Image SourceDenver, 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
Image SourceDenver, 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.
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!
Salt Lake City, UT – While restaurants bring a lot of people joy, the fact is they are highly dangerous places. The kitchen is the culprit. Hot equipment, flames, chemicals, and paper products increase the risks of fire significantly. The National Fire Protection Association reports that thousands of establishments report fires every year to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.In other words, as a restaurant owner, a fire could cost you a significant amount of money and could cost you your business altogether. It’s not worth the risk, especially when there are ways to prevent restaurant fires. Here are the steps to take.
Install a Fire-Suppression System
A fire suppression system releases chemicals when it detects a fire. The chemicals suppress the flames, and the system automatically turns off the electrical supply.
Keep Class K Extinguishers Within Arm’s Reach
Place K Extinguishers near all areas where fires could start, such as near the stoves and ovens. ABC extinguishers are best for areas where paper, wood, and electrical fires could occur.
Schedule Inspections Regularly
Inspections ensure everything is in good working order and there are no fire risks. They should be conducted quarterly unless your restaurant is a high-volume operation. >If your kitchen has wood or charcoal burning ovens, you should schedule monthly inspections.
Train Your Staff
Fire safety training for staff is important. All staff should have a refresher every six months. Training should include:
How to clean up grease
How to deal with a grease fire
How to remove ashes
Where to store flammable liquids
The importance of keeping areas tidy
An emergency plan
Maintenance Is Important
You should have all equipment maintained at least every six months. A fire safety professional can check for any loose or frayed wires and broken switch plates. A report will identify any fire hazards you’ll need to take care of to pass inspection.