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Jul 5, 2014 10:31 AM

microwave in a hood over an oven

We are remodeling a small kitchen in NYC. We are looking for recommendations for a microwave in a hood that will fit over the oven. We may consider the addition of a microwave/convection oven combination. Thoughts?

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  1. Are you referring to an over the range (OTR) microhood?
    That would be the one that hangs under a short wall cabinet, and has a vent fan and lights underneath.
    I've had several brands, and have finally found one I really like - it's a GE Profile. They also make one called the Spacemaker that is a microwave/convection with the built in fan/light.

    1. I have a Frigidaire Gallery that I'm very pleased with -- plenty of power in the exhaust fan, and the micro works well.

      1. Because these units have a long history of being underpowered, I'd suggest looking for one with a 400cfm fan. I believe most have 300cfm, which is not very good, considering their small capture area.

        15 Replies
        1. re: DuffyH

          my Frigidaire is 350cfm, and it's enough to lift a small child off the floor, I swear.

          The low speed is only 150cfm -- but I find it's enough for steam from boiling, etc. -- I don't have to use high speed for more than a few minutes to clear my kitchen, and I have cathedral ceilings in the kitchen.

          1. re: sunshine842

            I'm glad it's working so well for you, sunshine. Still, there's no disputing that the capture area is rather small for OTR micro hoods, which is why I recommend going for the highest power the OP can find.

            1. re: DuffyH

              It captures everything that comes off my cooktop, so I s'pose it's big enough.

          2. re: DuffyH

            Hi DuffyH-

            Part of the problem encountered with the small fans found inside the overcounter microwave ovens is along the " route " of the ventilation ducting path.

            General Engineering rules of Ventilation state that for every 90 degree angle in the ducting, the total cfm is reduced by 50 %. Too many sharp right angles and even a 450 cfm exhaust fan is not pulling out much from the kitchen.

            The solution, if installing a built-in with exhaust fan is to also inspect the exhaust path as far as you can, and employ curves (if possible) using flexible ducting. Sealing for air leaks using caulking or even good duct tape is another.

            When my wife and I upgraded to a built-in over the cooktop with an exhaust fan, I looked up into the shaft that the contractor left as an exhaust fan vent, and found that they had sealed it over at the top with a plastic cover taped in place. In that case no amount of device cfm would have worked. This was most likely intentional given our Winters, but unless one checks, who knows ?

            1. re: SWISSAIRE

              Hi Swissaire,

              Thanks for the explanation. I've always suspected it was the routing of the air that cut down on efficiency, but had no idea it was anywhere close to 50%/90ยบ. With a top venting unit (like all of mine with vents have been) that's at least three turns to get past.

              All I know for sure is that I've had to deal with a lot of those units, some ducted, some not, and there hasn't been much difference between them, that I've been able to discern.

              I have heard that a rear venting model doesn't do too bad a job. Makes sense, I guess, with two fewer angles to negotiate.

              I sure do miss having my microwave at that height, though. Not the placement, but the height, yeah. That's always been nice.


              1. re: DuffyH

                my exhaust duct goes straight up - no curves at all, so I'm getting all it's got.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  Hey sunshine,

                  I think you've forgotten about the microwave sitting between your intake filters and the exhaust vent.

                  But the bottom line is that yours is doing what you want it to. That's what counts.

                  1. re: DuffyH

                    nope, the exhaust goes behind the microwave and up through the roof.

                    It's not stick-straight, but it's not meandering around back there, either.

                2. re: DuffyH

                  Evening DuffyH -

                  Ultimately, it is up to the homeowner, or renter, and the design of the property

                  A rear venting exhaust may, or may not be the best configuration. Venting directly outside might be the shortest exhaust path, with the least amount of right angles, but you might not want to do that if the vent was near a household window.

                  It would create a continuous exhaust-return of humid, oily air, cycled, or reintroduced back inside the house, apartment, or condo.

                  The reason most kitchen, clothes dryer, and bathroom vents are placed high up on the roof is to allow the breeze air to take the exhaust " up and away " from the property. Usually that means to your neighbours. It is just the amount of angles in that exhaust pathway that determine the efficiency of that ventilation system.

                  If that can be done with a short pathway span, with the least number of right angles, and without creating a nuisance problem inside, or say out on the patio, then the shortest and most direct exhaust path from the kitchen activities is always best.

                  It works for us.

                  1. re: SWISSAIRE

                    Yes, I agree that placement of side vents can be more problematic. I was only looking at it from the hood's perspective.

                    1. re: DuffyH

                      Hi DuffyH -

                      You did ? Wow !! That's very considerate of you indeed.

                      When we changed to the overhead microwave with exhaust fan, our old hood had nothing to say one way or another on the matter, and remained silent.

                      1. re: SWISSAIRE

                        Yeah, color me Ms. Compassion.

                        What a goofball, huh? I had no idea how silly that comment of mine sounds. Yeah, I feel pretty idiotic right now.

                        Lucky you, your hood didn't pitch a hissy fit and have kittens over the whole change thing. :-)

                        1. re: DuffyH

                          Well Duffy, I can verify that you are both a compassionate chef and swimmer ( I remember your previous avatar ).

                          Frankly, I watch what I say in the kitchen.

                          All those appliances, all those 220 v outlets, all those knives .................

                          1. re: SWISSAIRE

                            Ah, you've seen Transformers II. Appliances can be scary, even the small ones. ;-)

                            1. re: DuffyH

                              No, I haven't.

                              But I will.



            2. gail,
              I have a galley kitchen in Boston and because of space issues also, added a GE profile over my stove 8 yrs ago. It's the first one I have had installed, the others sat on my counters. I would never have another installed again. First off, when mine broke after 4 years it was double the amount of $ that any counter top microwave would have cost to replace it. I did have it replaced, reluctantly because it would have cost me more to have the space filled in with a larger cabinet.
              Instead, right from the beginning though, I would have asked my kitchen designer to find a spot to put a counter top one it in a drawer under my countertop somewhere. Most people now have it put in a kitchen island. I don't have that kind of space, so I couldn't do that. But, hopefully you will have many years of good luck with your microwave. Just wanted to give you my story on how I had to spend over $1000 dollars in 8 years on two microwaves that I hardly ever use..... ugh!

              Just my two cents. :) Good luck, enjoy your new kitchen.