Your restaurant hood system controls the ventilation in your commercial kitchen and keeps grease buildup to an absolute minimum.
If your vent hood system is not properly maintained, all that grease, debris, and other dirty materials can get kicked into your kitchen’s atmosphere, leading to foul odors permeating your otherwise family-friendly environment while increasing the risks posed by dangerous and deadly fires.
Proper maintenance of your systems is key to protecting what’s so very important. Here is all you need to know about vent hood cleaning from time-tested professionals.
Understanding the Vent Hood System
When discussing proper restaurant hood maintenance, it’s important to know about each individual component. These are the elements that will need to be thoroughly cleaned and inspected to ensure proper maintenance is performed.
These components are otherwise referred to as exhaust or range hoods. They’re those devices that look like chimneys and hang over the stovetop. Inside the extractor hood is a fan that works to remove all those contaminants that tend to appear in a commercial kitchen, like grease, odors, smells, smoke, and steam. Along with the cleaning and maintenance of the extractor hood, the grease traps of the establishment should also be cleaned thoroughly.
Also inside the extractor hood lies the hood filter, which also captures airborne particles. Without the filter in place, all those particles would just be kicked back into your kitchen and the air your staff and customers breathe.
In many cases, extractor fans will be located within the hood, but that’s not always the case. The fans are tasked with removing old and contaminated air from your kitchen, whereby the stale air will be vented outside and away from the building. These fans are responsible for proper ventilation, which keeps your kitchen at the proper temperatures and limits the risk of fire.
Otherwise known as grease ducts, these components take the grease, vapors, fumes, and other nasty contaminants outside and away from the building, usually from the rooftop.
Rooftop Containment Systems:
When grease accumulates enough, it can get onto and negatively affect the integrity of your restaurant’s roofing. Too much grease can lead to water leaks and fire hazards, just to name two. This means that a rooftop containment system is necessary, as is the maintenance of such a device if you hope to protect your investment. Within the rooftop containment system, you will find a grease runoff system along with a grease trap. These must be emptied out regularly to prevent grease overflow. Ensure the system is waterproof, as well, since rain getting into the grease trap can cause eventual flooding.
Your ventilation hood system may contain different parts than the ones listed here. However, the basic concepts will be similar, no matter what type of system your restaurant employs to keep grease and other contaminants at bay.
Check with the manufacturer of your vent hood components to get actual figures and dates for proper restaurant hood maintenance. However, the following checklist should give you an excellent guideline to follow.
Why Proper Hood Maintenance is Necessary
Scheduling and hiring a crew to maintain your hood system is critical for your business. Here are just three reasons to convince you.
Avoid Future Repairs:
When your stove hoods are cleaned and maintained on a regular basis, a professional crew can look for faulty components during every scrub down. You want detail-oriented hood maintenance personnel watching out for your kitchen equipment, which you likely spent big money on.
Regular maintenance cuts down on unnecessary repairs and any downtime that may occur if a breakdown happens and you were otherwise completely unaware.
Enhance System Performance:
With the expense of owning and maintaining kitchen equipment, you want the most out of each machine and appliance you operate. Proper maintenance ensures there’s no grease build-up that can muck-up even the most powerful of machinery. You’ll keep your fans, vent hoods, and ducts operating at peak efficiency, which has the added benefit of contributing to more energy savings.
Prolong System Replacement:
Even well-maintained equipment will need to be replaced ten, fifteen or twenty years down the line. New and better equipment will have been developed by then, so it makes sense that you’d want to remain current with all technology.
Not maintaining your equipment, however, can actually shorten the life of your equipment, adding to your expense. You can get peak efficacy and longer life out of all commercial kitchen vent hoods and related equipment by employing professionals who are experienced in restaurant hood maintenance.
Here is the schedule the professionals at APS-Hoods.com recommend for the average commercial kitchen establishment.
Remain Fire Code Compliant
By engaging in the proper maintenance of your restaurant hood system, you will lower the risk of fire.
The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) recommends monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual inspections, depending on the volume your restaurant is accustomed to producing. Heavy volume restaurants, for example, such as 24-hour establishments, require quarterly maintenance schedules.
Meanwhile, low-volume cooking operations, like day camps and churches, can get away with vent hood maintenance checks once per year.
For Best Results, Engage in Daily Maintenance
You can enhance the output and life of your kitchen equipment by making a maintenance schedule part of your staff’s nightly closing protocols. While kitchen staff is mopping floors and cleaning dishware, your personnel can also follow a daily vent hood maintenance checklist.
A ventilation hood daily maintenance checklist would begin with the removal of all hood filters. The filters should be soaked in a sink or moved through the dishwasher until all buildup has been removed.
All stainless-steel surfaces should be wiped down carefully so that no hard surfaces scratch any of the appliances. The cleaner’s job should be to remove all accumulated grease, especially on those surfaces comprising the ventilation hood system.
Using a detergent solution, the vent hood system, including the extractor hood, should be wiped down until cleaned thoroughly. A rinsing cloth should then be used, followed by a dry cloth to remove any excess liquid.
If this schedule can be maintained on a nightly basis, you’ll save more at the meter while getting the most out of your vent hood equipment, contributing to your business success.
Monthly Maintenance Schedule
Each month your business should be in the habit of disposing of any contained grease. Check with your local city to ensure you’re following the proper and legal methods of grease disposal. After the grease has been disposed of, check the container for potential leaks.
When you become accustomed to checking for leaks and other defaults on a monthly basis, you cut down on a number of business hazards, including the risk of fire.
Your rooftop containment system will need to be checked monthly, as well. This ensures that there is no grease buildup on the roof, which we have already established can be detrimental to your investment. Your duct systems will also be checked for grease buildup and mold growth.
Quarterly Maintenance Schedule
A deep clean by a professional restaurant hood maintenance crew is recommended every three or four months. During this cleaning, your vent hood systems will be scrubbed with powerful agents that will simultaneously protect your equipment. The crew will pay special attention to your ducts, grease traps, fans, and filters. The latter will be soaked in heavy degreasing agents or completely replaced to ensure optimum equipment efficiency.
A professional crew will also check the bearings in your fans to ensure they are well-lubricated. If the bearings do require lubrication, grease will be added to ensure the fans replace the bad air in your establishment as needed.
The crew will clean your vent hood system from roof to kitchen and every inch of duct in-between. The crew will inspect the wiring, fan components, and hood filters to identify potential issues before they get out of hand, leading to potential business shutdowns.
Yearly Maintenance Schedule
During a yearly restaurant maintenance inspection, the professional crew will inspect your belts, bearings, and grease. If something needs to be replaced, this is the time to get it done.
Why Can’t Staff Perform the Monthly, Quarterly & Yearly Maintenance Checks?
Many business owners, in an effort to save money, ask why their staff can’t perform the necessary maintenance checks. It is possible for staff to do all the degreasing and other dirty work, but you’re putting your business at a distinct disadvantage by trying to cut costs.
For one, your staff may not know how each of your vent hood components work. And with how intricate some of those systems can be, only knowing how they all work together can someone properly clean the systems for optimum health and safety.
Here is how the typical cleaning checklist should go:
In order to clean your restaurant vent hoods and all associated components properly, your entire system should be taken apart. Grease, soot, and debris can hide in the unlikeliest of places, which means that buildup can occur without you realizing how bad it’s getting. The result could be equipment slow-down, breakage, or a dangerous grease fire.
A maintenance crew will disassemble all pieces to check for and clean grease.
All mounted fans will need to be removed in order to clean the shroud and blades of each unit.
The fans and their individual components will then be inspected to determine if any blades are loose or belts are worn out. Most of all, every aspect of your vent hood wiring will be inspected to check for frays or otherwise search for problems. A faulty wire could cause your fans to break down. In worse cases, a frayed wire could cause the outbreak of fire.
Each vent hood and fan component, along will all other stainless-steel appliances, will be thoroughly cleaned until all grease is removed. Even a light sheen of grease could pose a problem down the line. When the cleaning and maintenance crew is finished, you should be able to run a finger along any stainless-steel area of your kitchen without feeling the slightest hint of grease.
Polish All Ductwork:
If your staff aren’t keen on cleaning your restaurant’s duct-work, all that grease buildup can lead to contaminated air and deadly fires. Moisture accumulation can also cause mold to grow, putting your staff and customers at further risk.
A maintenance and cleaning crew will polish your ductwork so that it’s free of grease and looks as clean as it is.
A professional crew will sometimes provide you with before and after photos that prove that your ductwork has indeed been cleaned thoroughly and on-schedule.
Most if not all companies will provide you with a certificate showing that your ventilation system has been systematically dismantled, scrubbed, de-greased, and maintained. You will have dates and signatures that you can then show to health and fire inspectors.
Do You Have a Professional Restaurant Vent Hood Maintenance Company in Mind?
As a business owner, you have a ton invested into your restaurant and the appliances that produce the food that in turn keeps your customers happy. The health of your equipment can spell the difference between business success and one that bleeds money. When you allow grease to build up and equipment to run faulty, you run the risk of breakdowns, business delays, and business-destroying fire. You also put your staff and customers at risk.
A professional restaurant hood maintenance crew like APS-Hoods offers impeccable service, the ability to remove grease from every hood component, and peace of mind that comes from knowing that your business is always protected.
When you want to maintain a restaurant maintenance schedule you can always count on, contact APS-Hoods in Denver, Aurora, Lakewood, and Centennial, Colorado for a free quote.
Like most restaurant owners, you probably have an equipment maintenance checklist that includes checking equipment for failure and ensuring appliances are working efficiently for maximum energy savings. However, if you don’t have a proper cleaning checklist, you should get one fast.
Cleaning a commercial kitchen involves a ton of elbow grease and the knowledge to know which areas to clean for proper food and environmental safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cite commercial kitchens as the source for more than 50% of all foodborne outbreaks. This means that thoroughly cleaning your commercial kitchen can actually help to spread airborne illness.
Proper cleaning of a commercial kitchen must involve the countertops and other hard surfaces, all the appliances and other equipment, your exhaust hoods and vents, as well as the floors, walls, and ceilings.
Before you finish your list, there is a critical component to commercial kitchen cleaning that we failed to mention: Grease traps.
If your kitchen’s grease traps aren’t cleaned on a regular basis, you could find yourself with a mess on your hands, not to mention a major fire hazard.
The Importance of Cleaning Your Commercial Grease Traps
A grease trap that is regularly cleaned is vital to the health of your restaurant business. Grease traps that aren’t cleaned thoroughly can produce foul odors, which can offend even the most laid back of restaurant patrons.
Dirty grease traps can also cause you to commit expensive state and federal code violations.
For those reasons, you will want to ensure that you put into place a regular grease cleaning schedule that will keep your patrons happy and your restaurant profitable.
What is a Grease Trap?
A grease trap is a plumbing device that is designed to intercept grease and other solids before they have a chance to enter the wastewater disposal system. While some wastewater does contain a small amount of oil, grease traps keeps large amounts of oil, fat, and grease from clogging the septic tank and sewer lines.
Commercial kitchens produce a ton of oil, fat, and grease, sometimes on a daily basis. When these particles enter the grease trap from the commercial kitchen’s outflow, the solid food particles sink to the bottom while the grease, oils, and fat float to the top. The grease-free water is fed into the septic system, leaving the grease trap accumulating more of the gunk all the time.
Since these substances can solidify when cooled, the mixture of them can cause blocked drain pipes. A grease trap also manages to keep the septic and sewer lines cool while preventing a dangerous fire from occurring.
However, grease traps can only work effectively when they are cleaned regularly. That’s because a buildup of grease is one of the most dangerous problems you can encounter in a commercial kitchen. When you combine the grease buildup with sparks and flames that regularly occur in a high-pressure kitchen, dangerous and deadly fire can result.
The good news is that you will likely be reminded to regularly clean your commercial grease traps, as state and local codes, and even some insurance companies, along with the local fire department, will often have schedule requirements for proper grease exhaust cleaning.
How Frequently Does Your Grease Trap Need to be Cleaned?
The schedule you adhere to for proper grease trap cleaning varies, depending on your restaurant type, size, and other factors, such as your hours of operation.
Generally speaking, you should plan to have your commercial grease trap cleaned every thirty-days if your establishment uses wood or charcoal grills, char-broilers, and if your doors are open 24/7. Many hamburger restaurants need a schedule like this due to the high rate of table turnover and cooking production. All those burgers produce a ton of grease, which needs to be cleaned out every month.
Every sixty-days is the required commercial grease trap schedule for the average restaurant. This includes cafeterias, hotel kitchens, hospital kitchens, and your local family restaurant. Since the grease traps aren’t overflowing on a monthly basis, every two months might be an acceptable schedule for your needs. Check with the local code authorities to determine if this schedule is right for your restaurant or other commercial kitchen business.
Many fast food locations have become very efficient with their grease trapping and cleaning, which means that these types of establishments can often get away with ninety-day grease cleaning schedules. A thorough scrubbing every three months should keep the grease traps clean and the cleaning process affordable for restaurant owners.
For pizza restaurants, convalescent hospitals, snack bars, and oven hoods, every 120 days or once every four months should suffice for proper grease trap cleaning.
How is a Grease Trap Cleaned?
For best results, you should always hire a professional commercial kitchen cleaning service to thoroughly clean your grease traps. Only a reputable company will have the training, tools, and abilities to clean your grease traps so they are always up to code.
If your grease traps aren’t cleaned as well as they could be, you could face a load of problems. For one, your insurance company might revoke your insurance. You also face serious liability and litigation from fires that were caused by you not ensuring that your grease traps were properly cleaned. Hefty fines or a personal injury court case could put you out of the commercial kitchen business entirely.
The National Fire Protection Association or NFPA states that the majority of restaurant fires start when cooking appliances flare into the kitchen exhaust system. When you consider that grease fires burn as hot as 1400 degrees Fahrenheit, a grease fire can spread quickly through neglected exhaust systems that are laden with grease. Fire could then travel to the roof, where more business-killing damage can be done, not to mention the threat of injury and loss of life.
Nearly 11,000 commercial kitchens are damaged by fire every year, resulting in over $160 million in damages. Make sure yours is not one of them with proper commercial grease trap cleaning and maintenance.
Depending on the company you hire, your grease traps will be cleaned with a variety of high-pressure tools and precision techniques. Each team that is hired to clean your kitchen knows there are pipes and ventilation shafts that can become traps for grease, oil, and debris. These areas need to be cleaned just as thoroughly as your grease trap to prevent future problems.
Unless your time schedule was specified by fire and other coding authorities, your grease traps should be professionally cleaned at least every four to six weeks. Failure to clean your grease trap can cause all those solids to enter the wastewater, causing blockages that could then flood your restaurant with foul smelling sewer water. If that does happen, it will take at least two days to sanitize your commercial kitchen establishment, leading to an expensive and unnecessary shutdown.
When the professionals show up to clean your commercial grease trap, the first thing they’ll do is assess the type of grease trap you operate.
There are four essential types of the commercial grease trap.
Hydromechanical Grease Interceptor (HGI)
A hydromechanical grease interceptor is a small grease trap that is usually located in cabinet space underneath a sink. This type of grease trap provides passive oil trapping and is the least expensive to install. The drawback to the HGI grease trap is that it requires frequent cleaning, which might end up costing you more in cleaning and maintenance costs in the long run.
Automatic Grease Removal System
This type of grease trap features an automatic mechanism for removing grease from the tank, where it’s kept in a separate container. While these systems can be a good alternative for the HGI, they make it a little harder to prove that your commercial kitchen skims FOG (Fat, Oil, and Grease) regularly.
Gravity Grease Interceptors (GGI)
These grease traps separate water, solid waste, along with fat, oil, and grease using the force of gravity. The tanks are constructed of metal, concrete or a strong plastic and are designed to collect wastewater while separating FOG. When the FOG is collected, it floats to the surface while the solids sink to the bottom. The wastewater flows into the sewer network or the water treatment plant, and the grease is kept in the trap.
If your establishment has a GGI, the grease will need to be pumped out regularly, or at least at the point where solids and grease become 25% of the overall tank’s contents. These grease traps are more expensive to install but require less maintenance than HGIs or their automatic system counterparts.
Maximum Retention HGIs
For restaurants that don’t have space for larger, more conventional grease traps, maximum retention HGIs are becoming increasingly popular. These grease traps are on the smaller side, and yet tend to trap more FOG per volume. Some units manage to trap up to 85% of their liquid capacity. The best part is that these systems require far less maintenance than your standard grease trap systems.
Depending on the type of grease trap your establishment uses, here are some common ways a commercial cleaning company will keep your restaurant spotless and safe with proper grease trap cleaning.
Proper Cleaning Protocols for Commercial Grease Traps
The company will begin by removing the grease trap lid, typically with a crowbar or a wrench, as some traps are sealed with bolts.
The cleaning professionals will need to ensure that the grease trap is completely cool before working on it. Allowing the liquids inside to reach room temperature will also cause the fats, oils, and grease to float to the top, which makes them easier to scoop out.
The cleaning crew will first inspect the baffles, which are the parts of the grease trap that separate the flow of wastewater in the grease trap tank.
If yours is an outdoor trap, there will be a PVC pipe fitting known as an outlet T. Without this device, the grease trap wouldn’t be able to do its job properly. The outlet T will ensure that the water leaving the grease trap is coming from the middle of the grease trap and that none of the solids are entering the sewer system.
Cleaning a grease trap begins with removing the solid FOG that has floated to the top. This usually consists of a two-inch layer of thick sludge. The cleaners will use a scoop for this job until all the fats, oils, and grease have been lifted out of the tank. Only water and leftover food solids will remain after this part of the job is completed.
Now comes time to use the heavy-duty grease trap cleaning tools. A powerful shop vac will be used to remove the residual solids and leftover water. During this process, the cleaning crew will need to ensure that the automatic dishwasher is turned off and that the sinks are not in use. Doing so will prevent the grease trap from filling up while the cleaning process is ongoing.
Next, the commercial grease trap cleaners will scrape off the baffles, sides of the grease trap, and the lid. All excess grease will need to be removed before the cleaning crew can call it a job well done.
Your grease trap will then be flushed-out with soap and a degreasing solution, in most cases, then clean water. By the time the crew is finished, you will be left with a clean and sparkling commercial grease trap.
One of the primary reasons that a professional crew is often selected for grease trap cleaning is because these services have the means to safely remove any FOG collected.
These services will typically offer grease trap cleaning in addition to vent hood, fans, ductwork, and HVAC cleaning, making sure your restaurant is free of fire-starting grease and other debris.
Want a Free Quote for Professional Grease Trap Cleaning?
If you want your grease trap to remain clean at regular intervals throughout the year, keeping you code compliant and your restaurant safe, you’ll want to call on the commercial kitchen cleaning professionals.
Aps-Hoods proudly serves clients throughout Denver, Aurora, Centennial, Lakewood, Colorado and Los Angeles, California. For safe and reliable commercial kitchen cleaning that will save you time and money, contact our grease trap cleaning professionals for a free quote.
Running a restaurant or other type of commercial kitchen business requires you to maintain your business at every angle. One area where many business owners tend to lack is in the cleaning of all air ducts throughout the establishment. Over time, the air ducts in a restaurant can become caked with grease and other particulates, leading to restrictions in airflow, and even risk of fire.
As time goes on, your business may require expensive duct repair, because all that gunk can make your air ducts too restrictive for proper airflow to get through, leading to more expenses and danger. Yes, that’s right. The more buildup there is in your restaurant duct system, the more impure the air will be in your restaurant. This means that your staff and customers will be breathing air that has been contaminated with cooking and other wastes. Not only that, but your HVAC and air make-up systems will have to work overtime, putting those systems at risk for breakdown.
To make a long story short, if you don’t properly maintain your ducts with proper cleaning, you’re facing large expenses, the risk of fire, and potentially business disruption if systems need to be replaced or fire causes your business to close.
Here is how to maintain your restaurant’s ductwork and all accompanying systems to keep your restaurant code compliant, safe, and presentable for staff and customers alike.
Beware of the In-House Approach to Exhaust Hood and Duct Cleaning
Like most business owners, you’ll always look for ways to save. This might mean time or money savings but retaining more of those things is always top priority.
With this in mind, many restaurant owners strive to save time and money by having their staff clean their commercial exhaust hoods, exhaust fans, and all accompanying ductwork.
Here are five reasons why that is the wrong approach.
Your Staff is Not Fully Qualified
Depending on how busy your restaurant gets, your ductwork and associated commercial hood systems likely get exposed to a significant amount of heat and grease. Over time, this grease can build-up, requiring the use of powerful, industrial-size cleaners.
Unless you have restaurant-grade pressure washing machines, powerful and safe chemical degreasers, and all the necessary equipment to clean your restaurant’s kitchen exhaust system thoroughly, you’re putting your business, staff, and customers at risk.
You May End Up Spending More in the Long Run
Each bit of grease and debris that are left behind by inexperienced staff members can contribute to a future fire hazard. Your kitchen exhaust fan and make-up air systems may also become overloaded, resulting in an impure environment and expensive potential breakdowns.
Your Business Requires Constant Cleaning
Your staff would have to work overtime to maintain the type of restaurant hood and duct cleaning that would be required to keep your business safe from fire and other risks all year round. Your staff is too busy opening for business, serving customers, and closing down at night. In many cases, professional commercial duct and hood cleaning requires the cleaners to work long into the night, when your business is closed to the public. Unless your staff is willing to work overtime, costing you even more money, it’s best to hire professional vent hood cleaners for commercial kitchen establishments.
You Must Remain Fire Code Compliant
Only professionals who are experienced with commercial hood installation and cleaning will understand how to maintain a clean environment that will pass any local and Federal agency inspection.
Your staff simply don’t have the certification or expertise to handle a job of such magnitude. Commercial vent hood cleaning and kitchen duct cleaning are major jobs that require professional-grade tools and years of experience, which are qualities your staff is unlikely to possess.
You’ll Save More Time & Money with the Experts
When you hire ventilation hood installation and repair experts to clean your commercial kitchen duct systems, you know you’re getting a fast and efficient service that works with your schedule.
You won’t have to pay staff overtime to clean your ducts and other commercial kitchen equipment, nor will you face expensive mistakes by going the in-house cleaning route.
Expert vent hood and duct cleaners have the tools, chemicals, steam, and related machines and techniques to rid your restaurant of grease and buildup while keeping your business code compliant.
How Vent Hoods & Ducts Are Cleaned in a Commercial Kitchen Environment
When it comes time to find a commercial kitchen cleaning service, you want to look for a few qualities.
You want to know that the service you hire to clean your commercial ducts, hoods, exhaust fans, and HVAC systems has worked on your type of business and equipment before. Having this level of experience allows the cleaning professional to troubleshoot any problem quickly, leading to less costly and more efficient repairs.
Your commercial vent hood cleaning service should employ only those who understand commercial kitchens and the ways in which they operate. The service personnel performing the duct cleaning should be familiar with the top brands and know how to simultaneously repair ductwork, vent hood systems, and replace equipment if necessary.
Only a commercial kitchen cleaning equipment that provides all its services in-house can fully help your business remain safe and compliant. This means that the service personnel can perform all duct cleaning, service, and repairs without having to turn to expensive and potentially inexperienced contractors.
Professional ventilation hood installation, maintenance, and repair experts know that you require regular cleaning services in order to remain code compliant. The best companies work with you to give you a competitive quote on all commercial kitchen cleaning services without hidden fees or other charges.
The company should operate close to where your business resides. This is because you never know when you might require emergency ventilation hood cleaning or grease trap cleaning, for instance. With grease and oil and high heat providing such a risk of fire and debris-filled air, you want to know that professional commercial kitchen cleaners are always just a phone call away.
How a Professional Vent and Duct Cleaning Company Will Clean Your Restaurant
The first step to cleaning your commercial ventilation hood systems and all associated ductwork is to come out and assess your restaurant. This step is usually completed when you get your free estimate, which most commercial kitchen cleaners do provide.
Look over your estimate carefully and ensure that it includes everything necessary in order to prevent dangerous grease buildup and prevent future problems.
This includes thorough cleaning, maintenance, and potentially repair of all ventilation hoods, exhaust fans, ductwork, HVAC systems, make-up air systems, grease trap, and all other relevant components.
A professional will be able to walk you through this process to ensure you have peace of mind that your ventilation and duct hood cleaning are always in the best of hands.
Working Within Your Schedule
The act of providing your restaurant with a comprehensive duct and hood cleaning is not a quick affair. It will take hours, so generally, these services are performed during the times when your business is closed.
If your restaurant business is open 24/7, this won’t prevent the commercial kitchen cleaners from doing a thorough job. It just means that you’ll need to find an experienced service that will provide the least disruption to normal service as you have your systems scrubbed and made code compliant.
Shutting Down Necessary Systems
In order for your ducts and ventilation hood systems to be cleaned as you prefer, all necessary appliances, machines, and equipment will need to be switched off. This is to ensure that there is no harm to personnel, as well as to protect the safety of your equipment. These machines are easier to clean when they’re not in operation.
Covering Appliances & Machines
The cleaning of commercial kitchen equipment, ducts, hoods, and exhaust fans can get messy. For this reason, all cooking and other surfaces will be covered to keep them clean and safe.
Pair and Split Up
Most of the time, your commercial ventilation hood and duct cleaning will be performed by pairs of experienced personnel. Once all the necessary equipment has been shut off, the next step is for your commercial kitchen cleaners to split up. One will go up to the roof while the other will stay in the kitchen.
Commercial Ductwork and Ventilation Systems Pressure Washed
Once on the roof, the commercial kitchen cleaning expert will use powerful machines and chemicals, as well as steam, to pressure wash any lingering grease out of the ductwork. Once the cleaning begins, all the flushed away grease and debris will flood down into the kitchen area. This is why it was necessary to cover everything.
The kitchen vent hood cleaning expert inside the kitchen area will use equipment to catch all the flushed grease and debris, allowing it to be responsibly disposed of.
With all of the restaurant’s HVAC, make-up air systems, and other roof-based ventilation equipment clean and disinfected, both commercial kitchen cleaners will meet back up in the kitchen, where the true cleaning begins.
Ventilation Hood Cleaning
The areas over the stoves and other commercial kitchen equipment are most prone to grease and debris buildup. These areas, if not cleaned properly, can become literal hotbeds for the breakout of fire. These systems will be disassembled and cleaned inside and out. This includes the ventilation hoods, exhaust fans, and any associated ductwork.
Since you took the time to find a one-stop-shop for commercial kitchen cleaning services, you know that your personnel will be able to replace fans, wiring, ductwork, or any other systems that appear to be defective during the cleaning process.
Commercial Duct Cleaning
Next, the kitchen cleaning experts will ensure that all ducts are flushed of grease buildup and debris that can cause your HVAC system to malfunction and kick dangerous impurities into the air. A professional kitchen cleaning service will test all of your equipment to ensure that it’s always operating as it should. These tests are crucial for preventing future problems and saving you loads of time and money in the long run.
The Cleanup Process
The goal of a professional commercial kitchen cleaning service will be to provide you with fast, thorough, and efficient service. That means that you can expect your cleaning crew to work quickly as they flush grease from the roof to the kitchen, then clean the kitchen area with meticulous attention to detail.
During this cleanup process, all the ventilation hoods, exhaust fans, and ducts will be checked for quality assurance, and all appliances and machines uncovered for the next business day.
When the service is complete, you’ll be able to walk into your kitchen smelling cleaner, more breathable air, and witnessing your ventilation hoods, ducts, exhaust fans, and all associated systems gleaming from a cleaning job well done.
We are known for our high attention to detail and ability to clean even the most elaborate of duct and vent hood systems for all types of restaurants and commercial kitchen establishments.
Call APS-Hoods for a Free Quote
Your kitchen business may be serving customers on the daily, but you’re doing yourself a disservice if you fail to clean your ventilation hoods and ducts properly and on a regular basis.
If you live in and around Denver, Colorado or Los Angeles, California, call APS-Hoods and we can provide you with professional commercial kitchen cleaning services. Our experts have years of experience and are trained on all top brands of commercial kitchen equipment.
From ventilation hoods and exhaust fans to ductwork and every other system in between, APS-Hoods can provide you with a free quote on thorough cleaning that gives you peace of mind and keeps your business code compliant.
Call today and receive your free quote. 8007507313
Unlike a home kitchen, a commercial kitchen is a large space where food preparation and cooking processes go on for hours on end. As a restaurant owner, it’s your duty to keep the distinct areas of your kitchen properly cleaned, particularly the exhaust hoods. The purpose of the kitchen exhaust hood is to release smoke, heat and smell and keep the kitchen atmosphere clean and safe.
The cleanliness of a restaurant is crucial both from the employees’ and the visitors’ point of view. If the kitchen environment is not well-maintained, the productivity of the employees will be impacted. Nobody would want to spend multiple hours in a kitchen if it exposes them to health risks. Visitors too want to sit and eat in a restaurant which is squeaky clean and free from any kind of smell. That’s why every restaurant owner is also bound by the law of their state to keep their restaurant properly maintained and guarded against safety hazards.
In case the safety codes are violated, the owner may have to face heavy penalties or shut down their restaurant altogether.
Parts of a Restaurant Exhaust Kitchen Hood
Before the cleaning task is performed, it’s a good idea to remain informed about the various parts of a commercial kitchen hood. An exhaust hood system consists of three main parts – filters, ducts and fans.
Generally, an exhaust hood goes through a cleaning system before it exits the building. The exhaust hood, as the name suggests, functions to take the smoke, heat and odour inside the kitchen out. It’s a ventilation system which also pulls in some fresh air from outside to keep the kitchen atmosphere clean and easy to work in. Broadly speaking, kitchen hood systems can be categorized into type I and type II. Type I exhaust hoods deal with grease whereas the type II exhaust hoods handle heat and odour. Together, they perform a great job of cleaning the kitchen atmosphere. The hoods are placed just above the fryer and burner in the kitchen.
Though a kitchen hood system comes along with two fans (for exhaust and makeup air), you can also install an additional fan on the roof over the exhaust duct system to speed up the ventilation process. The fans inside the hood are often linked with the building’s HVAC system. Just like the fans, the steel-made ducts are also two in number, one for releasing air and the other for makeup air.
Other components of a commercial kitchen hood system include back splashes, vapor proof lights, grease filters and grease cups.
Cleaning the Commercial Kitchen Hood
Cleaning the kitchen of a restaurant is a long, tedious process which can take up 4-6 hours. Abiding by the legal safety standards, you’ll be required to clean the hoods at least twice a year. But how many times your restaurant kitchen will need to be cleaned also depends on the current condition of your hoods. If you have a very busy kitchen and cleaning has been neglected for several months in a row, you may need the hoods cleaning done multiple times.
An experienced hood cleaning company can visit the distinct areas of your commercial kitchen and then suggest the best cleaning ideas. These service providers have the knowledge, expertise and tools to clean the exhaust hoods of a kitchen to the bare metal and ensure efficient overall ventilation.
The hood components that need cleaning include:
The filters of an exhaust hood system gather the most amount of grease and oil in the kitchen. That’s why, they must be cleaned on a frequent basis. The code in your area will require you to get the hood filters cleaned once every month to avoid fire and safety hazards. As a responsible restaurant owner, you should never ignore cleaning the filters. In fact, you should get the hood filters cleaned every couple of weeks to remain fully safe from dangers.
The second most important part of a hood system is the ducts. After the filters, it is the hood ducts that accumulate the most amount of grease, particularly when the hood filters are not doing their jobs well. All the smoke and heat produced from cooking processes pass through these ducts, and so they need proper cleaning on a regular basis. Professional kitchen hood cleaning contractors understand the value of ducts and clean this component professionally using the equipment and tools that are best suited for the task. If there are errors in the placement of ducts, the contractor can get that problem fixed as well for safety.
Both the fans and the motor are located inside the duct. While the ducts are being cleaned, the contractor will also check the fans and the motors to see if they are working properly. If the quality of the motor has degraded or it is not functioning to its fullest potential, the air quality in the kitchen will suffer. Therefore, it’s important that you get the fans and the motor serviced and maintained appropriately. This will improve the efficiency of the entire hood system.
Finally, the hood cleaning professionals will clean the other smaller components of the kitchen hood system. But there are many other things that cleaners need to do before they get started with the task. They follow an appropriately laid out procedure and a cleaning checklist to deliver best results. Make sure you work with a reputed contractor and never skip the cleaning schedule.
Why You Can’t Ignore Commercial Kitchen Hood Cleaning
There are several benefits that a well-maintained and clean commercial kitchen has to offer. If you operate a restaurant, you should seek the services of a professional kitchen cleaning company to clean every distinct area of the kitchen. But one area which needs the most attention is the kitchen hood system. Therefore, you should make sure that every component of the hoods you have installed gets a spring-clean so that it functions to its maximum efficiency level.
Top reasons you should get your kitchen hoods cleaned by a professional company on a regular basis are as follows:
An unclean kitchen is the breeding ground for harmful germs and bacteria. The build of grease and oil in the hoods can encourage the growth of these bacteria and ruin the quality of food in the kitchen. People getting sick from consuming contaminated food or drinks is a common problem. By giving your kitchen a routine cleaning, you can keep your food items safe and remove the risk of contamination. High quality of foods translates to getting more customers.
If your employees are productive, it helps you get more done in less time and grows your restaurant business as a result. But an unorganized and smoky kitchen ruins productivity as well as jeopardizes the health of your staff. On the other hand, a clean and efficient kitchen exhaust hood system helps harmful particulates escape into the outside air and keeps the kitchen atmosphere clean and safe for the staff to work in and deliver their best performance.
A commercial kitchen remains exposed to a lot of heat for hours on end. Add to it the build up of grease and oil in the exhaust hood. All of this together increases the risk of potential fire in the kitchen. If a fire breaks out, it can do harm to both life and property. The expense of repair could be in millions. The most effective way to reduce these risks is to get the exhaust hood system of your commercial kitchen cleaned and maintained on a regular basis.
Since a commercial kitchen is such a busy place, you never know when things can go wrong. That’s why the law in every state has mandated for all large kitchens to follow a safety code. Untidy kitchen hood is a common reason for not clearing the inspection. If you land your restaurant in an emergency situation due to lack of cleaning, you can end up paying heavy fines. You can avoid all these issues by keeping the exhaust hood system as well as other areas of the kitchen free from any kind of greasy buildup or contamination.
A vent hood system is not inexpensive to install. So, it deserves a good, proper cleaning on a regular basis too. The accumulation of grease and oil in the hood filters, ducts and fans disrupt the smooth functioning of the hood system and reduce its longevity. If you just keep the exhaust hood cleaned, you can have it serve your needs quite efficiently for years in a row.
Most importantly, the maintenance of your commercial kitchen is directly related to your business growth. A safe and clean restaurant is equally loved by employees and customers. It speaks volumes about your values, concerns for people’s health and safety and your brand. So, make sure your kitchen’s exhaust hood system is spick and span and works exactly as it should.
How Frequently You Should Get Your Restaurant Kitchen Hood Cleaned
While regular cleaning is always advisable, the number of times you should give your kitchen hood a cleanup depends on a number of factors. These include the size of your kitchen, volume of cooking and frequency of inspection among others. You can talk to a professional kitchen cleaning contractor and find out what frequency of cleaning is best suited to your restaurant.
Depending on your unique requirements, you can set the frequency of the kitchen hood cleaning as one of these:
Commercial kitchens with solid fuel cooking operations develop a lot of greasy and oil buildup over a short period of time and need most frequent cleaning. Such systems should be cleaned up every month.
If you have a 24-hour food service in your restaurant, you definitely cook large volumes of food. In this case, you need professional cleaning at the interval of every three months. A quarterly cleaning frequency serves well both your inspection and maintenance requirements.
If the volume of your cooking is moderate and you have a sit down facility in your restaurant for customers as well, you should get your exhaust hoods cleaned up at least twice every year.
There are many cooking centers which operate only for a couple of months every year. This means they cook a small volume of food. In such cases, cleaning the kitchen once a year should suffice.
Seek the Expert Consultation of a Kitchen Exhaust Hood Cleaning Company
A professional kitchen hood cleaning company has wide experience in addressing a variety of cleaning needs. They can tell you how often you should get the exhaust hoods of your commercial kitchen cleaned. Have a consultation with a reputable contractor and schedule cleaning for your restaurant. Once the cleaning up has been done, you can run your restaurant worry-free for the next six months. In addition, you can also check out the cleaning criteria set by the National Fire Protection Association to find out more about how frequently you should get your kitchen’s exhaust hood systems cleaned for safety against fire hazards.
If you haven’t found a professional kitchen hood cleaning contractor yet, feel free to talk to APS Hoods. At APS Hoods, we offer top quality cleaning services for all types and sizes of commercial kitchens. Whether you’re in need of exhaust hood cleaning, equipment cleaning or installation, maintenance and repair of an exhaust hood system, we can fulfill all your specific needs.
We operate throughout the Denver area and serve the cleaning needs of commercial kitchens, day camps, seasonal businesses, senior centers etc. We have been delivering remarkable cleaning solutions to all kinds of restaurants in Denver and its surrounding areas for more than 20 years. Our cleaning professionals are expertly trained to abide by the regulations of the National Fire Prevention Association as well as comply with the state and local codes. While working with us, you can feel confident that our crew members will do an excellent cleaning job.
Call today and receive your free quote. 8007507313