External Venting Options
The external venting option is a very effective way to vent your microwave. There are many advantages of using it.
You don’t have to worry about damaging or damaging the internal components of your microwave when you use an external venting system. If you’re not sure whether or not you should go with an external venting system, then you might want to read our article on how much power does my microwave really need?
You can choose between two types of external venting systems: recirculating and convection. Recirculating vents are those which circulate air through the microwave.
These vents work well if you only have one door to your house where you cook most of your meals. They also tend to be less expensive than convective venting systems because they don’t require any plumbing or electrical equipment to run them.
Convection vents are those which draw heat from outside sources such as radiators or furnaces. These vents work better if you have multiple rooms where you cook food.
Convection ovens require some type of heating element to operate properly, but these elements are relatively inexpensive compared to other types of ventilation systems.
There’s no right answer here; both types of venting systems will work well for you depending on your needs and budget. Convection vents work similarly except instead of circulating air, they blow hot air out of the top of the microwave.
Both types of venting systems are effective at keeping your microwave safe from overheating. However, there are some things to consider before choosing which type of venting system is right for you.
Recirculating Vents vs Convection Vents – Which Should I Choose? If you’d like to learn more about external venting options, then we have an entire article dedicated to it located at this url: external oven venting.
Do I need to vent my microwave?
People wonder if they can operate a microwave without venting it outside. The answer is yes.
But as with most things in life, there are some downsides to not venting your microwave properly.
This is a very common question among people that are looking to buy a new microwave or replace their old venting system. While there isn’t a wrong choice here, you will need to pick one that works best for your situation.
If you only have one or two doors into your home, then a recirculating vent would be the best option for you. The main issue is moisture buildup inside your microwave, along with the potential fire hazard that comes from it.
If you have a standard roof over your kitchen then you most likely don’t need to worry about venting. If you have an unusual roof such as a patio or sunroom then you may need specialized vents.
If you do not have a roof or a roof that vents outside, then you can still vent your microwave. These vents don’t require any additional piping or electricity to work.
They are as easy to install as your current microwave’s vent system.
However, these venting systems do have some downsides. Since they rely on the default venting system that is included with your microwave, they will not be as powerful.
These types of vents don’t circulate air throughout the rest of your house like other venting options do. The vents only suck air in and out of the microwave. You can buy roof vents from any hardware store. They’re relatively cheap and easy to install if you can follow instructions.
Convection vents are the best way to vent your microwave if you have multiple entries into your home. These types of vents provide even heat distribution, so you can run your microwave from any room in your house.
This is why you will often see “popcorn smell” throughout your kitchen when you use your microwave.
The good news is that this won’t be an issue if you’re only cooking or heating up food in the kitchen. This will help prevent the smell of melted plastic from filling up your living space.
Convection vents are more common among homeowners. These vents do a great job at circulating air throughout the inside and outside of your home.
Most convection vents are hooked up to a small heating unit that sits outside your home.
These heating units can be plugged into a standard outlet or hard-wired into your electrical system. Either way, they will produce even heat throughout the ductwork and into your microwave.
These types of vents are the best at ensuring even heat distribution.
However, there is one major concern with these types of vents. This way you can use your microwave from any room in the house and you’ll still get equal heating.
Nothing is worse than setting your food to cook for 2 minutes but it ends up taking 4 minutes because the heat doesn’t reach the back of the microwave. Convection vents eliminate this issue completely.
These vents are more expensive to install since they require specialized piping and electricity. They can increase your energy bill substantially.
The outside unit uses electricity to power a fan along with a heating element. This increases the amount of energy needed to keep your home at an even temperature. This may become an issue during the winter months when you don’t really need the heat on all the time.
The good news is you can store this venting system during the summer and winter months to conserve money and install it again when you need it.
Fortunately for you, you won’t need any of that. You already have all the piping required and you can easily power your vent with a battery-powered drill.
You decide to pick up some roof vents from the local hardware store before your buddy comes over. You can also purchase a venting system that doesn’t use electricity to power the outside unit.
It will simply blow hot or cold air through the pipes and into your home.
These types of vents are less efficient than their electrically powered counterparts. They’re more expensive but they don’t require a separate electrical hook-up.
You’ll typically find these vents in commercial buildings with large kitchens or industrial areas.
Insulation is one of the most important factors when venting a microwave. If the pipes aren’t properly insulated, you could end up burning down your home.
You can prevent this by wrapping the pipes in an insulating material. This can be done with a few layers of spray foam.
You pick up some insulation and decide to apply it yourself. It isn’t too difficult of a process but it sure is messy and you need to make sure you cover every part of the pipe.
You take a long piece of cardboard and wrap it around the pipes. You then coat it in spray foam to begin the insulation process.
You repeat this step three times until you’re satisfied with the results.
You then cover the top of the pipe with plastic to ensure no moisture can get in and ruin your hard work.
You turn on your microwave and load it up with several bags of popcorn. If you time this just right, you should be able to blow the vent on the first bag as it finishes and then blow on the second while it starts.
This should ensure that all of the bags are popped at nearly the exact same time.
You turn on your drill and switch on the microwave. You walk over to the drill and carefully aim it towards the ceiling in order to push air up into your roof.
You gradually turn up the power to ensure you don’t accidentally drill through your roof.
You set the microwave for five minutes and wait for the beeping sounds to signal the popcorn is finished. You turn on the drill and quickly open the door to let out the heat and then close it again.
You wait for the popping sound to begin which will indicate that all bags should be ready at any moment.
You open the door to begin the final steps of this process. You turn on your drill and wait for the final bags to be blown up.
Suddenly, you hear a loud “pop” from above you.
The drill slips out of your hands and falls onto your foot. It isn’t particularly heavy but it is falling onto one of your toes.
You reel in pain as you hear the drill clank onto the floor. It is now switched on top of your foot.
You begin to panic as you watch the hot air being blown out of your vent. You are seconds away from having an explosion in your home.
You try to think of a way out of this but you are frozen with fear.
You let out a scream just before the bag explodes. The microwave is blown off the counter and onto the floor.
Your foot is on fire and there is smoke rising all around you. You reach down to feel your burning flesh.
You are in so much pain that you think you’re going to vomit.
The house begins to rapidly fill up with smoke. You’re suffering from second degree burns on your foot, and smoke inhalation coupled with the shock of the explosion is causing you to feel faint.
You get up and try to run out to the front door but there is so much smoke that you can’t see where you’re going. You run into the wall and feel your way through the kitchen.
You slam into another wall and fall to the floor in pain.
You begin to cough up black phlegm and struggle to breathe. The pain from your foot is excruciating.
You manage to crawl on all fours towards what you think is the front door.
You desperately try to pull yourself along the floor but it’s too late. You have passed out due to the pain and smoke inhalation.
You never wake up again.
Sources & references used in this article:
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- Vented food cooking system for microwave ovens (W Berkoff – US Patent 5,387,781, 1995 – Google Patents)
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- Microwave retaining package for microwave cooking (RL Mast – US Patent 6,054,698, 2000 – Google Patents)
- Microwave photonics (AJ Seeds – IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and …, 2002 – ieeexplore.ieee.org)
- Optoelectronic microwave oscillator (XS Yao, L Maleki – JOSA B, 1996 – osapublishing.org)
- A network suitable microwave radiometer for operational monitoring of the cloudy atmosphere (T Rose, S Crewell, U Löhnert, C Simmer – Atmospheric Research, 2005 – Elsevier)
- Microwave oven provided with an improved cooling system (KH Yang, MH Yoon, WK Nam, BW Yi… – US Patent 5,847,377, 1998 – Google Patents)