Decorating & Renovating
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vent - OTR microwave

Finally got to the place in our kitchen renovation where all the new appliances are installed and tonight when I was "baking a potato" in the microwave I notice the steam from the exhaust along the top of the microwave is steaming up the front of my brand new cabinets that are above the over the range microwave. We purchased it from Lowes & when I called they said we could return it. Now we have to take it down to return it (not an easy task) & look for one with the exhaust system along the front instead of the top.  This means I will have different brand appliances in my brand new kitchen. We had purchased all new Frigidaire Gallery series. We origianlly had the the cabinet installers do the microwave installation & now it will be a job for us ... frustrated

Anyone else had this problem?

Re: vent - OTR microwave

  • Sadly I was told you have 3 choices. 1. put in a vent to the outside 2. have it vent up your cabinets 3. have it vent in your face. I will have mine vent in my face because the one I bought on CL does it. Neither of the non-vented options are very good.
  • Our old microwave had a vent along the front & it didn't blow in my face but I am only 5'2".  Getting a brand with this type of design is the only reasonable solution I see.  I just wish we had known this could be a potential problem.  Most OTR microwaves must protrude several inches out from the upper cabinets or this would be a really common problem.

  • We did not have this issue with ours. But we did install it ourselves. It's not difficult especially with two people. The hardest part is going to be finding the one you want, not installing it.

    And honestly, as long as the appliances are the same color, I personally don't really care if the appliances are the same brand or not. 


  • We have a microwave that blows out front and it doesn't blow in your face.  It blows a good bit above our heads.
  • The only way to solve this issue is to install a real vent not a recirculating one.  Can you add a roof vent through the cabinet above?  Steam, grease, smoke, and unpleasant odors will be an issue without one.  You may not notice it at first but when you remove the cabinet hardware in the future you'll be able to see the discoloration clearly.   

    Having a vented stovetop is now required by code in some areas.  Did you have HVAC inspections on your kitchen remodel?

  • While the situation is annoying, having different brand appliances is not a big deal.
  • Have a real vent installed. It's so worth it. You don't want all that gunk in your kitchen. Plus you get to keep your matching appliances!
    - Jena
  • Need to clarify ... The problem was not the exhaust fan to remove odors, grease  & or steam from the kitchen . The ventilation that was a problem is what keeps the microwave from overheating while it is in use.  This fanexhaust runs  automatically. It will also remove steam from inside the microwave oven when foods release moisture.  But anyway my husband took the microwave down, built out the area on the wall above the range & re-installed it so that it protrudes enough for the ventilation to clear the upper cabinets. I got to keep my matching appliances & problem solved.  Thanks for all your suggestions though. 
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