The most commonly overlooked kitchen appliance has got to be the hood fan. I know that in my old home, I always thought of it just as the bottom of the microwave (which sat above our stove). In my current home, I use the hood fan more often than the microwave, and the General Electric Profile JV636 is so attractive that I will never be able to ignore its presence in my kitchen.
Recommend this product?
My GE Profile JV636 Hood Fan is stainless steel, measuring 30" long, 4.75" high and 20" deep. It has a right and left fan, which run simultaneously and are controlled by the same control knob, located in the front left side of the hood. The fans operate at four speeds: LO, MED, HI and MAX. I usually turn the fan to MED while I have food on the stove. The exception is when I am cooking something heavy on the grease and smell, such as sauteing beef or pork. In those cases, I usually switch to HI or MAX. If I have something in the oven for a long time, I will usually set the fan to LO, which does a pretty good job of making sure my house doesn't smell like chicken for a long time after putting one in the oven.
The GE Profile JV636 Hood Fan also has a light bulb on each side in the front. Like the fans, both bulbs are controlled by the same knob, which has two settings: HI and NITE. At HI, the bulbs are extremely bright, which is especially useful when you need to check the color on something to check for done-ness. I really appreciate how bright the light is at this setting, because it helps me see the food on the stove better than I can see it with my overhead kitchen lights. In the daylight, I can leave my kitchen lights off when cooking and just rely on the hood's lights.
The NITE setting is much dimmer, and intended for use as a night light. We never leave it on all night, but if either my husband or myself will be coming home late, the other will leave the hood on NITE before turning everything else off downstairs.
Cleaning the JV636 Hood Fan
Whatever you normally use for stainless steel appliances will work well on the outside of the GE Profile JV636 Hood Fan. I usually use a stainless steel cleaner (such as Twinkle) or Pledge, and they work fine.
Cleaning the filters is a little more work. The fans are covered by two metal grease filters. According to GE, the filters can be cleaned in an automatic dishwasher, but I haven't tried that yet. Through trial and error, I have found that soaking the filters in hot water to loosen up the grease and then using a sponge soaked in Soft Scrub with Bleach seems to work the best to get them clean.
A note on installation
I was fortunate not to have to select or install the GE Profile JV636 Hood Fan, as it was already in our house when we bought it. If you are considering adding it to your kitchen, the minimum spacial requirements are:
* 66" or more from the floor to the top of the hood
* 30" wide space needed to fit the hood in
* Bottom edge of the cabinet you put the hood in needs to be 30" or more from the cooking surface
How well it does its job
My husband really does not like it when the whole house smells like what we are cooking, so he insists on using the fan whenever we cook anything. Particularly when you use the higher speeds, the GE Profile JV636 Hood Fan does a good job of keeping the cooking smell out of the rest of the house. It also sucks up a lot of the grease, so I am not left with as much grease to clean off of the stove between cooking sessions.
The only thing I don't like about the GE Profile JV636 Hood Fan is that the higher speeds on the fan are pretty loud. I have three young children, so the household volume when I am in the kitchen starts out fairly high. If I turn the fan up to HI or MAX, I can't hear anything else while I'm cooking. As a result, I usually have to keep it at a lower speed so I can hear what else is going on in my kitchen.
My experience with the GE Profile JV636 Hood Fan has been terrific. It has taught me that the whole house does not have to smell like bacon for 24 hours after you cook some. It also leaves me with less grease on the stove, and better visibility of food while it is cooking. Other than the noise issue, which would not be as noticeable for people without small children, this fan sucks in a good way. Highly recommended.