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Range hoods draw smoke, steam and cooking aromas from your stovetop and vent them out of the house, helping to refresh the air in your kitchen. Some range hoods have internal blowers that recirculate the air in the kitchen without external venting.
Range hood installation can involve drilling a new vent hole through a wall, which can require new wiring and ductwork, while replacing old ones can be a simpler process. This guide reviews how to install a range hood and remove an old one.
Tip: Before you purchase a range hood, check the CFM rating of its fan. The CFM indicates the number of cubic feet of air the fan pulls per minute. Choose a fan with a CFM rating that is double the square footage of your kitchen.
Remove the Old Hood, If Necessary
When replacing a range hood, you’ll need to begin by removing the old one.
- Shut off the power to the range hood at the breaker box.
- Unplug the hood and disconnect all electrical wires and wiring connectors.
- Have a helper support the weight of the hood cover as you remove the support screws.
- Lift away the old range hood and set aside.
Locate and Mark the Vent Holes
Installing a range hood in the kitchen for the first time involves drilling a hole in the wall, attaching new duct work and adding new wiring if necessary.
- Begin by unpacking the unit and removing the filter, exhaust fan and electrical housing cover. Ideally, the new hood should be large enough to extend one inch past the stovetop on all four sides.
- Use a hammer and screwdriver to remove the knockouts for the electrical cable and the duct. Insert a cable connector into the cable knockout.
- Hold the hood in place against the chosen wall. Use a pencil to mark the locations for the holes for the duct and the cable. You may need a helper for this. Some models provide a template for marking the vent holes.
Tip: Determine the height of the range hood based on its capacity. Standard models should be installed about 18 to 24 inches above the cooktop surface, while high-capacity hoods are installed 24 to 30 inches above the cooktop.
Cut Interior Hole and Drill Locator Holes
- Choose the direction of the vent that will lead from indoors to outdoors most directly. (A rule of thumb suggests "Take the shortest path to daylight.") If your stove is not built in an exterior wall, consider consulting with a home improvement specialist, as you may need to extend a vent through the roof.
- Cut a vent hole through the interior drywall or plaster with a reciprocating saw or hole saw. Wear a dust mask and eye protection.
- Use a long bit to drill locator holes at each corner of the vent hole all the way through the exterior wall.
Tip: Take all precautions to avoid studs, pipes or wires while cutting and drilling. If you need to relocate pipes or wires, you may need to consult with a plumber or electrician.
Cut the Siding
- Find the locater holes outside the house.
- Use a pencil or marker to connect the dots between the locater holes to outline the vent hole.
- Cut the vent hole in the siding using a reciprocating saw, saber saw with an extra-long blade or keyhole saw to follow the outline. Remove the siding.
- Remove insulation or debris that could interfere with installing the duct.
Attach the Duct
- From the outside, push the duct’s wall cap into the opening to see if the duct is long enough to reach the range hood.
- If not, purchase a duct extension and attach it with sheet metal screws and duct tape.
- Apply caulk to the siding where the cap flange will rest.
- Push the cap into place and fasten it with screws.
- Caulk the perimeter of the flange.
Run Power to the Range Hood
- Shut off power to the circuit and make sure the hood’s power switches are in the “off” position.
- Run cable from a nearby receptacle or junction box through the hole in the wall.
- Strip the sheathing and attach the cable to the range hood with the cable connector.
- Mount the hood securely by driving mounting brackets or screws into studs or adjacent cabinets. You may need a helper to hold the hood in place while you drive the screws.
Tip: You may need to consult an electrician if you need to extend wiring to the vent hood location.
Connect the Wires
- Before wiring the range hood, confirm that the power is switched off at the breaker box.
- Splice the white wire to the white fixture lead, the black wire to the black lead and the ground wire to the green lead.
- Fold the wires into place and replace the electrical cover.
- Reattach the range hood fan and filter.
- Restore power and test the range vent.
Venting Through Masonry Wall
When venting through a masonry wall, use a slightly different method to cut through the wall.
- Use a long masonry bit to drill the locator holes.
- Draw the outline carefully, double-checking that the vent can fit with room to spare.
- Drill holes about every inch along the outline.
- Use a hammer and cold chisel to chip between the holes.
- When the hole is finished, follow the above instructions for attaching the vent.
- Drill holes and drive masonry screws to attach the duct cap.
Tip: After sawing, cutting or drilling through drywall, a masonry wall and other building materials, be sure to vacuum up the dust. Wear eye protection and a respirator mask while drilling or cutting through masonry.
Hood vent installation for the first time requires drilling and cutting holes in the kitchen wall, while replacing a range hood may allow you to use the existing vent work. Learning how to install a range hood over your oven or stove top will improve ventilation and can help you clear the air.
When shopping for new appliances, remember that homes built before the year 2000 use 3-prong plugs, and those built after 2000 use 4-prong plugs.
When you add professional installation to your new appliance purchase from us, the delivery agent carries both types of cords to make sure your home is covered. If you purchase a new appliance from us without opting for professional installation, we’ll provide a 4-prong cord. If your home is equipped with a 3-prong outlet, you will need to purchase a 3-prong cord or connector adapter separately.
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