How to Install a Range Hood - Advice From Bob Vila

How to Install a Range Hood – Advice From Bob Vila

Whether built under cabinets or suspended above a kitchen island, the range hood is the unsung hero in the kitchen, rarely appreciated for the crucial role it plays in removing grease, odours, smoke and heat in the air produced during food preparation. . If you’re preparing to upgrade old appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators as part of a kitchen renovation, don’t forget the range hood, it’s worth consideration too.

You may have a general idea of ​​what you’d like in a new cooker hood, but still feel overwhelmed by the wide variety of prices and models available today. Selecting and installing an extractor hood involves more than just choosing an appliance that complements your existing kitchen. To find a model that suits your space and kitchen style, consider the following details. then follow the step-by-step instructions on how to install a range hood.

Reading: How to connect a range hood

project summary

working time: 1 hour if there are no ducts to install. up to 4 hours, including duct installation. total time: 1-4 hours skill level: intermediate estimated cost: $100-400+, depending on bell selected

before you start

If you’re into DIY, it’s relatively easy to swap out an existing range hood for a newer model. however, moving the location of a range hood during a kitchen renovation or installing one for the first time will require some adaptation. Here are some other considerations to keep in mind before you start working on your kitchen hood installation.

ductless range hoods vs. with ducts

Range hoods use fans to extract grease and smoke, along with food odors and excess heat, but not all hoods do the job equally well. the difference between average and effective models largely depends on the type of ventilation available: ductless or ducted.

  • Ductless models do not vent to the outside of your home. The fan in a ductless range hood draws in air and circulates it through a carbon filter, which traps grease and some odors, but is typically not as effective as a range hood that vents to the outdoors. the less expensive of the two styles, ductless range hoods can cost as little as $50 and as high as several hundred dollars.
  • ducted range hoods are more effective than their ductless counterparts, and they also vary widely in price. Ducted range hoods draw in cooking air and then exhaust it outside your home through a wall vent, or up through ceiling and ceiling joists. the most affordable options start at less than $100, but homeowners who want a high-efficiency or designer ducted hood could pay upwards of $1,000.

The popular and efficient microwave and range hood combinations also come in ducted and ductless varieties. however, the mistake some homeowners make when purchasing one of these units is that they focus more on the microwave’s bells and whistles than the unit’s ventilation capabilities. Do your research and make sure you select a microwave hood that is effective and efficient enough for your needs.

related: buyer’s guide: the best electric stoves

location of fan motor

Some range hoods sound like airplanes preparing to take off, while others are virtually silent. the noise difference has a lot to do with the location of the fan motor. Please read the packaging carefully or research online before purchasing to determine where the unit’s fan is located.

Those who want a quieter cooking experience on the stovetop should look for a range hood that comes with a remote fan. you’ll still turn the fan on the same way, via a switch on the hood, but the fan is further away from the stove, often midway down a duct or high on the ceiling, thus muffling the noise. If your kitchen is open to the living room or dining room, or if guests always seem to congregate in your kitchen, the desire to cook and chat without having to yell at a fan may be worth the extra cost.

exhaust hood sizes

Electric and gas ranges come in a wide variety of sizes, so it should come as no surprise that there is no set standard range hood size. These all-in-one kitchen appliances are designed to absorb heat, cooking odors, and airborne grease from the stove below. to better manage this task, the extractor hoods should be the same width as the kitchen.

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With this in mind, you can find range hoods in an equally wide variety, typically ranging from 24 inches wide to 60 inches. wider wall-mounted and suspended island models are also available for custom kitchen layouts.


For microwave and hood combinations, the bottom of the cabinet above the range must be at least 30 inches above the cooking surface to allow clearance for installation. Fortunately, many contractors install this cabinet configuration in new homes for precisely that reason. 30-inch clearance is also the preferred upper cabinet height for non-microwave under-cabinet range hood installation, although individual models may have different requirements; Once you’ve chosen a drive, read and follow the manufacturer’s recommended height specifications.

power supply

If you have chosen a microwave range hood combo model, there should be an outlet in the cabinet above the unit to power the fan motor and microwave. Although not required by the building code, many new home contractors install that outlet on a separate 15- or 20-amp circuit that has enough power to run a microwave.

If you are installing a new hood and there is no outlet nearby, you will need to hire an electrician to install an outlet near the hood’s proposed location before you can continue. Not all simple range hoods require a designated outlet, but microwave and hood combinations should definitely have their own circuit.

related: buyer’s guide: the best gas stoves

ventilation settings

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Both single hoods and microwave and hood combo units come with templates that mark where to drill or cut holes for screws, a power supply and vent. The template will also show you where to place the bracket that supports a hood combo on an exterior wall. If you are installing an outside-vented range hood but not mounting it on an outside wall, the model you select must have the up-vent option. if you go that route you will have to run the ducts through the ceiling. installing ductwork for a range hood can be the most challenging part of this DIY. Consider outsourcing this part of the job to a professional.

how to install an extractor hood

Experienced DIYers who don’t want to pay an appliance professional can learn how to install a range hood by following these detailed steps.

step 1: remove the old hood, if any.

If you already have a range hood, the first step in the process is to remove it. turn off the power to the range hood, then unscrew the wire nuts and disconnect the wires. have another person hold the weight of the range hood while you use a screwdriver to loosen the mounting screws.

Carefully lift the old range hood off the screws and set it aside. Take the old range hood outside to a shed or garage so it’s out of the way while you work.

Step 2: Remove knockouts and mark vent holes.

The new range hood will typically have metal knockouts for electrical wires and conduit. remove these knockouts with a hammer and screwdriver, then hold the hood in place against your chosen wall to mark the vent locations.

Some range hoods come with a paper template that can be used to mark vent holes without holding the range hood in place. If your range hood does not come with a template, consider having another person hold the range hood while you mark the vent holes to improve project accuracy.

Step 3: Cut vent holes and drill locating holes through an exterior wall.

Use a reciprocating saw or drill equipped with a hole saw bit to cut a hole for the electrical cable and for ventilation. Consider where the vents will exit the house and take a few minutes to thoroughly inspect the interior and exterior path of the ducts to make sure there are no obstacles such as posts, pipes, or wires. If you encounter any of these problems, you may need to relocate pipes or cables to make room for conduit.

Use a long drill bit to drill locating holes through the exterior wall of the house. the purpose of these holes is to outline the edge of the vent, making it easy to cut a precise, tight hole for the vent to pass to the outside. Drill several locating holes at each corner of the vent hole. Please note that ductless range hoods do not require ducting or ventilation systems, so you only need to cut a hole for the electrical cable if you are installing a ductless model.

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Step 4 – Use the locating holes to cut a vent hole in the exterior wall.

Head outside to find the location holes on the outside wall of the house. If the house has siding, simply use a pencil to connect the dots between the locating holes and follow the outline to cut out the vent hole with a reciprocating saw.

If the house has a brick exterior, then the process is a bit more complicated. use a pencil or marker to outline the vent hole, double check to make sure the vent can fit. Drill a hole through the masonry about once every inch along the outline of the vent hole. use a hammer and cold chisel to remove brick and mortar between the holes to create a clean opening for ventilation.

step 5: connect the conduit.

Slide the duct wall cap into the vent hole and inspect the duct to determine if it is long enough to reach the range hood. if the conduit system falls short, you’ll need to pick up a conduit extension.

To make sure mice, ants, and other pests don’t get in through the vent, you’ll need to putty the outside of the hole to seal the openings. use screws to hold the duct wall cap in position and inspect the exterior installation to verify there are no gaps left by caulking.

step 6: assemble the extractor hood.

With the ductwork installed, you can mount the range hood to the ceiling or wall. Have a second person hold the range hood in place while you use a drill to secure the range hood with the mounting bracket and mounting screws.

if you are mounting the range hood to the wall with mounting brackets, then the screws should be fully tightened, but if you are mounting the range hood to existing cabinets, the screws should only be driven in halfway to allow the range hood to to slide over the screws and rest on top of them.

For tiled walls, consider using a set of nails and a hammer to create small pilot holes in the tiles. this will reduce the chance of a tile cracking when you drill into it.

Step 7: Run the cables to the range hood.

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If you removed an old range hood then the power should already be off, but if it isn’t, go to the breaker box and flip the switch on the range hood to make sure the power is off. power lines.

Wires from an existing range hood can be used to install the new range hood by simply connecting them according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For new range hood installations, run a wire from a nearby receptacle or junction box to the range hood. use a wire stripper to strip the sheathing from the wires and connect the wires to the range hood.

Using wire connectors, connect the white wire to the white wire from the fixture, the black wire to the black wire from the fixture, and the green ground wire to the green wire. While this is the most common configuration, be sure to verify the correct wiring configuration for your specific range hood by referring to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 8: Turn on and test the range hood.

make sure the wires fit snugly inside the wall without putting any pressure on the electrical connection, then replace the electrical cover on the range hood. Connect the filters and grease shield to the range hood, then turn on the power at the breaker panel. test the light first, then test the fan, and check the outside duct to make sure the air is properly vented to the outside.

exhaust hood installation cost

When trying to decide whether to install your range hood yourself or hire a professional installer to complete the job, one of the most important factors is cost. The average cost to install a range hood, according to HomeAdvisor, is $400 to $1,500, averaging around $750.

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This includes the cost of the range hood, which typically ranges from $200 to $1,000 depending on the model, and the installer’s hourly rate. Most professional installers have an hourly rate of around $50 to $100, so doing the installation yourself can save $50 to $100 an hour.

however, the cost of a professional installation may be worth it. keep in mind that trained and experienced professionals will likely be able to complete the job in a shorter time frame and with a higher quality finish than the average tuner. especially if you are working with a ducted range hood system, which requires the installer to route the ductwork and cut through the masonry for proper ventilation.

maintenance of your extractor hood

Once your range hood is installed, keep your investment in top working order for its expected life by giving it regular attention and using degreasing cleaners. Because range hood fans draw in grease and steam, prevent a sticky buildup by spraying the underside of the hood with kitchen cleaner and scrubbing it as often as you would any other surface in your cooking space.

If you cook a lot, it’s a good idea to wash your exhaust fan filter at least once a month. otherwise its holes can become so clogged with grease that it will no longer function effectively. simply slide or remove the stainless steel strainer, place it in the sink, and scrub with hot water, baking soda, and a degreasing dish soap. some filters (see manufacturer’s instructions) can be put directly into the dishwasher for even easier cleanup.

final thoughts

Deciding to install a range hood in your home is a great option that can help keep the air in your kitchen clean, while also filtering grease from the air before it settles on your counters, cabinets, or tabletops. Experienced DIYers can install ductless range hoods on their own to save the hourly cost of a professional installer. however, this is not a good idea if you need to install a new ducted range hood system.

Keep in mind that learning how to install a range hood does not necessarily mean that you have the experience and technical training to properly install a series of interconnected vents on the exterior of the home without damaging masonry or creating potential entryways for pests. unwished. Please consider the details and steps of this project carefully before deciding to take it on or hire a professional to complete the job.

frequently asked questions

Installing range hoods can be a complicated project for a gardener to handle without experience working with these appliances, so it’s important to learn as much as possible before attempting to tackle range hood installation. Consider these frequently asked questions about how to install a range hood.

p. What is an extractor hood?

Range hoods are found in most kitchens. they are installed above the range and use a fan to draw heat, steam, food odors, and airborne grease up and away from the range or range. Ductless range hoods filter the air through a carbon filter to help remove odors and grease before the air is drawn back into the house. You can also learn how to install range hood vents for a ducted range hood system that vents outside air. however, vent installation can be expensive and may not be necessary if you prefer a ductless model.

p. Do you need a vent hood for an electric stove?

While you don’t have to have a vent hood for an electric range, it’s recommended, even if you only cook once or twice a week. however, the range hood for an electric range does not need to be as powerful as the range hood for a gas range.

p. How high should an extractor hood be?

The height from the top of the range to the bottom of the range hood differs by product, so there is no standard range hood height that all models must follow. some products are designed to be installed at only 20 inches, while other products must be installed at 36 inches. The best way to identify the ideal height for your range hood is to consult the manufacturer’s installation instructions for the specific model.

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