The Importance Of Cleaning Commercial Kitchen Hoods and Vents

The kitchen hood is comprised of a fan, duct, filters, and other elements which remove greasy smoke, vapors, and fumes. Regular cleaning of your kitchen hood is essential for proper functioning. Improper function of your kitchen hood and exhaust can reduce the lifespan of your system, costing expensive repairs or replacement of your entire system.

The amount of build-up that is collected depends on the capacity of service, oil output, and food that is produced in your kitchen. Most build-up of exhaust systems and hoods can go unnoticed making it difficult to realize what is happening.

Foul odors, germs, and kitchen fires can be the result of a dirty commercial kitchen hood. The safety of your building, customers, and employees can be impacted by dirty filters, grease residue, filthy fans, ducts, and other various components, reducing the quality of air and increasing numerous health hazards.

The Impact Of A Clean Kitchen Hood

Reduces fire risk: The kitchen hood is located above the cooking range and its function is to collect grime, fat, grease, oil deposits, soot, fumes, smoke, mold, and dangerous chemicals. Eventually, heavy grime accumulates. This leads to inefficient hood function, increasing the chances of a seriously dangerous fire risk when the grease is heated at high temperatures.

Reduces the release of unsafe particles: It’s difficult for a kitchen hood to properly trap particles if grease has been excessively accumulated. Particles that escape the hood can disperse into the air, reducing the air quality, increasing bacteria growth, allergies, respiratory issues, and causing bad odors in the building which can pose a health risk for employees and customers.

Reduces the chances of a blocked system: Build-up of grease, grime, soot, and particles can block your hood and exhaust system reducing proper airflow.

Lowers electricity costs: Increases energy efficiency which lowers utility bills.

Keeps systems running properly and save money: Reduces the chances of costly repairs, enhances proper performance, and increases your system’s lifespan.

Lowers the cost of insurance: National Fire Protection Association safety code compliance is required by insurance companies. Your kitchen hood must be clean and well maintained to avoid high premiums, code violations, or coverage loss.

Aids in local safety compliance: Your business can receive an unexpected drop-in from a local authority. Depending on the cleanliness of your kitchen hood, you can have your business closed or penalized if it is not properly cleaned.

Kitchen Hood Maintenance Tips

  1. Always be sure to check hood openings for blockages.
  2. Always perform regular dusting so particles do not accumulate on your system.
  3. Be sure to check your system for cracks and leaks. If you should find any, have them repaired immediately.
  4. Check your system for clogs and blockages and remove them.
  5. Make sure to check your system’s dampers regularly to ensure that they can be adjusted and are open to avoid negative impacts on air quality and poor system performance.

How To Keep Your Kitchen In Code

Your exhaust and kitchen hood must be cleaned according to code. The frequency of when your hood and exhaust should be clean is regulated by firm life and fire safety codes. Compliance is required to avoid fines or legal trouble.

Signs That Your System Is Due For Cleaning

  • When the duct or canopy has noticeable stains.
  • When the hood vent is on a high setting and smoke is not exiting properly.
  • When the motor is making unusually loud or abnormal noises.
  • When the inside of your kitchen hood is showing visible grease and grime.

How Regularly Should Your Kitchen Hood Be Cleaned?

Your kitchen hood should be cleaned at least three times a month for heavy use which is typically 12-16 hours daily. Medium use should be cleaned every six months which is typically in use for 6-12 hours daily. Light use is typically 2-6 hours daily and should be cleaned once a year. Cleaning frequently depends on the type of stove you have. Some stoves burn charcoal or wood and may require more frequent cleaning. Various aspects may increase or decrease the frequency of your cleaning routine. The equipment, food type, or amount of business are some factors that may determine the frequency.

The National Fire Protection Association has suggested the following cleaning routine:

  1. Charcoal and wood burning: Monthly to weekly
  2. High volume and 24-hour restaurants: Quarterly to six times yearly
  3. Fast food restaurants: Quarterly to six times yearly
  4. Wok or Charbroiler: Quarterly to six times yearly
  5. Hoods that are above grease-producing appliances: Semiannual or annually
  6. Dishwashers, soup vats, and steam kettles: Semiannual or annually
  7. Senior facilities, day camps, and churches: Annually

According to the National Fire Protection Association 96, the thickness of the build-up of residue influences the frequency of cleaning. Listed below is the amount of build-up that is allowed before a cleaning is necessary.

In accordance with 11.6.1, cleaning is required if the depth of 2000µm (0.78 inches) is measured. The thickness of a nickel equates to 0.78 inches.

In accordance with 11.6.1, in a fan housing, cleaning is required if the depth of 3175µm (0.125 inches) is measured. The thickness of two pennies equates to .125 inches.