Zephyr AK2100BS Under Cabinet Range Hood Review

Zephyr is a professional manufacturer of kitchen appliances and household items, particularly range hoods. The typhoon series, is even today one of the more powerful, yet silent under cabinet range hoods on the market. It’s got six fan speed settings and two brightness settings. It’s even got a silent speed setting for when you’ve got guests over.

Lastly, to end the introduction to this model, I must add that this hood uses centrifugal technology to separate grease from the air, and therefore does not use filter meshes. All you need to do is spray liquid kitchen cleaner into the fan blades when operating on low speeds to clean the range hood, this process can literally not be made simpler.

Overview on the Features

  1. Dimensions: 29.8” Width X 20.8 “ L X 7.9” H.
  2. Weight: Approximately 42 pounds.
  3. Voltage: 120 V / 60 Hz.
  4. Powerful 250 - 850 CFM motor.
  5. This model comes equipped with ACT ™ technology, which stands for Airflow Control Technology ™, allowing you to reduce the maximum CFM to 390 or 290 to meet local requirements.
  6. The sound produced is 0.9 sones at 250 CFM and 5 sones at 850 CFM, 2.5 sones at 390 CFM and 1.5 sones at 290 CFM.
  7. Recommended mounting height about the cooktop is 24 to 32 inches.
  8. Supports both horizontal and vertical ducting. Vertical ducting from above the range hood is either a 7" round duct or a 3-1/4" X 10" rectangular duct. Ducting from the back (horizontal) is achieved through a rectangular duct: 3-1/4" X 10".
  9. Available in four sizes: 30" and 36" (black, white and stainless steel) and 42" and 48" in stainless steel
  10. Two Halogen light bulbs, 35W each with dual level lighting and the possibility to replace them with Image GU10 LED bulbs.
  11. Warranty at the time of writing is 10 years on parts and 1 year on labor. Plese confirm this before you make a purchase.

 

What Makes It One of the Best?

  • The model feature capacitive touch controls (the same as your smartphone) which means that you must use your finger or some sort of stylus and you cannot operate it with gloves on. However, to my liking capactive controls do not need the use of any pressure, just a touch is all it takes.
  • As already stated, the hood uses dual halogen lights with two brightness settings. The good thing though, is that the bulbs can be pivoted in their socket, allowing you to point the lights where you need the lighting, be it the counterop, the back burners, or some place else. Of course you could also switch to power saving LED bulbs, the suggested ones being the GU10 LED bulbs.
  • It uses a filterless self-cleaning centrifugal blower system that takes away the need of messy grease filters and therefore reducing the time and effort it takes to clean your unit. The range hood comes with two residue trays on the left and the right which are easy to access, remove and clean (dishwasher friendly too). To clean the system, just spray in your liquid cleaner into the fans (while operating on the lowest operational speed), and remove the residue collectors. Moreover, the two safety grills are easy to detach and clean.
  • The blade design ensures that the product has a powerful CFM whilst keeping noise to a minimum, for more details on this see the specifications above.
  • This range hood may not have a heat sentry feature that automatically increases the speed of the fan as the heat below the range hood increases, but it does have six fan speeds you could play around with. However, if you do choose to activate the ACT ™ (Airflow Control Technology ™) the maximum number of speed options is three for the 390 CFM setting and two at 290 CFM.
  • It's got an automatic power off option. To operate this, you need to press and hold the power button for two seconds. This begins the countdown on the five minute automatic power off option. You will notice the fan speed now says 'Q'. The number of minutes left is also indicated. You can override this function and immediately turn off the range hood by pressing the power button once more. Like most range hoods out there, this model does not allow you to set up a custom time on the automatic power off feature, it's always at five minutes.

Features I Don't like About It

  • I prefer my range hoods to come with a power cord, because you could still always hardwire it if necessary. But this hood does not come with a power cord, so you will have to buy one separately if needed. It is important to note that the power cord is also very short at just four inches.
  • The hood is quite heavy, and you may need someone to help you with the installation. Also, the hood requires that you hang it up with four screws under your cabinet. But, it's impossible to install the range hood unless you've got the screws in very accurately. A template from Zephyr would be very helpful. I would suggest you create your own template on paper using the hood as a reference. Measurements are possible, but under a cabinet, things could get tricky. Once you get the hood onto the screws, you need to tighten them, as suggested by the manual. However, it's impossible to tighten the front screws, unless they are at a 45 degree angle. The manual does not suggest this before you begin. Now that you know the flaws, it's not really hard to install anymore.
  • One thing that I really hate about this hood is the fact that you cannot turn off the fan and have the lights on. Who designs a hood like that? Apparently Zephyr does!

I Would Buy It If:

  1. I want a designer range hood from a reputed brand.
  2. I understand that services after the service warranty period can be freakishly expensive considering the labor cost and travel costs of the workers.
  3. I have someone to help me with the installation when needed or if I can pay a professional to do it for me.
  4. Self cleaning and easy maintenance is of vital importance to me.
  5. A relatively quiet range hood is a necessity.
  6. I have sufficient lighting and/or night lights in my kitchen and do not need to leave the range hood lights on, because this is not possible without also having the fan turned on.