Sunday, December 18, 2011

Range hood selection

*** Updated on 12/27/2011, see end of the post ***

One of the items that we've been unable to settle on easily is the range hood. We had a Whirlpool hood in our old house that was good (it held a full check book against its filter...)

 ...but it is simply too loud for my wife to be conducive for her health both in and out of the kitchen.

We then started looking at sleek, European-looking range hoods that were also quiet. One of the main contenders was the FuturoFuturo Streamline, which had the flat surface Jen wanted.
Beautiful looking hood and very quiet but costs a pretty penny as well but it would save us money in the long run with less medical issues so it rose to the #1 spot pretty quickly. Until we told our HVAC guy about the max CFM of that hood...

Remember that this house is a full ICF house with full thermal broken walls all the way up. Also, any seams between the ICF walls and non-ICF structure is all sealed, same with all the HVAC duct work. In other words, our new house is about as air-tight as they get. So when we told our HVAC guy that the max CFM for that hood was over 900 CFM he pretty much panicked.

If in an air-tight house you'll be sucking out 900 CFM (cubic feet per minute) you'll need to 'make-up' that air which means a whole new line with (conditioned) outside air pretty much straight to the range hood. That wasn't in the design and with the kitchen in the middle of 2-story house a major headache when you've reached the fit-and-finish stage...

So, back to the Internet and we started looking for quiet, LOWER CFM modules that we would like. We looked at the Zephyer, Bertazonni's, AGA Pro and KitchenAid models that are in the 600 CFM range.

But than we found the Japanese brand Kobe that's been on the market here in the US for a couple years now with a very good reputation. Most models have a QuietMode (tm) that will operate at ~300 CFM at 1 sone / 40db so nearly silent. The next mode up ~400 CFM at 3 sones / 55db and has two more powerful modes but even they stay below 5 sones. Since we'll be using the first 2 modes predominantly this seems like a perfect fit since our mechanical ventilation (HRV) will pretty much be able to keep up with that volume.

So, long story short, our 2 new front runners are the following models, both 36" wall-mounts with baffle filters:

It doesn't have the flat design Jen wanted, but we definitely lean toward function over form. We just hope Kobe's slogan is true: So quiet you won't believe it's on.

Update starts here...

Fast-forward to December 27, 2011 and after meeting with Dave at MAS Distribution we were able to get a Vent-A-Hood floor model that is nice and quiet as well as fits the budget. The actual model we are getting is the SLDH14-136 (with 1 300CFM -450CFM equivalent) circular blower motor in a Euro-style with beveled edges.

Vent-A-Hood SLDH14-136
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