Range hoods are necessary for a kitchen that gets a lot of use. Learn how to install one yourself with our expert advice.

January 26, 2019

A range hood removes air over a cooking surface and may have lights too. Usually it attaches to the underside of a cabinet. The bottom of the hood should be about 24 inches above the cooktop.

Range hoods are rated for the amount of air they can move in CFM (cubic feet per minute). Ducts more than a few feet long or that make several turns to reach the outside reduce the flow. Consider purchasing a ductless unit, which filters the air and sends it back into the kitchen.

To replace a range hood, shut off power and remove the existing hood. Take the hood with you when you buy a new one to make sure the ductwork lines up.

What You Need

  • Voltage tester
  • Drill
  • Long bit
  • Drywall saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Hammer
  • Fish tape
  • Long-nose pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Strippers
  • Tin snips
  • Lineman's pliers
  • Range hood
  • Cable and clamps
  • Ducts
  • Duct tape
  • Sheet metal screws
  • Wall cap
  • Caulk
  • Wire nuts
  • Electrician's tape

Duct Options

Run ductwork in the most direct route possible. If you cannot go straight out the wall, route the ducts up through cabinets and then either out the roof or the wall.

Step 1: Make Cuts

First, turn off power. 

Remove the range hood electrical cover and punch out the knockouts for the duct and for the electrical connection. Hold the hood in position and mark the wall for two holes. Cut a hole in the wall for the duct.

Step 2: Locator Holes

If necessary drill a hole for the cable. With a long bit, drill locator holes through to the outside of the house.

What if a Stud is in the Way?

If a stud is in the way of the most direct route for the duct, try working around it with flexible ductwork. Another option is to cut a wall opening large enough to install a header but small enough that it is covered by the range hood and the cabinet above it. Cut the stud and install a header made of two 2X4s with 1/2-inch plywood between them.

Step 3: Cut Through Siding

Connect the locator holes to mark the cutout. Make sure the hole is the right size for your duct. Cut through siding using a jigsaw, reciprocating saw, or circular saw.

Step 4: Run Cable

Shut off power to the circuit. Connect cable to a power source and run it up through the cable hole. You may use the cutout for the duct to help access and handle the cable, but make sure the cable is not in the way of the duct.

Step 5: Attach Duck and End Cap

Measure from the outside to the inside wall and cut a piece of duct to fit. Attach the duct to the end cap. Apply a bead of caulk around the hole on the outside and slide the duct and cap through the wall. Attach the cap with screws.

For Vent Hole in Cabinet

If the duct runs upward, remove the knockout on top of the hood and install the damper unit. Cut cabinets carefully to make room for the duct.

Step 6: Clamp Cable to Hood

Stuff insulation into the cavity around the duct. Strip and clamp cable to the range hood.

Step 7: Install Hood

Position the range hood so the duct fits snugly over the hood's damper unit. Attach the hood with screws driven up into the cabinet above and/or into the wall studs.

Step 8: Final Wiring

Connect the grounds, including the pigtail, to the hood housing. Splice the hood's lead wires to the house wires. Reattach the electrical cover.


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