I currently have a ductless over the range microwave. It's too close to the range. The heat from the range is melting the microwave handle. I want to remove the microwave and cabinet and replace it with range hood. I've already ordered 30" 900CFM hood. Problem is that there is no duct work at the moment and I have not done duct work before but I can't imagine it being that hard.

My situation is that right behind the kitchen is my sunroom so I can't use that route. Right Above the cabinet is the attic. Should I vent it through the roof or the side wall? If I vent through the roof, the distance between the ceiling and the roof will probably be 2-3 feet. If I use the side wall, I would need use a 90" elbow and from the elbow, the wall will be about 10 ft away. Here is the picture maybe there is another way that I can't think of? The sidewall I'm talking about is to the right of this picture. My Ceiling height is about 8ft.

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  • You appear to have a 36 inch stove or is it the angle of the photo? Do you have anything against a non external vent hood?
    – mikes
    Dec 26, 2017 at 17:02
  • Hi Mike, I think it's the angle of the photo. I measured the width of the microwave and the top middle cabinet and it was 30". As far as non-vent goes, We cook a lot and when I say a lot I mean every single day almost. In the picture it can't be seen but the ceiling area above the cabinet, is yellow from grease.
    – Sam
    Dec 26, 2017 at 18:16
  • you left out a very important piece of info in your question, that you have a gas range. talk to someone at the local appliance store to find out about venting for a gas range. ... there is a difference in the amount of rising heat between electric and gas ranges. ... i have almost exactly the same setup as you, except with smoothtop electric and there is no issue with microwave door handle getting hot
    – jsotola
    Dec 27, 2017 at 5:01
  • I have added several vents they are quite easy since you already have power there. I usually box the vent pipe inside the cabinet it just looks better but you could just paint the pipe to save a little room. If an older roof I would go through the wall because older shingles break easily, use smooth wall pipe not the flex crap the vent or the hood should have a back draft damper this is important to have. Good luck Jimmy answer below is a good one+
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 26, 2018 at 22:25

3 Answers 3


Manufacturers will generally direct the installer to minimize the number of elbows and transitions, example:

enter image description here

There should be no problem installing it whichever way is easier for you as long as you follow recommendations and restrictions in the manufacturer's installation instructions and any other direction from your permitting authorities (if you are pulling a permit...)

I would recommend that you retrieve the installation details from your chosen appliance supplier or manufacturer, before you actually purchase the unit, so you can ensure that you are prepared to install it properly.

  • 1
    P.S.- although "ductless" hoods are an option, I don't like them because they require more frequent filter changes and do not remove cooking odors as well IMO. Dec 26, 2017 at 17:26
  • Thank you Jimmy. I'll pull the instructions and see what they recommend. I think the roof would be easier for me but I'm just afraid of the leaks. I guess if done right, it shouldn't leak.
    – Sam
    Dec 26, 2017 at 18:20
  • @sam you have every reason to fear leaks. Appliance makers (and lots of other people) recommend straight-up stacks because your future roof leak is not their problem and they only care about their product hitting its spec. I for one abhor roof pens, and think it is perfectly reasonable to seek to avoid them. We're not talking convection here, elbows are fine. I would put a 90 (or slightly over 90) in the attic. Slight CFM reduction at worst. Dec 27, 2017 at 17:46
  • CFM reduction = precipitation of entrained grease = mucked up vent lines = odors, flies, fire hazard, etc.; follow the manufacturer's instructions. Jan 28, 2018 at 4:17

Given your beautiful kitchen, I wouldn't even consider a recirculating unit. The best solution for duct pathway is straight up. It may look intimidating to go through that cabinet but with a little strategic planning is doable. It looks like you have a 36" or 40" space above the range. I think it would look a lot better filling the entire space. Keep your duct work full size right off the fan unit; reducing the duct diameter, a trap many fall into. I would recommend an additional quality back draft damper. The one that comes with these units is not adequate. You are going to be happy with the results.

  • Hi Paul, Thank you. So you recommend keeping the cabinet and installing the hood under the cabinet? I don't know much about hoods, Can I use the wall mount hood under the cabinet or should I get the one that says under cabinet hood?
    – Sam
    Dec 26, 2017 at 19:01
  • I did assume that it was an under cabinet mount style. ( I went back an read your post again) No the wall hung unit would be totally fine. I think it would look sharp to pull that cabinet out of there and install a wall hung unit. The under counter unit would be fine. But the wall hung unit would be far classier.
    – Paul Logan
    Dec 27, 2017 at 3:53
  • I got lucky and converted my recirculating fan to a ducted one. Since I have a two story, it was impossible to really vent properly, so we vented it to the GARAGE! So, now when coming home, I can smell if I should go in the house for dinner or leave again for TAKEOUT! :)
    – DaaBoss
    Dec 21, 2018 at 18:23

I was able to install this myself and I did end up going to the roof. I ran into trouble when I cut the cabinet and the ceiling, I used a nail to see where it lands on the roof and turns out, My sunroom was added on top of my house roof and it was overlapping. I couldn't see the nail since it was under the sunroom. I ended up using 2 90 degree elbows and then went to the roof. This worked out. There are no leaks. I checked a few times after it rained heavy and all is well.

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