An overhead oven vent is great for getting rid of smells and steam but seldom gets the attention that it deserves. The vent is a simple piece of machinery that consists of a large inlet vent, usually the size of the hob, and a tube to the outside. Although commonly used, these hoods are not often included in a cleaning routine. The first sign of trouble is when they stop functioning well. This is also the time many people think about cleaning them.
Step 1 – Owners Hand Book
Read through the owner's manual for details relevant to your particular model.
Step 2 – Switch off the Vent
Switch off the vent and remove the plug to be safe.
Step 3 – Remove the Filter
Most oven vents have a single large filter located at the end of the inlet pipe above the cooker. The filter is there to catch as much of the evaporated grease as possible. These filters can be cleaned on the top rack of a dishwasher, but this is not a good idea if the filter has not been cleaned for many weeks or months. A really dirty filter should be soaked in a degreaser for an hour or so, then rinsed thoroughly with clean water.
Step 4 – Clean the inlet pipe.
You might have to move the cooker and use a small step ladder to clean the inside of the inlet pipe (hood). The pipe can usually be cleaned effectively with a cloth and soap and water if it has been cleaned regularly. If you are spraying degreaser inside the inlet pipe (hood) be careful not to get any on the light fittings. If the hood has not been cleaned before, it will be difficult and might need more instense cleaners.
Step 5 – Clean the Outside of the Vent
The outside of the vent will need cleaning as well. Use plenty of soap and water. This should become part of your normal kitchen cleaning routine.
Step 6 – Clean the Exit Vent
Depending on the size and shape of the holes in the outside vent, it can get blocked with grease. You will have to remove the vent cover and scrape off the excess grease. If it has not been cleaned for a long time, you might find that it is partially blocked.
If you do not see an improvement after a thorough cleaning, you might have a problem with the electric motor. These motors are working in streams of hot, greasy and damp air. It is easy for them to become coated in grease and dirt. If the motor is running slow and you have cleaned everything else, try cleaning the motor. Unfortunately, this job is better left to the professionals.