How much does it cost to replace a kitchen exhaust fan?

Answered by Jeffrey ~ March 29, 2012 ~ Comments

My kitchen exhaust fan does not work good enough and I want to install a new one. What's the cost of replacing an old kitchen fan, also how hard is it to do the work yourself? Thank you.

Hamilton ~ Cornelia, GA

Jeffrey Anderson

Hi Hamilton, I'm assuming that your kitchen exhaust fan is the standard residential type rather than one of the commercial grade units that are popular in many upscale kitchens these days. If my assumption is correct, installing a new exhaust fan in your kitchen shouldn't set you back too much.

Most appliance manufacturers offer three types of exhaust fans: those that recycle the air in the kitchen through an internal filter and then back into the room, those that exhaust it to the exterior, and those that can do both. The fans that recycle the kitchen odors can be located just about anywhere in the room, but if you're exhausting to the outside, the hood needs to be located close to an exterior wall so the ductwork can be daylighted. The fans are normally available in 30 and 36 inch widths to match standard range dimensions, but other sizes are also offered.

The exhaust fans themselves can run from about $150 up to around $500 depending on how many features and fan speeds you want. Hooking the fans up yourself isn't too difficult as they normally screw into a shorter wall cabinet located above the range. However, most exhaust fans require hardwiring which means it isn't just a matter of plugging the appliance into an outlet. The new exhaust fan will have wiring which must be tied into the same electrical box where your existing fan is connected. While this isn't difficult, it really should be done by a professional electrician. If you do attempt it yourself, make sure the breaker at the panel box that controls the power for the hood is flipped to the off position before starting the project.

Kitchen exhaust fans that are ducted to the outside usually offer the option of venting through the top or the rear of the appliance. You can tell which method your old fan used by looking inside the cabinet where it's mounted. If you don't see any ductwork inside, the fan is vented out the rear. Connecting the ductwork to the fan isn't difficult, but it can be a pain if you have no ductwork experience.

I recommend that you have a local Cornelia electrical contractor handle the entire job and that way you can have the peace of mind that it was done correctly. I expect that the labor cost for the project would be in the neighborhood of $150-$200, but that could vary depending on how close you are to their shop. Even if it's a vented model, the job should only take an hour or two. However, if new duct needs to be installed for some reason or you're installing a vented unit when your previous model was recycling, then the cost could be higher.

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