimney hood sits on an outside wall. The duct work turns 90 degrees out the top and runs about 6" through the wall and out. I don't see how it could be any more optimal, but maybe I'm wrong.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

I think sometimes people may have unrealistic expectations about noise level for hoods. I read it all the time on this forum - that people with e.g. 1200 cfms are upset when it's noisy. People, there is just nothing in this world that moves 1200 cfms that is going to be quiet. (It crops up for bathroom exhausts too - people expect them to be dead silent, which is unrealistic if you want them to be effective.) Unless you get an inline blower or exterior blower, you are going to have noise when you move that amount of air at the source (although I don't know how many cfm's Keitel's is - please provide). You can of course reduce the noise with shorter ductwork/larger diameter ductwork, as has been pointed out. People don't think about that either when becoming distressed about noisy hoods. But the expectations of a quiet, yet simultaneously powerful, hood are unrealistic, and bound to disappoint. For any brand.


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Re RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Clinresga - it is an unfair test to compare a hood with a remote fan and silencer, etc. that you have installed, with an exhaust with its motor at the source. That is apples and oranges. It looks like you know that (in your sentence you start with "To be fair.."). You had me going though, initially, with your post, as I thought you were comparing your MA with the VAH on the same basis. That is until your last sentence. A better comparison would have been if your MA did not have the remote fan and silencer. If that were the case, your MA, with its higher cfms and convoluted run, would indeed be significantly noisier. Again, ANY motor, pulling cfms at the source ("a foot from my head" as Clinresga says), is going to be noisy, whether it's squirrel cage or some other motor. Regardless of brand.


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RE:noise and remote blowers

juliet: to belabor the obvious, that is exactly why some of us have been so vocal in pushing the idea of remote blowers whenever they are at all feasible.

You absolutely can have 1200 cfm and a quiet hood--that's exactly what mine is. The fact that our hood is so remarkably quiet is really proof that the blower itself is the source of much of the noise. Airflow is not silent but it is way less of a factor than blower noise.

It's exactly why in our bathroom we used a Fantech remotely mounted exhaust fan as well. It's almost inaudible running full out in the bathroom and water closet simultaneously.

So, I'll repeat myself: if noise is an issue for you, then the optimal solution is clearly a remote blower, ideally with a silencer like the Fantech LD10. The difference is night and day.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

I have posted before but will do so again. We have a 1400 cfm Tradewind liner with a remote blower made by Thermador. We have baffles also which makes a difference as they are quieter. We have the inline silencer. It is extremely efficient and quiet. We rarely need the high setting even when I am deep fat frying or DH is stirfrying. The final cost was still way less than folks are paying for inferior brands. Also cleanup takes about 5 minutes a week.

If you are going to replace I hope you will follow the op's suggestions for remote and silencer...it makes a huge difference. Caroline


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

juliet3, I've got 600 CFMs.

Remote blower and silencer. I can dream I guess. I've only had this thing a little over a year and the back splash is built around it. No matter how frustrating I find it to be, it's not going anywhere soon I'm afraid.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

I gotta tell ya, I have been so thankful for people like clinresga and trailrunner who in recent months have come and convinced me of what always seemed logical to me - remote is quieter.

When I first started reading this forum there seemed to be a distinct lack of people with remote or inline setups, and an abundance of posters who claimed that the majority of the noise stems from the baffle/filter, and not the motor itself.

My problem with that argument was twofold: First, I can accept that the motors themselves are not loud, but what about the fan blades or squirrel cages they are attached to? For some reason (duh) that never made it into the conversation. Second and more practically, with the 360CFM hood I installed at my folk's house years ago (ranch house, hard pipe, straight shot up through the roof) there is absolutely no discernable noise difference between when the mesh grease filters are in or out. So there goes more than half the argument.

My opinion of VAH is based on one single installation that I have had experience with - 600CFM liner, duct goes up about 2 feet, turns 90 and goes about 1 foot out the wall - is that even at its lowest setting it would turn me into someone who would not turn on the fan unless I was doing something "serious" like searing, stir frying, or deep frying.

Keitel - Sorry you got hosed by the hype. I am sure you are not the first person that has regretted a purchase made based on hype here, nor will you be the last. Good luck.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

My 54" 1200 cfm VAH is pretty noisy in my opinion. My previous VAH( 30") was pretty noisy too. In fact I was a bit hesitant to get another VAH for that reason, but I didn't really see any others that have a 27" depth in the stainless "professional" look. It is funny tho....it has 4 blowers(300 cfm each), and if you turn one on it is quite loud. If you turn 2 on it is not much louder....turn 4 on and it still isn't much louder than just one.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Keitel, I wonder if one of your blower wheels is out of balance?

My 600cfm VAH is almost unoticeable on low. Very quiet. On high it gets loud and does it's job well.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Most of the VAH alternatives being discussed here were beyond our means. Our VAH SLXH18-130 cost $785. I installed it myself. It's not whisper quiet but it certainly doesn't interfere with conversation at a normal level. Cleaning it is not a problem - even when I remove the blower wheel - but my being 5'11" in my work boots may be a factor there. Best of all, wiping down the walls and ceiling in the vicinity of the range with a clean paper towel shows no accumulated grease.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

My 600cfm VAH is pretty quiet too...just like velodoug describes. It also vents straight up and out the roof of a 1 story home. The noise is never an issue for us...but I do wish I got a 900cfm or a 27" deep model because it leaks out the front when I use the front burners on my Bluestar.

A remote blower wasn't an option for us unless we wanted that blower front and center on a highly visible part of our roof (just to the left of the front door!)


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Wow. I find statements about your hood not interfering with your conversation incredible. And a 600 CFM "almost unnoticeable on low" seems unthinkable to me. Maybe mine isn't installed correctly. I don't know but I do know that when I'm standing at the range cooking and the hood's on low I cannot hear what my wife is saying to me not 3 feet away unless she really speaks up. I have never ever been able to hear the phone even when it's 10 feet away from me on the table. I hate it. I can actually hear the fluctuations of the wind in the sound, if that makes sense. It gets louder for a couple of seconds and I look out the window and the trees are blowing from a gust. But, if what you're saying is true that a VAH can possibly be unnoticeable at ANY level then mine must be screwed.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Perhaps people have different points of reference. We just returned from a visit to our friends' farm in rural Vermont. It's so quiet there that you can sit in the living room and hear the cat eating dry food out on the front porch. Our friends would probably think our VAH was impossibly loud. They don't have a dishwasher because they don't like the noise they make, and they don't have a vent hood. At the low speed where we run our VAH 90% of the time it is louder than our F&P DishDrawer, but it was quieter than our old KitchenAid dishwasher, and we had no trouble talking in the kitchen with the old KA running.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Your dampers may not be operating properly if there are high noise levels even at low speeds. Something doesn't sound right.

You may have an obstruction in the ductwork.

Also check the roof or wall cap to make sure no critters are nesting there. Check the damper here too.

While fixing dinner the other day I commented to my wife how quiet the VAH is (on low). She was about 5 feet away and didn't even know it was on.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

I checked today. I even took the dampers right out to see what difference that would make: just a bit. The outside wall cap is working well i.e. it opens and closes freely and I'm going to assume that the very, very short duct work (we're talking here about essentially an elbow) is clear given that I can seen daylight when I look up under the hood.

I am very jealous of how quiet your VAH is.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Running out of ideas as to why your VAH is so loud..

Have you ever asked VAH directly about the noise level?

Some comparisons to better describe my relative noise levels: The VAH on low is quieter than the bathroom fan. Even running a bit of water into the sink makes more noise.

?..


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

keitel, john.com, velodoug, et al:

See my new post. My attempt to quantify noise levels with our VAH versus our MA. I think you'll find it interesting.

Real objective measurements of noise levels from VAH and MA hoods


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

I went up on a ladder to have a look through the wall-cap. There's nothing wrong with the installation. It's clear through there and the cap opens perfectly. It's just the VAH. It may be because the air immediately hits a turn at the top (a rounded elbow right out to the wall). I don't know - but the installation is perfect and the noise sucks. john.com, apparently you have a truly "magic" lung on yours if your wife doesn't know it's on from 5 feet away. Mine sounds like a freakin' jet engine. I paid $1800 CDN for the hood and the duct cover and and I dream of the day I can replace it. Live and learn.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

>>Mine sounds like a freakin' jet engine

Maybe your in coach.

I just thought of a solution for you.

!!Ear plugs.

"whatd you say?"


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

My new VAH is very quiet considering what I had before. Obviously, it has to make some noise. I run it on low and
have a normal conversation. On high it is louder. I had a
downdraft in my last house and hated it. Could not stand to
turn it on as it was so loud and the motor was vented outside.
Conversation was not possible. Plus, never get a downdraft with a gas cooktop.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

keitel, can you describe the noise? I'm again thinking it may be a blower wheel/balance issue. If the blower wheels get (easily I think) knocked out of balance that might produce more of a low pitch rumble.

The blower wheels give me concern when cleaning them. They seem a bit light. Not heavy duty as I would like.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

It's the sound of wind. It's definitly not a mechanical sound, and far from a rumbling sound. When I was up on the ladder last night it sounded the same outside at the wall cap, only not quite as loud. It changes sound as well, as I said, when the wind sucks in or out and becomes louder or quieter depending. I've got it: it sounds exactly like having the window half-open in a car at 120 km/h.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Keitel, I've read that it's best to have a 2 foot run before the elbow.

Since you can't do that, I wonder if you can modify the turbulence somewhat. Maybe the elbow is acting like a drum diaphragm.(a) Either pad the outside of the elbow to damp the vibration, or (b)try to play with the air flow as it enters the elbow.

I don't suppose you could use a 45 degree elbow at each end?

I have other ideas, but they get worse.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

alexr, could you clarify what you mean by "pad the outside"? I'm wide open to suggestions. Just to be clear; the only ductwork I have is an elbow. From the top of the chimney hood right outside.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Oh, hmm, well then, maybe a thicker gauge elbow. Somewhere I read that could help. I was thinking of wrapping the elbow with a silicone (baking) mat to see if that would help with the rumble- as a trial.

I was also thinking of putting a crease (a dent) in the elbow bend to change the flow. (I think out of the box!) I mean, what's an elbow cost? No real answers, just desperate ideas!


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Sorry to hijack here but I think this is somewhat related:

I have just had my VAH 36" 600 cfm installed a few weeks ago. Haven't done any serious cooking yet since we are still under construction and have not moved back into the kitchen.

Here's my question/concern: How do I know the thing is working? Yes, I can turn on both "blowers" but I don't feel this thing is sucking air like I expected.

Today (humid and raining) I was working with ammonia and really was feeling overcome by the fumes. I opened windows and turned on my VAH full blast to get the stagnant air moving. I still felt like that air wasn't moving so I put a paper towel under the hood and it just feel to the stove top (off of course!). I imagined (and thought I read once during the planning phase) that the paper towel should have been sucked up towards the hood (a little anyway).

What is a good test to know that this thing is working the way it should?

Also, to give you some more info about my installation/situation: Hood installed against wall with 8" round duct coming straight up a little more than 1 foot and bending 45 degress to a 12" square duct run of about 5.5 feet vented directly out the side of my house (no flexible ductwork).

Any input/info would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

I guess I may have to just live with it. The ductwork is inaccessible in the wall. Even if I could get at it I can't re-run it; all I could do would be to try to muffle it some by wrapping it in insulation or something.

tantadoodles, you could hold a lighter under it while it's on. It should dance like mad. When I've got the hood on and I go to toss pepper into a pot the hood sucks all the pepper up and none gets to the food. I always find this funny.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Thanks Keitel. I tried the lighter and there's no dancing - at all - just a straight flame. I tried the pepper and it just falls down.

OK! Sounds like there is a problem.

Any suggestions anyone before I call the appliance company?


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

keitel - I think it's that little black cloud that seems to hang over all your appliance purchases :-)


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

wiessman, I'm not too sure what tone that is but if you're pointing out that I have complained a lot about my appliances, I hear you. I'm sick of myself, but the fact is I bought 7 brand new appliances and dropped about $15K. 2 of them have been replaced outright, 2 have had motors replaced, 1 required a visit from a district rep. to solve a mysterious problem, 1 flooded my basement immediately upon start-up, etc., etc. I seriously can't even remember all the service calls / issues at this point. The only 2 appliances that have been truly problem-free and performed to my expectations are the Bosch DW and my locally-made Woods chest freezer. The rest of them have been a disappointment leading to a lot of wasted time. Even my beloved Blue Star, which you may recall came to save the day from Wolf, is now awaiting a new convection fan motor as the original one has become so unbalanced as to be unrepairable. On and on it goes.

As far as the VAH goes, I really just wanted to tell people it's loud and maybe to receive some advice as to how to make it quieter. Calling a local appliance company about minutiae like that is a waste of everyone's time. I find this forum to be a far more valuable resource.

Anyway, I'm trying to make peace with all these appliances; they're the ones that are making that prospect difficult.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

keitel - my tone was sympathetic with a touch of humor - I was commenting on the fact that you've had more than your share of problems with all of your appliances, as you noted.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Tantadoodles--the damper might be stuck. (Wasps had built nests around my damper flapper so it was stuck in the closed position.)


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Tantadoodles:

There was an earlier thread on stuck VH dampers a while back, but I couldn't find it (several of us have had variations on this problem). I have an identical VH and duct run. There are two different dampers you need to check. For a preliminary check on your airflow, you can remove your SS shield that covers the blowers as you would for cleaning and then hold a flame or paper towel (or your hand for that matter) just in front of each squirrel cage opening in the grease collection box. The hood draws from a large area and while I can see steam being drawn up, the airflow is much harder to feel (although on mine a flame held by the front lip will snap to a right angle when it gets close to the front edge of the hood). To check to see if the internal dampers are opening properly, you can either shine a flashlight up through the squirrel cages while they're on to see if the damper is in an "up" position, or with the fans OFF you can gently stick a kitchen knife blade or something similar to check that the dampers easily rise to a 90 degree up position. Each squirrel cage has a damper. You may have to remove the grease collection box to do this. Sometimes during installation mistakes can block dampers from fully opening (ours was caused by extra long sheet metal screws used to attach the transition onto the hood, others have had bent dampers that don't completely open).

If you can see your outside cap and damper, the damper should be pinned to the outside of cap when blowers are on high. The caps can get bent (painters recently did this inadvertently on ours) blocking the full movement of the damper. All of the dampers are kept open by air flow and need to open easily.

If you have blocked dampers, you'll also have more noise due to the increased turbulence.

Hope this is helpful.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

That was my thread back in the winter. Neither of my dampers (plastic flaps) would open all the way. I had to trim a 1/4" off each one with a utility knife to make them fit so that they would fully open when turned on.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Thanks so much everyone!

When I took the blower housing off - all of the dampers seem to flop back and forth quite easily. The outside damper was fully opened when I had the motor running on high.

When I do the flame test now - it flickers but only when I hold it up high near the opening of the shield (I think I held it too low before). Even when I hold the paper towel it does nothing until I hold it right by the opening above the shield.

Maybe I had high expectations but I expected better air suckage than that.

As far as noise is concerned, I'm not impressed either way. But, so far, I have to agree with Keitel about VAH disappointment.

Too be fair, I will suspend final judgement once we get to really cook on our range and see how the thing handles steam, smoke and grease in a real usage situation.

Thanks, again, for all of the helpful responses!


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Ok, it's me again. Now I definitely have a low rumble going on in my 2 speed motor. A kind of chugging like a train. I've investigated the situation and the wheel does not turn nearly as easily on that motor as it does on the other i.e. doesn't spin at all by hand while the other one spins very easily and for a long time with the same torque. It's stiff. So, now my ridiculously loud and annoying range hood has just become (and surely you must think I make this stuff up) even louder. I've sprayed it with WD 40 out of desperation and to no avail. Does anyone have any idea what's causing this to happen and how it can be solved without paying someone who has no idea what they're doing to come to my house and learn on the job?


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

I should re-phrase this. After I posted that I got a little more aggressive with my investigation. I took everything apart again and this time took the motor right out of the housing and there is definitely significant friction in the turning of the "post". I don't know much about small motors, but does that mean it's shot?

18 months old.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

keitel:
well, based on how I feel about my VAH, I'd be looking to see if I could just perform a pneumonectomy (i.e. remove the "Magic Lung") and retrofit an external blower.

But...if that's not practical, then from my quick look, it appears that the VAH warranty should cover this--5 years on internal motors according to website (which is incredibly slow). I think you've got a dying motor.

Here is a link that might be useful: Magic Lung catalog and warranty info


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

clingresga, I hear ya. If I could I would, but it's just not in the cards right now. I feel a bit foolish for having had the manual in my hand last night reading about motors but failing to even look in the warranty section. Thanks for pointing that out. I've ordered another motor.

That motor is actually just over a year old. It is newer than the rest of the hood as it was replaced as a solution to the 2-stages of the motor not working when in reality it was just that the little plastic dampers weren't opening because they were manufactured too wide.

How's that for quality workmanship? A year old motor seizing up.

Those of you that are always asking about cleaning a VAH here's one for you: when I took the motor mount off there were very thick streams of grease freed up from behind it that dripped down the inside of the hood. This is not somewhere you would even be able to clean without totally disassembling the guts of the hood which is not at all part of the "normal" cleaning procedure and probably not even something you should do.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Keitel: I share your pain, but would also remind you that you still have better ventilation than 95% of the kitchens out there, and in the end it's about the cooking, not the appliances, so enjoy your kitchen!

Hope the new motor fixes things for you for many years to come.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Hi Keitel, I've taken small fan motors apart and usually the friction comes because the bearings or bushings are not perfectly aligned to each other. And it can be very difficult to get that alignment back if one opens the motor case up.
If you take the motor out of your hood, and the post doesn't turn freely, you might check the bolts that holds the upper and lower bushings. Even a quarter turn can cant one of the bushings out of alignment.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Almost all the noise in a hood is caused by the motion of the air, not the motor. Unless the ductwork is installed improperly most of this wind noise is caused by the fan blades.

This is why remote blowers are quieter. The fan is further away, it may also be larger diameter and running slower. Its also how come silencers help. They absorb some of the sound as it moves down the duct back towards the hood.

The best way to build a quiet hood would be to remotely mount a large diameter fan and then run it at low speed (large diameter + low speed still equals lots of cfm).

Noise is a function of the velocity of the air. Keep the velocity down (big ducts and blades) and low noise. Unfortunately this is incompatible with the VAH system of removing grease without a filter.

To show you how much miss information is out there I was in a dealer the other day and he tried to tell me that filters were the main cause of noise. What a load of BS. The velocity of the air through a filter that is probably half the area of the hood is extremely low compared to that at the fan itself.

My opinion is that the VAH product makes sense in a commercial setting where, given the high use, it is a lot better to not have to bother with filters but in a home setting that advantage is far less compelling. That said I'd be surprised if any of the hoods with the fan inside are much better (for any given exhaust rate).

If you want a quiet hood you are going to need to use a large fan running at significantly less than its rated speed, mount it remotely, keep the velocity in the ducts down, keep the duct as straight as possible and use high radius curves when a turn is necessary and install a silencer (although to be honest I haven't done and A/B comparison on these to see how well they perform).

If you can't do that, the only alternative I can think of it to use a hood that has the option of a very low quiet speed. This won't reduce the noise when you need to run on high, but if that is only a small part of the time you are cooking it will help a lot. I hear Kobe has this, but they have almost no distribution so I haven't had a chance to look at one.

Remember commercial doesn't always mean better. Sometimes it means commercial and their needs and what they are willing to put up with are very different than those of a home.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Almost all the noise in a hood is caused by the motion of the air, not the motor. Unless the ductwork is installed improperly most of this wind noise is caused by the fan blades.

This is why remote blowers are quieter. The fan is further away, it may also be larger diameter and running slower. Its also how come silencers help. They absorb some of the sound as it moves down the duct back towards the hood.

The best way to build a quiet hood would be to remotely mount a large diameter fan and then run it at low speed (large diameter + low speed still equals lots of cfm).

Noise is a function of the velocity of the air. Keep the velocity down (big ducts and blades) and low noise. Unfortunately this is incompatible with the VAH system of removing grease without a filter.

To show you how much miss information is out there I was in a dealer the other day and he tried to tell me that filters were the main cause of noise. What a load of BS. The velocity of the air through a filter that is probably half the area of the hood is extremely low compared to that at the fan itself.

My opinion is that the VAH product makes sense in a commercial setting where, given the high use, it is a lot better to not have to bother with filters but in a home setting that advantage is far less compelling. That said I'd be surprised if any of the hoods with the fan inside are much better (for any given exhaust rate).

If you want a quiet hood you are going to need to use a large fan running at significantly less than its rated speed, mount it remotely, keep the velocity in the ducts down, keep the duct as straight as possible and use high radius curves when a turn is necessary and install a silencer (although to be honest I haven't done and A/B comparison on these to see how well they perform).

If you can't do that, the only alternative I can think of it to use a hood that has the option of a very low quiet speed. This won't reduce the noise when you need to run on high, but if that is only a small part of the time you are cooking it will help a lot. I hear Kobe has this, but they have almost no distribution so I haven't had a chance to look at one.

Remember commercial doesn't always mean better. Sometimes it means commercial and their needs and what they are willing to put up with are very different than those of a home.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

sbedelman, sounds like you know what you're talking about. Have a question for you-- need a 30" liner for a custom wood hood, probably over a 30" BS. I do a lot of high heat woking. Since it's a 30" 4 burner range, obviously I'd be using one of the front burners for woking, so the capture of either front corner is not optimal with the same size hood as range. Since the 30" hoods/liners max out at 600cfm's I'm thinking the VAH are a front runner, being that their 600cfm is compared to 900cfm. Am I wrong? Let me know your opinion. Thank you in advance for the help.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

The notion that a 600 cfm VAH hood is the equal of a 900 cfm conventional hood is IMHO total nonsense--marketing hype with absolutely no evidence to support it, other than VAH's advertising. I can guarantee you that our 600 cfm VAH is totally pukey compared to our 1200 cfm Fantech inline blower. Don't drink the VAH Kool-Aid.

In your case, what you would really want to do is to follow the basic rules of vent hoods:
1) use at least a 36'' hood over a 30'' range. Anything less will markedly compromise your ventilation.
2) Since you intend to do a lot of front burner wokking, consider using a deeper than usual (i.e. 27'' vs 24'') hood, or bump your liner out at least 3'' more to increase working capture area.
3) Since when do 30'' liners max out at 600 cfm??? Plenty of options for greater capacity, esp if you use the correct 36'' size liner. Do some homework and you'll find many superior options to the VAH.

I would strongly suggest you spend an hour perusing threads on this forum regarding hoods, before you take some lame-o appliance store salesman's advice and buy a clearly substandard hood. Here's a good place to start:

Here is a link that might be useful: Help please with ventilation


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

clinresga, I have been reading all of your post's regarding Vent-A-Hood. After looking at them you are comparing apples and oranges. Of course a 1200 CFM blower is going to work better than a 600 CFM blower. I have drank the kool-aid and think Vent-A-Hood is the best range hood on the market just as you like the modern aire. Some how your Vent-A-Hood must have pulled it's self off of the wall and attacked your cat for you to have such a deep hate for it. Vent-A-Hood has been around for a long time so I think they must be doing something right.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

regbob - While I personally think clinresga's posts are getting increasingly fanatical, I do think there's value in the comparison between the two hoods. Practically every vent hood discussion has people talking about how much the duct route affects noise and performance, yet here is someone who has a 600 CFM blower with a straight shot that is supposedly pushing an equivalent of 900 CFM, versus a 1200 CFM rated blower that is undoubtedly pulling less than 1200 CFM when you take into account the convoluted duct path, baffles, etc. Stronger blower, better performance, less noise. Sounds like a good recipe to me. Especially since my own personal experience with a 600 CFM Ventahood insert would have have me describe it as decidedly loud.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Speaking for myself alone, I thank you for this post ya_think.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

ya think, thanks again for voice of sanity.

Yeah, I think I've gone over the top on this VAH thing and have vowed to step back. I think the fundamental points I tried to make--that there ARE options besides VAH--is getting lost in my overly vehement arguments. So...make up your minds, think carefully, and love what you get. Leaving the VAH battlefield for now!


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

clinresga - Truth be told I was a little afraid to re-open this thread after posting my last comment, the beginning of which definitely read more rudely than intended. Thanks for not blasting me for that! Over time I've read so much here with regards to ventilation that just doesn't seem to reconcile with common sense, so I've very much appreciated your real-life comparison.

One question I have for you - in some recent threads you say that a custom MA is negligibly more expensive than stock item of other brands. Are you talking the liner itself versus a different brand's liner, or are you talking the complete system? As a specific example, is a MA liner plus remote blower plus silencer even in the same league, cost-wise, as a VAH liner which obviously has a blower included?


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

ya think: I was grateful for your sense of composure!

Re the MA: my entire setup, including a 64'' liner, Fantech blower and silencer, excluding installation, was in the mid-2000 range off the top of my head. From the numbers I've seen, that is competitive with an off the shelf VAH.


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Hi there, I'm in the process of purchasing another liner for a custom wood hood I'm having made- the 30" MA liner comes w/blowers motor lights filters, etc. as well as the VAH. The quote from MA was just about the same as VAH, however w/ the shipping charge came out to be just dollars more than VAH. The guy from MA was very nice, but then again so was the guy from VAH neither bashed the use of either the magic lung nor of the baffle filters. I have also (over a year ago) replaced a VAH w/ a Prestige and they seem to have similar sound- when they're on, you know they're on- neither 'drives anyone insane'. I do not have any silencers or added fans, they would surely make things quieter. I am leaning towards another VAH because, after more research and actually having both types, the VAH makes more sense to me for several reasons. I won't elaborate because I will most likely get a barrage of technical posts saying I don't know what the he[[ I'm talking about. All I can say is to research your options, ask questions, listen carefully and decifer the BS (not Bluestar) from what really makes sense. Believe me, if I only relied on the threads I've read here I would not get a VAH. GW is a wonderful tool...it does not know all!


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

lamermaid - Please don't hold back your opinions. To me at least, real life experiences and comparisons are of far more interest and value than engineer-jargon-filled posts that leave me with the impression that it takes an MIT doctorate to decide on a range hood selection.

Perhaps your VAH/Perstige comparison would suggest that it's really not baffles versus magic lung that's at issue, but internal versus remote blower. Remote blowers have been poo-pooed here in the past, and that is one of the primary concepts I was specifically thinking of when I wrote "I've read so much here with regards to ventilation that just doesn't seem to reconcile with common sense."


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

I don't have technical data to back this up, but for what it's worth, I found our VAH in our last house (purchased in '04 for about $2500 to go over a 36" DCS range) to be extremely noisy and not as powerful/effective as I expected. I don't recall the model number, but it was a wall-mounted pro hood with (I think) 1400 CFMs. I paid extra for the 27" deep model, a decision that I agonized over, fearing that my husband's forehead would bump into it (it did not) but convinced that the extra depth was necessary for capture area of smoke (not true). The VAH had a very short 10" duct since it was mounted on an outside wall, and it was vented directly outside.

I did exhaustive research before shelling out $2800 or so for it (some of that research done on this forum). It was a big chunk of our budget, and my husband thought it was uneccessary, but I convinced him we had to have it. Of course, we expected it to be very quiet and powerful. I have to say that it was neither.

Since my experience of both noise and power is relative and subjective, there's no way I can specifically explain what I mean. All I can say is that I cooked frequently with high heat, and on many occasions, the hood did not adequately get rid of the smoke. Also, our kitchen opened to our family room, where frequently my husband would be watching the evening news about 10 feet away while I was cooking dinner, and there was no way he could comfortably listen to the news (even turning the volume on the TV way up) if I had the VAH on while cooking something that required decent ventilation.

So, having sold that house, we are now in the midst of another remodel. For this house, I've purchased a Modern-Aire PSL-346, which is a liner with baffle filters that will go inside a hood that our cabinetmaker is making. It will be mounted on an outside wall and will directly vent with a 10" duct to the outside with no remote blower or silencer. Modern-Aire tells me that this hood is quiet (again, it's all relative!) and that it is rated at 68 decibels or 5.5 sones. I haven't even researched what that means, but this time I'm just going for it since all that research seemed to do me no good last time.

I'm hoping for the best and assuming that it can't possibly be worse than our VAH. I've got my fingers crossed and will report back when I can use it (probably in late summer).

Susan


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RE: My Ventahood drives me insane.

Hello Susan, good luck to you with your MA purchase, hopefully all will be fine.

You know... sometimes people who do the least amount of research have the least amount of problems.

I'm like you, I research everything and sometimes it just plain s**ks!


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