Advantages of Kitchen Range Hoods Over Microwaves for Venting

It’s important to remove the heat, odor, moisture, and smoke from your kitchen when cooking.

While over the range microwaves (OTR) are convenient, they don’t extend out far enough over the stove for proper venting, like range hoods do.

Also, often OTRs aren’t vented to the outside, but instead, use a charcoal filter to recirculate the air inside the home.

When buying a range hood, it’s important to consider:

    • Noise: The sones rating found on range hoods gives the level of perceived noise. The lower the sones number, the quieter the vent fan.
    • Venting: Range hoods are also rated by the number of cubic feet a minute (CFM) of air they move. To provide proper venting, the vent fan in the range hood needs to exchange the air in your kitchen at least 15 times per hour.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Danny Lipford: Another very important functional aspect of any kitchen is to have proper ventilation. These things have been real popular over the last few years. They’re called OTRs or over the range microwaves.

But homeowners have discovered a few problems with this type of approach to ventilation. And one’s very obvious, in that you’re using these burners probably more than any other, and the vent stops right here. So, that can be a problem.

And the most ideal situation is to move those odors and the heat all the way to the outside. Many times, this type of unit will only allow recirculation air coming in here, going through a charcoal filter and back into the room. Again, not the most ideal situation.

Allen Lyle: Well, Danny’s right. There’s a bit of a disadvantage to an over the range microwave. But I’ve got to say this, they’re very convenient. And of course, for space saving, you can’t beat it. But for the appliance over the range, you really need to consider a range hood.

There’s so many styles available to choose from, and right away you can see they’re much deeper, they’re going to cover the entire surface. You choose models that have the controls underneath, here on the face, I’ve seen some that are on top of the model. Of course, easy to clean filters, that’s a must now.

But what’s really great about the new models—the lighting. You got these lights that are either LEDs or quartz halogens, that’s great.

But before you make your choice based on style and features, there are two numbers you need to think about. Let me show you. I really like this model. It’s very sleek, very contemporary looking. I did mention two numbers, though.

First of all, it’s the sones number. That’s the level of noise. You want this to be very quiet. I mean, when the fan’s on, you don’t want it to sound like you’re at the airport. So, the lower the sones number, the quieter the motor.

The second number has to do with your CFMs. How many cubic feet of air per minute that this will move out. You see with kitchens it’s a little different. You want the air to exchange in your kitchen a minimum of 15 times per hour, so that number is important.

But figuring out is a little complicated. First of all, you need to have the cubic feet of your kitchen. You know, you need to know how many BTUs that your stove gives out. And then you need to know how many feet of ductwork it takes to go from here to vent all that to the outside. And you’re venting smoke, odor, moisture, and heat.


  1. Want to change my over the range micro wave to an range type canopy with filter. Problem is that it can’t be vented outside . Any suggestions

    • Hi, Margaretmc!
      We recommend having a contractor consult on this project. You’ll definitely want to have the range vent outside, and the contractor can give tailored advice to make that happen.
      Good luck!

  2. I really want to change out my over the range microwave to a good, but any suggestions where to put microwave? Especially with limited space.

    • Hi, Terri,
      Thanks for writing to us. Looks like there is an AutoCorrect issue so it’s a little hard to follow along.
      Please re-send the question. 🙂

  3. i have a cabinet and venting micro over my range. i’m buying a new stove and want to remove the cabinet and install an chimney hood. What will I need to do for install?

  4. I’m thinking about replacing the microwave over the range with the range vent and then buying a microwave for the counter what’s the most economical range vent I can get in can I install it myself thank you


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