Range Vent Hood FAQs

How do I know if my vent hood’s filter needs to be cleaned or replaced?
It’s easy to remove the filters and inspect them. By regularly checking the filter, you’ll be able to tell by the particles and grease buildup if cleaning is necessary. If there is any damage to the filter, you’ll need to replace it right away.
We’re remodeling our kitchen. Do we really need a range hood?
My vent hood doesn’t get rid of all of the smoke when I cook. What’s wrong with it?
When should I turn on my hood?
If I have a fire on my stove, should I turn the hood on or off?
Can a vent hood catch on fire?
Do "down-draft" venting systems work as well as the standard kind?
My vent doesn’t seem to work well anymore. How can I test it?
Why won’t my vent work on low?
How do I know if my vent hood’s filter needs to be cleaned or replaced?
It’s easy to remove the filters and inspect them. By regularly checking the filter, you’ll be able to tell by the particles and grease buildup if cleaning is necessary. If there is any damage to the filter, you’ll need to replace it right away.
We’re remodeling our kitchen. Do we really need a range hood?
Yes, you really do need a range hood. Without it, you’ll find that your kitchen will accumulate grease and smoke damage and your home will be filled with cooking odors. Many hoods simply circulate the air and they do not vent to the outside. You’ll need to check with your local municipality to see if there are regulations for this. Many municipalities now require outdoor venting systems, as they are more desirable from a comfort and safety perspective.
My vent hood doesn’t get rid of all of the smoke when I cook. What’s wrong with it?
Vent hoods are designed to handle a certain amount of smoke produced while cooking. If your cooking is causing your entire kitchen to fill with smoke your vent hood may not be designed to handle that amount, you’ll need to supplement with additional ventilation and air circulation. Try opening windows and installing a ceiling fan.
When should I turn on my hood?
You should use your range hood whenever you’re cooking on your stove. Follow your owner’s manual for recommendations about using it when you’re using the oven. If your hood is part of a built-in microwave oven, consult the owner’s manual, as it does vary with this type of model.
If I have a fire on my stove, should I turn the hood on or off?
Off. The fan could draw up the flames into the ductwork, causing the fire to spread faster. Be sure to keep a fire extinguisher in an easily-accessible location in your kitchen.
Can a vent hood catch on fire?
Yes, vent hoods get coated and sometimes clogged with grease – and that’s a fire hazard. It’s important to periodically check and clean and replace as needed. If your hood vents (rather than just circulates), you need to regularly check the vent that leads from the vent hood to the outside to make sure there is no grease buildup inside of it. If there is, contact a vent-cleaning or heating and cooling professional to clean the vent properly.
Do "down-draft" venting systems work as well as the standard kind?
Some work quite well. Others do not. During heavy cooking , when you’re using several burners simultaneously, or when you’re cooking in tall pots, the over-the-stovetop vent systems work best.
My vent doesn’t seem to work well anymore. How can I test it?
Here’s how to test your vent: • Turn the stove burners off. • Cut an eight-inch x eight-inch (approximately 20-cm x 20 cm) square of newspaper. • Turn on the vent fan and hold the newspaper square over the vent filter. • If the vent holds the newspaper in place, your vent hood is most likely working properly. If the paper falls, the hood filter may be clogged – or the ductwork to the outside may be too long, which can cause poor venting performance.
Why won’t my vent work on low?
Most hood fans have a multi-speed motor. When you select one of the levels (low, medium, high, etc.), power goes to different parts of the fan motor. A problem with speed selection can be the fault of either the selector switch itself or the motor. Check out our troubleshooting and repair help information for range vent hoods.