Image SourceDenver, CO –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.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.
Image SourceDenver-CO | Busy Commercial Kitchens- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Proper commercial 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 commercial kitchen Maintenance Can Keep Costs Low
SourceDenver, CO – Vent Hood Cleaning Services 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, Vent Hood Cleaning, hood installation, and fire protection services in Denver, Cheyenne, as well as across Colorado, and Wyoming. 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.
Salt Lake City, UT – The majority of restaurateurs understand the importance of fire safety in a commercial kitchen. A single fire outbreak has the potential to cost tens of thousands of dollars in damage to a commercial kitchen. There is also the risk of causing injury or loss of life if the fire is not quickly and effectively controlled. Fire systems require much more attention than simply installing a fire extinguisher beside the deep fryer or cooktop. Fires can be sparked by a number of different sources within a kitchen, some of which may require specialized fire systems to extinguish properly. There are several different classifications of fire extinguishers, each suited to fighting fires sparked by different sources.
Labels on the front of each fire extinguisher display letters that outline the type of fire each system is suited to fight. The National Fire Protection Association(NFPA) defines three classes of common fires and another two specialty classes. These are:
Class A –
Used to combat fires sparked by common combustible sources such as paper, cardboard boxes, or wood.
Class B –
Used to fight high-heat fires fueled by flammable liquids, including gasoline, paint, oil, and other solvents.
Class C –
Used to extinguish electrical fires that may have been caused by appliances or motors.
Class D –
Used specifically for fighting fires that involve combustible metals, such as titanium, sodium, magnesium or potassium that have the potential to react violently if doused with water or other chemicals.
Class K –
Used specifically for combating fires sparked in cooking appliances or that involve cooking fats or vegetable oils. Standard dry chemicals found in common fire extinguishers are ineffective when trying to extinguish fires in modern cooking appliances, so using specialized fire extinguishers is crucial for improving kitchen safety. Aside from having the correct fire extinguishers and other fire suppression systems in place, commercial kitchen owners can reduce the risk of fire by regularly cleaning and inspecting hood installations, changing grease filters often, and checking that any flammable liquids or chemical solutions are stored properly away from stoves or cooking equipment. All commercial kitchens are required to adhere to national fire testing standard UL-300, which was designed to ensure fires are safely controlled and maintained. A professional fire system service can provide peace of mind that your kitchen’s fire system installation is up to code and that you have the correct classifications of fire extinguishers to suit your kitchen’s needs.
Commercial kitchen facilities are required to uphold fire testing standard UL-300, a policy that has been in place since 1994. UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories, the organization that created the rules to help commercial kitchens deal with and control property and life-threatening fires.
To earn UL 300 certification, which is necessary to secure a Property Insurance policy, Underwriters Laboratories must test and certify each piece of fire suppression equipment independently. The goal is to help restaurants reduce the risk of fires by ensuring that all cooking equipment and the kitchen setup minimizes the collection of grease in the duct-work and the air. Fire extinguishing equipment must also be adequate in handling the severely hot temperatures that can be found in most commercial kitchen equipment.
Before 1994, most commercial cooking operations used animal fat and deep fryers that were poorly insulated, resulting in inconsistent and inefficient cooking temperatures. In those days, kitchens used dry chemical systems that would smother a fire if one were to break out.
Modern Fire Suppression Systems
These days, kitchens have done away with animal fat and have instead turned to vegetable oils, which tend to heat to cooking temperatures more quickly. The deep fryers used in today’s kitchens retain heat more efficiently and are well-insulated. However, dry chemical systems are no longer used, as they are incapable of extinguishing fires and keeping them extinguished.
UL-300 calls for the use of wet chemical fire suppression systems, which serve two primary purposes. First, UL-300 systems still smother fires similar to the way dry chemical extinguishers did. Second, they are designed to cool the liquids so that the fire doesn’t re-ignite, something dry systems were unequipped to do.
If you hope for your commercial kitchen to pass inspection, the following requirements will need to be put into place.
Fire extinguishing nozzles should be located in all hoods and ducts, as well as above each cooking appliance.
All gas and electrical power sources should have automatic fuel shutoff capabilities.
A manual shutoff pull station should be available for all power sources.
You should have at least one wet chemical fire extinguishing system that adheres to UL-300 (and that is checked semi-annually by a certified professional).
Grease filters should be cleaned on a weekly basis.
NFPA stands for National Fire Prevention Association, an organization that works to prevent fires in commercial kitchens, and other cooking facilities. NFPA 96 is a publication that outlines the safety guidelines that restaurant owners can put in place to reduce fire risk.
The guidelines include the proper distance and angles for installing exhaust hoods and cooking surfaces, as well as what types of exhaust filters are acceptable for cooking equipment.
The publication also delves into the proper construction for ducts, including how large they should be, and what materials they should be comprised of. The angles at which they produce exhaust outside of the building are also covered.
While these guidelines may seem daunting, they’re actually good for you, the restaurant owner, as it takes much of the guesswork out of how to properly set up a commercial kitchen. They are also designed to keep your property, staff, and customers safe by preventing grease and other fires. To learn more about being UL-300 compliant and to ensure your fire suppression systems are maintained and cleaned properly, contact Aps-Hoods for a free estimate at (800) 750-7313 in Colorado and around the country. 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