An over-the-range microwave oven in kitchen with green walls and laminate countertops
A microwave oven that heats your food and vents odors is bound to do one of those jobs poorly.

People searching for their dream home may have many items on their checklist.

Those usually have to do with curb appeal, a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms and spacious backyards for recreation and relaxation.

But indoor air quality should be included in that list, and the kitchen is one central location to consider — particularly over the range.

Over-the-range mounted microwave ovens can save space in a kitchen, and that’s part of their appeal, but a space-saving option could mean sacrificing something much more important: indoor air quality.

The exhaust fan in a microwave often just recirculates the air, rather than venting it to the outside.

Even if they do vent outside, over-the-range microwaves just don’t cover enough space to adequately capture all the smoke and steam generated in most kitchens.

There’s another concern for households with children: kids could reach over the stove to access the over-the-range microwave and inadvertently burn their hands on a hot stove.

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

In this video, we removed an over-the-range microwave in a home and replaced it with a NuTone range hood.

And we recommend homebuyers to do the same if their dream home happens to include an over-the-range microwave.

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