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Broan-NuTone Allure II QS230 Kitchen Hood
(5 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating:
Great looking hood that sucks (literally!)
May 15, 2006 (Updated May 16, 2006)
Review by vagayan
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Whisper quiet (low setting), sucks great (high setting). Looks great. Easy to clean.
Cons:Cumbersome installation, may not be safe when installed improperly due to its weight, asymmetrical suction.
The Bottom Line: This is a great looking hood that worked out quite well for me.
My old stove was a combination with the hood built into the underside of the upper oven. I replaced it with a new free-standing range and I bought this hood in Lowes for $285 to install above the range.
Recommend this product?
It has standard size openings and can vent both to the outside (back and top) and inside. Out of the box the hood is configured to vent inside, and has to be disassembled to change the way and reassembled again, which is kind of painful. The manual, however, provides all the steps and explains well how to do that. Before taking out the bottom part of the hood (the one with light sockets) make a note of how it is positioned in relation to the flaps on the side of the hood. I ended up attaching mine the wrong way and had a gap on the side that looked unseemly, and realized only two days later that I put it back wrong. Fortunately, I did not have to take the hood down to reattach that part.
Installation was ok, except that whoever built my house screwed up the size and alignment of the venting hole in the back wall, so had to cut out a part of the hood's rear side to accommodate for the misalignment. You would need metal cutting scissors, HVAC tape and screws, and some sheet metal do something like that. I enjoyed doing it, but that's me and I would not recommend it to a newbie.
As with all permanent appliances, building codes require that the hood be attached to a dedicated circuit. My old stove was a single unit, so I did not have a line for the hood at all, let alone a separate circuit. The hood has a hole for the wire to the right of the venting hole in the rear, but you can drill a hole practically anywhere in the rear or the top of the hood to run the wire through if for some reason the existing wiring does not match where the pre-drilled hole is. In my case, I ended up running a new circuit through the wall and into the basement, and into the distribution box. The hood requires a 15 Amp circuit.
The final installation turned out to be the most painful part. The hood is quite heavy. Imagine holding the hood with one hand, positioning it against a tight venting hole in the wall, so that the venting exhaust is fully inserted into the opening, and holding a screw gun with another hand and trying to attach the hood to the underside of the cabinets ..... Not a one man job, I guarantee that. Make sure the hood is aligned with respect to the cabinets - you would hate to have a gap on the left side (between hood and cabinets) any wider than the on the right side.
Do not pre-drill all 4 screw holes -- you will make a mistake and the screws will end up in the wrong place. If you are wrong by even a 1/16 of an inch, the hood will not slide in. By the way, the way the hood is supposed to be fastened, it can slide out very easily (due to inevitable vibration of the house, and of the hood itself) and fall on the stove, and kill someone. No kidding. Make sure you actually drill additional holes in the hood itself and attach it securely to the underside of the cabinets and the back wall. This is not a deficiency of this particular hood though, most of them are attached this way, but be aware.
Overall, while the installation was exhausting (running the new circuit, sanding and repainting the wall, cutting the hood, and installing it took me full 2 days), the hood itself works quite well and looks great.
The hood is very pleasing in its visual appearance, it seems to be decently built, and is quite sturdy.
The hood has three speed settings. It is whisper quiet at the lowest setting, in fact so quiet that we would often forget about it only to discover it running the next time we'd want to turn it on. It does has a small greed LED next to the each of the three speed buttons. The LED is on when when the hood is operating.
At the lowest setting the suction is still sufficient to suck all the vapors resulting, say, from steaming some vegetables in a covered pan on medium heat. The medium speed setting on the hood is sufficient enough to suck all the vapors that would result from someone taking the lid off the pan. At this setting, the hood is still rather quite, so that the person standing at the stove can hear someone talking from across the room. And finally, at the highest speed setting (which makes it somewhat difficult to carry a conversation with the person standing at the stove) the suction is sufficient to get rid of vapors from two boiling pots with no lids.
The only noticeable downside that I found is that the right side of the hood does not suck nearly as much as the left side (where the blower hole is). You can see the vapors getting sucked into the left half and not the right half. Oh, well. The motor is still powerful enough to suck all of the vapors in. It is just funny to see the vapors from the pot on the right burner go diagonally up in the air to the left side of the hood. After a couple months of use, my left filter is showing some yellow residue (from food grease) while the one on the right looks pristine. I guess I will just swap them in a while.
Now, the description on Lowes web site and in the store for this hood (QS230SS) says it is rated at 300 CFM. However, the very same model is listed as having 250 CFM on other sites, including epinions.com. The booklet provided along with the hood contained only installation instructions, not specifications, so I am still unsure what the actual rating is.
The hood is equipped with the heat sentry feature which monitors temperature and will automatically turn the fan on at its highest speed when the temperature is above normal. I have had this hood for two months and haven't yet witnessed this feature being activated.
The mesh filters are aluminum and can be washed and are dishwasher safe.
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