Ask Danny Videos

Kitchen Range Hood or Over the Range Microwave for Venting

By: Danny Lipford
Stainless steel range hood over stove with painted cabinets.

Range hood over stove for venting.

Over the range (OTR) mounted microwave ovens can save space in your kitchen, but the exhaust fan in a microwave often just recirculates the air, rather than venting it to the outside.

Since a range hood protrudes further, it also does a better job of capturing smoke, steam, and cooking odors and venting them outdoors.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Video Transcript

Danny Lipford: People remodeling their kitchen often ask what I think of microwaves mounted over the stove. While I understand the desire to save space, I usually advice against it.

Whenever I can, I replace over-the-range microwaves—or OTRs—with a proper vent hood, like this one we’re installing from NuTone. That’s because most OTRs only recirculate cooking fumes through a filter and back into the kitchen.

Now, even if they do vent outside, they just don’t cover enough space to adequately capture all of the smoke and steam generated in most kitchens. Not to mention the danger of small children climbing over the stove to reach the microwave.

A properly sized, installed, and vented range hood will do a vastly superior job of removing cooking fumes from your kitchen. And, in the process, you’ll improve the indoor air quality of your home.


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9 Comments on “Kitchen Range Hood or Over the Range Microwave for Venting”

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  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    November 14th, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Hi, Alex!
    We recommend submitting questions involving unique situations like yours to the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.
    Please use this form to contact Danny Lipford, America’s Home Expert, directly:
    Take care!

  • Alex Monteiro Says:
    November 13th, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    I want to vent my otc microwave oven to the outside wall. I understand
    that this microwave can be converted from ventless to vent, but I would like to know if there is any special insulated or galvanized piping which would be needed to be directly attached to the microwave and
    vented out to the outside wall…. or is this at all an option?

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    March 29th, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Hi, Joseph,
    Here’s “Today’s Homeowner” host Danny Lipford’s answer to your question:
    “The majority of over-the-range microwaves, and they’re referred to as OTRs, can be converted from a ventless to a vented type by rotating a vent section on top of the microwave.
    I would suggest Googling the model microwave you have to find the diagram for the suggested venting.”
    Thanks for your question.

  • Joseph Cabadas Says:
    February 21st, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    What do mean mean that the over the range vent is convertible?

  • Linda Hock Says:
    October 30th, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    My husband and I enjoy all of your practical, down to earth advice and projects. Also, the part about new tools and products available at Home Depot. I’m retiring soon, and we look forward to having the time to work together on home improvement projects.

  • Elizabeth Williams Says:
    October 22nd, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    I have been looking for info on how can I install a hood range vent. My hood range microwave quit working and I would prefer a vent over my stove. Would like some tips or what would be the cost to have someone install it for me.

  • Zorba Says:
    March 23rd, 2017 at 1:35 pm


    The Microwave fan’s power makes up for any loss of coverage – PLUS the Microwave is usually closer to the range top. Hoods are often way up in the air allowing a lot of the steam/fumes/smoke to escape before they even reach the hood. As long as the Microwave is vented outside AND has a good, powerful fan, they’re fine, look better, and work as well, if not better.

  • susan Says:
    December 27th, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I have a Dacor stove with a maximum 58,000 btu output and an over the range microwave. Recently, our microwave failed and we are looking to replace it. Do we need to purchase a “high performance” microwave like Dacor or Viking or can we purchase a run of the mill microwave. Our clearance from stove to microwave is 16″.

  • Antonia Says:
    June 1st, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    I LOVE this show!! I am a renter which is stupid (paid 59,000 n rent)!!! Since the upstairs gets sooo hot bc the door is not insulated well what can I do to keep the heat out? I have a sweater that I usual use ?

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Kitchen Range Hood or Over the Range Microwave for Venting