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Thread: over-the-range microwave ovens. Yeah or Nay?

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    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Default over-the-range microwave ovens. Yeah or Nay?

    Compared to real kitchen exhaust fans, are over-the-range microwave ovens just toys? Are they noisy? Are they good?

    Kitchen exhaust fans can be low-noise. I don't turn noisy fans on.

    David

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    DIY Junior Member interalian's Avatar
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    I had a Frigidaire Gallery unit that was pretty noisy when configured as recirc but was quieter when externally vented. Squirrel cage blower was pretty efficient. Intake screens were small and got crudded up easily.

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I've had a GE Spacemaker over my range for 10 years and it works fine. I do not have the external venting connected and I do not even use the internal vent. It is not noisy.

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    DIY Member George R's Avatar
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    I have an Amana Radarange fan/microwave that is about 9 yrs old and not externally vented. The fan seems to work just fine, but it is terribly noisy and has been since new. We tend to not use it very often because of the noise (even on the low settting). I would see if you could give a listen before you purchase one.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    My personal philosophy is, if you are going to vent the range, vent it to the outside. Recirculating the air is a waste. You'll collect some of the grease and smoke, but none of the smells - the rest gets spewed further out into the room. Better to throw that polluted air outside.

    An over-the-range microwave saves some counter space, but I don't like reaching over the potentially hot range to use it. This is a good and bad point as well if you have youngsters that might be inclined to climb up to use it. Make sure you install the anti-tip bracket on the stove! The oven door looks like a good step to them.

    Compare the cf/m of the available systems and the duct size.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    It's to be ducted outside. 4" rigid duct.

    Thanks for the comments so far. That was fast!

    david

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Mine has an 8" duct and a variable speed fan that is loud if you need it on high (not very often). It is a Thermador with the high back on the range and warming shelf with heat lamps in the hood. Frying will set off the smoke detector if I don't use it (another reason to vent outside!).
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    4" is a small duct. Many OTR u-waves vent through a 3 1/4" X 10" duct, so if you adapt it down to 4" round, that will make it noisier.

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    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    It's a 6" duct. Sorry, I wrote the wrong diameter, after spending too many years in bathrooms. Currently I have a 3 1/4" X 10" opening adaptor going into a 6" round duct, and a low-cost builder's kitchen fan.

    The big question in my mind is whether I'll only be satisfied by a separate quiet fan and not a combined fan-microwave.

    david
    Last edited by geniescience; 01-17-2008 at 04:27 AM.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    A dedicated range hood will be a better performer as far as the exhaust function goes, hands down. If noise and air movement are top concerns, get a top of the line, quiet, attractive, high CFM hood.

    The idea about the OTR u-wave is that the combo device gets the big cluinky the u-wave off the countertop. And today, the best performance and features in u-waves is in the OTR's.

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    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    ... off the countertop. And today, the best performance and features in u-waves is in the OTR's.
    Rats! The dilemma is bigger now. Everything you said is great.

    It's a small kitchen, galley style layout, in a concrete condo apartment. There's no way to prevent noise from spreading out into the living room and main hallway. With only 6 feet of countertop, we have to use the cooktop and the edge of the sink as part of counter space.

    The trade offs are noise, and space. Exhausting air is important, but it's not the biggest requirement. Even when cooking with a wok.

    To have an uncluttered look in general, the microwave can't be on the countertop. Maybe we'll just go without one.

    David

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you're redoing the cabinets, you can reserve an opening for the microwave there and get it off the counter, but you'd lose some cabinet space.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Member CharlieM's Avatar
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    I guess my thinking about placement of these things is similar to Jim's. I don't want a microwave over my stove simply because of the danger in reaching over stuff cooking on the stove to haul something out of the microwave and potentially dropping it. That would be hard on the cooktop too. Also made worse with a gas stove with flaming burners. This is particularly troublesome for a shorter person. My preference is to give up some cabinet space and just build a niche to get it up off the counter.

    Charlie

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    DIY Junior Member Falcon67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geniescience View Post
    Compared to real kitchen exhaust fans, are over-the-range microwave ovens just toys? Are they noisy? Are they good?

    Kitchen exhaust fans can be low-noise. I don't turn noisy fans on.

    David
    Hate 'em. Wife hates 'em. A dedicated fan vented outside is preferred in this house. And we know a couple of folks with the u-wave over stove deal - in each case, the countertop unit out performs the built in.

    My wife is short and I'm tall, so in our remodel the vent is going up more than normal. I'm going to move the controls for the vent and mount them at or under the counter so she can reach them easily.

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