Common Range Hood Problems

In this modern era, the range hood has become an essential kitchen appliance, ensuring a healthier cooking environment by venting out smoke, heat, and unpleasant cooking odors. But what happens when it suddenly stops working or doesn’t perform as expected? Fear not, as this article will guide you through some common range hood problems and teach you how to troubleshoot them. Before diving into the troubleshooting part, let’s get a brief understanding of range hoods and why they are crucial.

Understanding Range Hoods

Also known as an extractor hood or vent hood, a range hood is a device consisting of a fan that hangs above your stove or cooktop. It plays a significant role in maintaining your kitchen’s air quality by removing airborne grease, combustion products, smoke, odors, and steam through air evacuation and filtration.

By efficiently venting out all the unwanted elements produced during cooking, range hoods ensure a clean, breathable kitchen atmosphere. Plus, they provide additional lighting to your cooking space, making your kitchen chores a lot easier and safer.

Common Range Hood Problems

While range hoods are generally durable, they’re not immune to problems. Here are a few common issues you might encounter, along with steps to troubleshoot them.

Range Hood Doesn’t Start

The first thing you’d want to do is check the power source and control buttons.

Checking the Power Source

Make sure your range hood is plugged in, and the outlet is functioning properly. You can test this by plugging in a different appliance to see if it gets power.

Checking the Control Buttons

If the power source is fine, inspect the control buttons or switch. Sometimes, the issue could be as simple as a stuck or damaged button.

Range Hood Fan and lights Aren’t Working Properly

  • 💡 The top four most probable causes for a range vent hood fan or lights not working are issues with the incoming power, a blown thermal fuse, defective switches, or a malfunctioning control board.
  • ⚡ You should first check the incoming power by ensuring no circuit breakers have tripped, no fuses have blown, and the electrical outlet is providing the correct voltage.
  • 🌡️ If the power is fine, the thermal fuse in the range vent hood might have blown. This can be tested for continuity with a multimeter.
  • 🔘 Defective switches can also cause the fan or lights to not work. These switches can be tested for continuity with a multimeter.
  • 🎛️ Although not common, the control board may be malfunctioning. All other components should be inspected and tested first before considering replacing the control board.
  • 🛒 All the parts needed for these repairs can be found on the website provided in the video. Enter the full model number of the product to find the specific replacement part.

Noisy Range Hood

  • 📣 The loud or noisy operation of a range vent hood is most likely due to two probable causes: a malfunctioning blower motor or a damaged fan blade/blower wheel.
  • 🛠️ If the blower motor makes a loud noise, it’s probably because the bearings are worn out and the motor shaft is binding.
  • 🛢️ Older motors may have oil spouts that can be used to lubricate the bearings, allowing the motor shaft to turn freely.
  • ❌ Most newer motors, however, are not meant to be lubricated, and a noisy motor should simply be replaced.
  • 🌀 A damaged fan blade or blower wheel could also be responsible for the noisy operation of the range vent hood.
  • ✋ Check to see if the fan blade spins freely or if there are obstructions in the blower housing.
  • ⚙️ If the blade or blower wheel has trouble spinning, the component, and possibly the housing, need to be replaced.
  • 🌐 Replacement parts can be found on the website mentioned in the video. Be sure to enter the full model number of your product to find the right part.

Poor Ventilation

  • 🌬️ Check the vent for debris that might be blocking the airflow and remove any obstruction found.
  • 🌀 If the fan blade or blower wheel is damaged or obstructed, it may prevent proper ventilation. If they struggle to spin freely, replacement may be necessary.
  • 🎚️ A faulty fan motor switch could prevent the motor from turning on. This can be tested for continuity using a multimeter and replaced if it tests negative.
  • 🏍️ If the fan motor or blower motor isn’t working despite receiving power and a functional switch, it’s likely defective and should be replaced.
  • 🗑️ A dirty charcoal filter can cause poor ventilation. Since these filters can’t be cleaned, they should be replaced with a new one.
  • 🍳 Grease filters could be clogged with grease and blocking airflow. Cleaning with a degreasing solution and warm soapy water can help, but installing a new filter may be more effective.
  • 📦 All the replacement parts discussed are available on the referenced website. Ensure to enter the full model number of your product to find the correct part.
  • 📏 Proper duct size is critical for efficient hood performance and reducing noise. A smaller-than-recommended duct reduces suction and increases noise.
  • 🔄 One should avoid reducing the duct size to fit an existing duct; this could significantly decrease the hood’s suction power.
  • 👷‍♂️ In renovations, it’s better to replace the existing duct with the correct size needed by the new hood to maintain optimal suction.
  • 🍳 Duct sizes commonly used in the kitchen ventilation industry are six inches, eight inches, and sometimes ten inches, depending on the size of the hood.
  • 🌬️ For a hood with a six-inch duct, a constant duct size of about 27 square inches is needed to ensure proper ventilation.
  • 🚪 At the end of the duct line, one must install a wall cap or a roof cap that matches the duct size to avoid any reduction in suction.
  • ⚠️ Certain materials, like aluminum, can create noise, turbulence, and accumulate grease inside the duct; a galvanized duct is recommended.
  • 🔄 If 90-degree elbows are necessary for the duct path, ensure they are gradual, not squared off, as each elbow can reduce the suction by 10 to 15 percent.
  • 🏠 Note that with powerful hoods and large ducts, there could be a back draft issue in tightly sealed buildings.
  • 📈 Using smaller ducts or wall caps with smaller openings can lead to increased noise and decreased suction.
  • 🚫 Poor hood performance and high noise levels could be due to various issues such as small or blocked ductwork, long duct paths (longer than 50 feet), too many elbows in the ductwork, or poor quality wall or roof cap.

Conclusion 👌

Range Hood Expert
Patrick Smith
While this guide helps you troubleshoot some common range hood problems, remember that it's always safer to call a professional if you're not comfortable doing it yourself or the issue seems complex. Taking good care of your range hood ensures a pleasant cooking environment, making every kitchen experience a joy.
If you still have questions, send them to my email!


How often should I clean my range hood filter?

Ideally, you should clean your range hood filter every month for efficient operation.

Why does my range hood make a humming noise?

A humming noise often indicates a problem with the motor. If cleaning doesn’t resolve the issue, consider calling a professional.

Can I vent my range hood into the attic?

Venting a range hood into the attic is not recommended as it can lead to moisture buildup and potential damage.

How high above the stove should the range hood be?

Typically, range hoods should be 24 to 30 inches above the stove for optimal performance.

Can I replace the range hood fan myself?

While it’s possible, it’s recommended to call a professional unless you’re confident and experienced in handling such tasks.

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