A range hood, also known as a vent hood or exhaust hood, can be a great addition to your kitchen—especially if you have a busy kitchen. This kitchen apparatus collects fumes, oil, grease, odor, smoke, steam and other particles produced while preparing a meal and drive them out of the building, similar to when you install an exhaust fan in a bathroom. A few years ago, range hoods were more common in restaurants and fast food outlets for safety and convenience purposes. They’ve rapidly grown in popularity to become a vital part of modern home kitchen designs, as they enhance the aesthetic of any kitchen. Today, just about any home kitchen has a range hood.
Benefits of Installing a Range Hood in Your Kitchen
A range hood sucks up all the toxic pollutants and gasses in your kitchen and vents them out of your building with just one push of a button. Besides ridding your kitchen of toxic gasses and pollutants, a range hood maintains your kitchen clean, helping to keep bacteria, germs and mold at bay. It also reduces the amount of carbon monoxide in your kitchen, preventing health dangers such as dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting and potential risk of heart disease.
In today’s real estate market, homes or houses with range hoods have a higher resale value than those without. Most range hoods come with lighting, which enables you to clearly see what you’re cooking. Range hood lighting also enhances your overall kitchen lighting.
Before You Install a Range Hood
When looking to install a range hood, you’ll be faced with two choices: do it yourself or hire an expert to do it for you. While hiring an expert is convenient and saves you time, you’ll have to pay to get it done. However, if you want to do it yourself, you’ll need an extra pair of hands to help you lift the range hood into position. You’ll also need an electrician to help you establish the location of wirings in the wall before you start drilling and cutting and connect your range hood to a power source.
Tools and Materials
- Power drill
- Power screwdriver
- Level ruler
- Tape measure
- Hand screwdriver
- Aluminum-back dark tape
- Drywall saw
Remove the Old Range Hood
If you have an existing/old range hood in your kitchen, you’ll need to remove it to make space for the new one. Before you do this, however, ensure to disconnect it from the power line. Locate the hood circuit breaker and turn off the power supply to the hood. Also, you need space to easily remove the existing hood. If you’re using an electric range, disconnect it from the power line and move it. Gas ranges tend to be heavy, so you won’t be able to move it alone. The best thing to do is to place a blanket on its top to protect it when removing the hood.
Disassemble the Cover and Fan Filter
Once you’ve protected the top of your range, disassemble the range hood. Disassembling some of its parts allows you to take accurate measurements and install the hood easily. The most important parts to disassemble are the range hood cover, the fan filters and the mounting bracket. Separate the cover from the range hood by unthreading the screws holding it using a hand screwdriver. Next, remove the fan filters. Use a hand screwdriver to unthread the screws to release the fan filter frames. Finally, unthread the mounting bracket. Keep the range hood and the detached parts safe from damage. It’s a good idea to cover a section of your floor near your range with a piece of old blanket and place the range hood on it while disassembling the parts.
Shut Off the Electricity and Ensure Light Switches Are Off
Now, shut off the main source of power to the kitchen and ensure all light switches are off. This is a safety precaution to ensure that no electric current is coming to the range hood.
Prepare Vents on Vented Hoods
Once you’ve removed your old hood, you’ll need to begin the process of installing your new range hood. But before you buy a new range hood to install, ensure that the existing vent/vent hole matches it. The vent should also match your vent pipe. If your old hood is a duct-free one, you’ll need a completely new vent.
Here is how to prepare your vent.
Mark the Spot to Cut Out
A vent/vent hole runs your duct through the ceiling to the attic and finally to the rooftop vent. You have two options when it comes to cutting out your vent: cut it through the ceiling or the wall. Note that it’s expensive to vent your range hood through your ceiling than through your wall.
Before you make your vent, mark the spot to cut out. Note the dimensions of your vent must match the dimensions of your vent pipe. To ensure this, measure the outer diameter of the vent pipe using a tape measure. Set the compass to 1/8 inch larger than the pipe’s half diameter. Assuming your compass is attached to a pencil, draw a circle on a piece of carton. Cut out the circle with a drywall saw to get a carton wheel. Use the carton wheel and a pencil to mark the spot where you intend to cut out the vent. Size up the hood to ensure that it perfectly fits the vent.
Drill the Cut for the Vent
After marking out the spot for your vent, use a power drill to drill out the vent hole. You need to be very careful at this stage because when you drill the vent incorrectly, the whole process could fail. Wear a dust mask and safety glasses before you start drilling, and ensure that an electrician checks the wall for any wiring behind it before you drill.
Work Around the Cutout
In the course of drilling the vent, you may encounter piping or electrical cables. It’s a good idea to seek the services of a professional before you commence.
Installing the ductwork can be a challenging task if it’s your first time doing it because it involves climbing to the roof to insert the aluminum vent pipe through the roof vent, passing it through the attic and through the vent hole in your ceiling. At this time, the aluminum vent pipe should be hanging from the ceiling waiting to be attached to the range hood.
How to Install Your Range Hood
First, you’ll need to measure the distance between the cooktop and the range hood using a tape measure. A range hood should be mounted at least 24 inches above the cooktop. Once you’ve done that, mark it with a pencil to give you a reference point when mounting your range. Draw a horizontal line across the marketed point using a pencil and level ruler to ensure the range hood will be level. You’ll then need to mark the center of your installation on the wall and draw a vertical line that goes all the way to the ceiling using the pencil and level rule for reference.
Next, mark the location of the wall plugs. At this point, you must have measured the distance between the bottom part of the range top and where it attaches to the mounting bracket. The mounting bracket is usually attached to the back of the range hood using screws. Its purpose is to hold the weight of the range hood into place. Use the mounting bracket you detached from the range hood earlier as a template to mark the position of the wall plugs on the wall. Then, use the power screwdriver to drill the wall plug holes. The wall plugs are used to hold the screws, used to hold the mounting bracket, into position. Once you’ve drilled the holes, insert the studs into them and use a mallet to hammer them into the wall.
You’ll also need to make a hole for the cables if necessary and cut it out using a drywall saw. You’ll use the hole to run the cable through and connect it to the power source.
Drill Mounting Brackets
Install the mounting bracket screws. Use the power screwdriver to install them into the wall plugs. Be sure to leave the screws one-eighth of an inch to enable you to mount your range hood.
Ensure the Alignment
Use the level ruler to ensure the alignment of your mounting bracket. Proper alignment of the mounting bracket will ensure proper alignment of the range hood.
Connect the Wires
This step involves clamping the electric cables to the hood. You can do this yourself if you have the connect manual. But, this stage requires the expertise of an electrician to ensure that everything is done properly.
Reattach the Range Hood Cover, Filters and Mounting Bracket
Remember, you detached the range hood cover, filters and mounting bracket to make taking measurements easier. Now is the time to reattach them and should be an easy step using your screwdriver.
Install the Ceiling Bracket
The ceiling bracket supports the ductwork. As the name suggests, the ceiling bracket is installed near the ceiling, and its function is to support the ductwork. To install the ceiling bracket, place it in line with the center line and screw it into the wall using a power screwdriver.
Hang the Range Hood and Connect
Attach the mounting bracket back to the range hood and hang the range hood on the screws. The range hood can be heavy, so find someone to help you lift it slowly and carefully into position. Use the level ruler to ensure the range hood body is level. Then, use your power screwdriver to tighten the mounting screws. You can secure the range hood by drilling one hole on each of its sides using your power drill and tightening it with an inch and a half screws. If you followed the provided template, then the range hood should fit perfectly. If it doesn’t fit perfectly, don’t force it. Just unscrew the range hood and repeat the measurements.
Wrap Up the Aluminum Vent Pipe and Attach to Range Hood
Attach the hanging aluminum vent pipe to the range hood transition and secure it with a screw on the side. You can also secure it with some ceiling tar to give a tight seal. Cover the outside of the vent pipe with aluminum duct tape to ensure no air escapes when the range hood is on.
Install the Vent Cover
Align the vent cover by placing it over the range hood. Lift the upper cover up to the ceiling. Use a hand screwdriver to thread the screws and secure the vent cover to the ceiling bracket. When installing the vent cover, ensure to wear gloves because the aluminum metal edges are sharp. If your rage hood is driving smoke and excess heat out of the kitchen using an exterior wall, you will have to install an external vent outside of your house.
Reset the Power and Test
Switch on the main power supply line. Then, turn on the circuit that supplies power to the range hood. Ensure that the fan and the lights are working.
Most modern kitchens have range hoods, and many DIY fanatics think they can install this kitchen accessory easily. At a glance, range hood installation can feel like an easy task or like installing other types of fans. However, a lot goes into installing this appliance successfully. First, you must get the measurements right. Second, you need some knowledge on installing this appliance. Third, you must have the right tools to complete the task successfully. Incorrect measurements mean you’ll have to start the process from scratch.
Enjoy Your New Range Hood
Improper range hood installation can result in grave problems, which can be very expensive to fix. Therefore, if you have done this before, you can install your range hood yourself. However, when it comes to electrical installation, you’ll need an expert electrician to help you out. On the other hand, if you’ve never carried out range hood installation before, it’s a good idea to hire a professional to do it for you so you can get in the kitchen and enjoy your new range hood.