Excellent Range Hood - quiet, strong, efficient, easy to clean.
Nov 28, 2005 (Updated Dec 27, 2005)
Review by ecadvocate
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Great suction even on low, quiet above medium, easy to clean, pretty lights.
Cons:Pricey - but worth it. No "auto heat sentry" if range gets too hot.
The Bottom Line: Great for picky people. You can pay a lot more than this but not get much more real world benefits or spend somewhat less initially but pay more later.
Better Than The Leader
Recommend this product?
This GE Profile range hood even beat out Kenmore to be the best value for a mid-end hood because it not only works well at it's highest speed, it also works extremely well at its lowest speed - a hard feat for any range hood - and it does so for under $400 and while looking good and remaining easy to clean.
Hiding Right Under Your Nose
The secret in addition to better parts? The nose is sloped downward to catch fumes that models with up-sloping noses let escape which means less electricity, wasted house air and noise. This benefit is more important to people venting a gas range than those with electric ranges because the fumes can be toxic even though you can't smell them. So if you're cooking with electric or aren't sensitive to fumes or don't care about wasting energy, the expense and benefits of this range may not appeal to you.
They're All The Same Right?
Most people don't bother to think very much about range hoods. Some analyze how often they do heavy, greasy or smoky cooking, whether they are sensitive to burnt natural gas fumes, if they hate smells or just heat, if they prefer to keep windows closed, etc. But beyond that, when it comes to paying up at the register, the cheaper ones sell the most. Too bad.
But later, when it's being used, the areas that lack usually get ignored - the noise from running it on high is considered normal. After all, why would you put it on medium when all the others you've used didn't do a good job on medium? Besides, you don't save much electricity on medium do you? All range hoods are pretty much the same right? No. Not even close.
Shhhh. It's Working
Models that cost less than this GE Profile have to scream at high speed to suck out as much air as this one does in a whisper at medium. That's because they use cheaper motors and cheaper fan blade designs. You might not think a fan blade design is a big deal, but it is. It's not marketed to you the way halogen lights and variable speeds are on the features list, but fan blade design and motor technology affect performance, efficiency, durability and noise.
More expensive models than this one do as good of a job at both high and low speeds, but they cost much more than $400. And those more expensive models usually aren't regular cabinet models, they are chimney hoods with large decorative stacks that eat up cabinet space.
Plastic Surgery Couldn't Do A Better Nose Job
What gives this model the edge at low speeds is the nose of it's chassis, or "box" design. Most range hoods, this one included, don't really cover the front 2 burners very well. They only cover half the front 2 burners so you won't bump your head looking at what you're cooking. But this means that on low speed, most range hoods can't suck out the steam, odors, smoke and air rising from the front burners very well - sometimes even on high and especially if the motor is weak and the fan blades are not the best kind.
But because this one catches rising hot air and all the moisture and smells in it and directs it to the back more efficiently than other "designer" or smooth bottom hoods you use less electricity on "low" and still get rid of bad air and ONLY the bad air, quietly.
Save Money, More Comfy
If you have to run an inefficient unit longer or on high, not only do you waste electricity operating it, you end up sucking out much more heated or cooled air than you need to which sucks outside air in through invisible cracks all over the house and causes the furnace or A/C to come on sooner. Same goes for bathroom fans. Better to crack open a window in the kitchen or bathroom to give the fan just right amount of supply air while leaving the rest of the house alone and turn it off as soon as possible.
3 Types Of Hoods
If you've ever looked under a range hood and bothered to study what you saw, you would notice 3 different appearances underneath.
The first kind is the most common and cheapest to make and is the typical open bottom boxy kind with hard to clean corners and cavities that get filled with grease and require lots of work to clean. It will have a light in a cheap plastic cover and a couple of washable air filters. They come in a variety of motor strengths. Usually, these models are either very weak or very loud on their highest setting.
The second kind is the smooth bottom type, also referred to as "designer" that is basically all air filters along the bottom from side to side, a properly concealed light and no cavities to collect grease. It's much easier to clean than open bottom models. Most of these are sloped upwards in the front so you will notice in the store that they are so nice and smooth underneath and have pretty lights and buy them. These models are usually not very powerful under $300.
The third kind is a smooth bottom that is either completely flat or, better yet, sloped downwards in the front - like this one. Easy to clean, pretty lights, quiet AND powerful.
There's actually a fourth type. It's called downdraft which sucks out even more house air because it has to work extra hard to suck air DOWN that naturally wants to rise UP. It's also expensive and trouble prone and a mess to clean. Installation is not cheap either. You can get downdraft built into some slide-in ranges, cooktops and even as an an impressive looking motorized pop-up unit behind any cooktop that rises about 6" from a flush position and runs the length of the cooktop.
This GE Profile model is more efficient and quiet than others on low and medium while cooking on the front burners. Even though all models only covers the front burners halfway, this model's combination of low speed fan suction AND gentle draft created by the curved air direction towards the back will take out the same amount of moisture, smoke, heat and odors as other smooth bottom models would on medium or high but with much less wasted electricity and house air - and with much less noise and grease to clean.
Variations On A Theme
The JV63 and JV65 series hoods come in 4 different colors and in 30" and 36" widths. Be careful not to get the weaker JV53 or JV56 series. They only move about 240 cubic feet of air per minute (CFM) compared to this one which moves 390 CFM.
Hmmm. Should I Get A Microwave?
For contrast, most good over-the-range microwave ovens (AKA micro-hoods) with built in range hoods move 300 CFM or more. Most cheapie ones move only 220 CFM. For "normal" or "average" cooking, 300 CFM is a good target.
In fact, if you're considering a straight range hood because you've had bad experiences with yesterdays over-the-range microwaves being to weak to vent air properly, your old one probably did 200 CFM at best. But for $275+, you can get a good new one that moves 300 CFM. The only problem is, they don't even cover half the front burners - they only cover the rear ones necessitating the highest speed and wasted house air. Check out the very good Kenmore 80602 for example.
If you need a good dishwasher, cooktop, wall oven, range or hybrid car, see my other reviews.
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