How To Vent A Range Hood On An Interior Wall: A DIY Guide

Range hoods are essential kitchen appliances that can prevent steam, smoke, fumes, and lingering cooking odors from spreading throughout your home. To do that, most range hoods have vents. There are some models that use carbon filters instead of a venting system, but the truth is that nothing is more effective than a vented hood. The only problem is when said hood is located on an unvented interior wall. Thankfully, there are ways to solve the issue.

To vent a range hood on an interior wall, you must install ductwork in the shortest, unobstructed path to the outside of your home. You can route the ductwork through the attic and out the roof or to a vent on an exterior wall if you live in an apartment.

5 Benefits Of Installing Range Hood Vent

Vented range hoods have been around for ages, but modern technologies have developed the unvented alternatives. The latter provide solutions to those who can’t install a vent for one reason or another, but a vented range hood comes with more benefits. Here are the most important.

Vented range hoods are safer 

If you have a gas-burning stove, you should know that carbon monoxide is one of the byproducts of burning. While the level of gas doesn’t reach life-threatening levels during regular use, carbon monoxide will still spread around your home.

A vented range hood removes most cooking byproducts, including carbon monoxide. Thus, installing a range hood vent is good for your health.

Better heat and humidity control

While unvented range hoods do a pretty good job in capturing odors and grease, they don’t remove the heat and humidity from the air. 

Too much heat and moisture can damage your kitchen cabinets and is also bad for your health because it can create the perfect environment for mold and bacteria to thrive.

Increased resale value 

If you plan to sell your house, installing a range hood vent can increase your property’s resale value. Most buyers find a vented range hood more desirable. Apart from the practical considerations, vented range hoods also add the aesthetic factor, making your kitchen more appealing.

Fewer smoke alarm triggers

Have you ever cooked a steak, fried bacon, or made pancakes only to have your fire smoke alarm triggered off? That can be so frustrating, but an unvented range hood won’t help you solve the issue.

Because unvented hoods only capture the odors and some grease, they won’t be able to deal with smoke effectively. If you don’t want to trigger the smoke alarm each time you make a hearty breakfast, consider installing a range hood vent.

Keeps your kitchen cleaner

Lastly, a vented range hood can keep your kitchen cleaner and reduce the amount of cleaning work required. It does so by effectively removing heat, steam, smoke, and grease. Furthermore, it does a better job of removing cooking odors.

Range Hood Venting Options

There are two major venting options when installing a range hood: venting with a vertical duct or with a horizontal one.

Venting Through a Vertical Duct

This is one of the most popular solutions, but it only suits those living in houses or on the upper floor in an apartment building.

The vertical duct goes from the range hood up through the ceiling and attic and exits your house through the roof. 

This installation ensures effective management of fumes, conducting the cooking byproducts out of your home in the same way an extractor fan would. In essence, the range hood acts as an extractor fan, getting rid of steam, odors, heat, and smoke.

When installing the duct, an essential thing to keep in mind is that the pipe must go straight up. You shouldn’t install any elbows and not deviate from the route. It is also essential to avoid terminating the duct in the soffit, attic, or other enclosed space.

Venting Through a Horizontal Duct

This solution suits those living in apartment buildings and who can’t vent through the ceiling. However, when venting a range hood located on an interior wall, you’ll have to route the duct through the other walls to the outside of your home.

To conduct the duct to the exterior wall and eventually out of your house, you have to install a small vertical pipe section first, then connect it with an elbow to the horizontal pipe that will conduct the fumes out of the house.

You can hide the duct behind a soffit or cover it with a stainless steel sheath if the style fits into your interior design.

Things You Will Need For Installing a Range Hood Wall Vent

Installing a range hood wall vent may sound intimidating to beginners, but the project isn’t as complicated as it seems. Gather the tools and materials below before getting started.

  • Insulated accordion-style duct (see below for sizing)
  • Jigsaw
  • Hooked blade
  • Roof or wall exhaust vent
  • Drill 
  • Pry bar
  • Protective equipment

How To Vent Range Hood On Interior Wall: 7 Easy Steps

Once you’ve gathered everything you need, follow the easy steps below to install your range hood vent.

Step 1 – Decide how you want to route the vent

As mentioned above, you have two options when it comes to routing the duct. You can install it through the ceiling and roof, or you could conduct it out of your home through a wall.

Ceiling installation should be preferred whenever possible. However, if your range hood is installed on an interior wall adjacent to an exterior one (which is often the case in most kitchens), you can opt for a horizontal installation.

In the case of a wall exit, you should also decide whether you want to route the duct through the wall or directly below the ceiling and then cover it with a soffit, dropped ceiling, or another design element.

Step 2 – Determine the duct size 

Once you’ve determined how you want to route the duct, you must figure out what duct size you need. The size of the duct is determined by the range hood’s power, expressed in cubic feet per minute (CFM). 

400 CFM600 CFM900 CFM1200+ CFM
4-inch duct6-inch duct8-inch duct10-inch duct

Step 3 – Install the duct 

For a roof installation, cut a hole in the hole behind the range hood – this is where the appliance will connect to the duct.

Go in the attic and identify the spot above the range hood. Cut a hole through the attic’s floor, then another one above it through the roof. The hole should be only slightly larger than the diameter of your duct, so you can seal it easily and prevent leaks.

Once you’ve made the cuts, route the duct through the wall up to the attic and then out of the house through the roof. Fix the duct with a vent flange.

If you’re installing the duct through the wall, cut a hole in the exterior wall. Fasten the duct to the wall and connect it with a vented mounting box and fasten it with flathead screws.

Step 4 – Seal the openings

Seal the space between the roof/wall and the duct with roof-grade caulking or exterior caulking, depending on the installation. 

Step 5 – Attach the duct to the range hood

Install the range hood above the stove, following the instructions that come with your appliance. Then, connect it to the venting duct as instructed. The specific steps can differ from brand to brand, but essentially you have to connect the vent section that comes with the range hood to the end of the duct located above your range.

Once you’re done, switch on the electricity (which you should have switched off when installing the range hood) and check if everything works.

Related Questions

While everything sounds easy in theory, installing a vent duct can intimidate most people. You may now have further questions or wonder if you should hire a professional. Check out the answers below before deciding.

Can I use a flex duct to vent the range hood?

No, you should never use a flex duct to vent a range hood. Although the material is often advertised as range hood grade, the flex duct is flimsy, difficult to maintain, and cheap.

Using flex duct could seem like a good idea to save some money when installing the range hood, but it can affect your home’s resale value. In fact, your home will not even pass the inspection should you want to sell and will have to replace the duct with an appropriate type anyway.

Moreover, you could have trouble with your insurance company. Not only may companies refuse to insure your home or kitchen because of the flimsy material you’ve chosen, but they can refuse to pay for any damage caused by the range hood – including a fire if it is proved that the fire started at the range hood.

What is the code for venting range hoods?

While the code could slightly vary from state to state, the universal code requires all range hoods to be vented to the exterior, except for the ductless range hoods that use carbon filters.

Regarding the duct, that should have a smooth interior with no ridges and should be made of either galvanized steel, stainless steel, or copper. The only exception is for downdraft types that can use PVC pipes instead of metal.

The duct length is also determined by the code, based on the range hood’s CFM. Moreover, the vents should terminate at least three feet away from the windows, doors, or other vents, such as the bathroom fans.

Is it OK to vent the range hood into the attic?

No. According to the International Mechanical Code, the range hood vent cannot terminate into the attic, soffit, or another enclosed area. All vents must terminate outdoors, either on the roof or through a wall.

How effective are stove vents?

The typical efficiency of stove vents is about 20-30% for front burners and up to 90% for back burners. Thus, it is recommended to use the back burners for slow-cooking meals, such as soups or stews.


Installing a vented range hood is always a good idea; not only will it keep your environment cleaner and healthier, but it can raise your home’s resale value. 

Have you decided how you want to route your vent? Do you have any questions or doubts? Tell us in a comment.

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