How does a microwave hood vent work?

Author: Laurel Greenfelder IV  |  Last update: Wednesday, June 1, 2022

A vented microwave range hood is a microwave with a fan that is ducted to the outside. Air passes through some type of filter inside the fan (often charcoal filters). Then, it travels through ductwork outside your home.

Does a over the range microwave need to be vented?

There is no requirement that your Over The Range (OTR) Microwave be vented to the outdoors. All OTR microwave ovens can be set up to either allow the fan to recirculate the air back into the kitchen or be vented to the outdoors.

How does a microwave fan vent work?

An externally vented microwave uses a fan to draw air through the microwave's vents and into an exhaust duct leading to the exterior of the building, which means that most of the moisture, heat, odor and particulate matter generated by cooking goes directly outside.

Do microwave vents do anything?

They do a better job of extracting toxins and smoke (although not at the same level as a range hood). A vented option will remove these fumes and vent them to the exterior of your home. A recirculating OTR microwave uses charcoal filters to neutralize air before it is pumped back into your kitchen.

HOW DO built in microwaves vent?

Over-the-range microwave ovens have built-in ventilation systems with internal exhaust fans. These fans protect the microwave oven from overheating by routing the heat which is produced. The ventilation system may connect to an exterior vent or recirculate the heat back into the kitchen.

Range Hood Exhaust Fan vs Microwave Recirculating Fan Which Is Better Episode 20

How much room does a microwave vent need?

3" of clearance on both sides and the top. 1" clearance in the rear. The front edge of the microwave (measured at door) should sit at least 3" or more back on the counter or shelf to avoid accidental tipping.

How much does it cost to vent a microwave outside?

If the microwave vents out of the house, this will be hooked up before the microwave is slid into the brackets. If a vent installation is required, you can expect to pay anywhere between $150 and $500, depending on the complexity of the project.

How do I know if my microwave vent is working?

You can tell if it's the case by going outside and looking at the wall to see if there's a wall cap. This allows the escape or exit of vented air from the kitchen. Naturally, the range hood probably won't be vented outdoors if it isn't mounted on an outside wall.

Can a microwave vent a gas range?

All current over the range microwaves and Advantium ovens can be installed over gas cooking products up to and including 5 burner stoves. As long as the 66" minimum from the floor to the top of the unit is followed there will be no performance or warranty concerns.

What is recirculating venting on a microwave?

A recirculating venting microwave, or ductless range hood, is a built-in ventilation system that recycles air through the microwave vents. The recirculating ventilation pulls the air through charcoal filters or other types of filters.

Do range hoods have to be vented outside?

Range hoods do not have to be vented to the outside. You can purchase hoods without ductwork called ductless hoods. But, ducted range hoods are almost always preferred over ductless hoods.

Do Over-the-range microwaves have exhaust fans?

Unlike countertop models, OTR microwaves are not portable, and they boast a higher price tag: However, they also have built in exhaust fans, which serve as a stove-top ventilation system to eliminate smoke, steam, and cooking odors.

How do you keep cold air from coming in the microwave vent?

Many microwave ovens are not vented to the outside. If you are willing to give up the outside venting feature, you can have a service person from the appliance dealer turn the fan around to vent inside. Remove the wall jack and insulate and seal the wall opening.

Can I replace over the range microwave with vent hood?

Yes! Many people replace their over the range microwave with a ducted or ductless range hood. Range hoods are the much more flexible and versatile option when it comes to ventilating your cook space, compared to microwave hoods.

Can you put magnets on the outside of a microwave?

Placing a magnet on the microwave shouldn't cause any issue. Besides, the case is steel, and the magnetic field where you have the magnet attached should remain there.

How do I know if my microwave vents are outside?

Lower the front of the microwave and have a look over the top, under the cabinet. The unit will be supported at the lower rear by a bracket flange. Your microwave's vent either exhausts upward or rearward, but from right at the top rear of the unit. You'll be able to see whether there's a duct opening at that location.

Can an over-the-range microwave be used on the counter?

Over-the-Range Microwave ovens and Advantium/Five in One ovens cannot be used on a counter or shelf and are not UL (Underwriters Laboratory) approved for this purpose. Keep in mind the underside is not flat on an Over-the-Range Microwave or Advantium/Five in One oven.

Can you vent a microwave into the attic?

Microwaves cannot be ducted into a common duct work. DO NOT vent into an attic or crawl space.

Is it safe to put microwave under boiler?

The microwave can be used at a comfortable height, sitting on a shelf below the boiler, hiding the pipes and boiler filter just behind it. The upper cupboard and lower shelves don't have backs for easy access to pipes. You can pull the microwave out to get the boiler filter.

Can you cover microwave vents?

Do not cover or block any openings around your microwave, as they are important for allowing proper air and heat circulation.

How do I stop my hood vent from flapping?

Stop vent clanging with dampers

Measure the diameter of the vent pipe and order the dampers from a duct supply company ( is one source). Start by replacing the backdraft damper directly above the vent hood. If that doesn't solve the problem, install a second damper near the wall or roof discharge cap.

Where do you put a backdraft damper on a range hood?

A backdraft damper can be installed inline with your ductwork or at the connection between your hood and the ductwork. For the best results, install an inline backdraft damper a few feet away from the outside of your home. Backdraft dampers are vents that go inside your duct.

What is the clearance for a microwave above a gas stove?

According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, the bottom of the microwave should be no higher than 54 inches above the floor, which would allow for 18 inches of clearance between the microwave and the typical cooktop height of 36 inches.

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