Commercial kitchens need to be clean – it is a health and safety requirement. Unsanitary conditions can be a cause for revoking a license to operate. Cleanliness extends beyond spotless floors and clean counters; it also includes the equipment being used, from the pots all the way to the commercial exhaust hoods.
With lots of items to clean and a very busy schedule to maintain, having equipment with the ability to automatically clean itself lightens the cleaning load. The good news is that self-cleaning commercial exhaust hoods are available. Having this kind of system saves time, which can be allocated to tasks that can help the business.
The Need to Clean Restaurant Exhaust Hoods
Exhaust hoods are important elements of any commercial kitchen. They are in charge of absorbing all the heat, smoke, and odor from cooking surfaces. Doing so not only keeps kitchen staff safe, but also the entire facility.
Over time, the buildup of grease inside the hoods and in ductwork turn hoods into safety hazards. This is why regular cleaning of hoods – and other elements in the kitchen – is required: it’s for the good of everyone.
The National Fire Protection Agency even outlines requirements and best practices for cleaning different types of hoods. Some hoods need to be cleaned each month, others quarterly, and some even semi-annually and annually. It all depends on the volume of cooking being done.
But with self-cleaning commercial exhaust hoods, cleaning can be done daily and automatically. You might still need to call in a professional for more deep cleaning, but daily cleaning lessens the amount of work other hood elements need to do.
Design & Construction
Self-cleaning commercial exhaust hoods are made from stainless steel. It features a spray bar that covers the entire length of the hood. The spray bar is located behind the filters and is fitted with nozzles so that enough reaches the plenum and the back of the filters. There is also a nozzle in the exhaust riser which cleans part of the duct work.
A hot water option is also available. Using this option produces a more effective clean.
How it Works
The spray cycle involves the injection of a surfactant. This part of the process increases the effectiveness of the self-cleaning procedure.
As its name suggests, a self-cleaning hood does the job itself but you have to set the time when it has to begin its task. The job is usually set at the end of the work shift. As for the duration, there is a factory default of three minutes, but that can be adjusted.
Any kitchen will benefit from having a clean hood. Grease builds up over time in filters and ductwork. While regular cleaning is required of staff to maintain equipment, automatic daily cleanings reduce the amount of work to be done. Doing so saves time and reduces the potential for fire.
Commercial kitchens are expected to be chaotic and hot, but at the end of the day, staff are expected to observe cleanliness and what better way to speed up the process than having one of the most used elements have the ability to clean itself?