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kitchen with large range hood
kitchen with large range hood

DIY: How to Change a Range Hood Filter

Your kitchen’s range hood pulls a lot of weight. It vents smoke, heat, byproduct gases produced by natural gas cooktops, and other nasties from your kitchen. A vented system expels smoke and gases outside, while a ductless system uses an activated carbon filter to purify air and recirculate it back into your home.

Regardless of what kind of range hood you have, you will need to replace the charcoal range hood filter and clean the stainless steel filter every six to 12 months. Lots of grease builds up in a range hood filter, so regular maintenance is essential to keeping this crucial appliance in good working order. Here’s what you need to do to replace your range hood filter.

Disconnect The Range Hood Power Supply

Range hoods have a fan, a light, and other electrical components, so to prevent electrical shock, turn off your range hood and, if it plugs into the wall rather than being hardwired into the electrical system, unplug it. If it’s hardwired into the electrical system, turn it off at the breaker box.

inspecting a breaker box


Remove The Stainless Steel Filter In The Range Hood

Pull the stainless steel (or aluminum) filter from the middle of your range hood. Most should pop out easily when pulled downward, although some slide out instead of pulling straight down. Some baffled filters need to be tilted upward towards the back before they can be lowered out of the range hood. If there is a disposable filter inside this part, remove and discard it. 

Inspect the stainless steel or aluminum mesh for signs of damage, like dents, corrosion, holes, or warpage. Damage like this will mean that it's time to replace this part of your range hood. Otherwise, drop the stainless steel or aluminum mesh into a sink full of hot water and a good degreasing dish soap.

cleaning a vent hood in a sink

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Remove The Grease Filter From The Back Of The Hood

There may be a grease filter in the back of your range hood. If so, carefully lift it out. It may have sharp edges or corners, so be careful. This filter may be disposable, or you may be able to clean and replace it. If it’s a reusable filter, check it for signs of damage before cleaning it. If it’s damaged, you’ll have to replace it.


Remove The Air Intake Filter

If your range hood filter has disposable charcoal filters, they will be between the fan and the intake assembly. This filter will need to be replaced. Open the intake assembly and remove the charcoal filter. Most such assemblies snap onto the fan, and you can open them by unsnapping them.


Clean Inside The Range Hood Filter

Before replacing your disposable range hood filters, clean everything inside the range hood using hot water and a strong degreaser. The longer it’s been since your range hood was maintenanced, the dirtier it will be. If you waited too long to clean and replace the range hood filters, grease may have seeped through the filter and accumulated on the fan, the air intake assembly, and the inside of the range hood. 

Clean the blades of the fan with a rag dipped in degreaser or hot water and dish soap. Use a mix of baking soda and water to clean stubborn, thick grease build-up. Wash the air intake assembly and the inside of the range hood. Dry the fan, air intake assembly, and the inside of the range hood. Don’t leave any dust or debris behind, since it could be a fire hazard.


DIY tips are for informational purposes only. Please be sure to take the appropriate safety precautions and ensure your project complies with any applicable federal, state, or local laws and regulations.

AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

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