What is a Commercial Kitchen Hood?A commercial vent hood is a device that is installed over the cooking station or appliance to facilitate ventilation. A commercial vent hood is called by different names such as exhaust hood, range hood, and kitchen hood. The function of the vent hood is to pull out the contaminated indoor air of the kitchen. The exhaust hood also improves the indoor air quality by bringing down the deposits of smoke and grease.
Types of Commercial Vent HoodsBroadly speaking, all commercial kitchen hoods fall under two categories: Type I and Type II. The range hoods can be differentiated from each other on the basis of what type of materials they filter out.
Type I Vent Hood:This vent hood is specially designed to remove smoke, heat, and grease from the kitchen. Hence, it is also termed grease hoods. Inside a commercial kitchen, you will find Type I hoods mounted over cooking appliances such as deep fryers, grills, broilers, etc.
Type II Vent Hood:This vent hood is designed to throw out moisture such as steam and vapor from the indoor air. In addition to these, some range hoods can also remove odor from the indoor air. You will often find these hoods fitted in a cafeteria over coffee machines, pasta cookers, rice cookers, and some pizza ovens. These hoods are also referred to as condensate hoods. Which type of commercial vent hood to use depends on what type of cooking you do in your commercial kitchen, cafeteria, or restaurant. Type II vent hoods do not have grease filtering capacity. Before you install a vent hood, you should seek the help of an expert hood builder or hood design specialist. If you are in Denver, CO, you should feel free to talk to one of our experts at APS Hoods.
Commercial Vent Hood DesignThe design of all commercial vent hoods is not the same. Based on the specific layout of your kitchen, you need to opt for a suitable design. To finalize the hood design, you will need to consult with professionals. Three most common vent hood designs include:
Wall Canopy Hoods:These exhaust hoods are hung on the wall, right behind the cooking equipment in the kitchen. They are mounted in a way that they remain stretched out over the cooking appliances.
Island Canopy Hoods:These vent hoods hang from the ceiling, above the cooking equipment in the kitchen. The specific design is used where the cooking equipment is located away from the walls. One key feature of this design is that all four sides of this canopy hood remain open. Island canopy hoods require a much stronger exhaust fan than those fitted in other hoods.
Low Proximity Hoods:These vent hoods are located in close proximity to the cooking equipment and appliances, hence the name. Also referred to as back shelf hoods, the low proximity hoods are installed in commercial kitchens where the cooking equipment is placed at counter-height. When it comes to vent hood installation, the design of the hood is of utmost importance. If the hood design is not proper and suitable for your kitchen’s needs, the quality of the ventilation will be affected.
How Does a Commercial Vent Hood Work?Commercial vent hoods are fitted over the cooking appliances in a kitchen. As the cooking goes on, a motor-powered fan pulls the contaminated air and other particles into the ventilation machine. Next, the contaminated air passes through the ductwork, which remains attached to the ventilation unit. In this way, the heat, smoke, grease, vapor and other particles are expelled outside. The hood system also has a make-up air device, which replaces the removed air with fresh air from outside. The entire unit functions to keep the indoor kitchen air fresh and cool.
Vent Hood InstallationInstallation of vent hoods or range hoods in commercial kitchens is a detailed procedure involving multiple steps. Setting up the hoods is not just about selecting the most ideal type and design. But it is also about meeting the local laws and regulatory guidelines for the safe and hassle-free operation of the restaurant facility. If the building and fire safety codes are not followed in a proper manner, you should expect to fail inspections and face many kinds of safety hazards. The vent hood should be designed and installed to effectively manage the amount of exhaust that will be produced in a commercial kitchen. If the hood is larger than the required size, energy bills will go up. On the other hand, smaller vent hoods will fail to properly ventilate the kitchen area. In order for the installation to be proper and as per exact need, you will need to fulfill these specific requirements:
- Minimum overhang requirements should be at least 6 inches.
- The elevation range should not surpass 4 feet.
- Installation of a Type I hood should also have a fire suppression system.
- One type of hood cannot replace another.
Vent Hood RepairThe overall functioning efficiency of a kitchen HVAC system depends on the quality and condition of the vent hood. Since the vent hood or the range hood works very hard in a commercial kitchen setting, it also needs repair from time to time. When the vent hood needs repair or maintenance, it will give you some warning signs that you should never ignore. Any negligence in this regard can worsen the problem even more leading to costly repair or full replacement. Key signs of commercial vent hood repair include:
- Haze in the kitchen or other areas of the restaurant
- Hot and smokey restaurant facility
- The exhaust fan motor makes loud noises
- Defective control board or electrical issues
- Odors do not go away
- Smoke hovers in the kitchen
- Problem with heating and cooling unit