Kitchen range hoods provide a vital function to the indoor air quality of the home by exhausting contaminants produced during the cooking process out of the home. But they are only effective if they are working. There are many reasons that range hoods might start to have issues or stop functioning all together. The good news is not all of them mean you need to replace the entire range hood. Here are a few things to consider when troubleshooting your range hood:
CAUTION: Before starting any maintenance make sure the power to the hood is turned off.
If the hood has completely stopped operating: Check to see if there is power to the fan. A circuit might be tripped. Next, see if your range hood has any type of function that might automatically turn it off like a delay timer. Another cause could be the wiring was not done correctly. This usually only applies if it is a brand new installation. If after checking all of those without solving the issue, you probably need to replace the motor or entire range hood.
The range hood lights are working but the fan is not: Some range hoods (typically higher end models including many Air King models) are equipped with a replaceable safety fuse that protects the motor. A failed fuse could be the result of a power surge such as a lightening strike or could mean the motor needs to be replaced. Replace the fuse according to the instructions included in your owners manual and if it fails a second time it indicates that professional service or replacement is needed.
The range hood is working but the air is moving slower than normal: More often than not, this is because there is a build-up of dirt on the fan motor/blade, filters or an obstruction in the ducting. Common obstructions include bird’s nest in the roof or wall caps where the air is being exhausted out of the home. Removing any blockage in your ducting or cleaning the inside of the range hood and filters according to the instructions in your owner’s manual will hopefully solve the issue.
The range hood is operating louder than normal: First you will need to identify what type of noise it is making. If it sounds like it is operating normally just louder it might be because of some of the same issues described in point #2. If it is more of a rattling sound it may be because the motor has come loose. Most range hoods have a housing with the motor attached to the housing with some type of mounting bracket. Over time the screw(s) holding the motor to the housing can work themselves loose. Tightening these might solve the problem. Much in the same way, it could be that the screws or nail holding the range hood to the cabinets or wall have worked themselves loose or the ducting has disconnected. This might be a little tricky to determine as it might mean gaining access to the interior of the hood. Other causes could be a weld has broken loose on the range hood housing. Visually inspect the hood to see if you can identify and places where the metal has separated. Unfortunately, that can’t be easily fixed and the whole range hood will need to be replaced. If you hear more of a scraping sound it is probably the fan blade hitting the housing. This can happen if the blade was damaged during cleaning or if it has worked itself loose. Check to see if you can fit the blade back onto the motor shaft. If not, you might need to replace the blade, the motor or the entire range hood depending on the extent of damage.
As always, Air King highly recommends consulting a professional for all maintenance issues. To learn more about other helpful tips for troubleshooting your range hood, visit the Kitchen Range Hood FAQ section of this web site.