Quiet, Simple and Timeless: The Allure II QS230 is An Excellent Choice
Sleek, whisper quiet, amazing recessed halogen lights, functional, well designed and constructed, relatively inexpensive.
Heavy. Professional installation may be required.
The Bottom Line:
Marrying timeless simplicity of design with reliable, quiet, and excellent performance, the Broan-NuTone Allure II QS230 Kitchen Hood is hard to beat.
Quiet, Timeless, Affordable
I love the Broan NuTone Allure II QS230 30" Kitchen Hood so much that I purchased one for a second kitchen after over five years of using one in a vacation house. When I got my first Allure II several years ago, they were available only from kitchen appliance dealers. Now, this timeless choice is directly available to consumers through big box stores and on-line.
The overall design has not changed in years and that is a good thing. This is a fan that is understated and blends in yet is attractive when examined. It is extremely quiet, offers three fan speed settings and has three light settings. This is a kitchen hood that fits wonderfully with any decor whether you are seeking a modern, classic, or retro look. It is available in a range of colors and in stainless steel.
Unlike many other, visually overpowering range hoods of this power range, the Allure II under-mounts beneath a cabinet over a range or cook-top. The slim contoured design, while reminiscent of lesser range hoods you may remember from childhood, conceals better lighting (it uses 2 powerful recessed halogens instead of the pale single incandescents most provide) and offers vastly superior fan functionality and particulate filtering than the competition.
Ducted or Ductless Options
The Allure II is extremely practical in that it can be installed in a variety of ducted or non-ducted settings. Both of mine are installed non-ducted so I cannot comment about the attributes of this device in a ducted setting. According to Broan-NuTone's website, the Allure ll models offer "four-way convertibility 3-1/4 x 10" (horizontal and vertical), 7" round (vertical) and non-ducted". When using in a ductless configuration, the micro-mesh screens accept replaceable charcoal filters that scrub the air before returning it to the kitchen.
The Allure II feels and looks solid and exudes quality. Despite its low price (in the $200-300 range at on-line retailers), the Allure II is among the quietest, most powerful home-oriented range hoods available at this price point. It is made from heavy, curved metal, and has simple front-mounted electronic rubber-covered touch panel controls that wipe clean easily yet have not yellowed in over five years of use. The controls are more solid feeling than typical touch-panel controls as they have a thicker skin and provide tactile feedback through "give" when pressed. Response to controls is dampened to gently transition between settings. There are six buttons and each controls one function, cycling between turning that function on and off each time the button is pressed. Low fan on, low fan off via the the first fan speed button. Light on low, low light off via the first light setting button. Etc.
The Allure II, like all the Allure models, is very slender. It is simply a modified rectangle that is only 7" high from the micro-mesh grills on the bottom to the top mounts that tapers up to 3" high in the front by the controls.
This tapering allows for minimal obstruction of your access and view of the cook-top while you work from the front of the hood. Additionally, the two recessed halogen lights mounted underneath in the front provide superior task lighting while cooking yet are out of the way, up and away from the cook-top and tall pots or utensils. Another smart feature is that the powerful forward-lip-mounted discharge vent (active when you are using the hood in a non-vented installation as I do in both kitchens) helps to push cooking odors and steam away from the cook and towards the large micro-mesh intake vents.
Easy to Keep Clean
The unit's curves, baked-on polyester finish, and Teflon undercoating make all surfaces easy to clean. The bulk of the underside of the hood, except for the front several inches which houses the recessed halogen lighting and the output air vent, is covered in two removable stainless steel micro-mesh panels that are dishwasher safe. The rubber controls have no places that can trap dirt or grease. The entire body of the hood wipes clean easily.
Quiet Yet Powerful
According to Broan's Allure II specification sheet, the hood is 50% quieter than the average range-hood. At low speed, the hood makes only 0.9 sones (which is quieter than normal talking from 2 or 3 feet away). You literally may have to check that it is running when it is on low, especially if you have a television playing. I find that low and medium speeds are adequate for almost all of my needs. At full speed, the Allure II is a bit noisy but no more-so than lesser fans at normal speed. This highest setting is rated at 300 CFM making 4.5 sones (normal television volume). I rarely use this high speed unless I burn something accidentally and/or need to clear steam or smoke quickly.
Broan Heat Sentry
The Allure II is the least expensive model in the Allure series that has Broan Heat Sentry, a feature exclusive to Broan that turns the fan up to high in the event high heat (such as a flare-up) is detected beneath the range-hood.
About the Lighting
The light from this range hood is amazing and will spoil you. You can go from a perfect night light to Yankee Stadium with a push of a button. And the recessed halogen lights always makes the cook-top look amazing when clean and doesn't let dirt hide when it is time to clean up.
The strong dual recessed halogens also mean no shadows so you can see everything you are cooking clearly whether using the smallest saute pan or your tallest lobster pot.
The power of the highest fan setting is impressive and the buffeting air suction does sometimes cause halogen bulbs near the end of their life to flicker. When a bulb does this if the fan is on at high speed, I go buy new bulbs because the end is near. Speaking of bulbs, the halogen bulbs last ridiculously long in this hood. We are talking years of life for the bulbs and the Allure II uses two standard PAR20 halogen floods (50 watts each) that you can buy anywhere.
Be Aware of Electrical Requirements and Note That Professional Installation May Be Required
Because it is a powerful, heavy appliance, despite being handy, I have had this professionally installed in both kitchens. This may be a two-man job even for professionals and, of course, only licensed electricians should be used for the electrical connections.
Very Highly Recommended
The Broan-NuTone Allure II QS230 is an excellent, timeless choice in range-hoods. No worries here about making an expensive "statement" that turns out to be a fashion mistake as kitchen designs change. Not for a commercial kitchen, this range-hood for the rest of us has performed admirably for me for years, so much so that I chose it over other exhaust hoods costing much more for a second kitchen.