Range Hood vs. Microwave above

SusieQusie60February 25, 2011

OK - I'm asking this one so I can sound somewhat intelligent if I decide I want to speak to my husband and/or my builder about this.

What's the deal with having an actual hood over your range, versus having a microwave (with some type of vent in it) over your range?

I think the look of the hood is much nicer, but I'm guessing there are some trade-offs for that lovely look. First of all, we'd have to buy the hood, in addition to the range and the microwave. Secondly, we'd have to find a "home" for the microwave if it's not above the range.

Anyone want to enlighten me a little on this subject so that I can impress the hubby and builder with my vast knowledge? Thanks.

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OTR's don't vent very well even if they're vented to the outside. They have low CFM's ( most are 300 CFMs or less - a few go up to 400 or 450) - you generally want a hood with at least 600 CFMs (more if you have a grill on your range). The other draw back to an OTR is the capture area - it doesn't matter how powerful the hood is if it doesn't capture the smoke, heat, and grease and OTRs are very poor at this.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 9:10PM
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Wow...I just did a little more research. I'm thinking the type of range hood I'm talking about is way out of my price range...If anyone wants to "talk" about this topic, that's wonderful, but please don't feel compelled to do it on my account!! I'm thinking I'm just sticking with my nice little range with a microwave above it. (OK - I'll admit I was probably being really silly to think I could get one of those big gorgeous range hoods that I see in people's pictures for not alot of money.) I'm just going to go mind my own business now.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 9:14PM
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What is your price range? You don't need a big fancy hood to get better than an OTR MW.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 9:28PM
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lol, yeah the fancy ones are pricey.

However, you can get a decent range hood that will actually function for around $200. We just removed a microwave hood because it did absolutely nothing in terms of ventilation (seriously, on high smoke didn't even move at all), and also provided almost no light. The new, inexpensive range hood is light years better.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 9:30PM
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Hmmmm - I guess I should talk with hubby about it. He might have stronger feelings than I do about the ventilation part because I know he hates it when I cook now, and don't put the fan on above our cooktop.

Breezygirl - can't say I have a price range on a hood because we hadn't even thought of one!!! Like I said above, I guess it's worth a chat with my guy.

I do love the big fancy ones though....

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 9:46PM
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I have a $200 hood that is about 22Ocfm and my Mom put in a 400 cfm micro hood which works far better than mine despite having a much longer run to the outside. Capture is certainly an issue but if you don't have a gas range I doubt very much you need a 600cfm fan. I have 220cfm and can use a grill pan without setting off the smoke alarm which is less than 10 feet away. I think the more pressing issue with a micro hood is does it suit how you use your kitchen - if I had someone crossing into my cooking zone to use the micro all the time it would drive me up the wall. My Mom lives alone so it is very covenient for her to have all her cooking appliances in one location - she finds it much more efficient than when her microwave was not with her range.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 10:31PM
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I am looking at purchasing a vent hood and I was told by my cabinet guy I need to get a 6" hood.( Long story involving a beam). I looked around because I want to get rid of the OTR microwave ( it just doesn't draw well at all) and put in at least 600 CFMs. I found a zephyr for $600 that has 850 CFMs. The Microwaves are about $400. For a few hundred more i hope I can get the smoke and smells out of the house. :)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 10:48PM
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I had wanted a microwave above my new GE Cafe Gas Range but I am not quite 4'11" tall and I was not comfortable with any of the over the range microwaves at the home of friends so I knew I had to buy a stainless steel range hood and keep my old microwave on the counter catty corner. I kept going back between the GE recirculating one that looked cheap underneath but matched and the Broan that was not as good of a match. I happened to see a zephyr breeze ii series ak1200 at a store that was so much prettier than the pictures online so I went home to research it and knew I would be happy with the buttons underneath that I could reach, the clean modern lines in the front, the sleak look as well as the great lighting. It does a great job of getting out odors even in recirculation mode. In person with my GE Cafe Range, they look like a great match and it really is nice looking.

The price before installation can be found for less than $300 and it is rated 400 CFM if you vent it to the outdoors.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 12:20AM
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You get much much better ventilation with a hood than with a microwave over the range. We have an OTR right now and I would never do it again. When we fry or sear/brown anything and use the OTR vent, the scent STILL lingers the next day. It's awful. Also, on a microwaving front, it's just not convenient. If I'm using the stove and someone needs in the microwave, I have to move for them to do so. If it's one of our kids, they just can't use it b/c it's not safe. If we're microwaving a decently full bowl of soup, it's awkward to lift it up and back down to the counter.

There's my laundry list of reasons why we will be putting a hood in our new house. And there's a wide price range out there. Don't just stop at looking online. Go to Lowe's, Home Depot, etc. too. They also have hoods that are decently priced and work well.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 1:13AM
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