In this guide, we show you how to vent a microwave on an interior wall. If you follow our steps, the process is relatively simple.
Microwaves Need ventilation to function properly. With many microwaves being positioned on an interior wall, ventilation has become harder to implement.
When microwaves are on interior walls ventilation is typically accomplished by installing ducts behind the microwave in the wall.
These ducts can be used solely for the microwave but you can also plan ahead and connect them to other appliances.
Why Do Microwaves Need To Be Vented?
Microwaves need to be vented for several reasons. When using a microwave, it generates heat by heating the moisture within food and beverages (this is why you can’t microwave things that don’t contain water).
The heat that’s generated can make your kitchen hotter than usual and cause moisture to build up within the microwave and in the kitchen. If this moisture is left unchecked it can damage cabinets, the microwave, and other kitchen appliances.
Another reason that microwaves need to be vented is because of the smell. Microwaving a meal can lead to a lingering aroma that persists in the kitchen.
With adequate ventilation, however, the smell can be removed through the ducts. Overall, microwaves need to be vented to keep your kitchen fresh and to protect your home from moisture.
Can an Over-the-Range Microwave Be Vented To an Interior Wall?
Over-the-range microwaves are microwaves that are designed to be installed above a range or cooking surface. These microwaves are beneficial for kitchens because they provide ventilation for the entire stove and cooking surface.
The main difference between an over-the-range microwave and a countertop microwave is that an over-the-range microwave than
Can Vented Microwaves Share Ducts?
Vented microwaves can share ducts with other appliances, which is beneficial if the oven has a duct. Microwaves can also be connected to existing ducts that are within the wall but it depends on what’s already back there.
Even if you have the option, it’s often easier to install new ducts for the microwave. It’s also less labor-intensive than making changes to existing ducts and vents.
Read also: How to fix a microwave that is tripping your circuit breaker
What You Need to Vent a Microwave on an Interior Wall
Venting a microwave on an interior wall is simple if you have everything you need. When installing ducts in your home, you’ll need several tools and even additional microwave components like an exhaust adapter. Below is a list of the tools and supplies you’ll need to vent a microwave on an interior wall.
There are several tools needed to help you vent a microwave to an interior wall. While it’s tempting to call a professional, doing it yourself can help you save money. The tools you’ll need are listed below:
- Drill bits
- Measuring tape
- Flashlight (or different light source)
- Hole saw
- Adhesive tape (metallic)
Depending on the type of microwave you have and what you have in your home, some of these tools may change. Before installing ducts or opening the wall, make sure you read the microwave’s owner’s manual. Some microwaves have unique instructions for venting on an interior wall.
If you don’t have ducts behind the microwave, you’ll need to install ducts. Furthermore, if you have ductwork behind the microwave but it doesn’t line up with your appliance, you’ll have to make changes to ensure it does.
For these reasons, we recommend having extra ductwork available to mess around with. Having extra leaves room for error and gives you enough material to make cuts and changes.
Some microwaves need an exhaust adapter to function on an interior wall with ducts.
These are crucial components you can find online or at your local hardware store. Some microwaves also come with optional exhaust adapters.
Before using an exhaust adapter, make sure you find the right size and model for your microwave. You can also find microwave venting kits online or at hardware stores that make installing vents and ductwork hassle-free.
Having these tools on-hand will make sure you have everything you need to vent a microwave on an interior wall.
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10 Easy Steps to Vent a Microwave on an Interior Wall
Once you have everything you need, it’s time to install the microwave. Venting a microwave on an interior wall is not too challenging but prefer yourself for a few hours of work. Below are 8 steps you can follow to help you vent a microwave on an interior wall.
1. Determine Where the Microwave Will Go
When venting a microwave to an interior wall location is essential. You want to choose a place in your kitchen that has a clear path to the exterior of your home.
If you’re installing ductwork you also want the location to be easy to work on. Overall, choose the place that makes the most sense for your kitchen, installation, and venting.
2. Use a Template
When installing a microwave on an interior wall we recommend using a template to guide it into place. Before you start doing any work, take precise measurements and create a template for the microwave.
You can mark the wall and the area behind the wall for the ductwork. It also makes it less risky to drill holes in your wall and ensures that the microwave is in the proper position.
3. Cut Power to the Circuit or Turn Off the Power
Once the template is ready and you’re to start installing the microwave, it’s time to either cut power to the circuit or the entire home.
We recommend cutting the power to the kitchen via the circuit breaker so you can plug power tools into other areas of the home.
Also, make sure the microwave is not plugged into the outlet. You want as little electricity around the microwave as possible for your safety.
4. Begin Installing the Ducts
Installing ductwork is the next step. To install ductwork you need a few things. Make sure you have saws, sheet metal screws, and metallic tape.
With these items, you can attach ductwork and seal them tightly. For additional sealing, you can also use caulk to make sure there are no moisture or air leaks. When installing ducts, make sure you measure everything a few times.
Depending on where you’re venting the microwave, you should also caulk the area of ductwork that’s exposed to the elements.
If your venting leads to the roof of your home, this prevents moisture and other debris from getting stuck in the ductwork. Caulking the ducts will also prevent the moisture from the microwave from damaging the roof.
5. Prepare the Microwave
Microwaves don’t require a lot of preparation but there are a few factors to consider here. Firstly, make sure you use the template to drill the bracket holes.
Doing so ensures the placement of the microwave is correct. Next, measure the girth of the power cord that runs from the microwave.
Then, drill a hole in the cabinet above the microwave. For this step, measure twice and drill once. You don’t want more than one hole in the bottom of your cabinet.
6. Install the Microwave
After everything is prepared and the ductwork is secure, it’s time to install the microwave. The good news is that it should slide into place without much trouble if you use a template.
Make sure everything is connected and that the microwave feels secure in the opening. Tighten the necessary screws and run the cord through the hole you drilled in the cabinet.
7. Check the Vent
Checking and preparing the microwave vent is the next step. If you’re using the microwave adapter, preparing the vent should only take a few minutes.
Still, you might need additional pieces if you’re attempting to fit a round exhaust into a square duct. On the other hand, some microwaves come with exhausts that work on interior walls.
For these microwaves, the only stipulation is that you might need to rotate the vent to ensure it enters the duct. We recommend doing this before installing the microwave because it’s harder to make adjustments once the microwave is on the interior wall.
8. Turn the Power On
When the microwave is secure and everything is connected, you can turn the power back on or connect the kitchen circuit again.
During this process, make sure the microwave turns on and functions properly. If the microwave doesn’t turn on, there’s an issue with the power or connections to the microwave.
You need to address these issues before testing the microwave and its ventilation.
9. Test the Microwave
Once the installation is complete it’s time to check the microwave’s ventilation and make sure it functions properly.
Place something in the microwave and let it run for about 5 minutes; make sure to use something like water because it has a lot of moisture and produces steam when heated.
The moisture buildup in the microwave should be minimal and the ducts should be functioning properly. Also, keep an eye on food particles clogging the vent or exhaust.
Ultimately, you want the airflow to be smooth.
10. Clean the Area
Lastly, you want to clean the area you worked in.
Make sure you clean the microwave, ducts, and other areas exposed to dust and debris that’s created when venting a microwave to an interior wall.
Even hard-to-reach places like the microwave adaptive exhaust might need to be cleaned before you use it.
It’s also helpful to clean the countertops and surrounding cooking areas to ensure that your next meal doesn’t come with a side of sheetrock.
Following all of these steps will help you vent a microwave on an interior wall. Keep in mind, that the steps can change or have variations depending on your microwave.
Always consult with a professional if you’re unsure about the installation process.
How to Maintain a Microwave That’s Vented on an Interior Wall
Maintaining a microwave that’s vented on an interior wall is simple and staying ahead with proper microwave maintenance pays off.
It can help your microwave last for many years and prevent the ducts and filters from becoming clogged with gunk and food particles.
Replace the Filter
Not all microwaves are the same. Some microwaves have filters made from charcoal. These charcoal filters are designed to collect moisture from within the microwave.
Along with proper ventilation, these filters are a great way to reduce moisture.
Due to their moisture collection, though, charcoal filters only last for between 6 and 12 months. So, these filters need to be replaced once they become less effective.
Clean the Microwave
When it comes to maintaining your microwave, keeping it clean is essential. Microwaves collect a lot of food debris when things are cooked for too long.
A microwave can also build up moisture that damages the internal motor that turns the plate. Making sure your microwave is cleaned after each use, or at least once per week, can help it last longer.
Having a clean microwave can also prevent the ducts from collecting debris and food particles.
Check the Ducts
You don’t need to check the ducts often because it’s a lot of work to remove a microwave from an interior wall but you should do so once per year.
Checking the ducts to ensure they’re clean and functioning properly can help your microwave last longer and maintain cleanliness. If the ducts are dirty, make sure you scrub them down until no dirt, dust, or debris remains.
With proper ventilation, your microwave will do a better job dispersing heat and you can enjoy better airflow in your kitchen.
Many modern kitchens save space by putting microwaves above stoves but without proper ventilation, a microwave on an interior wall will be less useful. As long as you follow these steps, you’ll have no problems venting a microwave on an interior wall.
Download this cheat sheet to hack your monthly electric bill.
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