A commercial exhaust hood is a vital piece of equipment in a commercial kitchen. It helps keep the kitchen running efficiently and remove what the industry calls HOGGSS—heat, oxide, gases, grease, steam, and smoke.
These contaminants are pumped out of the kitchen so that the walls and surfaces are not coated with them. Without HOGGS, a commercial kitchen is sanitary, safe, and efficient. The risk of fire is also reduced, an incident that will result in weeks of downtime, high cost of repair, and significant business loss.
For these reasons, it is critical to ensure that the commercial exhaust hood is running at top efficiency.
Grease: A Fact of Life in a Commercial Kitchen
Data from an annual fire department experience survey of the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA’s) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA’s) showed that between 2010 and 2014, the fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 7,410 structure fires that occurred in food, dining and drinking establishments.
61% of these incidents involved cooking equipment such as cooktops, hoods, and ranges. For each year that these fires happen, direct property damage is estimated at $165 million of annual losses.
One incident resulted in a high-rise building being razed even when the fire started in a restaurant on the first floor. As it turns out, the fire crawled through the ductwork that was covered in grease.
This goes to show how dangerous grease can be when left to adhere to surfaces, something that is sure to happen with an inefficient exhaust hood.
How to Ensure a Commercial Exhaust Hood Runs at Peak Levels
Check suction capacity
The exhaust hood system must maintain maximum suction performance to suck out air particles and contaminants. Make sure that cooking equipment is pushed far against a wall and directly beneath the hood to increase suction capacity. This is also one way to prevent clean air from being pulled behind your cooking equipment.
Install a Demand Ventilation System
Working alongside a commercial kitchen hood, the Demand Ventilation System will detect the volume of food that is being prepared in the kitchen. It will then adjust the speeds of the exhaust hood fan to maximize efficiency.
With this type of system, a kitchen can save 30 to 50% in energy consumption. This translates to more money saved and a better-performing kitchen.
The Demand Ventilation System is also easy to install. So make sure to invest in it to ensure an efficient kitchen.
Carry out regular maintenance and cleaning
For a commercial exhaust hood system to run at optimal levels, it needs to be cleaned regularly. A clogged hood filter will work twice as hard to pull air particles and catch grease but remains ineffective. It will use more electricity but will not function at peak levels.
Regular maintenance, on the other hand, will ensure a rebalancing of the system. This will improve the efficiency of an exhaust hood system that is running heavy, effectively decreasing power consumption.
Follow these tips and your kitchen’s exhaust hood will work most efficiently and provide a healthy and safe working environment.
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