Over-the-Range Microwave Oven Vent System Draw

The over-the-range microwave vent system should properly remove most heat, steam, and smoke from the cooktop. If boiling or simmering for long periods of time on the front burners, the vent will not always be capable of capturing all of the excess steam. It may be necessary to use the back burners in this case. 

The tissue test below can be used to check proper draw of the vent:

  • Turn the vent fan on HIGH and hold a tissue or paper towel under the vent area. The suction should hold the tissue or paper towel in place. The draw is equal on both sides. It is normal to have some air blowing out of the top grill.

If the unit does not hold the tissue or paper towel:

  • Check for proper installation of the fan ductwork. Refer to the installation instructions for complete instructions. 
  • If your microwave is vented internally we recommend replacing the charcoal filter every 6-12 months depending on usage. Order a GE Appliance Part online.


If the vent is installed properly and is still not drawing, contact service. For service, please schedule an appointment with GE Appliances Factory Service.