How to Install Kitchen Vents


Kitchen vents can help remove those lingering odors from all the wonderful meals you cook. Hoods use fans and filters to pull and push the smells outside so that your home smells fresh. For a smaller kitchen one that mounts under a cabinet can work well. Most hoods can be vented through an exterior wall or through a cabinet and out the roof. Venting through a wall is easier if you've never installed one. Whether venting one through the wall or roof, you can install a hood in one afternoon.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Drywall saw
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • 3/8 inch drill bit
  • Extension shaft
  • Sabre saw
  • Wire nuts
  • Caulk

Prepare the Hood

  • Turn off the power to the electrical connections for the hood.

  • Remove the bottom cover and filters from the range hood. Remove the damper/duct connector. The connector is a metal rectangular box that fits over the vent hole. It is attached to the inside of the hood to prevent damage during shipping.

  • Remove the duct knockout from the vent hole. Most hoods can be vented through the back or upper cabinet and have two duct knockouts. It is usually a rectangular hole in the back or top that is covered by a piece of metal. Use a hammer and flathead screwdriver to pry off the knockout. Be careful not to damage the hood.

  • Screw the damper/duct connector over the knockout hole on the exterior of the hood. You can adjust the connector up to 1 inch in order to avoid a stud or other obstacle.

Cut the Hole

  • Mark the centerline on the wall of the cabinet the hood will go under. Draw a horizontal line 1/8 inch down from the cabinet. Use the two lines as references to center and draw a rectangle the size of the damper/duct connector. Cut a hole in the drywall using a drywall saw.

  • Use a 3/8-inch bit and extension shaft to drill through the exterior wall at each corner of the hole.

  • Outside, cut out the hole on the exterior wall using a sabre saw. You will have to cut through the exterior material, like siding, plus the plywood wall sheathing beneath.

Install Hood

  • Feed the electrical cable from the hood through the round knockout hole at the rear of the hood. Make sure the hole has a cable clamp and tighten it. Use wire nuts to join same colored wires from the hood to the wires on the wall. Tighten the ground wire under the grounding screw. The ground wire is usually exposed or has a green plastic coating.

  • Place the hood tight to the underside of the cabinet and secure it with four screws driven from the inside of the hood into the bottom of the cabinet. You will need to install bracing if the underside of the cabinet is thin or cannot accommodate the screws.

  • Install the wall cap on the exterior wall of the house. The wall cap is a metal box that attaches the vent from the hood to the exterior. It has a damper that prevents rain and debris from entering the vent. Caulk around the flange of the wall cap and then slide it into the hole. If the cap is too long, trim it using tin snips. If it is too short, you can cut a piece of aluminum duct and use professional duct tape to lengthen the cap. Screw the cap to the house.

  • Restore power to the hood and test the fan and lights. The damper will flip open on the exterior when the fan is on and will close tightly when off.

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