Exhaust System Cleaning for Restaurants (A Quick Guide)Restaurants use kitchen exhaust systems for the safety of their staff and guests. The kitchen ventilation system keeps the cooking space free from heat, stuffy air, smoke, stale smells, etc. Today, we have highly effective exhaust systems that perform their responsibilities quite well. However, it is crucial to pay serious attention to the cleaning of the hood exhaust system – right from the hood, ductwork, and the exhaust fan to the roof of the hood. By performing thorough and proper hood cleaning, you can keep the kitchen protected against fire hazards and make the entire restaurant environment pleasing and comfortable for visitors. Key benefits of kitchen exhaust cleaning include: Prevention from fire hazards Uninterrupted airflow Improved air quality Increased lifespan of kitchen equipment Save money in the long term
If you get kitchen hood cleaning done on a regular basis, you don’t just reduce the risks of hazards but you also save money.
Call APS-Hoods for a free estimate on your Commercial Kitchen Hood Cleaning & Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning needs.
NFPA Standards for Kitchen Exhaust CleaningThe National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has multiple codes and standards to minimize the risks of fire hazards. As a restaurant owner, you are required to abide by their guidelines and make sure you give your kitchen exhaust system a routine professional cleaning. As per the NFPA standards, you should get the kitchen exhaust cleaning done by trained and qualified professionals. Today’s kitchen hood systems use such advanced technologies that restaurant owners don’t understand how the system actually functions and how exactly it needs to be cleaned. Commercial kitchen cleaning is an expert’s job. It’s the job of someone who is quite well-versed with the inner workings of modern hood systems. If you get the cleaning done by someone who isn’t trained and certified, you’ll be only putting the life of the kitchen staff at risk. In the occurrence of a fire, you may have to face potential litigation. Therefore, always ensure that you hire a professional hood cleaning company. Qualified and experienced professionals understand the exhaust system of a kitchen like the back of their hand. They use a variety of techniques to clean the different components of the hood system in an effective manner.
Methods for Cleaning Kitchen ExhaustBroadly speaking, there are two fundamental methods that hood cleaning companies use – scraping and pressure washing. Pressure washing is also termed as steam cleaning. Both the cleaning methods are known for their effectiveness in different cleaning situations. Depending on the specific needs of a commercial restaurant, the cleaning company can either use scraping or pressure washing or both. Provided it is done well, scraping will give remarkable results. At the same time, scraping of duct systems is a low-cost cleaning method. On the other hand, pressure washing or steam cleaning takes a lot of time and it is an expensive method. Since this is an elaborate cleaning method, cleaning companies need to do some advance planning and preparation for the same. Moreover, this cleaning method involves the use of some expensive equipment and tools. The biggest plus point or benefit of this method is that it can clean the hood exhaust system of the kitchen to bare metal. In most cases, cleaners use a combination of both scraping and steam cleaning to do an excellent job of exhaust cleaning. In this way, the kitchen hood system is cleaned thoroughly and the overall environment gets enhanced protection from different kinds of fire and safety hazards.
Step-by-Step Cleaning of the Hood SystemThe kitchen exhaust system consists of multiple parts, which work together to pull out grease, smoke, heat, and fumes from the kitchen. The hood cleaning process involves paying adequate attention to each comprising part of the kitchen exhaust so that proper and thorough cleaning can be done.
Disconnect Movable Elements:A kitchen exhaust system has some parts which are portable. This means you can detach them from the main unit while leaving only the static components. Next, hood cleaners remove the grease filters and use the plastic sheeting to create the shape of the chute along the outer edge of the exhaust system for the cleaning process to begin. Exhaust Rooftop Cleaning: Usually, most professionals begin cleaning from the roof of the hood system. The exhaust fan housing is a potential area that collects a lot of grease over time. Hood cleaners will either remove the grease from this element or replace the grease pads with new ones. This component needs more attention from hood cleaners. Wherever there is grease buildup, the cleaning company will clean all the pads and filters.
Exhaust Fan Cleaning:The cleaning of exhaust fans is a task in itself. Kitchen exhaust cleaning professionals inspect this area and start cleaning as per what is required. They will clean the fan blades. They’ll review the motor and find out if it is in good condition and working properly. They will inspect the bearings. If the fan belt is loose, the cleaner will fix it as well.
Ductwork Cleaning:Cleaning the ducts is one of the most essential parts of the overall exhaust system cleaning. Professionals use the method of steam washing to clean the ductwork of the exhaust. For cleaning convenience, the NFPA recommends restaurant owners use large access panels. If your ductwork has large access panels, it will be easy for the staff to perform the cleaning task. If the access panels are not wide enough, the cleaning company will ask you to replace them and use wider access panels. Cleaning contractors can also use scrapping as part of ductwork cleaning for thorough and proper cleaning.
Hood Cleaning:The plenum and the inside of the kitchen hood have grease buildup that isn’t always easy to clean. If the buildup is stubborn, the cleaning professional will use the scraping method for cleaning. Otherwise, they will clean these areas through the pressure washer system. Pressure washing is often needed for cleaning the hoods of the exhaust system. After the cleaning of the hood system is complete, the contractor will dispose of all the grease and wastewater from the kitchen. They’ll efficiently reconnect all the detachable elements of the kitchen exhaust. Then, an inspection of the exhaust will follow to make sure all components are well-connected and the entire system is working properly. If there are leakage issues with the ductwork, they will fix it and finally submit a report of the completed cleaning assignment.
How Often Exhaust Cleaning Should be DoneThe frequency of exhaust cleaning varies from one kitchen to another. It depends on the volume of cooking in the kitchen. Another important factor is whether the stove used is wood-burning or gas. If you use a wood stove or charcoal stove, exhaust hood cleaning will be required more frequently. In fact, you’ll need a hood cleaning service at the interval of every two weeks. There are different cleaning frequencies for 24 hours of restaurants, cafeteria, hamburger restaurants, snack bars, etc. Regardless of what type of restaurant you operate, you should get in touch with a reputed, commercial kitchen cleaning company and have a consultation about your specific cleaning needs. Kitchen exhaust cleaning can never be ignored by any food establishment or restaurant. Routine exhaust cleaning helps you abide by the NFPA and local fire codes as well as enhance the safety of the cooking staff and the guests that come to your restaurant. Regular cleaning also increases the lifespan of kitchen equipment. If you are looking for a kitchen hood cleaning service, feel free to give APS-Hoods a quick call or shoot them an email. They operate in areas like Colorado, Lakewood, Aurora, etc.
Call APS-Hoods for a free estimate on your pressure washing, ventilation, sanitizing, or vent/duct/hood needs.
How to Choose a Commercial Kitchen Cleaning ServiceKitchen exhaust cleaning is a job that comes with a lot of responsibility. If you end up working with a fly-by-night cleaning company, you can get yourself in serious trouble. Worse still, you may have to completely shut down your restaurant business. Therefore, always make sure the cleaning company you work with is well-known, reputed, qualified, and trained for doing the job. Before you hire a company that provides hood cleaning, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask them a couple of questions in regard to:
- Certification, affiliation
- Overall experience
- Areas of expertise
- Training program for employees