A kitchen range hood is an appliance that improves the quality of your indoor air, eliminates cooking smells, and prevents heat buildups in your kitchen. The downside of running an exhaust fan in your kitchen is the noise.
It’s normal to hear a low humming noise when your kitchen exhaust fan is working, but there are things you can do if the noise is excessive:
- Try cleaning the filter.
- Look for damaged or misaligned parts.
- Look into insulating your hood range to reduce noise.
- Consider a customized installation for a quieter exhaust fan.
Here is what you need to know about the common issues that can cause noise when your kitchen exhaust fan is on, how to address them, and some additional steps for reducing the noise coming from your hood range.
How Do Exhaust Fans Work?
Your range hood sucks hot air out of your kitchen. The purpose of the fan is to draw the air out and improve circulation in this room.
You can reduce noise by making sure you use your range hood effectively and get the most out of this appliance:
- Your hood shouldn’t be higher than 30” above your stovetop. If the hood is too high, the fan will have to work harder to suck out heat and cooking odors.
- Use the fan anytime you cook, not just when you accidentally burn something. If you have a gas stove, your fan will remove carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and other fine particles. Improving the quality of your indoor air is more important than reducing noise.
- If you have an electric stove, you should still use your exhaust fan to eliminate particles from cooking oil.
- Proper ventilation prevents heat from building up in your kitchen. Running your exhaust fan can be annoying because of the noise, but keep in mind that this appliance helps you save money on your AC bills.
- It’s best to use the high-speed setting of your exhaust fan. It might be noisy, but it’s more effective for eliminating heat, cooking odors, and unwanted particles from your indoor air. You can turn the fan off after a few minutes and enjoy the peace and quiet.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Unusual Noises Coming from Your Kitchen Hood Range?
In a lot of cases, a noisy exhaust fan indicates a technical problem with your hood range. It might be time to clean the filter or replace a moving part.
If you’re unsure of where the unusual noise is coming from or what to do about it, your best bet is to call a professional and have them troubleshoot your kitchen hood range.
If you hear a rattling or scraping sound when you turn the fan on, the fan blades are probably touching the housing. It’s a common issue that appears when the fan isn’t hinged properly.
Your fan might not be properly hinged because of an issue during the installation process, or because it moved when you cleaned it. It’s an issue that will worsen with regular wear and tear, and it can result in damaged fan blades. If there are no damages to the fan itself, you can solve this problem by reattaching it properly.
What Are Other Common Causes of Noisy Exhaust Fans?
If you hear a squeaky sound coming from your kitchen range hood, the rubber belts that connect the motor to the pulley might not be properly aligned. If you recently had your range hood fixed, the size of the belt might not match the housing. You might also hear squeaky noises because the motor and pulley aren’t properly aligned.
If you hear a grinding noise, you will probably need to replace the bearings. These small parts go through wear and tear when you use your exhaust fan and eventually need to be replaced.
If you hear an unusual noise coming from your exhaust fan, you should address the issue quickly. A misaligned part will cause more wear and tear and could result in more expensive repairs in the future.
Can Cleaning Your Exhaust Fan Help with the Noise?
Another possible cause for hearing unusual noises coming from your exhaust fan is the presence of debris or grease buildups inside of the fan housing. There is a filter that should catch grease particles and debris before they reach the fan, but a clogged filter can cause problems with your range hood.
It’s always a good idea to inspect your fan for debris or grease buildups since they can cause damage to the fan blades or motor.
Cooking oil can also cause a thin film to cover the inside of your kitchen hood. You should clean it to reduce unnecessary wear and tear on moving parts. Cleaning also reduces risks of fire and reduces energy bills since your hood range will work more effectively.
You should clean your hood range once a month if you cook regularly. If you don’t cook every day, it’s fine to clean the inside of the hood less frequently. We recommend cleaning your range hood after cooking a large meal or accidentally burning something.
Pay attention to the performance of your exhaust fan. If it’s not eliminating smoke or odors as efficiently as usual, it’s probably time to clean it. If you hear unusual noises, cleaning the filter is a good first step you can take to start troubleshooting the problem.
Cleaning is a simple step you can take if you notice a change in the performance of your hood range. If cleaning doesn’t fix the issue, you should look for signs of damage or call a professional to troubleshoot your exhaust fan.
Range hoods have a removable filter that catches grease and debris before they reach the fan. You can usually remove this filter by opening a vent.
The best way to clean this filter is to let it soak in a degreasing solution. You can use a soft-bristled brush to remove any remaining grease deposits.
Once the filter is clean, you can wipe the inside of your kitchen hood to remove grease buildups. Use a degreasing solution and a soft-bristled brush for stubborn buildups.
What Can You Do to Soundproof a Kitchen Exhaust Fan?
If your kitchen exhaust fan sounds noisy but doesn’t show any signs of damages, the design or installation of the hood range might amplify the normal humming sound coming from the fan. You might hear a loud noise because of the duct rattling when the fan is on, or the installation could create an echo effect that amplifies noises.
Here is how you can soundproof your kitchen hood range:
- Install a layer of vinyl insulation over the outside of the hood liner.
- You can also use foam insulation to create a tighter fit and prevent the duct from rattling.
- Adding a layer of insulation can absorb sound waves, reduce rattling, and prevent condensation and humidity problems on the outside of the duct.
- Don’t add any insulation inside of the hood or duct since it could increase risks of fire and reduce the efficiency of the hood range.
When Is it Time to Hire a Professional to Deal with Kitchen Exhaust Fan Noise?
Hiring a professional repairman is your best option if your kitchen exhaust fan is making excessive noises. It’s best to hire someone if you’re unsure of how to clean the hood range or don’t want to accidentally unhinge the fan while cleaning it.
If you hear grinding or rattling noises coming from the fan, you should hire a professional to determine where the issue is coming from and replace any damaged parts.
You should also hire someone to inspect your exhaust fan and replace damaged parts if you notice that your hood range doesn’t work as well as it used to. If there is damage to a part, a misaligned belt, or a clogged filter, your hood range will have to work harder to eliminate heat and cooking odors.
Is a Customized Installation Worth It?
A customized hood range installation tends to cost more, but you can design it to reduce noise. Hood range appliances typically use an inside fan. It’s an affordable option, but having the exhaust fan located in your kitchen makes your hood range noisier.
With a customized installation, you can use an outside van that is closer to the air vent. Having an exhaust fan located away from your kitchen will reduce noise.
You can also ask the professional who installs your hood range to add insulation to the duct to absorb noises.
Even though a customized hood range installation costs more, it’s an upgrade worth considering if it’s time to replace an old exhaust fan. The professional you hire might be able to modify an existing hood range to reduce costs.
Are There Additional Steps You Can Take to Reduce Kitchen Exhaust Fan Noise?
You can reduce noise by making sure your exhaust fan is in good working order, cleaning it regularly, and adding insulation to the air duct. There are a few other things you can do to manage noise:
Remember to turn the fan on regularly at high speed when you cook. Using the high-speed setting will eliminate odors, heat, and grease from your indoor air, and you will be able to turn the fan off after a few minutes.
Try cooking when you don’t need to have a quiet environment. Close the kitchen door when you cook, if possible.
Look into insulating your kitchen to reduce noise propagation throughout your home. Soundproof drapes or curtains can absorb sound waves, and so can a thick area rug.
If noise reaches other rooms, line the other side of your kitchen walls with bookshelves. Books are an inexpensive way of absorbing sound waves.
Check the area around your hood range. The fan might cause vibrations that propagate and cause kitchen cabinets to rattle and make noise. Use caulk to secure your kitchen cabinets, seal small openings, and reduce vibrations.
Empty kitchen cabinets next to the hood duct can cause an echo effect and amplify noises coming from the fan. Fill these cabinets with items that will absorb sound waves, like bags of flour.
The best way to address noise issues with your kitchen exhaust fan is to rule out any technical issues with damaged or misaligned parts, clean your fan and filter, and look for ways of improving insulation and preventing sound waves from propagating. If noise is excessive because of the design of your hood range, focus on adding insulation, and consider a customized installation to reduce noise.