Kitchen Exhaust Fan Not Pulling Air: What to Do?

Kitchen Exhaust Fan Not Pulling Air: What to Do?

If your kitchen exhaust fan is not pulling air, it’s essential to take action right away. A faulty fan can cause all sorts of problems, including fires and dangerous gas build-ups. In this article, we’ll provide you with some tips on how to troubleshoot the problem and get your fan working properly again.

How to Check If Kitchen Exhaust Is Working

If you have noticed a decrease in airflow from your kitchen exhaust fan, it is time to check that it is working properly. The first step is to turn on the fan and watch for any unusual noises or smells. It may be necessary to remove the fan’s cover and inspect it more closely. You should also check that all components are functional, such as the blades, ducts, motor, and filters. If any part appears to be damaged or not functioning correctly, then this could cause a lack of airflow.

Another way to check if your kitchen exhaust fan is working properly is by performing a smoke test. To do this, light a candle or matchstick near the exhaust fan and observe how much smoke it can pull in. If it is not able to suck up a sufficient amount of smoke, then there is likely an issue with the fan. 

How to Check If Kitchen Exhaust Is Working

It is also important to check for any blockages in the ducts that could be causing poor airflow. Blockages can occur due to debris or dust buildup and may need to be cleaned out before your exhaust fan will work properly again. [1]

If you have checked all the components and performed a smoke test, but still find that your kitchen exhaust fan is not pulling air, it may be time to call a professional technician for help. They will be able to diagnose the issue and provide solutions on how best to fix it.

Your Range Hood Could Be Having Trouble Pulling Air Due To…

Clogged Air/Carbon Filters

If the mesh or carbon filters that protect your range hood from grease and other debris become blocked, they will impede the flow of air. Check to see if the filters are clogged and replace them as needed.

Your range hood should vent directly outdoors via ducting connected to a spot outside your home; however, there may be instances where these could be blocked due to improper connection or incorrect placement. Make sure all ducts are properly attached and sealed with metal tape. Also, check for any loose sections which might be causing the blockage. If you can’t find the source of your obstruction, it’s best to call a professional to take a look.

Having the Wrong Air Duct

If the duct connected to your range hood is too small, it won’t be able to pull enough air through. Check the size of the duct and make sure it is appropriate for the size of your exhaust fan. If not, replace it with a larger one.

A Broken Fan Blade

If your fan blade is broken or bent, it can prevent the exhaust from correctly circulating air. Take out the fan and replace any broken blades.

A Broken Non-Return Valve

The non-return valve of your range hood is designed to keep hot air from entering the kitchen. If this breaks, you may be losing a lot of valuable suction power. Check for any visible signs of damage and replace the valve if necessary.

A Broken/Rusty Motor

A rusty or broken motor will be unable to pull enough air through the exhaust. Visually inspect your motor for any signs of damage and replace it if necessary.

Keeping on top of these common issues can help make sure that your range hood continues to circulate air just as it should. If you’re still having trouble getting your kitchen exhaust fan running properly, a professional can provide further advice and assistance.

Residue and grease build-up

Another possible reason your fan isn’t working as efficiently as it should be is due to a build-up of residue and grease. Over time, this can cake onto the range hood’s blades and impede their movement. Make sure to clean your range hood regularly to prevent this from happening.

Inappropriate duct system and vents

Finally, if your range hood is not properly venting, it won’t be able to pull in enough air. Check for any cracks or gaps that could be preventing the fan from working properly. Also, ensure that your duct system and vents are correctly installed to optimize airflow. [2]

By regularly inspecting and maintaining your kitchen exhaust fan, you can help ensure it keeps pulling air just as it should! If you encounter any problems that you’re unable to solve yourself, don’t hesitate to call a professional for further advice and assistance.

Your Range Hood Could Be Having Trouble Pulling Air Due To

How to Fix Exhaust Fan in Kitchen

The first step in fixing an exhaust fan that isn’t pulling air is to ensure that the fan is plugged in or turned on. If it is, then you may need to do a few additional steps to get your fan running properly again.

One of the most common causes of an exhaust fan not working properly is a clogged filter or vent. This can happen due to debris buildup over time, which will prevent air from flowing through the system efficiently. To fix this issue, remove the filter or vents and carefully clean them out with warm water and soap. You may also want to use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment if necessary. 

If cleaning out the filter and vents doesn’t improve performance, check for any obstructions in the ducts connected to the fan. These could include bent pipes, clogged vents, or damaged parts that need to be replaced. If you can’t identify the issue yourself, contact a professional for help.

In some cases, the fan motor may become worn out and no longer able to generate enough power to pull air through the system. This will require replacing the entire motor assembly with an identical model or a compatible upgrade. The exact instructions will vary depending on your specific unit, so consult your manufacturer’s manual for details.

Finally, if all else fails and your exhaust fan still isn’t pulling air properly, it might be time to replace it altogether with a newer model that is designed specifically for kitchen use. A new fan will be more energy-efficient and able to effectively remove smoke, odors, and moisture from your kitchen.

Repair the blades

Another potential cause of a kitchen exhaust fan not working efficiently is damaged or worn-out blades. This could be due to dirt buildup, broken pieces, or other damage from normal wear and tear. If this is the case, you’ll need to either clean out the fan blades with a brush or replace them with new ones.

If you’re unable to remove the blades yourself, contact a professional for help. They’ll be able to safely take apart your unit and diagnose the issue before replacing any necessary parts.

Try fixing the motor

In some cases, a clogged fan motor can also be the cause of your kitchen exhaust fan not pulling air. To fix this, you’ll need to open up the motor and clean out any dust or debris that has built up inside. You may even need to oil the motor if it’s been running for a long time without maintenance.

If cleaning the motor doesn’t help, you may need to replace it altogether with an identical model from your manufacturer’s website or a compatible upgrade. As with blades, be sure to consult a professional before attempting any repairs on your own.

Clean the grease

If your exhaust fan isn’t pulling air, the problem may also be related to a clogged or dirty grease filter. This filter is designed to catch any cooking grease and other debris that can escape into the kitchen while you’re cooking.

How to Fix Exhaust Fan in Kitchen

To clean out the grease filter, remove it from the unit and soak it in hot water and dish soap for 15-30 minutes. Then rinse off any remaining residue before reinstalling it back on the fan. Be sure to replace this part regularly to avoid any future problems with your kitchen exhaust fan not working properly.

Ensure proper ventilation

Make sure that your kitchen is properly ventilated to prevent excess moisture from accumulating in the air. This can cause your fan to work harder as it tries to pull air through the system, resulting in decreased performance and longer run times.

Also, be mindful of where other heating sources are located in relation to the fan. If they’re too close together, this may interfere with the fan’s ability to pull air out of the room effectively.

How to Test Range Hood Suction

If you’re not sure why your kitchen exhaust fan isn’t pulling air, it may be due to a buildup of dirt or other debris blocking the vent. To test if it is an issue with suction, you can use a few simple tools like a vacuum cleaner or hair dryer.

Start by running the exhaust fan on its highest setting and then place the vacuum cleaner at one end of the vent. If there is no power flow of air coming out of the opposite end, this indicates that there may be a blockage in between them. You can also use a hair dryer on medium heat to blow into one end and see if there is any resistance when blowing out from the other side. If so, it may mean that something is preventing the air from passing through.

To test the power of the exhaust fan, you can stick a sheet of paper against the vent cover while it is running. If the paper sticks firmly against it, then this means that it has enough suction to remove smoke and cooking odors effectively. However, if there is no strong pull or if the paper falls off quickly, then your exhaust fan might need some maintenance or repair.

Finally, be sure to check for any loose connections in the ductwork leading away from your kitchen exhaust fan. Loose joints or clogged sections could cause weak suction and ultimately prevent your kitchen from properly ventilating itself. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, then it’s best to have a professional technician check it out.

How to Test Range Hood Suction

If all else fails and your kitchen exhaust fan still isn’t pulling air as it should be, then it might be time to replace the unit all together with a brand new one. With so many different designs and sizes to choose from, you can find an energy-efficient solution that meets your needs and fits within your budget. [3]

After testing for suction power and inspecting any loose parts or clogs, you’ll be able to get your kitchen back up and running in no time.


Why is my kitchen exhaust fan not working?

The most common cause is when the fan motor has burned out. This is usually due to a wiring problem in which too much current is running through the system and overheats the motor. Other possible causes include clogged filters, worn-out bearings, or a faulty switch.

How much suction should a range hood have?

When your range hood is working properly, it should be able to suck up all the steam, smoke, and cooking odors from your kitchen. To get a good sense of how much suction you need in a range hood, consider the size of your kitchen and the kind of cooking you do. For example, if you have an open-style kitchen or cook with lots of oil, then you’ll likely want more suction than someone who has a small galley kitchen.

You can use the CFM (cubic feet per minute) rating on your range hood to determine its suction strength. Most models will have ratings ranging from 100-500 CFM depending on their size. Keep in mind that higher CFM ratings don’t always mean better performance, so be sure to find a balance between size and power for the best results. [4]

How do I know if my range hood is vented?

If you’re unsure whether or not your range hood is vented, there are a few ways to check. First, look for an exhaust duct connected to the back of the range hood itself. This should lead outside your home and provide airflow from the kitchen. You can also take off the filter panel and check for any signs of air movement, like a fan spinning. If you don’t see anything moving, then it’s likely that the range hood isn’t vented properly.

Another way to tell if your range hood is vented is by feeling around its exterior with your hands. A well-vented range hood will be noticeably cooler than one that isn’t venting at all – so if you feel a noticeable difference in temperature between the exterior and interior of the hood, then it’s likely vented.

How do I know if my range hood is vented?

Finally, you can always contact a professional contractor or home inspector to help you determine if your range hood is vented properly. This is especially useful for older homes that may not have been designed with modern kitchen exhaust systems in mind.

No matter which method you choose to use, it’s important to ensure that your range hood is properly vented before attempting any repairs. It will save you time, money, and energy in the long run!

How do you test a range hood fan motor?

Testing a range hood fan motor requires basic troubleshooting skills and some electrical knowledge. You’ll need to test the power supply, the wiring, the switch, and the fan motor itself. First, make sure your range hood is unplugged. Then:

  1. Check that there’s power getting to your range hood by testing with a multimeter or voltage tester;
  2. Inspect all wiring for any frayed or loose connections to make sure electric current can flow freely through it all;
  3. Ensure your switch is working properly by turning it on/off manually and observing whether or not the fan moves accordingly;
  4. Connect a jumper wire between two terminals on the fan motor to test if it works. Make sure the wires aren’t touching each other or any metal surfaces [5];

If all of these steps seem too complicated, you can always hire a professional electrician to diagnose the range hood’s fan motor issue. They will be able to accurately determine if it needs replacing and do so safely.

No matter what your experience level is, it’s important to remember safety first when dealing with electrical appliances. If you ever feel unsure about anything, don’t hesitate to contact a professional for help.

Useful Video: Top Reasons Range Vent Hood Won’t Vent — Range Vent Hood Troubleshooting


If your kitchen exhaust fan is not pulling air, there are several potential causes. It could be a clogged filter, blocked ductwork, or a motor issue. You can take simple steps to troubleshoot the problem such as cleaning the filters and checking the power supply. If these don’t work, you may need to enlist professional help. A qualified technician will be able to identify and correct any issues with your fan quickly and effectively. Don’t let a malfunctioning kitchen exhaust fan spoil your cooking experience – get it checked out right away! With the right knowledge and some handy tips, you can ensure that your fan continues to provide optimal ventilation in no time. Good luck!