Microwave vent a hood: Should I purchase a vent hood or microwave vent hood?

Range Hood vs. Microwave: Vent Hood Options

A “standard” range hood is designed specifically for venting while a microwave hood cooks food and also vents. Either one will offer venting performance sufficient for most at-home cooking techniques. Both can vent kitchen air outside or through recirculation, depending on the model and your home’s ductwork. 

Ventilation is an important part of keeping your kitchen fresh for each new day of making. Whether you choose a standard range hood vs. a microwave hood will depend on the type of cooking surface below it as well as the kind of cooking you do most often. Read on to find the ideal option for you and breathe new life into your kitchen.

What are my kitchen ventilation options?

Kitchen vent hoods come in distinct types, one of which is the microwave hood combination. Before you choose between a microwave hood and another type of hood, get familiar with all the possibilities. Read our breakdown below or explore the full KitchenAid article on different types of kitchen hoods and ducted vs. ductless hoods.

Canopy hoods come in wall-mount models or kitchen island models. They offer powerful venting and advanced features. 

Under-cabinet hoods fit beneath the cabinets over your range. They’re small and discrete but also feature a variety of venting strengths. 

Microwave hood combinations can cook food while venting smoke, odor and grease coming off the cooking surface below.

Retractable downdraft hoods are installed into countertops. They remain flush with the countertop until needed, then rise high above the cooking surface when turned on.

5 Benefits of Standard Kitchen Range HoodS

For the purposes of this article, we’ll call any hood that isn’t a microwave a “standard” range hood. A standard kitchen hood would be a canopy, under-cabinet or retractable downdraft hood. When comparing a standard over-the-range hood vs. a microwave hood, consider these benefits.


1. More venting strength available

A range hood with strong venting capabilities helps clear the air while you create with messy techniques like frying, searing and sauteing. Standard range hoods tend to offer higher CFM Motor Class1 ratings than microwaves, which means they can often suck up more air per minute (cubic feet per minute). While some microwave hood combinations feature CFM ratings that are comparable to standard hoods, the highest CFMs available will typically be in a standard range hood, particularly a canopy, retractable or commercial-style hood. You can also learn more about how a range hood works with our guide.

Standard range hood: Typically 200 to 600 CFM Motor Class available. Some commercial-style models reach up to around 1200 CFM Motor Class. 

Microwave hood combination: Typically 200 to 500 CFM Motor Class available.

1. Performance varies based on installation. Resources available at AHAM.org.

2. External Venting Widely Available

Many canopy and retractable downdraft hoods are ducted, which means they vent kitchen air out of the house through ductwork in the wall, ceiling or floor. Microwave hood combinations and under-cabinet hoods, on the other hand, typically come factory set to recirculate air, meaning they filter the air then push it back out into the kitchen. 


3. High heat tolerance 

If you have a commercial-style gas range, you may have a burner that puts out high BTUs. BTUs (British Thermal Units) measure the amount of heat a gas burner can produce. High-BTUS burners demand a vent hood that can handle that heat and clear the byproducts of combustion the range is capable of producing. Higher BTU burners also usually require a bit more clearance between the cooking surface and the vent hood.

Most standard gas ranges can be paired with a microwave hood, but if you have a commercial-style range with high BTU burners, you’ll likely want a standard range hood. Standard hoods usually have stronger heat tolerance than microwave hood combinations, and are often installed higher above the range as well. Canopy hoods and retractable downdraft hoods will often have the highest BTU ratings. Keep in mind that range hood installation requirements vary by design and may require different clearances. Check the installation instructions to ensure you choose the right hood for your space.


4. Style and Aesthetics

Some people use their range hoods to enhance the look and feel of their kitchen. Many canopy hoods feature modern, clean lines and shiny stainless steel that can add to the style of a contemporary kitchen. Some canopy hoods are more curvilinear, so may work better in a traditional-style kitchen. Under-cabinet hoods and retractable downdraft hoods are often hardly noticeable if you prefer a streamlined, minimal look. 


5. Advanced Venting Features Available

You may find some features on standard range hoods that you won’t see on a microwave hood combination. For example, select KitchenAid® canopy and under-cabinet hoods offer Perimetric Ventilation which pulls air from the edges of the hood, speeding up the movement of air at the intake. Higher-end canopy hoods can come with automatic features that can sense what type of venting you need like Automatic Turn On and the Automatic Speed Setting by KitchenAid.

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5 Benefits of Microwave Hood Combinations

While there are plenty of benefits to standard range hoods, microwave hood combinations offer the additional functionality of cooking food. Plus, these microwaves may surprise you when it comes to venting strength and other features. Read on to learn more about the benefits of over-the-range microwave venting options or browse KitchenAid® microwave hood combinations to learn more.


1. Space Saving

These two-in-one appliances save space by getting your microwave off the countertop while letting you retain some cabinet space above the microwave. If you’re working with limited space above the range, consider the KitchenAid® Low Profile Microwave Hood Combination which gives cooks more room to create above the cooking surface. Learn more about microwave sizes.



Over-the-range microwaves vent kitchen air while delivering major cooking capabilities. Some offer enhanced heated air flow that helps achieve exceptional results. For example, select KitchenAid® microwave hood combinations feature Convection Cooking that allows baking at temperatures up to 425° F, and Sensor Steam which precisely steams food based on type and selected doneness.


3. SIMPLE installation

Many microwave hood combinations come factory set to vent via air recirculation, meaning they filter the air then push it back out into the kitchen. Other types of hoods that vent externally require ductwork in the wall, ceiling or floor. If you don’t have ductwork already, you’ll need a professional to install it. Microwave hood combinations, on the other hand, are fairly simple to install yourself. 


4. Streamlines Your Kitchen Design

Microwave hood combinations are a single appliance solution. They eliminate the need for two separate appliance purchases, installations and dedicated spaces. A pared down set of appliances can help streamline your kitchen layout, open it up and make space for other design elements. 


5. adequate Venting Strength Available

Microwave hoods may not come with the type of ventilation and heat tolerance needed for a serious, commercial-style range, but they can still offer powerful venting for creative home cooks. For example, select KitchenAid® over-the-range microwaves deliver 500 CFM Motor Class2 venting strength.

2. Performance varies based on installation. Resources available at AHAM.org.

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Do Over-the-Range Microwaves Have Exhaust Fans?

Some over-the-range microwaves have exhaust fans that vent kitchen air out of the house through ductwork in the wall. Some don’t and instead filter, then push it back out into the kitchen. Many will come with the ability to do either, so you must choose which one and set it up before installing.


Some over-the-range microwaves vent outside, some recirculate air and many can do both. Before purchasing a new microwave, check the product specifications, user manual or installation instructions to determine what type of ventilation capabilities it has. Microwaves that do both may require you to make some adjustments before installing.

Ducted or vented microwaves feature exhaust fans that vent air outside of the house.

Recirculating, non-ducted or updraft microwaves filter air then push it back into the kitchen. 

Convertible microwaves give you the option to select your ventilation type.

Are Over-the-Range Microwaves Dated or Out of Style?

No. Over-the-range microwaves are a very popular choice for many contemporary kitchens. They’re a space-saving, practical and streamlined appliance that offers excellent cooking and venting performance. If you’re looking for another option, built-in microwaves are also very popular. You often see them in large, high-end kitchens along with a standalone range hood to take care of the venting. Browse KitchenAid® built-in microwaves to learn more.

Do I Always Need a Range Hood or Microwave Hood?

Not necessarily. Check your state and local building codes for minimum home requirements. Plus, check your range, cooktop and desired hood’s use and care guide for the manufacturer’s recommendations on optimal appliance operation and efficiency. Even if a hood is not required, ventilation can be key for clearing the air as well as keeping the area around the range or cooktop clean. It also helps remove odors from the kitchen and sets the tone for every new journey of creating.


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  • 5 Types of Range Hoods for Any Kitchen

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  • What Is a Downdraft Range or Cooktop?

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Range Hood vs. Over the Range Microwave Comparison

When it comes to home purchases, you want to make sure you’re buying appliances that won’t slow you down—that’s why it’s important to find the type of microwave that works for you. Knowing the pros and cons of the models you’re interested in can help. 

This guide will break down the differences between range hood and over-the-range microwaves to help you choose the best model for your kitchen.

Appliance purchases are a big decision, so it’s important to know all the pros and cons of a range hood vs. microwave.


The main difference between a “standard” range hood and an over-the-range microwave is that range hoods are designed for venting only while microwave hoods combine functions of both venting and cooking.

Your microwave can help clear the air as you cook to make mealtimes run smoothly. Breaking down the differences between range hoods and over-the-range microwaves can help you as you decide on which appliance to buy.


When cooking your food on the stove, proper ventilation is essential for controlling smoke, odor and grease in the air. A range hood does this by sucking in hot gas and smoke particles from the stove or cooktop with an electric fan.


With a range hood, there are two types of ventilation systems: external venting and recirculating venting. External venting involves pushing air out of the house through ductwork, and recirculating venting involves filtering air as it enters the hood before pushing the air back out into the kitchen.


“Standard” range hoods, or any hood that isn’t a microwave, come in a variety of options:


Over-the-range microwaves give you the ability to vent and cook food with the same appliance, providing more versatility in the kitchen. In addition to functioning like a regular countertop or built-in microwave, an over-the-range microwave uses exhaust fans to vent kitchen air out of the house through ductwork in the wall.


Microwave hoods can utilize external or recirculating venting. For added flexibility when cooking on the stove, many over-the-range models have the ability to use both options.


Compared to over-the-range microwaves, the benefits of range hoods like these models by Maytag brand lie in the power of their ventilation. When it comes down to range hoods vs. microwave hoods, your choice will likely depend on how much ventilation power you need and the layout of your kitchen.

If you have space in your kitchen or don’t need the dual function of a microwave hood, range hoods can provide the following benefits compared to microwave vents:

  • More venting strength

  • Several external venting options

  • High heat tolerance

  • Advanced venting features like Perimetric Ventilation


Because standard range hoods aren’t able to cook food, this model type won’t replace a microwave. However, you can place a separate microwave elsewhere in your kitchen if you prefer to replace your existing over-the-range microwave with a range hood.








As for over-the-range microwaves, the benefits center around their dual cooking-venting functionality and their space-saving abilities. With an over-the-range microwave like these models by Maytag brand, you’ll benefit from clearer air in your kitchen.

If you’re looking for ways to free up valuable kitchen space, microwave hoods may provide these additional benefits:


Because microwave hoods have dual-purpose functionality for both cooking and venting, you may be able to replace a range hood with an over-the-range microwave.

Before purchasing an over-the-range microwave or range hood, check the use and care guides for your range or cooktop and desired hood for product-specific recommendations for optimal appliance operation and efficiency.


If you have a microwave model with venting capabilities, like over-the-range microwaves or microwave hood combinations, you may not need a range hood.

If you have a standard microwave or built-in model installed above your range, check state and local building codes to make sure you’re in compliance with any minimum home requirements for ventilation.


Yes, some microwave hoods have exhaust fans in which kitchen air is sucked in through the appliance and out of the house via ductwork. Depending on your model, some over-the-range microwaves operate by using exhaust fans to vent kitchen air out of the house through ductwork in the wall while others use a filter to recirculate air. Other models have the ability to do both.


Yes, some microwave hood models allow for outside venting through the use of exhaust fans. To find out the exact venting options of your desired over-the-range microwave, refer to the model’s product specifications, user manual or installation instructions before purchasing.








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  • How to Install an Over-the-Range Microwave & Hood

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oven – danger or help

Today, microwave ovens, commonly called microwave ovens, are widely used by the population in everyday life. With the help of a microwave oven, food is heated evenly in a short time. Certain models have the function and cooking. One of the useful features of microwave ovens is that food is heated evenly and does not require the addition of fat. 12 cm). What does this radiation do to food? The alternating electromagnetic field of microwaves causes dipole molecules (with a partial positive electric charge at one end and a partially negative charge at the other) to spin back and forth quickly, they hit other molecules and make them move faster, increasing their energy (i.e. temperature). This process of absorption of electromagnetic waves is called dipole heating.

The most common dipole molecules in food are water molecules, and microwave radiation primarily heats water (this, in particular, explains why food heats up but ceramic dishes do not). At the same time, it must be understood that microwave radiation is not ionizing radiation and the only effect that microwaves have on food is ordinary heating. It is no different from any other method of heating – be it charcoal frying, gas or electric oven, except for the fact that in a microwave oven heating occurs simultaneously not only on the surface of the products, but also in volume.

When purchasing a microwave oven, first of all read the instruction manual and the rules for safe use, otherwise burns, fires, exposure to microwave energy or electric shock may occur. Make sure that your machine is working properly, that its doors fit snugly on the case and that the connection is tight. There should be no signs of damage on the walls of the case.

Do not use metal utensils or utensils with metal inserts (rim, metal trim), gold or other metal rims on the utensils can induce high frequency current which can cause sparks and arcs. Heat-resistant glass, glass-ceramics, ceramics, porcelain, special plastic for a microwave oven are well suited for microwave mode. Do not heat food in sealed containers . It is undesirable to put food in a plastic wrapper in the microwave. After all, polyethylene, when heated, releases harmful substances that enter the heated food , and then into the human body.

The microwave oven is not safe if used incorrectly and caution when working with it will not be superfluous. During the operation of microwave ovens, energy leakage may occur as a result of a violation of the screen of the working chamber. The design of a microwave oven, as a rule, provides sufficient protection against electromagnetic radiation: the observation window has a special glass with a metal coating or is shielded with a metallized mesh, the door has a special seal along the contour, as well as a lock (when the door is opened, the microwave generator automatically turns off). In a working microwave oven, due to shielding (protection), there is only a slight radiation that does not pose a danger. Appliances with damaged casings or doors must not be used . During operation, the protection of microwave ovens may be violated (destruction of the protective film on the glass, the seal on the door, etc.