Built-in microwave odor problem

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Hello, I'm hoping this community can give me some ideas on how to solve a problem. I redid my kitchen in 2014, and had a Frigidaire microwave built into my island, using a trim kit. There was a vent along the bottom of the trim kit. The microwave failed in 2019, and I replaced it with an updated model of the same Frigidaire, and the updated trim kit, which has no venting. I've realized recently that I have a problem here -- the moisture and odors from the microwave have no where to go, they are trapped inside the sealed cabinet. As you can imagine, it smells very bad, and I get a lot of moisture inside my microwave. I don't know how to fix this. The trim kit mentions an opening for an exhaust duct, but there is no where to vent it to, being in the island. How are these problems usually resolved? I was thinking of removing the microwave and trim kit, and having the unfinished opening in the cabinet finished with a shelf, and placing the microwave in there. It's less polished looking, but at least the air can circulate. But there has to be a better solution. Anyone have a suggestion? Thanks in advance!


  9 answers
  • William William on Nov 28, 2020

    Usually the vent goes into a crawl space. Another option is to elevate the microwave on the sides of a shelf and install a vent off the bottom or the back of the microwave and over the top. If the space for the microwave is wider than venting could be made out the sides.

    • Lynne Lynne on Nov 28, 2020

      Do you mean that it would vent into the crawl space under the floor? Wouldn't that just push the steam and odor into another confined area?

  • FrugalFamilyTimes.com FrugalFamilyTimes.com on Nov 28, 2020

    I’ve often wondered about how you go about replacing those built in microwaves. What a hassle! In your place I think I would do your idea of converting it into an open shelf with a microwave in it. Easiest and most affordable option!

  • Lynne Lynne on Nov 28, 2020

    I'm adding a photo, perhaps that would help.

  • Annie Annie on Nov 29, 2020

    Hi, your picture helps for sure. Your microwave is really in there quite tight. I agree with opening it up, ideally there would be more room around the microwave. I wonder if you went with a smaller microwave, if that would help.

  • Maura White Maura White on Nov 29, 2020

    Can you by chance attach a photo so I can visualize this better?


  • Mogie Mogie on Nov 29, 2020

    If you could give us the make and model number of the microwave we might be able to get a better idea of the situation.

  • There's nowhere for the steam to go and vent when it's in that space so tightly. I agree, a smaller microwave would probably help. However, before you go that route, I would call an appliance store and ask about the issue. They may have a solution.

  • Lynne Lynne on Nov 30, 2020

    Thanks for the ideas, everyone. The microwave is Frigidaire FGM0226NUF, the trimkit is MWTK27FGUF

  • Mogie Mogie on Nov 30, 2020

    Seems like a simple move would be a smaller microwave. You need to allow some room for air flow around the unit.

    The basic rule is 3, 3, 1. That is 3 inches of room allowed on the side and top. With 1 inch in the rear (hehe).

    Here is where that info cam from: https://products.geappliances.com/appliance/gea-support-search-content?contentId=21841

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