Monica Hewitt is an accomplished chef with an extensive background in setting up kitchens around the world. From selecting kitchenware and kitchen utensils to menu planning, Monica has been responsible for establishing complete restaurants from the ground up. As the Kitchen and Cooking Expert at Homesthetics, Monica is in charge of reviewing and curating all cooking and kitchen-related content on the platform. In her free time, Monica is a good sport, enjoying critiquing our homemade meals around the clock and telling us what could have been improved in sandwiches.
Microwaves can have various ventilation options; the vent type refers to the ventilation option chosen for the microwave.
The most typical form is the recirculating venting, which circulates air back into the oven after capturing steam and other airborne particles with charcoal filters.
Apartments and other small cooking places frequently use recirculating vents.
Another choice is the externally vented microwave, which safely directs steam and cooking aromas vent outside the house via ductwork.
Finally, some microwaves include a combined vent option combining the advantages of an external vent type and a recirculating venting.
Fumes invariably accumulate inside the appliance, regardless of whether the oven employs electromagnetic radiation, superheated air at the time, or sensor cooking. Some foods, such as grapes, may store electromagnetic energy that may cause dangerous repercussions.
What Various Types of Vents Are There for Microwaves?
Internal recirculating, exterior recirculating, under cabinet, and over-the-range microwave are the four basic varieties of microwave venting.
Recirculating vents inside the microwave oven take warm air in and recirculate it, lessening the steam and aromas associated with cooking.
External ventilation removes warm air from the microwave and circulates the exterior walls.
As the name implies, the microwave cabinet is vented by under-cabinet vents.
Although these microwave vents are the weakest of the four, they are frequently the most useful for homes lacking the necessary ductwork for external ventilation.
Over-the-range microwaves often exit through an exterior wall and direct warm air outside. The loudest and most powerful microwave vents available are also over-the-range microwaves.
The manufacturer will supply vent installation instructions with your microwave, but they might not contain guidelines that adhere to all of your local building codes.
Warning: If you don’t have the option to have an externally vented range hood, a ductless model may be your only choice. You must routinely replace your carbon filters for the finest indoor air quality.
Criteria 1: Versatility
Recirculating ventilation and outside venting are both options for convertible microwaves.
Yet, due to construction regulations, contemporary built-in microwaves typically only feature a ducted range hood.
Like contrasting microwave push buttons and handles, the device with fewer moving parts should experience fewer problems over time.
Criteria 2: Air Quality
Only convertible or ducted range hoods that can be opened and closed employ exterior venting. Compared to ductless models, ducted applications offer better air venting.
Meanwhile, recirculating range hoods flow through the air within your home or any place it is built on, courtesy of filters made of stainless steel mesh or charcoal.
It will assist you in controlling smoke and steam, but it cannot provide the same level of air quality as outdoor venting.
Some ductless models include carbon filters which can help with removing odors and dirt.
Criteria 3: Odor Reduction
A range hood removes smoke and steam from your kitchen with exterior venting.
In addition, the exhaust vent is more energy efficient than a ductless range hood for venting odors outside your house.
Although grease filters in a ductless range hood will eventually lose their effectiveness, they should still assist in reducing cooking odors.
What Is the Difference Between a Convertible and Recirculating Range Hood?
The two range hoods intended to remove smoke and steam from a kitchen are convertible and ductless range hood.
The method of air filtration and the mechanism of air venting are the two key distinctions between a convertible and ductless range hood.
Because the air is filtered and released directly into the surrounding space, ductless range hoods do not need ducting.
A charcoal filter is typically present in this style of range hood, which aids in removing grease, debris, and aromas.
They are cheaper than convertible microwaves and intended for kitchens where ductwork is not an option.
Recirculation and ducting are air-filtering techniques used in convertible microwaves. The range hood can filter and circulate the air back into the kitchen if a duct isn’t in place.
The air can be ducted out of the kitchen if a duct is present. Because they don’t rely solely on a charcoal filter, these range hoods are more effective at eliminating odors and smoke.
Are ductless range hoods worth it? It is. Ductless hoods are adequate for the cost.
With air ventilation outside the kitchen, convertible vents provide better air quality. They can also be changed into a ductless range hood. A ductless recirculating vent draws air, passes it through a filter, and exhausts it into the kitchen.
Installation Fees for External Venting Systems
For most households, choosing between the two microwave types is pretty easy. Microwave ovens made to be installed above the gas stove require a ducted range hood connection outside.
Since they are specialized microwaves that can only be deployed in specific locations, there is no substitute option.
Given that the microwave serves two purposes, it might still be more affordable than building a range hood from scratch.
A microwave can be placed anywhere in the kitchen in other situations. This is essentially the only practical alternative if external venting through a duct isn’t an option.
What Type of Vent Should You Get for a Microwave?
A microwave vent normally removes air from the kitchen through recirculating or exterior venting.
Air from the kitchen is pulled from a vent and passed through a charcoal filter before being returned to the kitchen.
Kitchens without enough room for external venting might use this microwave vent. Often mounted to an exterior wall or roof, an external venting exhausts air outside the house.
Although it takes more room for installation and access, this style of vent is the most energy efficient at eliminating air and smoke from kitchens.
Air from your kitchen is circulated through several aluminum, carbon, or charcoal filter vents via recirculating microwave vents. They provide a cost-effective approach to improving the air quality in your home. A convertible vent system, however, includes faster-moving fans for faster ventilation.
Convertible Vent Vs Recirculating Microwave FAQs
The following are the frequently asked questions concerning recirculating microwaves and convertible vents:
What Does Convertible Venting Mean on a Microwave Oven?
Convertible refers to the ability to convert it from venting to not venting by employing a duct to vent through the wall or ceiling.
Does a Recirculating Microwave Vent Work?
Although a recirculating filter is less effective than other microwave venting options, it removes the strongest cooking smells in your kitchen.
Moreover, built-in microwaves often use the same filtration as countertop units, which typically have a recirculating vent.
Is the Over-The-Range Microwave Still Popular?
Although it has been around since the 1980s, the range microwave oven can nevertheless appear to be very contemporary.
Moreover, current building codes mandate exterior venting to control indoor air quality.
If style is important to your kitchen, you may choose the finest built-in microwave, 2023, installed tastefully inside the wall.
Final Verdict: Which One Is Best for You?
Which is the best option for you, then? Have a look at the rundown below.
Use a Convertible Vent If…
You want something easier to remove grease and steam from your cooking surface.
You want something adaptable and compatible with both ducted and ductless range hoods.
If you don’t want to worry about replacing your current ductwork.
Use a Recirculating Microwave If…
There is no need to construct a ventilation system if you want something quieter.
You want something that uses less energy and doesn’t need ducts or vents to go through the microwave.
There is no “better” or “worse” choice among the numerous microwave kinds, as was mentioned at the outset.
Your microwave’s ventilation system will depend on where you plan to place it.
Building codes require a range microwave, which simultaneously functions as a range hood, to have an external venting system.
But you can choose a microwave with a recirculating venting system and save money to place it elsewhere in the kitchen.