How to Vent a Microwave on an Interior Wall: StepbyStep Guide for Proper Installation

How to Vent a Microwave on an Interior Wall?

To vent a microwave on an interior wall, you have two options: external venting and recirculating venting.

External venting connects the microwave to existing ductwork, while recirculating venting filters and returns air back into the kitchen.

While external venting is more effective, venting a microwave on an interior wall is less expensive and easier to set up.

To do this, you will need the necessary tools such as a drill, hole saw, jigsaw, flashlight, and measuring tape.

Additional ductwork, an outside vent cap, aluminum tape, and sheet metal screws may be required.

Use a microwave vent template for proper alignment during installation and ensure the ductwork is the right size.

Avoid obstacles like floor joists or studs when placing the ductwork and install it before the microwave.

Thoroughly seal the edges with aluminum tape and apply caulking when installing the vent cap on an outside wall.

Test the vent to ensure it is working properly, and consult an HVAC professional if needed.

Remember to inspect and replace charcoal filters at least once a year for proper maintenance.

Key Points:

  • Two options for venting a microwave on an interior wall:
  • External venting
  • Recirculating venting
  • External venting connects microwave to existing ductwork, while recirculating venting filters and returns air back into the kitchen
  • Venting a microwave on an interior wall is less expensive and easier to set up, although external venting is more effective
  • Necessary tools for venting a microwave on an interior wall include:
  • Drill
  • Hole saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Flashlight
  • Measuring tape
  • Additional materials that may be required include:
  • Ductwork
  • Outside vent cap
  • Aluminum tape
  • Sheet metal screws
  • Use microwave vent template for proper alignment during installation and ensure ductwork is the right size


Did You Know?

1. Did you know that the first microwave oven was as big as a refrigerator? In 1947, the Radarange, created by Raytheon, stood at nearly 6 feet tall and weighed around 750 pounds!

2. The first microwave ovens were not made for home use. They were initially sold to restaurants and other commercial establishments, where they were mainly used to defrost frozen food quickly.

3. The name “microwave” comes from the electromagnetic waves that the oven uses to cook food. These waves have a wavelength ranging from one millimeter to one meter, making them “micro” in comparison to traditional radio waves.

4. Although microwave ovens are known for reheating and defrosting food, they were first used for a different purpose during World War II. Scientists were experimenting with these ovens to improve radar technology, and they accidentally discovered their ability to cook food.

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5. Some microwave ovens come with a turntable inside to ensure even cooking, but did you know that this feature was patented in 1954? It was invented by engineer George L. Lundy, who wanted to solve the issue of uneven cooking caused by the standing waves inside the oven.

Introduction: Challenges Of Venting A Microwave On An Interior Wall

Installing a vented microwave on an interior wall poses unique challenges compared to an exterior wall. While exterior wall installation allows for straightforward venting options, interior wall installation requires careful consideration and planning.

Venting a microwave is essential to deal with smoke, moisture, grease, and odors generated during cooking. Failure to properly vent the microwave can result in a less efficient kitchen ventilation system and potential health hazards.

In this article, we will explore the different venting options, the benefits of external venting over recirculating venting, the necessary tools and materials for venting a microwave, the step-by-step installation process, and maintenance tips for maintaining an efficient microwave vent.

Types Of Venting Options: External Venting Vs. Recirculating Venting

When venting a microwave, there are two main options to consider: external venting and recirculating venting.

External venting involves connecting the microwave to existing ductwork, allowing the air pollutants generated during cooking to be expelled outside the kitchen. This option is more effective at removing heat, smoke, and particulates compared to recirculating venting.

Recirculating venting, on the other hand, filters the air and returns it back into the kitchen. While this option may not be as efficient as external venting, it is still capable of eliminating some pollutants from the air.

Benefits Of External Venting Vs. Recirculating Venting

External venting offers several advantages over recirculating venting. Firstly, it is more effective at removing heat, smoke, and particulates from the kitchen, ensuring a cleaner and healthier environment. Additionally, external venting allows for better odor control, as the pollutants are expelled outside rather than being circulated back into the kitchen. Furthermore, external venting reduces the risk of moisture buildup, which can lead to mold growth and other issues. While external venting may require more extensive installation, it is a worthwhile investment for those seeking optimal ventilation in their kitchen.

Tools And Materials Needed For Venting A Microwave

To properly vent a microwave on an interior wall, you will need the following tools and materials:

  • A drill
  • A hole saw
  • A jigsaw
  • A flashlight
  • A measuring tape
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Additionally, if extra ductwork is required, you will need:

  • Ductwork
  • An outside vent cap
  • Aluminum tape
  • Sheet metal screws

Having these tools and materials ready before beginning the installation process is crucial to ensure a streamlined and efficient process.

Note: Proper ventilation is important to prevent heat build-up and ensure the safe operation of the microwave.


Proper Installation Process For Venting A Microwave

Before installing the microwave, it is necessary to install the required ductwork. The size of the ductwork should be suitable for the microwave’s fan, with 4-inch wide ductwork being suitable for most microwave vents. However, it is essential to incorporate bends in the ductwork to align it with an exterior wall, while avoiding too many bends that may restrict airflow. During the installation process, it is crucial to avoid placing the ductwork in the path of obstacles like floor joists or studs.

Once the ductwork is in place, use sheet metal screws to assemble it and seal the edges with aluminum tape. When installing a vent cap on an outside wall, apply caulking to thoroughly seal the edges. Lastly, cut holes in drywall or exterior walls with precision to ensure proper sizing.

Once the installation is complete, test the vent by turning on the exhaust fan and observe if air is coming out of the vent cap outside the house. If the vent is not functioning correctly, it may be necessary to consult an HVAC professional for further assistance.

  • Install required ductwork
  • Ensure suitable size for the microwave’s fan
  • Incorporate bends to align with exterior wall
  • Avoid obstacles like floor joists or studs
  • Use sheet metal screws and aluminum tape for assembly and sealing
  • Apply caulking to seal edges of the vent cap
  • Cut holes with precision in drywall or exterior walls
  • Test vent after installation
  • Consult HVAC professional if vent is not functioning correctly

Maintenance And Care Tips For Microwave Vents

Microwave vents require specific maintenance to ensure optimal performance. It is crucial to inspect and replace charcoal filters at least once a year to maintain their effectiveness in removing odors. Additionally, wash grease filters, if present, every six months to prevent the buildup of grease and maintain proper airflow. Keeping the vents and filters clean will not only improve ventilation but also extend the lifespan of the microwave.

Venting a microwave on an interior wall presents its challenges, but with the right knowledge and proper installation process, it can be accomplished successfully. Whether opting for external venting or recirculating venting, it is crucial to consider the benefits of proper ventilation, such as smoke removal, odor control, and better air quality. By following the step-by-step installation process and performing regular maintenance, you can ensure that your microwave vent operates efficiently, keeping your kitchen clean and healthy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you vent a microwave inside?

Yes, it is possible to vent a microwave inside. Unlike some Over The Range (OTR) Microwave models that require venting to the outdoors, there is no specific requirement for all OTR microwaves to be vented externally. This allows for flexibility in installation, as you can choose to either recirculate the air back into the kitchen or vent it outside. Thus, depending on your preference and the specific model, you can effectively vent the microwave inside without any issues.

Do microwaves need to vent outside?

While venting a microwave outside is not a legal obligation, it is highly recommended for better air circulation and odor control. Ventilation systems help to remove steam, smoke, and cooking odors, improving indoor air quality. However, if venting outside is not possible due to the kitchen’s layout or other practical limitations, alternative options such as using a recirculating microwave hood or installing additional air purifiers can be considered to maintain a pleasant and fresh cooking environment.

How do I know if my microwave is wall venting?

To determine if your microwave is wall venting, you can check for airflow at the top front of the unit. If you don’t feel any airflow at this location, then it is likely that the microwave is vented externally. To confirm this, you should also inspect the exterior wall cap damper for proper operation, ensuring that the damper flap opens when the vent fan is on, and that there are no obstructions such as an insect screen blocking the airflow.

Is it OK to vent a microwave into the attic?

No, venting a microwave into the attic is not okay. It is important to follow the recommended guidelines for venting performance, as both smaller and larger vents can decrease the effectiveness of the venting. Additionally, microwaves cannot be ducted into a common duct work. Venting into an attic or crawl space is not advisable, as this can lead to various issues such as moisture buildup and potential damage to the structure of the space.