One of the essential pieces of equipment in the kitchen is the range hood. It keeps the room smelling good and looking great by promoting proper air circulation and preventing greasy cabinet or countertop surfaces. The range hood can effectively absorb the awful cooking smell, smoke, poisonous gas, and hot air. If you’re thinking of installing one, this is your ultimate guide on how to vent a range hood on an interior wall.
In this article, we answer your questions:
- Why install a vented range hood?
- What materials do you need to vent your range hood?
- What factors to consider when venting a range hood?
- What are the steps to vent a range hood on an interior wall?
- Are there venting options?
- What are the key points you need to observe and remember?
- What are other things you want to know about venting a range hood?
Why install a vented range hood?
A properly vented and installed range hood can enhance the look of your kitchen, making it highly functional, stylish, and safe. It is a practical investment that quickly absorbs unwanted kitchen odors and traps grease, reducing the cleaning time.
It is crucial to get rid of the pollutants and cooking fumes that are hazardous to health. The cooking fumes contain two chemical compounds that are considered carcinogens and more than 200 toxic gases. Imagine them floating over your kitchen space and home area where you and your family are inhaling their toxicity. The increased level of carbon dioxide trapped in the air can have a long-term impact on the body. Venting your range hood provides a healthy and better air quality around the kitchen area while preparing meals.
What materials do you need to vent your range hood on the interior wall?
Here’s a checklist of tools and supplies to ensure seamless and successful venting:
- Manual on how to vent a range hood on an interior wall
- Measuring tape
- Utility knife
- Adjustable wrench
- Self-tapping screws
- Aluminum or duct tape
- An angle grinder, PVC trim, and silicone (for creating a mounting plate)
- Wall cap
- Hole saw
- Needle nose pliers
- Electric drill
- Clear exterior caulk
- Safety gloves and goggles
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What do you need to consider when venting a range hood?
Installing a range hood on the interior wall is the common option that homeowners choose. While it may seem a daunting task, it is doable when you have skills and experience in installation. You always have the option to hire a contractor to get it done for you. If you choose to do it yourself, you need to remember that the range hood needs ducts that will run on your walls. Doing it right is crucial to maximizing its functionality.
Venting your range hood on the interior wall is much easier than climbing your roof to install it. This method is also called ‘horizontal wall venting’ because it requires about 18 inches of venting before you can install an elbow.
The larger the CFM of your range hood, the larger is the diameter duct you need to create to optimize the sucking effect. Inappropriate duct size can choke the air while it moves to the outside, putting greater strain on the equipment’s motor as it tries the maximum amount of air in a minute. If the duct is too small for the range hood, it produces annoying, loud noises and causes leakages in joints of the duct.
The recommended range hood duct size:
- For a 400 CFM hood, you need a 4-inches duct
- For a 600 CFM hood, you need a 6-inches duct
- For a 900 CFM hood, you need an 8-inches duct
- For a 1200 CFM hood, you need a 10-inches duct
Now, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and work by following these steps:
1. Dismantle the range hood
You need to dismantle your new range hood to facilitate installation and avoid breaking or damaging any of its parts.
- Detach the double filter, then remove the covering beneath the range hood.
- Next, remove the connecting pipe.
- Find the four-cornered pipe extension and take it out carefully to avoid disfiguring or bending the iron or plastic parts around it.
- Organize all the parts and double-check if you have everything ready.
2. Determine the location
To vent a range hood on the interior wall, you need to find the best spot to maximize its functionality without messing up with the room’s aesthetics. This is because you will be cutting a considerable hole in the wall to accommodate the ductwork. You need to be accurate in cutting because if you make a larger hole than necessary, you cannot put the wall back.
- Mark the spot from the top of the kitchen on the wall by about 1/8 of an inch below it, then make a straight line through your wall. The vertical line should go all the way to where you want to place your range hood.
- Then draw the horizontal line (about 24 to 30 inches above the cooking surface). If you are using a gas range, it is best to observe a 30-inches distance.
3. Select the shortest and unobstructed path
The ideal length of the duct run is not more than two elbows. Beyond this size, the exhaust system of the range hood will be facing resistance to effectively vent out the greasy, smelly air to the outside.
If you can find a shorter path, it would be better. Make sure to avoid electrical wires, studs, and other obstacles. Another essential thing to remember is to keep the ductwork length to about 30 inches or less to guarantee that the dirty air makes it to the outside without hassle.
You may want to have access points to thread the ductwork run through the wall. The best place to do it is your basement or attic. But if it is not possible, your only option is to cut out the access points on the wall. If you are not sure what’s inside your wall, you need to seek assistance from a contractor before cutting.
4. Cut a hole that is 1-2 inches bigger than the ductwork
A well-fitted range hood will run excellently for many years, so cutting a 1 to 2-inches hole offers a space for threading the ductwork as you attach the equipment with ease.
- Use a hole saw to produce an even, perfectly shaped opening.
- Remove the materials inside to run the duct in the joist bay successfully.
- Never remove any joist to avoid compromising the structure’s integrity.
- Once done, create a hole on the exterior wall. Make sure that the hole’s location on the outside connects to the joist-bay where you run the duct.
Be careful while cutting to avoid hitting any hindrances. If you hit one, immediately put the connecting pipe behind the obstacle back or forth to ensure that the hindrance is gone. If it does not work, you can put a rubric instead. This entails making a hole on your wall to expose the hindrance and slashing 14 cm on the top and 10 cm below the route of the connecting pipe. Then, make a rubric that is long enough to reach the two opposite ends of the barrier. Once fitted, tie up the slimmer by creating a 2-fold sill sheet and tighten the sill into the trimmers by using screws or nuts when barrier trimmers do not work.
Secure your rubric using a screw beneath the barrier, then fix two 5 by 10s along the middle of the rubric. Tighten them one after the other on the barrier’s top and bottom, then cover the hole with fresh drywall. It is easier for the pipe to pass through from the interior wall to the outside without hindrance.
5. Attach your range hood to the ductwork
The technical aspect is much more complicated compared to installation proper. Once the ductwork threading to the outside is done, attaching it to the range hood via a transition piece is easy.
- Pass the wires between the oval extension hole on the end section of the range hood. Use a clamp to tighten the electrical wires. You can also add two cables with the help of cable connectors. Make sure to fasten the earth cable to the neutral one before hanging the hood over your kitchen unit.
- When choosing a mounting box, opt for a 12 by 18-inches vinyl material that allows convenient cutting of a circular hole to fit the size of the ductwork. Fasten the nuts in the inner surface securely to their places. You can use flat head screws to secure the venting unit to the mounting box. The screws should be at least 3 inches apart from each other.
- Trim the flange of the vent before you attach the ducting through the hole for a perfect fit to the mounting box. To seal the spaces between the mounting box and the vent, apply a clear exterior caulk.
6. Put the wall cap to the exterior wall
To complete the installation, install a wall cap at the outer end of the duct run. This is to prevent dirt and debris from entering the duct, ensuring efficient functionality for a long time.
If your range hood seems not to fit tightly against your wall, use a PVC trim to create an even surface. It can make the wall cap sit properly on the exterior wall and make the hole watertight.
7. Test the unit
Once you finish venting the range hood on the interior wall, put the power on and check if the hood fan fitting is working well. You also need to check the lights to ensure that you made the connections properly.
The flips of the wall cap should dilate when operational and shut down when the hood fan is not working. Allow your range hood to run for a while, and observe how it removes the smell in your kitchen.
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What are the different venting options?
Now that you know the step-by-step procedures on how to vent a range hood on an interior wall, it would be easier to choose the best method to do it.
Here are other options:
Vent to a lower level
This option means you have to go down a level, then go horizontally to the outside. The vent needs to go in-between your interior wall joints to allow the range hood as well as your oven to be centered accurately. If they are not properly centered, you have to move them to allow the hood to align with the central joist space.
The advantage of this venting technique is you can install a remote blower in your basement, eliminating the sounds from your range hood. This is because the blower fan will be near the exterior wall.
Venting sideways to exterior wall
This method gives you the option to go through the ceiling or the top of your kitchen cabinets to the outside. If the joists run parallel with the duct, it will be easier to vent your range hood. You only need to make a hole in the drywall. However, you need to cut holes into the ceiling joists if they do not run parallel with the duct run. The type and size of the joists and the vent’s size would determine if you can cut holes or not. Before cutting, you need to consult an engineer or contractor about this matter.
Key points to help you do the job well
For a safe and hassle-free installation, keep in mind the following tips:
- Know the needed parameters to help you select the right range hood for your needs. It is essential to know the cubic feet per minute (CFM) of the unit you want. You need to measure the space in your kitchen to ensure its suitability. The rule of thumb is to multiply the kitchen area by two to find the right CFM.
- Consider the area above the gas stand. The range hood should have an 8th cm radius around the oven space and gas area.
- Disconnect electrical connections before installing the unit. Switch off all connected power to the kitchen area to prevent any electrical hazards.
- Keep your hands dry when handling any electrical appliances.
- Ensure that the available outlet you will use to plug the range hood vent has sufficient power requirements. You can check the power sufficiency of the cables and outlet on the labels.
- Read and review the user manual and browse a YouTube tutorial that can guide you in installing the range hood properly.
- Do not void the warranty of the products you purchase so you can return or refund the money if it has some factory defects.
- Separate and strip all wires.
- Use wire nuts to connect the electrical wires.
- Make sure that all connections are done nicely and connected to the prongs accordingly. The white wire, which is the neutral wire, should be connected to the biggest prong, the black wire that is your hot is connected to the smaller prong, and the green wire, which is the ground, is connected to the long, thin prong.
- Avoid plastic venting and use a galvanized steel, painted steel, or metal to ensure durability and quality.
- Do not use over 40 feet of ductwork if you want the unwanted smoke, odor, and grease to come out of the duct quickly and easily.
- Insulating the ductwork helps prevent leakages or condensation.
- Seal the joints with HVAC tape.
- Avoid using many elbows to ensure good air circulation and that the smoke goes out quickly to the outside. A minimum of four 90-degrees elbows is enough in the ducting. Making at least 23 inches of straight vents is recommended before putting an elbow.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
1. Why should I use a vented range hood?
If you are using a gas oven or cooktop, installing a vented range hood helps in eliminating carbon monoxide and other toxic gases as well as water vapor that lingers in the kitchen.
It is also a good option for electric range users because it easily removes the cooking odor and the steam build-up that could cause mold formation.
2. How effective is the range hood in sucking unwanted air?
The fan of the range hood can easily suck a coupon bond against its filter. The air suctioning ability of this kitchen equipment can effectively remove all the unpleasant cooking smells, pollutants, and other unwanted contaminants in the kitchen, leaving the space clean and safe for the occupants.
3. Can I vent my existing range hood?
While most of the residential range hoods can be vented, it is best to check the installation instructions if it is possible. You can also remove the unit’s filter and check the “knock-out’ spots or the removable circular/rectangular panels that allow for a duct attachment behind or above the hood.
4. Is it possible to convert and vent a recirculating range hood?
If you are considering a vented range hood by converting an existing unit, you can do it by closing the exhaust location. This location is usually at forehead height. You need to tweak it and send the air through the vent to the outside.
5. How to choose a vented range hood?
When buying a new vented range hood, look for a unit with a fan that can pull a minimum of 120 CFM and a maximum of 600 CFM. This is the recommended range for most residential homes. Higher CFM produces too much ventilation that can cause a variety of issues, including gas fireplace back drafting.
Keep your kitchen a place where your family enjoys healthy food and healthy air. Installing a vented range hood can make a big difference.
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