Installing Range Hood Vents in 10 Easy Steps

April 04, 2023 8 min read

The range hood is one of the best appliances for keeping the air in your kitchen free of harmful pollutants and cooking particles. It has parts like the main hoods, ductwork, and vents that all fit together nicely into the ubiquitous air-cleaning device we all need to maintain clean air in the kitchen.

Installing a vent for your range hood falls into the home installation category of what you can do but with specific directions. If you want to put your home DIY skills to the test, then you are reading the right guide on how to properly install a range hood vent.

Types of Range Hood Vents

Range hoods come in three primary forms: ducted, ductless, and convertible. Ducted and convertible hoods release air outdoors, so they have outlets for vents. Ductless range hoods are strictly air-recirculating devices with no outlet to attach external vents.

There are several types of vented range hoods, each with different vent locations.

You have the under-cabinet range hood, which is installed underneath a cabinet above the cooktop. This type is ideal for limited-space kitchens and is relatively easy to install. Next is the wall-mount range hood, which is installed on the wall above the cooktop. This type is ideal for large kitchens and offers more power and functionality.

Island range hoods are another type of vented range hood installed over a cooktop on an island. These vents hang from the ceiling and provide excellent ventilation but require a more complex installation process. Lastly, downdraft range hoods are built right into the cooktop, pulling smoke and odors down instead of up. 

installing a stove hood

What You Should Know Before You Start

When you’re ready to install a range hood vent, it’s essential to approach the task with careful consideration of safety guidelines.  Before you begin, turn off the power to the range hood and any nearby electrical outlets. This precautionary measure will protect you from electrical hazards as you work. You should also start by first picking the best spot for your range hood. Look at your kitchen’s layout, what kind of range hood you’ve got, and where the ducts are if you already have them. Where you put the hood makes a big difference in how well it will work.

In addition to location, make sure to check the building codes in your area, too. These regulations are in place to ensure that your installation meets safety and ventilation standards.

Also, your range hood vent should send the expelled air outside, not into your attic or another room. Venting into an attic, upper-floor area, or any enclosed space can lead to moisture and grease build-up. This can pool and, over time, damage your home structure.

    Tools, Equipment, and Materials Required for Installing a Range Hood Vent

    The tools and materials required for installing a vented range hood include the following:

    Tools and Equipment:

    1. Drill/driver
    2. Drywall tools
    3. Adjustable spanner
    4. Masonry saw and chisel
    5. Roto zip saw
    6. Cordless drill
    7. Measuring tape
    8. Wire strippers
    9. Screwdriver
    10. Pencil/Marker
    11. Stud finder
    12. Caulk gun

    Materials:

    1. Construction screws
    2. Exhaust fan insert
    3. Finish nails
    4. Flexible corner bead
    5. Joint compound
    6. Joint tape
    7. Range hood kit
    8. Silicone
    9. Ducting unit
    10. Mounting screws and brackets

    How to Install a Range Hood Vent

    These are the ten simple steps to installing a functional range hood vent in your kitchen.

    Step 1: Prepare the Area

    Preparing the area around the installation location is essential to ensure a trouble-free installation process. Clear out anything that could get in the way, like pots, pans, and kitchen tools. This gives you room to work and helps keep your kitchen safe from accidents or damage.

    It’s also important to protect the area around where you’ll be working. Cover nearby furniture and appliances with drop cloths or old sheets to keep them clean. If you have tiles behind your stove, put some painter’s tape on them to keep them from getting scratched or chipped. This way, your kitchen stays in good shape while you install your new range hood vent.

    mark and measure the vent hood


    Step 2: Measure and Mark the Vent Hood Installation Location

    Choosing the right location for installing a range hood vent is kind of very important. The range hood vent should be ideally positioned directly above the cooktop to capture and expel pollutants efficiently. Make sure there’s nothing in the way, like windows or an air conditioner, that could mess with how it works.

    To determine the best place for your vent, begin by measuring the dimensions of your range hood vent and compare them to the size of your cooktop. Ideally, the vent should be wider than your stovetop so it captures all pollutants effectively. Once you’ve found the right place, measure and mark the installation site. Use a tape measure to gauge the distance from the bottom of the range hood to the cooktop surface.

    Following this, make use of a pencil to mark the precise center where the vent will be installed. To make sure it’s lined up perfectly with your stove, use a straight edge or a piece of wood to draw a line from your mark to the middle of the stove. This way, you’ll know your vent is in the perfect spot.

    Step 3: Cut the Hole for the Vent

    The next step in the installation process involves cutting the hole for the vent.  If you have a template that came with your range hood, it’s going to make this part a lot easier. Place the template on the spot where you’ll install the vent and trace it with a pencil.

    Before you get into the big cuts, start with small access holes about one to two inches deep. These access holes serve to ensure that there are no pre-existing electrical, water, or gas pipes in the path of your intended hole.

    Once you’re all clear, cut out the hole using the right tool for your wall or ceiling material. This could be a jigsaw, reciprocating saw, or hole saw, depending on what you’re working with.

    After cutting, take a moment to check the hole against your vent’s specifications. Make sure it matches the required diameter for your vent. The vent should fit securely within the hole, with no gaps along the edges. This will ensure your vent is secure and ready for the next steps.

    Step 4: Install the Vent Hood

    Once you’ve got the hole ready, it’s time to put in the vent hood. Follow the instructions that came with your range hood to see how to attach it to the wall or ceiling. Use the appropriate mounting screws and brackets to secure the hood. Make sure to place it at the distance they say is best from where you’ll be cooking.

    It's essential to secure the hood properly to ensure it doesn't fall or become loose over time. Use a level to check that it’s not tilting to one side, and move it around until it’s perfectly horizontal. If the hood isn’t straight, it might not work right or could even get damaged after a while.

    Go over everything one more time to make sure the hood is really secure and not wobbly. Tighten up any brackets or screws that don’t feel strong enough. Doing this will help you avoid problems later and make sure your vent does its job well.

    Step 5: Install the Ductwork

    Once you have finished with the vent hood and prepared the area, the next step is installing the ductwork. The ductwork in a ducted range hood carries the pollutants generated by your cooking to the exterior of your home.

    Start by hooking up the ductwork to the vent hood. You might need to attach a metal collar to the hood and then use screws or clamps to keep the ductwork in place. Then, you’ll need to measure the ductwork to make sure it’s the right length. Once you’ve got the measurements, use a hacksaw or tin snips to cut the ductwork.

    Remember to follow any guidelines for how far apart things should be or how long the ductwork needs to be.

    Step 6: Secure the Ductwork to the Wall

    A crucial part of this installation process is securing the ductwork to the wall or ceiling. You’ll need to use the proper brackets or anchors for this. Make sure the ductwork is straight and doesn’t wobble, and screw everything in tightly so it won’t sag or shift later on. A level can help you check that it’s all lined up right.

    After you’ve got the ductwork secured, go over it carefully to look for any gaps or leaks. These can mess with how well your vent hood works. If you find any, patch them up with duct tape or a good sealant. Make sure every part of the ductwork is tight and sealed so no air can escape.

    Step 7: Install the Vent Cap

    This step is all about putting in the vent cap. This part of the ductwork is key because it lets out all the smoke and smells from cooking but keeps stuff like leaves and critters from getting in.

    First off, pick the right kind of vent cap for your setup. There are a few kinds, like ones for walls, roofs, or the underside of your roof’s overhang (that’s called a soffit). Make sure the one you choose fits with your ductwork and the outside of your house.

    To install the vent cap, you’ll need to make a hole in the wall or roof where it’ll go. Then, fix it in place with screws or some strong glue, and seal up the edges so no water or air can sneak through.

    Step 8: Connect the Ductwork to the Vent Cap

    The last big step is hooking up the ductwork to the vent cap you just installed. This will ensure that the odors from your cooking are effectively vented outside your home.

    Use appropriate clamps or connectors to secure the ductwork to the vent cap. You want everything to line up just right so there aren’t any leaks.

    Once the ductwork is connected to the vent cap, check for any leaks or gaps in the system. Shine a flashlight on the ductwork and where it meets the vent cap, checking for any damage or holes. If you find any spots where air might escape, cover them up with the right kind of duct tape or sealant.

    Step 9: Test the Range Hood Vent

    Once you’ve installed your range hood vent, it’s time to make sure everything’s working as it should. Start by turning on the range hood and cranking up the fan to the highest setting.

    Listen for any weird noises or vibrations and look for parts that might be shaking or not screwed in tight. Make sure the hood is secure and that the ductwork is properly hooked up to the vent cap.

    Check for proper ventilation and airflow by holding a piece of paper or a smoke source near the hood's filter. If you notice any issues or problems during the test, make necessary adjustments or repairs.

    Step 10: Clean up and Finish

    After you’ve finished installing the range hood vent, it’s important to tidy up the space. Get rid of any leftover materials the right way. Sweep up or vacuum any dust and bits that are lying around.

    Once the area is clean, go over your installation work. Make any small changes that might be needed. Look at the range hood vent and the ductwork to make sure there aren’t any leaks or parts that aren’t tight. Check that the vent or wall cap is on solid.

    And for the final touch, clean off the range hood to get rid of any marks or smudges. Now, your kitchen should be all set with a new, working range hood vent!

    Final Words

    You can assess your work to ensure its quality, but as explained, the entire process isn't overly complex. Most range hoods include straightforward, user-friendly installation instructions. If you are making a vent for an existing range hood or a new hood, you can save considerable installation costs. It just requires some technical skills, tools, precision, and concentration.