How to Tell if Your Microwave is Vented Outside

You may be concerned that your microwave isn’t venting from the outside.

To check if your microwave is venting outside, look above, behind or below the cabinet that your microwave is in for a tube that could send the exhaust outside your house. Also check directly behind your microwave for another air duct that could be venting the vapors outside. If you don’t already see a duct it’s likely your microwave vents through the top of the front of it.

Do Over-the-Range microwaves have to be vented outside?

Does the microwave you want to install above your stove have to be vented?

No. OTR microwaves do not need to be vented outside. Basically all microwaves come with venting at the top of the front of the microwave. This is so they work anywhere they are placed.

According to GE, Over-the-Range microwaves do not need external venting. So don’t fret about venting your microwave, especially if it is a GE microwave.

Many microwaves are recirculating (non-vented ductless).

A microwave venting from the top of the front

Check for Blowing Air While Your Microwave is Running

Most microwaves come from the factory venting out of the top. You can choose to vent microwaves from the rear as well though.

One quick check you can do to see if your microwave is vented outside is to put your hand on the top, sides and back of your microwave while it is running.

Check for blowing air in any direction. If you feel moving air then your microwave is already vented.

Checking Over-the-Range Microwaves

Microwaves above stoves vent themselves in one of two ways:

  1. directly outside through the built in grease filter
  2. recirculates the air back into the home

The second kind will usually have vents on the top of the front of the microwave.

Frigidaire FGMV17WNVF Ventilation

The Frigidaire FGMV17WNVF comes with built in ventilation on the front. See number 13 in this image:

Frigidaire FGMV17WNVF ventilation: top of the front

This microwave’s owner’s manual simply says to not block the ventilation system and

“The oven ventilation exhaust filters should be removed and cleaned often; generally at least once every month.”

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