As you’re putting a grocery list together for the meals you intend to prepare for the holidays, you may want to make sure your range vent hood is fully functional. The last thing you want when family and friends are visiting is for the smoke and odors produced by cooking on a stovetop to be wafting through your home because the vent hood is unable to exhaust properly. So, what should you do if your range vent hood’s blower isn’t working as expected? Repair Clinic has some troubleshooting guidance to help you out, but first, we should go over how a range vent hood blower is expected to work as well as an easy maintenance step you should take to prevent venting problems.
How a range vent hood blower is expected to work
While it’s common for some kitchens to have a microwave installed directly above a cooktop that functions as a combination microwave oven and vent hood, many kitchens will use a dedicated range vent hood, also known as a kitchen hood or exhaust hood, to remove the smoke, steam, and odors generated from cooking. The hood has a canopy that extends out far enough to cover the majority of the cooktop, and within the canopy is a blower that does all the exhaust work.
The blower draws the air and fumes upwards and out of the kitchen
When the stove or cooktop is in use, the range vent hood’s blower draws the air and fumes upwards and out of the kitchen. The canopy captures the smoke and steam and directs it towards a filter system. The filter system then removes the grease, smoke, and other impurities from the air before releasing it back into the kitchen or venting it to the outside of the home.
What is a range vent hood filter system?
What is a range vent hood filter system? The filter system typically consists of mesh, baffle, and charcoal filters. The type of filter used will depend on the vent hood’s specific design and the cooking requirements. Mesh filters are made up of several layers of aluminum mesh and are designed to trap large particles, such as grease, that are produced during cooking. Baffle filters are made up of several layers of thin metal, typically stainless steel, that are curved and designed to trap smaller particles, such as those found in smoke. Charcoal filters are made up of activated carbon and are designed to absorb odors. These are used when the air being drawn into the vent hood is recirculated back into the kitchen.
How can you tell if your vent hood vents to the outside or recirculates the air?
If the vent hood is designed to vent outside, the air is directed through a duct system that leads to the outside of the home. If the vent hood is designed to recirculate the air back into the kitchen, the air will exit a front vent after passing through the charcoal filter.
The blower does all the exhaust work
As noted earlier, the blower does all the exhaust work by drawing the air upwards and through the filter system. The blower is typically located on the top or rear of the vent hood and can be controlled using a switch or remote control. The blower’s speed can usually be adjusted to suit the cooking requirements, allowing for increased airflow when cooking produces more smoke and steam.
An easy maintenance step you can do to prevent venting problems
There is one very easy, but necessary, maintenance step you can take to prevent venting problems. The filters in the vent hood need to be cleaned or replaced regularly, depending on the type of filter and frequency of use. Neglecting to maintain the filters can lead to a buildup of grease and impurities, reducing the vent hood’s effectiveness and potentially leading to a fire hazard.
Testing for voltage reaching the blower motor
Now, what should you do if discover your range vent hood’s blower isn’t working? You should first confirm that the blower’s fan blades or blower wheel are in good condition and are unobstructed. Your next troubleshooting step is to use a multimeter to test for voltage reaching the blower motor. Here’s how you can do this:
- Shut off the power supply to the range vent hood.
- Remove the grease filter or filters from the underside of the hood.
- Uninstall the lower cover or panel to access the blower motor wiring.
- Disconnect the blower motor power input wire connector or wires. You can refer to the range vent hood’s wiring diagram to identify these wires.
- Identify the designated voltage for the blower motor. You may be able to find the designation on the motor itself; otherwise, check the wiring diagram for the voltage designation.
- Rotate the multimeter’s range selection dial to the appropriate “Volts AC” or “Volts DC” setting.
- Restore the power supply to the range vent hood and avoid touching any electrical components with your bare hands to prevent electrical shock.
- Activate the fan button.
- Contact the black and red meter leads to the power input wire terminals for the blower motor.
- Observe the multimeter display. If the display indicates that voltage is present then the blower motor is likely defective and will need to be replaced. However, if the meter display shows that no voltage is reaching the blower motor, the fan switch, touchpad, or control board is probably at fault.
Use OEM range vent hood parts for a successful repair
Has your voltage testing determined you have a defective blower motor? Then you’ll need to get a new blower motor shipped to you quickly so you can fix the vent hood in time for the holiday get-togethers. This is where you can depend on Repair Clinic, your repair partner, to send you the right part quickly. Importantly, Repair Clinic only stocks genuine original equipment manufacturer (OEM) range vent hood parts to ensure a successful repair. Whether you need a new blower motor, a fan switch, a touchpad, a control panel, or any other replacement part, Repair Clinic has the component that matches your Arietta, Broan, Caloric, Dacor, Electrolux, GE, Haier, Hotpoint, Ikea, Kenmore, KitchenAid, or Magic Chef range vent hood. To find the specific genuine manufacturer part your vent hood needs, enter the full model number of the appliance in the Repair Clinic website search bar to reveal a full list of compatible parts. You can then use the “Part Category” and “Part Title” navigation filters to narrow that list down to identify the exact part you’re looking for.
Repair Clinic has free vent hood repair help
In addition to providing the parts that are specifically designed to work with your vent hood, the Repair Clinic website has free vent hood repair help in its “Videos & Articles” section. Enter your range vent hood’s model number to find schematics, step-by-step guides, and procedural videos demonstrating how you can complete the repairs yourself such as installing a new blower motor in a Frigidaire Range Vent Hood (Model FHWC3660LSA) or replacing a fan or light switch in a NuTone Vent Hood (Model NS6530BL).