Over the Range Microwave Vent vs Dedicated Range Hood

[BLOG] Published: 2019-04-07 - Updated: 2023-05-31

Over the Range Microwave vs Range hood


Kitchen Remodeling Remodeling Ideas kitchen Design Houston Over the Range Microwave Range Hood Selection Over the Range Microwave Venting vs. A Dedicated Range Hood

Pros & Cons: Over The Range Microwave Venting vs A Dedicated Range Hood

No matter if you love to cook or seldom turn on a burner, a vent hood is a kitchen must-have. When deciding between over-the-range microwave venting and a dedicated range hood, your kitchen's layout and your needs will dictate the choice. While an over-the-range microwave (OTR), saves space in your kitchen, it could, however, result in lower air quality.

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 Over the Range Microwaves

Below are the most common pros and cons for over-the-range microwave units.


  • Space Saver
  • 2-in-1 functionality – microwave and vent


  • Lower indoor air quality
  • Safety hazards

If you cook a lot at home, consider the smaller coverage area of an over-the-range microwave. The small exhaust fan simply filters and then recirculates the air back into the kitchen.

OTR vents are often not large enough to adequately vent out all of the smoke and steam. Sufficient airflow and filtration are essential when cooking fish, greasy foods, Asian, or Middle Eastern dishes.

One might argue that a 30" Frigidaire Professional OTR is the most efficient venting solution. Meanwhile, a $ $250 GE Dedicated Range Hood will do the trick for light to moderate cooking.

ProTip Takeaway: For those who cook frequently, a vent to the outside is a must.

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Safety Hazards

OTR microwaves also pose a safety hazard due to the nature of their location and height. Small children climbing over hot soups and boiling water trying to reach the microwave is just unacceptable. Not to mention, microwaves, in general, are a bad idea and tend to overcook our foods.

ProTip Takeaway: OTR microwaves are hazardous for children and those of short stature.

Range Hoods

Below are the most common pros and cons of dedicated range hoods.


  • Better circulation and air quality
  • Decorative options are available

A professionally installed, right-sized, and vented range hood will do a vastly superior job of removing cooking odors from your kitchen. You will simply improve the air quality of your home by venting fumes outdoors.


  • Microwave placement must be accommodated elsewhere
  • Can be bulky and cumbersome in a small kitchen

ProTip Takeaway: A vented to the outside range hood provides better air filtration to keep the air in your home fresh and odor-free. 

Smart Remodeling LLC-Range Hoods

Do not just take our word for it; some of our customers agree:

"When we gutted and renovated our kitchen, I went with a hood. It gives you much better air filtration - so necessary when you cannot vent to the outside. An OTR microwave never has as much power. I put my little micro on a shelf in my tiny pantry. It is out of the way, but I don't look at it and only use it once a day." -Jonathon, Houston, TX

"If you do a lot of cooking, you probably need better quality range hood than typically comes with an MW." -Fred & Kim, Sugar Land, TX

"A hood is the absolute best way to go. Vent through the roof and not the side of the home".

"I do not like the microwave over the stove. I believe it presents a small hazard if someone, especially a short person, spilled something while removing it. You also have to reach over the cooktop of the stove which may be hot. I put my micro in a niche built for it on an island".

At the end of the day, if you like your air fresh and clean, a dedicated range is your best bet.

Get Started Today!

So, for all these reasons, you should consider installing an over-the-range microwave or dedicated range hood in your kitchen. They will also be a great addition to your home.

Smart Remodeling, LLC can help transform your kitchen and meet your needs and style. Ready to start your perfect kitchen remodel project? We can help.

With our complimentary design services, we can help you determine between over-the-range microwave venting and a dedicated range hood that is best suited for you and your family's needs. Contact us for a free consultation today.

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