How do I install a microwave/vent above my stove?

Answered by Brett Kulina ~ July 11, 2013 ~ No Comments

We have no vent in our kitchen.This is a problem when we cook smelly food or boiling water. Because we have a small kitchen, I was wondering if we could put in a microwave(that also vents) above the stove? Is this something that we can do ourselves?

- Paul E.

Brett Kulina

Paul, an above-the-range microwave is excellent space saving option for your small kitchen, plus the added convenience of an exhaust fan will help to vent unwanted food odors and moisture to the outdoors. Although most above-the-range microwaves have recirculating air filtration options that eliminate the need for an exterior vent, I strongly recommend that you opt for a true venting system if you want to eliminate odors while you cook. Also, the recirculating air option, which relies on a charcoal filter to "capture" odors, does very little to help remove steam and moisture from your kitchen.

Installing a microwave above your stove-top can be a reasonably simple project, especially if you have an overhead cabinet to support the unit, but keep in mind that installing the vent pipe can be challenging. Depending on the specific layout of your kitchen, you will want to vent the unit through an exterior wall or straight up through the roof, but ideally the vent pipe should follow the straightest and shortest route to the outside.

Remember, your new microwave will also require power, so you may need to hire an electrician to install a new kitchen outlet for you. Oftentimes an outlet can be discretely hidden above the cabinetry, or even in an overhead cabinet, but you should let a licensed electrician determine its exact placement so that you are assured that the wiring is safe and code compliant.

Your best bet might be to select the microwave brand and model that is best for you, and then follow the specific installation instructions that are supplied by the manufacturer. Some appliance stores may even offer installation services, in which case your part of the project becomes even easier!

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