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Microwaves With Exhaust Fans vs. Range Hoods

Metal cooker hood extractor fan with spotlight in luxury kitchen.

Range hoods whisk away fumes and keep your kitchen clean from grease. Microwaves help to thaw and warm up food. Over-the-range (OTR) microwaves with exhaust fans try to bring these two functions together into one appliance.

What are the pros and cons of these appliances? Can OTR perform as well as a traditional range hood? Which should you choose: a range hood or a microwave vent? Here’s everything you need to know about OTR microwaves before you buy.

Over the Range Microwaves: Pros and Cons

The main reason most people select an over-the-range (OTR) microwave is space. First, these microwaves free up counter space. With an OTR microwave, you can combine space, ventilation, and task lighting into one space. If you have a smaller kitchen, you might like the idea of seemingly getting a microwave and range hood in one.

How about the cons? An OTR microwave is not a range hood. It’s a microwave with ventilation and lighting. Those are two very different things. They typically don’t ventilate as well as a range hood. That means you’ll have to deal with the effects of poor air quality. This is one of the main reasons people choose to replace their microwave with a range hood. Poor air quality can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat and trigger asthma as well as other respiratory issues. It will also set off your smoke alarm, only adding insult to injury!

OTR microwaves with exhaust fans also don’t provide the same level of surface coverage for your range. This might be okay if you never use your range or very rarely. If you have a gas range and/or cook regularly, they’re probably not a good choice.

You also need to know your cabinetry. Many OTR microwaves are taller than your average range hood. So, they may take up more space than you realize. You have to make sure your cabinets provide enough clearance between the bottom of the microwave and your range. If you don’t have enough range hood clearance above a gas stove, you run the risk of fire.

Range Hoods: Pros and Cons

A range hood is a purpose-built appliance. By that we mean, it’s crafted to suck up fumes, neutralize odors and grab grease. It’s also made to provide full coverage of your stovetop. That means they’ll be able to whisk away more odors, smoke, and fumes.

You can also find a range hood to fit your needs. Instead of having to settle for whatever your OTR microwave can provide in terms of performance, you can select options that work for you. You might consider the performance level, style, and size to narrow down your options.

If you cook often and/or have a gas cooktop, you need your own range hood. The only true con to a range hood is that it isn’t a microwave. You won’t get two functions from one appliance. Then again, if your microwave needs repairs, you’ll still have access to your range hood!

As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to replacing your microwave with a range hood. Range hoods are more effective at clearing the air and come in a wide range of styles, sizes, and performance levels to fit every homeowner’s needs.

The Perfect Accessory For Your New Jersey Kitchen

At Range Craft, we bring you hand-crafted range hoods that add a unique touch to any kitchen style. You can choose from one of our standard styles or have your range hood custom-made. Our various materials, finishes, accents, and banding allow you to create a one-of-a-kind look. We provide quality products driven by design, innovation, and craftsmanship to enhance the spaces where you live, work, and play.

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