how to go from otr mw fan to range hood exhaust?

bsmith1May 8, 2013

I'm moving into my new house soon. Currently there is a microwave over the cooktop with a typical exhaust fan that blows the air right back into the room. There is no vent or pipe in the cabinet above the microwave.

I have this in my current house, and I'm SO sick of my house smelling like last night's dinner for days on end.

I'm not sure how pricey a proposition it is to install an exhaust fan that actually moves the air outside. Ideally, I'd like a wood hood and to move the microwave elsewhere. I assume some venting would have to be run to the outside (through the roof? out some other way?) and that just sounds expensive and scary to me.

Say it ain't so?

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Our range is on an exterior wall and it wasn't expensive at all to vent it outside. At least, I assume it wasn't; it was all rolled into a budget gut renovation. And it makes a HUGE difference!

Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 1:05PM
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Are you having other work done in your new home?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 1:16PM
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Debrak - Not of the major remodeling kind. My cooktop is not on an exterior wall. I am having floors refinished and cabinets painted, but otherwise the house is only 12 years old and in great shape.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 1:28PM
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Sophie Wheeler

If you have a single floor home with attic above, then the wood hood will be probably the biggest expense over the actual duct work. 3-5K for it. Maybe $500-$1200 for the ducting if it's not too far to the exterior. It all depends on where the cooktop is in relationship to the exterior. Get a HVAC professional in to give you ideas about the ducting. A cabinet professional can give you some ideas about a hood, but doing an under cabinet hood in place of the MW will be your cheapest solution. You can probably get a decent one of those for around $300. I know $800-$6200 is a broad estimate, but you've got to do some homework to narrow it down.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 1:32PM
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holly - it's a two story, but it's about 3 feet from the exterior wall to the right of it.

I don't like the look of the under cabinet hoods I've seen...and those don't vent to the outside, right?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 1:48PM
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Undercabinet hoods can duct to the outside. I have a Broan Allure III that we specifically bought for the dual venting capabilities. When we originally purchased it, the house we lived in would have had ductwork added for external venting. We moved and did not install it in that house....fastforward a few house with MW over range (HATE IT). Replaced the MW with the Allure III and did not duct externally (it's a big deal). The fan does a great job of removing cooking odors even though it's currently recirculating. The air movement is great (600 cfm) and the filters are outstanding.

So, if you're looking for a temporary solution, you can get an undercabinet hood that might work until you can afford to do the reno.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 1:59PM
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Thanks for the info, dees.

I suppose I will just have to contact some pros to get estimates to determine exactly what this will run me.

So it seems I should start with an HVAC person to determine ducting costs, correct?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 2:14PM
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We bought an otr microwave that vented to the outside. It cost us $300 to have the HVAC guy run the vent thru the attic. I have a small kitchen and it was the best solution for us.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 2:23PM
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The easiest way for them to run duct in a two-story house is between the floor joists in the ceiling above. Well, the easiest way is probably to run through upper cabinets, if you have them. You need to figure out which way those ceiling joists run - look in an upstairs register or at the joists in the basement or attic to get a good guess. If they go the right way your ducting could go up from the hood to the ceiling, turn a right angle to go between the joists, and go out through the wall.

We had a guy from a fireplace shop come and look at our house. He had good suggestions for how to get to the outside from an interior wall, and it wasn't what we thought it was going to be, mostly because the joists ran in an inconvenient direction. We were ballpark-quoted in the $1000 neighborhood to go completely across the top of the kitchen and out the opposite brick wall, plus a second run of duct in another place, through another brick wall, for make-up air (required for a 401+ CFM hood in our area). I believe if we only had to do the single run, it'd have been about half that. Material costs are very low and the hard work in our case was getting through the masonry. Note that our estimate did not include patching up the ceiling after they cut a bunch of holes in it.

We also have a recirculating microwave-hood and we hate it. The diffuser piece at the top on ours has broken so I get the breeze right in my forehead as I stand at the stove. We can't wait to have a proper outside-venting hood!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 5:27PM
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