by Staff Writer
A range hood can remove smoke and odors from your kitchen while adding beauty to your home. When it is time to update your kitchen with a new range hood, you can learn how to install a new range hood with some time and a few handy tools. You may need some help lifting the range hood while attaching it to the wall. You might also need a licensed electrician to make electrical connections to the light and fan.
Find a range hood.There are many range hood styles. Some range hoods are specifically designed to match particular stoves or stovetop units. Others are can provide a reasonable match and complement many ovens or countertop burner units.
Measure the hood height. Range hoods need to be correctly positioned above a stove to draw away smoke and fumes effectively. Vent hood manufacturers often recommend a distance between the countertop or burners and the hood. Measure that distance, starting from the stovetop and moving upward on the wall behind the stove. Place a piece of masking tape on the wall and make a pencil mark on the tape at the correct location.
Make a level line. Use the bubble level. Lay it against the wall and evenly position it with the height of the mark. Then apply a horizontal line of masking tape or low-tack painter's tape at the height of the mark; the length of the tape line needs to equal the width of the range hood. This tape is removable and protects the wall from permanent measurement marks. Now lay the bubble level in place and make a series of marks to the width of the range hood. Use a straight edge along these level marks and draw a pencil line.
Make vertical lines to position the range hood. Use a straight-edge framing square or a plumb-bob to find the true vertical position of the range hood. Many range hoods have square sides, and this line will set the position of the range hood side edge. Again, use painter's tape in the general location and make your final marks and lines with a pencil.
Locate the studs. Range hoods are very heavy and must be well-fastened to the wall studs. Do not hang a range hood on the drywall or plaster alone. Use the stud locator to find the studs and make marks for the screws. Use the drill bit (smaller than the screw shaft) and pre-drill screw holes. Don't use a drill bit that is too large; this could cause the range hood to pull away from the wall and cause injury.
Check the vent installation. Check the hood manufacturer's instructions to find the venting requirements and installation directions. Charcoal-filter or grease-trap range hoods do not require external vents.
Check the electrical wiring. Many range hoods require external power for the fan and light to operate. Check the manufacturer's requirements and instructions for information on the wiring. You may need to call in a licensed electrician to perform the work.
Mount the range hood. It is a good idea to get someone to help lift the range hood into place. Cut some supporting blocks ahead of time and use them to assist in bracing the range hood while you set it in place. When the range hood is well-supported and perfectly positioned, use screws to fasten it into the wall studs. Remove the painter's masking tape and temporary supports.