Range Hood Vent Problems and Solutions
There are a few Range hood vent problems that I have run into lately, so I thought it best to write an article about what can go wrong with hood vent installation and possible solutions for those problems.
The first most common problem is the hood vent is right in your face when trying to cook. The causes for this are either a lower than 8’ ceiling, or an oversized hood vent.
If you have an over sized hood vent then the fix is obvious, get a smaller one. Most people see these huge commercial range hoods at the local restaurant and think they need that monster at home. In my experience this is simply not the case. A hood vent the same width as your range or one size bigger with a 6” to 8" vent pipe in almost always sufficient. The only time a larger vent pipe and blower may be needed is on a 42” or over range width where the cook often has many things going at once.
When your ceiling is lower than 8’ even by a couple of inches this can lower the hood vent too much. The simple cure for a low ceiling is to search out a shorter recommended height hood vent. If the short hood is still too tall, then in some cases a modification is possible by cutting the hood vent sleeve. With a lower than 8’ ceiling there is usually not enough room for the vent pipe to 90 out the wall, only straight up.
The second most common problem is there is something in the way of the vent pipe installation and the hood vent can’t be centered on the range, or cook top.
If there is a rafter, truss, or floor joist stopping the vent pipe installation from going straight up then you have a problem. These framing members can rarely be moved without major reconstruction. If this was not checked out in the planning stage of the cabinet design then you’re reduced to drastic measures. In one case we had a stainless steel specialist make a jog in the top of the hood vent sleeve which allowed for a jog in the vent pipe.
When there is a wall stud, plumbing, or electrical in the way of the vent pipe going out of the wall it is an easier problem than ceiling framing. These things can usually be dealt with in the rough stages of the kitchen remodel.
The third thing that has come up is vibrating, or noisy hood vent operation. This is a manufacturer's problem and can only be caught by reading real product reviews. There was one case with a pop up hood that had a remote mounted large motor that sounded like a jet taking off at the cook top because of too much suck power, (that sucks!).
The key really to hood vent problems is to catch them in the design phase. If caught early the problems can be planned for easily by changing the cabinet layout, or moving things around in the rough stage. For general range hood information visit The Range Hood Guide.
Written by Max Wall
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