Range Hood vs. Microwave

Last Updated: 2/20/2024

Author: James Zhao, Sr. Tech Specialist & Alex Park, Product Specialist

Are you frustrated with lingering cooking smells taking over your kitchen and home long after dinner is done? It’s time to discover what type of kitchen appliance is the answer to your culinary odor woes, specifically range hood vs. microwave vent hood.

This blog will explore the pros and cons of both range hoods and microwave vent hoods, helping you make an informed decision that leaves your kitchen smelling fresh and your cooking experience hassle-free.

 During your search for improved kitchen ventilation, appliance companies like Fotile offer range hoods with impressive ventilation power and aesthetic appeal, ensuring your kitchen combines practicality with style effortlessly.

Shop Fotile’s collection of range hoods today and learn how this innovative kitchen appliance can improve your life in the kitchen.

What’s the Difference Between a Range Hood and a Microwave Vent Hood?

Understanding the distinction between how a range hood works and how a microwave vent hood operates is essential for making the right choice for your home’s kitchen.

A range hood is a kitchen appliance designed solely for the purpose of ventilating your kitchen. It features a powerful fan and exhaust system that effectively removes cooking odors, smoke, and airborne particles, directing them outside of your home. Range hoods come in various sizes and models, from sleek and modern to more traditional styles, allowing you to choose one that matches your kitchen's aesthetics.

In contrast, microwave hoods serve a dual purpose by combining a microwave and a vent hood in one appliance. While this offers the advantage of saving counter space and providing additional cooking functions, it's essential to be aware of its limitations. Most microwave vent hoods recirculate air back into the kitchen, which may not be as effective in eliminating cooking odors and airborne particles as venting air outside. Additionally, their venting capabilities may be less robust compared to the CFM (cubic feet per minute) in range hoods.

Pros of a Range Hood

When it comes to the benefits of installing a range hood in your kitchen, the list includes the appliance’s strong venting power and the fact it’s easy to clean if a mess has been made. Here's a closer look at why these powerful kitchen appliances are the go-to choice for many homeowners:

Strong Venting Power

Standard range hoods are renowned for their robust venting capabilities. Equipped with high-powered exhaust fans and efficient exhaust systems, they excel at quickly and effectively removing cooking odors, smoke, and airborne particles from your kitchen. This means you can say goodbye to the lingering smell of last night's dinner and hello to a fresh and inviting cooking space.

A range hood’s ventilation system can boast CFM ratings that can go as high as 1,200 CFM for professional-grade models.

Vents Air Outside

One of the standout features of range hoods is their ability to vent air directly outside your home. Unlike recirculating microwave vent hoods, range hoods expel odors and particles outdoors, preventing them from circulating back into your kitchen. External venting results in superior ventilation and ensures a cleaner and fresher environment, making them an excellent choice for those who prioritize air quality.

Easy to Clean

If you’re wondering how to clean a range hood, don’t worry, it’s easier than you may think. Many models come with removable and dishwasher-safe filters, making it a breeze to keep them in top condition. The accessibility of surfaces and filter maintenance ensures that your kitchen remains spotless and hygienic with minimal effort.

Open Kitchen Space

Installing a range hood allows you to maintain an open and spacious kitchen layout. They don't take up valuable cabinet or counter space, giving you flexibility in designing your culinary haven. With a range hood, you can enjoy both a clutter-free kitchen and a visually appealing cooking space that's as functional as it is stylish.

Cons of a Range Hood

Range hoods have their advantages, but they also come with some drawbacks. For starters, these kitchen appliances tend to be more expensive than range microwave vent hoods due to their features. Some may also produce noticeable noise, and installation can be complex, potentially requiring professional help.

It's recommended to compare range hoods, including both ducted range hoods and ductless range hoods, before making a big purchase.

More Expensive

Range hoods are generally pricier than microwave vent hoods because of their advanced ventilation systems and design features. While the initial cost might be higher, they often provide better air quality and enhance your kitchen's visual appeal.

Some Can Be Loud

While modern range hoods are engineered for quieter operation, it's worth noting that specific models may produce noise at varying levels. These noise levels typically range between 40 to 70 decibels (dB).

The extent of noise generated depends on factors such as fan power and design. When shopping for a range hood, consider your noise tolerance and kitchen layout to ensure it aligns with your preferences for a quieter cooking environment.

Installation May Be More Involved

Installing a range hood may demand more effort than setting up over the range microwaves. The intricacy of the installation process depends on your kitchen's current setup. It's advisable to evaluate whether professional assistance is necessary to guarantee a smooth and successful installation. Factor in this added step and potential installation expenses when choosing a range hood for your kitchen.

Pros of a Microwave Vent Hood

Microwave vent hoods serve as both microwaves and ventilation hoods, combining two essential kitchen functions into one space-saving unit. This streamlines your kitchen setup and frees up valuable counter space for meal preparation and cabinet space for storing other items in your kitchen.

Two Appliances in One

One of the standout benefits of a microwave vent hood is its dual functionality, combining the features of a microwave and a vent hood into a single appliance. This space-saving design saves you counter space and simplifies your kitchen's overall setup. With a microwave hood combination, you can conveniently cook and ventilate your kitchen without the need for two separate appliances.

Cons of a Microwave Vent Hood

Microwave vent hoods, while offering convenience, come with several drawbacks worth considering. These appliances often recirculate air within the kitchen because of weaker venting capabilities, potentially limiting their effectiveness in removing odors, steam, and smoke when compared to range hoods.

Recirculates Air

One of the primary limitations of over-the-range microwaves is that many of them recirculate air instead of venting it outside. This means that they filter and recirculate the air within your kitchen, which can be less effective at completely removing cooking odors and contaminants compared to range hoods that expel air outdoors.

More Frequent Replacement

One notable drawback of microwave vent hoods is their comparatively shorter lifespan when compared to standalone microwaves or traditional vent hoods. These kitchen appliances experience more wear and tear due to the combined workload.

Because of this drawback, microwave vent hoods may require replacement sooner, leading to higher long-term costs for homeowners. This need for more frequent replacements impacts your budget and adds to the inconvenience of finding and installing a new unit, making it an essential consideration when weighing the pros and cons of this kitchen appliance.

Weak Venting Capabilities

When it comes to venting capabilities, microwave vent hoods often have limitations in terms of power and effectiveness, primarily due to their lower CFM ratings compared to range hoods. Microwave vent hoods typically offer CFM ratings ranging from 150 to 300 CFM, which, while suitable for basic ventilation needs, may struggle to handle heavy smoke, steam, or strong odors effectively.

This significant difference in CFM ratings results in superior performance for range hoods against microwave vent hoods in capturing and expelling cooking byproducts.

Filters Need Replaced

To maintain optimal performance, microwave vent hood filters require regular replacement. These filters capture grease and odors, but they can become clogged over time, affecting the appliance's efficiency. The need for periodic filter replacements adds to the ongoing maintenance and operating costs of microwave vent hoods.

Get the Kitchen Ventilation You Need With a Range Hood From Fotile

When faced with the choice between a range hood and a microwave vent hood, it's essential to consider the pros and cons carefully. While microwave vent hoods offer the convenience of combining cooking and ventilation functions, they may fall short in terms of venting power and air recirculation. On the other hand, range hoods excel in strong venting capabilities, ensuring that cooking odors and contaminants are swiftly eliminated.

Shop Fotile’s collection of range hoods today and experience how our range hoods deliver a more convenient ventilation experience.