Fans in hoods built into microwaves

Does anyone know of a microwave which has a built in hood underneath it which filters the air properly please?
We have a GE setup with the microwave positioned over the cooker and a fan in it with aluminium filters. As far as I can see, they feed the air into ducts which must go behind the microwave and out through vents at the top. No further filtering is done beyond the aluminium filters?
They don't seem to filter much, especially as we tend to cook in such a way as to give rise to quite a lot of smoke. Which tends to waft all over the apartment before hopefully getting expelled out of windows. Mind you, the filters do go black quite quickly, which I take to mean that they are filtering something: I think that the standard way of cleaning them is with baking soda?
I was wondering whether any other company had married up a microwave to a fan effectively OR do the newer GE microwaves do any better a job of sucking up the smoke and filtering it please?
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wrote:

I had the same settup years ago and it was the same, worthless. I haven't seen a hood that's effective without it being vented outside. I don't suppose by chance it's on an outside wall?
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On 1/24/2012 3:50 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

My hood isn't vented to the outside yet is effective at recirculating the air. Maybe the filters you use have to be cleaned more often. My new vent has two of them, where as my old one only had one.
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On 1/24/2012 10:02 AM, Amanda Ripanykhazova wrote:

Typically, there's a option for venting to an outside duct instead of recycling the air. A lot of times, venting externally is not a option. Recycling the air might be better than nothing but not by much.
My Samsung microwave has problems with moisture getting into the control panels which shorts out the switches. This causes the weak overhead light to cycle on and off. My guess is that my fondness for slow-roasting pork in the oven below and the cold weather is a factor. You could say that this is a pork induced electronic glitch.
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It's not smoke from the microwave. It's smoke from the range. It's a microwave that goes over the range with a vent fan/filter arrangement on the bottom.
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wrote:

They do make stoves with a vent at the back.
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wrote:

You can run your fan filters through the dishwasher which does a lot more good than hand washing. You should also see if you can run a cloth on a brush or something up in the vent to clean it as much as you can once in a while.
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On 01/24/12 03:02 pm, Amanda Ripanykhazova wrote:

Our Kenmore (made by LG, I think) has the aluminum mesh filters at the bottom but also an activated charcoal filter at the top. The former do collect a lot of grease, and the latter cuts out some of the smell but needs to be replaced from time to time. We clean the aluminum filters in the dishwasher; they get discolored, but who cares?
Perce
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On 1/24/2012 3:02 PM, Amanda Ripanykhazova wrote:

We have a 1 year old GE microwave range hood but it directs/exhaust air thru a 4 inch round duct to outside the roof.
It sounds to me like you want to filter the air from the bottom of the microwave and exhaust it thru the top vents of the microwave and it is not really capable of that, certainly not with GE products. They are primaraily designed to exhaust smoky greasy fumes OUTSIDE the home.
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4" is too small for a duct.Usually it specs out for at least 6" or 7" round duct. It's in the manual.
Ducting to the outside is a definate plus. When I re-did my kitchen years ago, I gutted the entire area, and noticed there was a stud in the way where I was going to run the duct up to the roof. Not having ordered the cabinets yet, I re-designed the layout so that I moved the stove over another 3" to avoid the stud, thus having clearance to run a 3 1/4" X10" duct in between the studs, out through the roof.
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wrote:

All I saw was the Fans in Hoods part and thought you were going to talk about an Eminem concert or something like that.
TJ
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On 1/24/2012 3:02 PM, Amanda Ripanykhazova wrote:

If enough people didn't say it already, vent it outside or don't bother. There are probably charcoal filters available for your unit but don't expect them to do much good.
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wrote:

(Amazon.com product link shortened)
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wrote:

None I know of will handle serious cooking, thats why I didnt put my microwave/ convection oven/ vent over my stove. I put mine ove ra food prep area where I use electric skillets,toaster....,etc. The built in light is really nice for areas like that. Wife thought I was nuts for not putting it over the stove until she got to use it.
Jimmie
Jimmie
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On 1/24/2012 2:02 PM, Amanda Ripanykhazova wrote:

The aluminum mesh filters are for trapping grease and as others have written, you can drop them in a dishwasher to clean them. The filters do help keep down the grease that gets deposited from the air all over everything in your kitchen.
TDD
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Sounds like you've got an old GE Spacemaker setup, similar to what I have. The entire unit should vent to the outside. If it doesn't, it wasn't installed correctly. BTW, you should look to see if there's a small steam vent panel at the top of the microwave. It has nothing to do with the metal filters mounted under the M/W but that's the actual microwave filter vent.

Those filters are strictly for catching grease splatter coming from the stovetop under the microwave. I can't imagine cooking in such a way that the entire kitchen fills with smoke. You said you're in an apartment. Have you asked the apartment manager to have someone take a look at the ventilation issues? I'm pretty sure they don't want the building to burn down because there's a problem with the appliance.

with a good grease-cutting dish detergent, like Ajax or Dawn. If they're particulary grungy I scrub them with a Brillo pad.
Jill
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On 1/26/2012 9:41 AM, jmcquown wrote:

They are made so that you can have them vent to the outside, or recirculate. Naturally, venting to the outside is preferable by far, but that's not always practical.
nancy
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Thanks for that everyone: This pretty much confirms what I thought, that there isn't much I can do, especially without being able to vent to the exterior from my interior kitchen! Yes, I do of course realise that proper vents do this and I shouldn't have installed the microwave over the stove but this kitchen is pretty small and I couldn't have installed a REAL vent hood anyway.
GE says that their newer models (especially the Profile ones) move more air than this Spacemaker XL1400 (400 somethings per minute as opposed to 300) so I wonder whether that would make much difference. They also say that whereas there probably isn't a charcoal filter in it as standard, I can put one in; but it probably wont make much difference to my cooking patterns: I tend to sear steaks on a (preferably) dirty lined griddle for a minute or so (on the hotter FORWARD burner!) before sticking the whole thing in the oven and it is the smoke from that which tends to float all around the flat. There are indeed two ally filters in there but the left hand one of them is virtually clean after a year of cooking since the last cleaning. I cook on the right hand burner. Curiously there is a griddle in the centre of this PGB918SEM stove but it never struck me that it would get hot enough to sear steak properly? (it is a bit heavy and unwieldy to heat up in the oven to 500 degrees and then take it out, install it on the range and sear from there) Maybe some one knows whether this griddle could get hot enough, as more smoke would probably go straight upwards and be caught in the filter if I cooked further back on the stove?
FWIW, the ally filters are relatively inexpensive and designed to be replaced rather than cleaned so cleaning is not how they were designed. Meaning that you can put them in the dishwasher but it will dramatically shorten their lives when, after a few cleanings, they start to buckle. I do however remember when someone published a book about hey-presto remedies a few years ago, the author was shown cleaning one of those filters by simply putting it in baking soda or something and it dissolved the grease and it came out completely clean THROUGH AND THROUGH almost immediately just like magic! I have never managed to get it that clean by any sort of washing, whether in a dishwasher or not.
All in all however, I suspect that the dirt build up on the grille-cover over the microwave indicates to me that too much smoke is getting through the ally filter and being expelled straight into the kitchen!! I cant imagine there is a lot I can do about that or that installing charcoal filters would clean THAT air?
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wrote:

The area above the stove must be big enough for the microwave/vent/light combo unit so it must be big enough for a decent vent hood too. Not saying you have room for a big vent hood, but even one that was the size of the microwave unit, but with a decent fan and vented outside would be a huge improvement and probably do 90%+ of what any hood would do. I realize venting to the outside can be difficult, but that's a seperate issue.
Have you looked at what it would take to get a vent to the outside? Depending on where it's located, construction, eg which way the joists run, etc it might not be that hard.


The problem isn't the amount of air being moved. It's that these are just incapable of FILTERING the air much, so most of what comes in goes out. Whether that happens at 400 CFM or 300CFM isn't going to make much difference. Except that at the higher velocity the smoke will get distributed faster.


They don't knnow what's in their own product? It should be right in the spec sheets or user manuals which are available online.
but it probably wont make much difference to my cooking patterns: I tend to sear steaks on a (preferably) dirty lined griddle for a minute or so (on the hotter FORWARD burner!) before sticking the whole thing in the oven and it is the smoke from that which tends to float all around the flat. There are indeed two ally filters in there but the left hand one of them is virtually clean after a year of cooking since the last cleaning. I cook on the right hand burner. Curiously there is a griddle in the centre of this PGB918SEM stove but it never struck me that it would get hot enough to sear steak properly? (it is a bit heavy and unwieldy to heat up in the oven to 500 degrees and then take it out, install it on the range and sear from there) Maybe some one knows whether this griddle could get hot enough, as more smoke would probably go straight upwards and be caught in the filter if I cooked further back on the stove?

I have no idea what an "ally filter" is.
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