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Install a Range Hood

Cooking produces grease, moisture, heat and smoke — all of which take a toll on your cabinets and walls. Installing a range hood can remove unwelcome odors and improve kitchen ventilation... and it's easier than you think. Use these helpful instructions to safely install one in your kitchen.

install a range hood

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Working Safely

Before you begin your project, check with local authorities to see if a permit is required. Then, take the time to follow a few safety precautions:

1.    Wear goggles and a dust mask.

2.    Turn off the power.

3.    Test the wires to ensure the power is off.

4.    Lock the panel box, so no one can accidentally turn the power back on while you're working.

5.    Have your work checked by an inspector.

6.    Consult a licensed electrician to avoid overloading the circuit.


Follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation and safety. Observe applicable building and electrical codes. Contact a licensed electrician if you have any doubts or questions about the connections, or if your home's wiring doesn't appear compatible with the changes you're making.

Preparing to Install a Range Hood

how to install a range hood

1. If there's an old hood present, remove it. Locate the electrical connection under a cover near the light fixture and disconnect the wiring by removing the wire connectors and separating the connections. With someone supporting the weight of the hood, loosen (but don't completely remove) the screws that hold it in place. Slip the hood off the supporting screws and set it aside, then remove the screws. Be sure the wiring that will connect to the hood protrudes at least 12 inches from the wall.

2. Check to make sure the new hood will be 20 to 30 inches above the surface of the range and will cover at least the entire cooking area. A 3-inch overhang on all sides is preferable. However, ranges installed above electric cooktops can be lower than for gas, so check the manufacturer's specifications.

3. Observe the direction of the venting. It should run either up through the cabinet or back through the wall. Most range hoods can accommodate either venting configuration, depending on which of the two holes is used to access the ductwork. Open the proper venting hole in the hood and the knockout for the wiring.

4. Turn the hood over on a table or counter, and look for a metal covering near the light fixture. Some models have a large panel that covers the entire underbelly of the hood. Remove the covering to expose the wiring and fan assembly.

Mounting the Range Hood

how to install a range hood

These instructions describe the installation of a range hood under a cabinet. Different hoods are available for kitchen island ranges. If you want to replace an existing vent-free hood with a vented one or put a vented hood in a new location, you'll need to install ductwork that leads to the outside of the home. The venting must not end inside the attic or wall.

Step 1
Hold the hood in position, and (with the help of someone) mark the location of the keyhole-shaped holes in the hood. Drive screws about halfway into the underside of the cabinet on those markings, and slip the hood onto the screws. Use screws that are recommended specifically for your model to ensure stability. If the underside of the cabinet can't accommodate mounting screws, put blocks of wood on both sides of the installation area.

Step 2
If the underside of the cabinet is thin or recessed and can't accommodate the mounting screws, attach wooden blocks on both sides of the installation area to provide a sturdy support for the hood. The bottom of each block should be flush with the bottom of the cabinet lip.

Step 3

Make sure the opening in the hood aligns with the ductwork. Adjust if necessary while the mounting screws are still only halfway tightened.

Attaching the Wiring

how to install a range hood

Step 1
Thread the wiring from the wall through the cable clamp and the small hole in the back of the hood. The fan and the light each will have a black wire and a white wire. Using wire connectors, connect the two black wires to the black wire coming from the wall and the two white wires to the white wire coming from the wall. If there's a green or bare wire coming from the wall, attach it to the green grounding screw. Tuck the wires in place and replace the cover.

Step 2
When the hood is wired and properly positioned, tighten the screws that support it until it's secure.

Step 3
Turn on the power to the circuit, and test the fan and light. Check the outside vent to make sure air is flowing freely through it. Damp or greasy air that's not pulled completely outside of the house can cause damage.