Smart Remodeling on pros and cons of range microwave venting versus the range hood.
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No matter if you love to cook or seldom turn on a burner, a vent hood is a kitchen must-have. When deciding between over-the-range microwave venting and a dedicated range hood, your kitchen’s layout and your needs will dictate the choice. While an over-the-range microwave (OTR), saves space in your kitchen, it could, however, result in lower air quality.
Over the Range Microwaves
Below are the most common pros and cons for over-the-range microwave units.
- Space Saver
- 2-in-1 functionality – microwave and vent
- Lower indoor air quality
- Safety hazards
If you cook a lot at home, consider the smaller coverage area of an over-the-range microwave. The small exhaust fan simply filters and then recirculates the air back into the kitchen.
OTR vents are often not large enough to adequately vent out all of the smoke and steam. Sufficient airflow and filtration are essential when cooking fish, greasy foods, Asian, or Middle Eastern dishes.
One might argue that a 30″ Frigidaire Professional OTR is the most efficient venting solution. Meanwhile, a $ $250 GE Dedicated Range Hood will do the trick for light to moderate cooking.
ProTip Takeaway: For those who cook frequently, a vent to the outside is a must.
OTR microwaves also pose a safety hazard due to the nature of their location and height. Small children climbing over hot soups and boiling water trying to reach the microwave is just unacceptable. Not to mention, microwaves, in general, are a bad idea and tend to overcook our foods.
ProTip Takeaway: OTR microwaves are hazardous for children and those of short stature.
Below are the most common pros and cons of dedicated range hoods.
- Better circulation and air quality
- Decorative options are available
A professionally installed, right-sized, and vented range hood will do a vastly superior job of removing cooking odors from your kitchen. You will simply improve the air quality of your home by venting fumes outdoors.
- Microwave placement must be accommodated elsewhere
- Can be bulky and cumbersome in a small kitchen
ProTip Takeaway: A vented to the outside range hood provides better air filtration to keep the air in your home fresh and odor-free.