Do It Yourself: How To Install A Range Hood

Whether you want to improve ventilation or simply update your style "" learn how to install a new kitchen range hood.

Range hoods help prevent cooking grease from depositing on kitchen surfaces such as walls and cabinets, help ventilate steam to prevent excessive heat in the kitchen, and provide extra stovetop lighting.

The Two Types of Range Hoods

There are two main types of kitchen range hoods""recirculating (also called non-ducted or non-venting) and venting (also called ducted). Recirculating hoods pull air through a metal filter that captures grease and oil, then blows the same air back out into your kitchen. The venting hood draws the air to an outside vent. Before purchasing a range hood, be sure to identify which type you want to install. If you are installing a new venting hood or if you want to replace a recirculating hood with a venting hood, you must first install exhaust ductwork that vents to the outside. You cannot vent a range hood to an attic or other enclosed space.

Preparing for Installation

Before you begin, turn off the power at your electrical panel. Ensure that no one will turn the power back on while you are working. This type of work does not require a permit, but check with your local permit office before you begin.

First, you must remove the old range hood (if one is present). Locate and remove the electrical cover near the light fixture under your range hood. Twist and remove the wire nuts, then separate the wires. Loosen the screws holding the range hood in place. If the old range hood has keyhole-shaped screw holes, you can slide the hood out without completely removing the screws. If it has round screw holes, you will need an assistant to support the hood while you remove the screws.

Most building codes require 24" to 30" of space between the range hood and the stovetop. Check the codes in your area to ensure you comply. You should have about 12" of wire coming out of the wall to connect to the new hood.

Installing the New Range Hood

Locate the metal electrical cover on the new hood and remove it, exposing the wiring. If you are installing a venting hood, determine if the ductwork goes up through the cabinet or back through the wall. Most new hoods have two possible vent holes that you can open or cut out, depending on your setup. Open the appropriate vent hole.

Observe the areas of the cabinets where you will be attaching the new range hood. If the areas are too thin to support the mounting screws, attach wood strips to the cabinet to provide proper support. This will also ensure that the tips of the screws will not poke through into the cabinet.

Hold the new hood in place and mark the location of each screw hole. If the holes are keyhole-shaped, you can secure the screws halfway, slip the hood into place, and then tighten the screws. If the screw holes are not keyhole-shaped, you must hold the hood in place while securing the screws. If you are installing a vented hood, be sure the vent opening in the hood is aligned with the ductwork.

Locate the cable clamp at the back of the hood, and thread the wall wiring through the clamp. Thread the wiring through the hole in the back of the hood. Locate the fan and lighting wiring on the new range hood. There should be a black (hot) and white (neutral) wire coming from each. Connect the ends of both black wires with the end of the black wall wire using a wire nut. Repeat with the white wires. If there is a wall ground wire (green or bare), connect it to the grounding screw on the range hood. Replace the electrical cover over the wiring.

Restore power and test the operation of the fan and light. If installing a venting range hood, ensure that air is flowing at the outside vent.

© High Speed Ventures 2011