A commercial exhaust hood, or even a number of hoods, depending on the size of the kitchen, is crucial to any commercial kitchen venture. These are needed for any commercial cooking where grease is involved, to extract the heat and grease-laden vapors generated, so the kitchen runs safely. It is important to get the right equipment for your situation. With a properly designed commercial hood system, you can keep your business legal as well as run it efficiently. It’s not possible to use a hood made for a domestic kitchen in a restaurant or commercial food preparation area, because of the level of heat, grease and vapor produced in commercial kitchens, of whatever size.
A commercial hood vent needs to remove steam, smoke, grease and heat from the food preparation area. This is why commercial vent hoods are installed directly over the heating areas in your restaurant. Then they can collect heat and grease at source. There are baffle filters inside the vent hood to filter out as much grease as possible so it doesn’t enter the ducts forming your ventilation system. The type of baffles you will need are determined by the cooking system in your kitchen, however, even with the best baffle filters, some grease will get through and the system will need regular cleaning. Because of this residual grease, it is vital to be able to clean the ventilation fan and the ductwork from the top, and this means you will need a hinged cover on the exhaust fan in the vent hood. This will reduce the risk of fire hazards and keep your kitchen safe.
Along with the heat and the grease-laden vapors, the exhaust fan also removes air from your commercial kitchen and that needs to be replaced. This is done with a “make-up air unit”. This brings in clean, fresh and usually cooler air to the kitchen and makes up for the hot greasy air removed by the fan. In total, the extraction canopy for the removal and the make-up air unit for replacement of hot air by clean fresh air, form part of any industrial kitchen hood system.
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Did you know that commercial kitchens can produce carbon monoxide – a lethal colourless odourless gas? (It’s important to have a carbon monoxide monitor to keep checking for this. I was just glad we had one in our house today – the glass fronted fire started putting out carbon monoxide and we would not have known if it hadn’t been that the monitor started beeping loudly. I was already asleep and it woke me up. We opened all the windows and got fresh air running through the house.) Or that they can release particles that can trigger respiratory illnesses? An industrial extractor fan is not just for improving the working environment; it is a necessity for safety and the health of your staff and customers. Kitchen ventilation in a commercial kitchen environment is crucial as well as a legal requirement. A Commercial Kitchen Extraction Canopy contains a hood with edges that extend beyond the cooking area, so the canopy catches the contaminated air at source, preventing it from moving elsewhere. The kitchen extract canopy contains filters to remove particles and grease, to avoid any buildup in the air inlets. The ventilation system also has ducts for fume discharge and to allow fresh air into the kitchen. Fans move fumes from the hood to the ducts.
It’s also important to maintain your kitchen extraction canopy because if you have a fire and your ventilation system has not been maintained, your insurance company will contest any claim you make. Professional cleaning for commercial extraction canopies is recommended, as the canopy extracts grease from the air, making it a fire hazard if not regularly cleaned.
As well as collecting fumes and poisonous gases, commercial kitchen extraction canopies filter out carbon and grease from the air. This is another health and safety feature, as grease-filled air is a common cause of commercial kitchen fires. These are especially common in kitchens where a lot of frying or wok cooking is done.