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Range hoods are a necessity in any kitchen. A properly installed range hood will vent hot air and cooking odors outside as well as help keep kitchen surfaces free of grease. The trickiest part of installing a range hood is determining how to run the ventilation ducts. Depending on the location of your range, you will need to decide if it is easier to vent through an outside wall versus up through the roof. Use this tutorial if you determine that venting through an outside wall is the best route. The tutorial "Installing a Range Hood - Roof Vent", offers instructions for the other option.

Choosing the proper range hood is simple. The CFM rating for your hood (cubic feet per minute, or the amount of air that a fan is capable of moving in a minute) should be approximately equal to twice the square footage of your kitchen. For example, if your kitchen area is 150 square feet, the CFM of your hood should be 300.

The dimensions of the cabinet above your stove will most likely determine the width of your hood. However, if this is not a determining factor, try to get a hood that will extend approximately 3 inches beyond each side of your cook top and 6 inches beyond each side if your cooktop is in an island.



Skill Level & Time to Complete

  • Beginner - 6 to 8 hours 
  • Intermediate - 5 to 7 hours
  • Advanced - 4 to 6 hours
  - Make sure you turn off the circuit you will be working on.
  - Use hand tools to cut preliminary holes in walls. It is very easy to cut through pipes and electrical lines with a reciprocating saw when you do not know what is on the other side of the wall.
  - Some smaller range hoods can be noisy. Consider buying a slightly oversized unit (one with a higher CFM rating) and run it at half speed. A large fan running slower is quieter that a small fan running faster, even though they might be moving the same amount of air.
  - Do some planning before you start this project. Make sure that your source for electric power can handle the requirements for your hood (most hoods will draw about 15 amps). You may need to have an electrician install a new circuit. Also make sure that there is nothing of any structural importance in the path of your vent to the outside. If you do not know for sure, try using a stud finder to find out.
  - If you find it too difficult to vent your hood to the outside consider a hood that filters and then returns the air to the kitchen. It is not the ideal solution but it is better that no hood at all.


Materials List
   Range hood
   Metal ducting
   Duct tape
   Duct strap (plumbers tape)
   1" to 2" galvanized screws and/or screw anchors
   Wall cap
   Electrical cable (NM)
   Cable clamps
   Wire nuts
Tools List
   Reciprocating saw
   Electric drill
   Drill bits
   Masonry bits & chisel (if needed)
   Caulking gun
   Drywall saw
   Wire cutter/stripper
   Sheet metal shears
   Tape measure
   Work gloves
   Safety glasses


1. Remove the fan from your hood, as well as the filter, light housing, and electrical housing. Find the knockout that corresponds to the direction your electrical cable will come from and punch it out. Cover the top duct hole with the provided cover so that only rear duct hole will be open.
2. Hold the hood up where it will be mounted and outline with a pencil the location for the knockout and duct.
3. Drill holes in each corner of your outline and then use a drywall saw to cut from hole to hole. Cut the hole for the electrical cable by using a drill bit the same size as the outline for the knockout and then pull your cable through it.
4. To cut a hole in the outside of the house, drill the four corners of the hole from the inside out so that the outside hole will line up with the inside hole. Next, from the outside, cut from hole to hole using a reciprocating saw.
5. If the exterior has a masonry finish like stucco or brick, use a masonry bit to drill the four corners from the inside and then from the outside drill a close series of holes between the corners. Next, use a masonry chisel to chip away between the holes until the center falls away.


6. Back in the kitchen, install a cable clamp in the knockout hole on the hood. Next, with a helper, hold the hood in its final position. Feed the electrical cable through the clamp and then screw the hood in position below the cabinet.
7. The next step is to install your ducting. Attach the ducting to the wall cap (an exterior vent cap for ducting) and then install both by screwing the wall cap in place on the exterior wall (for a masonry wall use screw anchors). It may be necessary to trim the ducting to length with your metal shears but be careful not to cut too much. Also, make sure that the damper in the hood moves freely and is not obstructed by a poor fit with the ducting.
8. Apply a generous bead of exterior silicone caulk around the wall cap to seal against moisture.
9. Reinstall the fan unit, light cover, and filter. Connect the black wires together, the white wires together, and the green or copper wires together or to a ground screw. Cover the wire connections with wire nuts, and then cover all the wiring with the electrical housing cover. Finally, turn the power back on and see how it all works.

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