HVAC Summer Issues Denver

Summer is a Perfect Time for Adjusting your HVAC System by APS Hoods

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Denver, CA – While commercial kitchens always run hotter than dining areas, in the summertime–restaurant kitchens become can become hazardously hot. Furthermore, restaurant owners find that their energy bills–from cooling, fan use, and unbalanced air, etc.–increase dramatically. This ends up leeching resources from their profits.
It also makes summer an ideal time to fine-tune and check your commercial kitchen HVAC system professionally. Here are some common problems that may be plaguing your restaurant in the warmer months:

Cool Air Is Pulled Out Through Exhaust Fan

Is your air conditioning bill incredibly high, while your establishment always seems inadequately cool? What may be happening is that your cold, conditioned air is being circulated out of your exhaust hood due to lack of make-up air. Instead of just doing its job of pulling gasses and hot air from above the stove, the exhaust hood can sometimes suck out the desirable air from inside your building. This often creates a vacuum effect in your entire restaurant, where it become difficult to open doors without them slamming you upon closing. The solution to this problem is as simple as installing a makeup-air unit.
This kind of unit in your kitchen will generate much needed negative air pressure that will disallow unpleasant smells from flowing out into your general building, while also not letting your air conditioned air to so easily escaping through the vents.

Grease Filters Making Your Ventilation Ineffective

Spring, and especially summer, tend to be the busiest and most profitable months for any restaurant. People are out and about on the town, looking for new eateries to discover.  This brings many more people to your establishment than during the harsher seasons of the year. However, the increased amount of cooking also results in clogged grease traps, which may need to be changed out more often than recommended.
Clogged grease filters can cause your kitchen to overheat. Then, your air will become unclean, as a dirty filter cannot function at top capacity. This will cause both kitchen and dining area to become smoky or otherwise unpleasant in odor. Moreover, your air conditioning bill will rise ever higher, while your exhaust fan will need to work harder to compensate for all these issues. This makes for employee health dangers, customer discomfort/dissatisfaction, and higher bills for you!
It is easy for even the most disciplined restaurant crew to forget to monitor their grease filters, but it is necessary to keep tabs on the situation to maintain optimal function of your HVAC system. It is smart to schedule routine filter changes throughout the Spring and Summer, when business really picks up.

For an air balancing test to determine whether your cold air is being cycled out of your establishment–or, for grease filter service, call APS Hoods. We will help your restaurant to remain safe and help you to save money on energy bills.

© 2018 Millionairium and Farazandeh. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Farazandeh are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.
Make-up Air Service Commercial Kitchens Denver

The Importance of Makeup Air in Commercial Kitchens

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Denver, CO – The same exhaust fans that are keeping your commercial kitchen comfortable and protecting the area from overheating may also be creating air imbalance problems throughout your establishment. Because the size, design, door and window placement of every building varies, the mechanism by which the atmosphere of your restaurant can best be corrected is most accurately established by an HVAC professional. They can provide what is called an air make-up service, which essentially replaces the air lost through hood fans with a special unit, which avoids some of the problems which present themselves when air from other areas of the home or building replace that lost air.

Negative Air Pressure

If the exhaust fan was not installed/incorrectly installed, or simply, if the makeup air from the fans is not enough to replace the air exiting from the stove area, negative air pressure can occur. Negative air pressure creates a sort of vacuum in your space, where windows and doors can shut suddenly, dust particles can settle fast onto surfaces or food, and whistle-like noises can also persist when air is let out or into the space. These are very undesirable conditions for a dining or cooking area because of hygiene reasons as well as the disruption of ambiance this can create.

Draft-back

With negative air pressure sucking everything back into your space, the gasses that are supposed to be going out from your chimney will actually come back in, creating a health hazard. This can set off carbon monoxide detectors and threaten the safety of your patrons and employees.

Inefficiencies in Hoods

The exhaust hood, unaided by the sufficient amount of make-up air, will–in turn–not be able to process the amount of air it was designed to handle. Over time, you will notice a buildup of grease and grime on your kitchen surfaces. Also, unpleasant cooking and other smells will seep into all the space pockets of your building, including the dining areas, where patrons are trying to enjoy their food!

Higher Energy Expenditures

Insufficient replacement air in your kitchen will encourage the air from outside to be absorbed inside. This ends up throwing the heating and cooling conditions out of balance, when your heater or air conditioner tries to counteract the problem. Your establishment will probably run too hot or too cold at all times, causing freezing or condensation and never really achieving a comfortable state.

You, as the restaurant owner will only get a higher energy bill and a big headache trying to figure a way to finally stop this air imbalance problem. However, the problem is one for the professionals with a good diagnostic system that needs to be applied in a customized manner to every restaurant space with the care each one deserves.

For help with replacement air in your Denver-area commercial kitchen, contact APS Hoods today.

© 2018 Millionairium and Farazandeh. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Farazandeh are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.
Vent Systems Replacement in Colorado

How Often Do Each of Your Vent Systems Need to be Replaced?

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Orange County, CA – The ventilation system in your commercial kitchen or food prep facility can prevent the air from becoming polluted and can also prevent fires. If you have recently installed your vent hoods or it’s been a couple years, replacement isn’t likely. Even in the busiest of kitchens, these components are designed to last years into the future, and many come with warranties that protect against the risk of fan breakdowns and other anomalies.
Yet if you have had your vent hood system for fifteen years or more, you may want to consider a replacement. Here are the signs to look for when you’re wondering if a new vent system may be worthy of your investment.

Signs to Replace Your Vent Hoods


Tons of Grease Buildup

If anything will catch on fire quickly, it’s a grease-laden vent system. When grease gets caked into your fans and vents and throughout the various components that comprise your system, the slightest spark can create a dangerous situation you won’t want to encounter.
To save your employees, equipment, building, and customers, keep your ventilation system free of grease at every turn. While some buildup is normal during the average shift, too much is a hazard. Use a heavy duty cleaner nightly and schedule regular vent hood cleaning and maintenance to keep your equipment grease-free.
If the grease builds up over a long period of time, it can turn into an uncleanable mess, and replacement might be your best and least-costly option in the long run.

Working Too Hard

If your vent system is huffing and puffing and yet seems to be pushing even less air through than before, that’s a good sign that your vent system needs to be overhauled or replaced. In some cases, a simple fan replacement can do wonders, but only a professional ventilation hood expert should make that call.
Scheduling regular maintenance can keep the problem of not enough airflow in check, but outdated systems may be helpless and replacement may be your only recourse.

Changes in Production

If you have recently changed your menu or if you are suddenly producing more volume in your kitchen, your old vent hood system may not be able to keep up. This isn’t something you want to find out weeks into the new way of doing business.
It’s far better to schedule a maintenance and cleaning call if you do suspect that your equipment isn’t in the best working order before things get out of hand. New and energy-efficient vent hoods by top manufacturers will keep production ramping up without sacrificing quality, and you’ll even save on energy costs.

Changing Your Vent Hood Filter

Of course, some ventilation systems can seem to be malfunctional when changing your filter is all the situation calls for. Make sure you are changing or at least cleaning your hood filters regularly to prevent grease buildup and other problems. And, of course, to keep your ventilation system operating like new.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that you should never make the decision to replace your vent hoods all on your own. Get an expert’s opinion by scheduling regular vent hood cleaning and maintenance or by calling for a free estimate on a complete replacement. Only a professional will be able to give you an honest assessment on whether your equipment needs to be maintained, fixed, or replaced altogether.

For more information on vent hood maintenance, cleaning, and replacement, visit Aps-Hoods, your choice for commercial kitchen ventilation systems, food truck construction, and more.

© 2018 Millionairium and Farazandeh. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Farazandeh are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.
Lowering Kitchen Energy Costs, Colorado

7 Energy Cost “Busters” for Today’s Busy Commercial Kitchens

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Orange County, CA – The cost of food, equipment, and overhead is enough to cripple many food establishments unless precautions are taken. Restaurant managers should prioritize the lowering of energy costs if the business hopes to remain solvent long into the future. Here are the steps to follow when you want to minimize your energy bills to maximize the success of your commercial kitchen.
  1. Operational Changes: Keep track of business day-to-day and look for any lulls where you can turn off equipment, such as keeping one oven operational as opposed to all three, for example. The smallest actions can lead to major savings when it comes time to receive the energy bill.
  2. Low-Cost Retrofits: Vent hood professionals can examine your ventilation system to determine if any parts can be retrofitted for major savings. Going off-brand or refurbished can produce the same efficiency as a brand-new name-brand but get a professional’s opinion before any parts are switched out. This isn’t something you want to “wing,” after all.
  3. HVAC Maintenance: Your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system accounts for nearly 30% of your overall energy expenses. For that reason, you will want to ensure that all of your system’s components are operating as they should. Regular ventilation cleaning and maintenance can keep your energy costs down and the risk of fire at bay.
  4. Short Pre-Heats: Many kitchen managers feel that it’s better to pre-heat early, but this can lead to exorbitant natural gas expenditures. Steam tables, grills, and broilers shouldn’t need to be pre-heated much or at all, and ovens should only need 15 minutes tops, depending on the appliance make, model, and age.
  5. Newer Equipment: While the thought of purchasing all new equipment can fill frugal restaurant managers with dread, those appliances will soon pay for themselves. When you consider that most major commercial food equipment is designed to be Energy Star rated, you can save loads by giving those energy-hog components the old heave-ho. The ventilation and commercial kitchen professionals can help you choose the ideal components for the lowest energy fees possible.
  6. Precook Foods: Potatoes, chicken, for example, can be cooked in a steamer before they are fried. Steamers are more efficient than fryers, and soon you’ll see the difference on your electric bill.
  7. Proper Kitchen Layout: Believe it or not, the way you arrange your kitchen can lead to more significant energy costs. If your ovens are places directly next to your refrigerators, your fridges may have to work twice as hard. For best results and lower energy fees, place all your cooking equipment under a single vent hood and away from all cooling equipment.

Regular Maintenance Can Keep Costs Low

There is one more point that must be made. A clean kitchen in a more efficient and cheaper kitchen. When you consider that grease buildup and grime can jam up your vent hood fans and other ventilation system components, you could be paying more than you should to keep your kitchen operational. Regular cleaning by the ventilation and commercial kitchen system experts can keep your energy costs as low as you need to ensure your commercial kitchen – and overall business – succeeds.

To learn more about reducing energy costs for commercial kitchens, contact Aps-Hoods, the commercial kitchen and food truck expert in Orange County, CA and Denver, CO. Get a free quote today!

© 2018 Millionairium and Farazandeh. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Farazandeh are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.
Signs Your Vent Hood Fans Need Cleaning

Signs Your Vent Hood Fans Need Cleaning and/or Replacement

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Denver, CO – Most restaurant owners understand the importance of engaging in a regular commercial kitchen cleaning schedule. Keeping cooktops and food preparation areas spotless is crucial for hygiene reasons, but it’s equally as important to ensure that kitchen hood fans and filters remain just as clean. Here’s why.

Grease and dust can build up in range hood fans and filters quickly, posing a potential fire hazard. Grease is highly combustible, so the risk of it catching alight and sparking a kitchen fire are increased if the residue build-up isn’t removed regularly.

The kitchen’s hood and ventilation system provide a layer of protection in eliminating air contaminants and odors caused by cooking. So it’s essential the filters and fans are not just cleaned and maintained regularly so they operate effectively; they also need to be cleaned properly, ideally by a professional hood services company, to minimize health and safety risks.

However, even with regular maintenance, there are times when a hood fan or filter will need to be replaced completely. Some signs to look for that could indicate a hood fan or filter may need to be replaced include:
  • You notice damage on the filter during a routine cleaning
  • The vent fan no longer draws smoke or cooking smells out of the kitchen as effectively
  • The exhaust fan makes unusual sounds or stops turning completely
The risk of an exhaust fan failing during operating hours could be devastating to any commercial kitchen operation. The risk of fire is dramatically increased, but there is also the problem of filling the kitchen and dining area with smoke.

The specialists at APS-Hoods recommend creating a scheduled routine for cleaning, maintaining and replacing hood filters in every commercial kitchen. The actual length of time between each deep clean, service and replacement will vary, depending on the condition of the individual range hood.

A ventilation hood over a busy restaurant kitchen may have filters that need to be replaced every six to eight months. However, that timeframe may shorten if the range hood, duct work and fan are not cleaned and maintained regularly.

The majority of commercial kitchen owners simply don’t have the available staff or resources to undertake such a detailed task. In fact, most eateries need their staff to focus on what they do best – cooking great meals and serving satisfied customers.

The easiest and most effective way to ensure that any kitchen’s hood, exhaust and ventilation system is operating at its best is to book a complete hood service and duct cleaning. Appointing a professional company to take care of the cleaning allows you to keep your staff focused on their jobs. You also have the peace of mind that the job is done properly and any faulty or damaged parts can be repaired or replaced quickly.

To learn more about cleaning the filters in a commercial kitchen, contact Aps-Hoods for a free estimate by calling (800) 750-7313.

About Aps-Hoods: Aps-Hoods specializes in services such as complete kitchen cleaning, hood installation, and fire protection services in Denver, Cheyenne, as well as across Colorado, Arizona, California, and Wyoming.

© 2017 Millionairium and Farazandeh. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Farazandeh are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.
fire system service

The Types of Fires That Plague Commercial Kitchens & How to Prevent Them


Denver, CO – Fire is always a threat to commercial kitchens. In fact, a single fire outbreak can cost thousands of dollars in damages, not to mention lead to injury and loss of life. As a restaurant manager, owner, or operator, you should know how to prevent fires from occurring in your restaurant or foodservice business.

What many don’t realize is that fires can spark from several sources, so it is best to be aware of all the worst-case-scenarios to keep the risk of fire to a minimum to keep your employees and kitchen safe at all times.

Fire Prevention Tips

Install a Fire Suppression System: You should always be prepared for a fire breakout. Having a fire-suppression system installed in your kitchen is your first line of defense. There are many systems to choose from, but a professional installer will be able to tell you which system will be best for your kitchen size and level of activity. Remember to have your fire suppression system inspected at least twice yearly to keep response times at optimum levels.

Portable Fire Extinguishers: You should have a few hand-held fire extinguishers easily accessible from several strategic access points around your kitchen, as well as in the dining area. Be mindful that there are various classes of fire extinguisher, one for each type of fire. ABC fire extinguishers are used for fires involving wood, paper, textiles, and plastic. Class K extinguishers are intended for grease fires only.

Routine Maintenance: Frequent cleaning and service of your exhaust system and electrical equipment will keep any negative surprises from popping up unexpectedly. Without this, your equipment can become dirty or even malfunction, which happens to be two of the most common reasons for kitchen fires. A certified commercial kitchen cleaning company can help.

Regular Testing of Alarms and Sprinklers: A professional should inspect your sprinkler and alarm system at least twice yearly to ensure everything is in fine working order. And, just in case, make sure you have backup batteries for your smoke detectors and change them regularly.

Don’t Put Off Repairs: If a piece of equipment breaks or malfunctions, or there are other changes to your fire prevention system, call a professional to fix any issues immediately.

Conduct Regular Fire Safety Checks: Management and the owners should make frequent passes through the kitchen and dining room areas to maintain adequate fire safety. Paper and cardboard should be kept away from heat-making equipment, and flame-retardant material should replace as many cloth items as possible.

How to Prevent Grease Fires

Change Grease Filters Often: The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states that grease filters must be constructed of steel or another material approved by the NFPA. To be acceptable, the alternate material must not bend or crush under normal operation and cleaning procedures. The material also cannot be made of mesh. When installing filters, they should be arranged at an angle not less than 45 degrees so that the exhaust air passes through the filter material. The filters you use should be easily accessible and removable for cleaning purposes.

Clean Grease Thoroughly: Any grease left behind on ducts, walls or other surfaces is a potential fire hazard. Make sure staff cleans grease from all equipment, walls, floors, and anywhere else that isn’t a designated grease container. Grease traps should also be cleaned regularly to prevent an overflow or potential fire.

Inspect and Clean Your Exhaust System: An exhaust system that hasn’t been cleaned in some time can lose its efficiency. The clean air you come to expect in your kitchen could become contaminated, creating greater danger to your staff. A regular cleaning schedule will keep fans and the rest of your HVAC system operating at optimum levels, maintaining a kitchen environment free of debris, smoke, and of course grease.

Preventing Chemical and Electrical Fires

Regular Maintenance of Electrical Equipment: When checking the electrical equipment around your kitchen, look for frayed cords or wires, as well as cracked or broken switch plates. Some of these may be difficult to spot with an untrained eye, so it pays to have a professional conduct a thorough secondary check. Even if your electrical equipment is working properly, take care that combustible materials are kept away from all power sources.

Store Flammable Liquids Properly: Flammable liquids should be kept in their proper containers in a well-ventilated space. The space you choose should be far away from stoves or other heat producing equipment.

Safely Store and Use Chemical Solutions: Never mix chemicals unless the directions say so, and make sure the directions come from a reputable source. All spills should be cleaned immediately, and a clean-up space should be provided for employees in case of skin exposure.

How Your Staff Can Prevent Fires

Have an Emergency Plan: Train your employees to head for the nearest exits in case a fire does break out. Regular fire drills never hurt, and at least one employee should be designated to call 911 and lead the evacuation protocol.

Teach Employees How to React to Fires: All staff should be trained to use a fire extinguisher. Teaching employees the PAST acronym – 1. Pull the pin 2. Aim at the base of the fire 3. Make a sweeping motion 4. Ten feet from the fire. – will prevent them from panicking when it comes time to fight a fire. All employees should know where the fire extinguishers are located in the kitchen and dining areas, and all emergency exits should be clearly marked for safe evacuation.

No Smoking! All commercial kitchens produce some sort of smoke, but cigarette smoke is never acceptable. Even if your employees smoke outside, ensure the cigarette butts are disposed of well away from grease or storage areas.

These fire prevention guidelines can help to protect commercial equipment, staff, and patrons from the risk of fire. To learn more about commercial kitchen fire prevention and the cleaning of all hoods, vents, fans, and exhaust systems, call (800) 750-7313 or email Apps-Hoods today.

About Apps-Hoods: For over 20 years, Aps-Hoods has been providing commercial kitchens and food service businesses with fire prevention installation and cleaning. Based in Denver, Colorado, the dependable employees at Aps-Hoods are prepared to service clients across the state, as well as in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Los Angeles, California.

© 2017 Millionairium and Farazandeh.  Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Farazandeh are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.
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