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Jul 1, 2007 04:52 AM

is a microwave above the stove w/exhaust a waste of space?

For an average cook with a gas range can I do with the microwave. or do I need something more pwerful?

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  1. We put one in last year but simultaneously installed a ceiling fan knowing it wouldn't be enough.

    Pros: 1) space-saver, got the microwave off the counter making room for more important and daily-use appliances like the espresso machine and blender. 2) gives you a light directly over the stove about a foot above workspace.

    Con: don't expect it to save your house from smoke when searing filets. You'll still have to open windows and turn on the fans.

    4 Replies
    1. re: creativeusername

      We are just in the process of removing our "under cabinet" MW which has a built in exhaust fan and replacing it with a proper 600 CFM VentaHood Fan. We are doing this in order to be able to properly exhaust a new Gas Range we are installing.The answer to your question though is a function of the BTU output of your Burners. We are at 18,000 on our Burners, and 25,000 on the central burner, so we had no choice but to install the proper ventilation.

      1. re: Egger

        Egger: I went with an 800 CFM exhaust with my DCS which has 17,000 BTU burners. I recommend the extra oomph... I feel like it is adequate, but not too much at all. I also replaced a MW with exhaust, which was lame IMHO.

        1. re: woodburner

          Woodburner: According to the fellow installing our Hood, the Venta Hood 600 CFM is "equivalent" to 900 CFM exhaust (not sure how that works) so hopefully we will be OK. If not there are ways to boost the CFM further but I understand this can "solve one problem and create another" which I understand is having to put in "makeup" air.

          1. re: Egger

            hey egger. boy that sure sounds fishy (and may also smell fishy...) that "a 600 cfm is equivalent to a 900 cfm" (then why aint it labeled 900 cfm). Unless he is your brother-in-law, I wouldn't trust that -- wait, ESPECIALLY if he is your brother-in-law, I wouldn't trust that!

            When I run the fan on high, I crack the kitchen window. Instant makeup air.

    2. thanks for the info everyone! ya'll answered one question and left me with another, what do you mean by "make-up" air?

      2 Replies
      1. re: cjohns2

        If you are "exhausting" more air from a building than what is being brought in "fresh" to replace it, you end up with a "negative" air condition. The solution is to provide "make up" air to replace the number of cubic feet you are exhausting. I know this happens in Industrial Buildings in the summer, and from reading on Forums like this I understand that the same thing can happen in homes if you have "over sized" exhaust equipment.

        1. re: Egger

          Read the specs on any microwave w/exhaust unit you are thinking of buying. None that I've seen move enough air to be effective. I went with a hood, and have a counter-top microwave.

      2. the "exhaust" fan in an over the stove is a misnomer as it only takes the air and transfers it to the upper echelon of the kitchen it does not exhaust it to the outside.

        jfood placed his MV in the center island and loves it. completely out of the way and you are not taking hot things from eye level to the counter in a downward directions which is not a normal muscle use but lifting from under the counter upwards to the counter, a much more natural motion. highky recommend a bottom hinged MV under the counter.

        3 Replies
        1. re: jfood

          My under the counter (or over the stove) MW is connected to a 4" Exhaust duct which runs through the wall to the outside of the house.

          1. re: Egger

            A 4" exhaust duct is not moving lots of air: You really need a 6" duct.

          2. re: jfood

            Scrapironchef's microwave/vent hood vents to the outside as do most he has seen, some have an option to filter and return to the room instead, but Scrapironchef sees this as pointless.

            The important thing to consider is the loss of over the stove clearance that can happen if the original cabinetry was only designed for a standard range hood. Scrapironchef's two back burners suffer from cramped conditions.

          3. The latest edition of Consumer Reports has an article on microwave placement pros and cons in its kitchen remodel section.

            1. Gosh lives in a 1,300 sf luxury condo so he had no real option to install a real exhaust. Gosh has a microwave/"exhaust" over his gas stove. Gosh' "exhaust" does almost nothing so Gosh has to open his sliding glass doors when he cooks something smoky or smelly.

              If it makes you feel better to have some kind of ventilation, get the micro/exhaust. If there are advantages to getting a over-stove micro only (do they exist?), you might consider that.