If you have been following our blog so far, you know a lot of things that could help you start your restaurant. In this specific essay, we will inform you of a little important detail that first-time food business owners often overlook—commercial exhaust hoods.
Whether you are opening a big restaurant or planning on getting a food truck, commercial exhaust hoods are the one essential piece of equipment you cannot do without. Ventilation seems like a basic detail, but it requires special attention and has its own rules you need to follow. There are codes and regulations that dictate how your ducts and hoods need to be installed, and there are details you need to keep in mind based on your business model.
You need commercial kitchen exhaust hoods to open and maintain your kitchen. So you must choose the best model for your business and know everything there is to know about commercial kitchen exhaust hoods, commercial restaurant exhaust hood cleaning, and commercial kitchen hood manufacturers. If you feel clueless and have no idea where to begin, just take a deep breath and keep on reading. By the end of this post, you’ll know everything you need to know to fill your beautiful kitchen with fresh air free from dirt and grease.
What Exactly Is A Commercial Exhaust Hood, And Why Do You Need One?
Basically, commercial restaurant exhaust hoods are machines that are hanged above the cooking area to remove smoke and grease from the air and make sure your kitchen is soundly ventilated and safe from any possible fire hazards. It is a must-have for a commercial kitchen because it ensures clean air and safety for your employees and the food and because it is required by fire and health codes. So before you open your restaurant get the proper commercial exhaust hood for the type of food you offer at your establishment and make sure everything is up to code.
Types Of Commercial Exhaust Hoods
There are several types of commercial kitchen exhaust hoods that you can choose from based on the food you offer at your establishment or the kind of business you run. They are mainly classified as type 1 and type 2 hoods.
Type 1 Hoods
Type 1 hoods are focused on removing the grease and the smoke, and thus they are placed above friers and such commercial kitchen equipment. They are also called grease hoods since their primary function is to eliminate the grease produced by the food you cook. Their cleaning and maintenance require special attention, yet it can be considered pretty easy with a bit of practice.
Type 2 Hoods
Type 2 hoods are installed to remove the heat and vapor from equipment that produces steam (not grease!) They are placed above ovens, dishwaters, and similar commercial kitchen equipment. These types usually utilize a standard design and also can be found under the name of condensate hoods.
Commercial Hoods Based On Their Design Features And Purposes
Exhaust design hood packages have fans to maintain ventilation in your kitchen, but they are not sufficient on their own for a commercial kitchen since they lack the filtration system to remove grease too.
Standard exhaust packages are the most common hoods out there, and in addition to removing vapor and heat, they are helpful when it comes to grease, too, thanks to their filters.
Makeup-Air hood packages operate slightly differently than the other commercial exhaust hoods. They remove the excess heat and bad smells and release fresh air to maintain the air quality. If you don’t ensure the removed air is replaced somehow, your kitchen will suffer from poor air quality, which can harm both the staff and the food.
If you don’t have access to an external ventilation system to connect your hood, you should consider getting a ventless exhaust hood. Ventless exhaust systems are self-sustaining commercial exhaust hoods that do not require to be connected to a duct to operate. Just keep in mind that these models will require extra care for their cleaning.
Commercial Exhaust Hoods Types According To Your Business Type
Pizza hood packages are specifically made to be placed on top of your pizza oven or pizza cooking equipment to remove the heat and the grease produced by making pizzas. Most states require you to have a commercial pizza hood to let you open and run a pizza shop. So make sure you get the right hood for your pizza business to avoid any legal problems in the future.
Food truck concession hood packages are designed for food truck businesses. Food trucks are small spaces that need good ventilation to protect the workers and the food. Plus, food truck concession hoods will ensure you don’t run into any problems due to weather since they are manufactured to be prepared for any problems a business on the wheels might encounter.
Installation And Fire Codes
As with many commercial kitchen equipments, commercial exhaust hoods also have codes that need to be followed when installing and cleaning to avoid any potential accidents and create a safe working environment. While codes and regulations may vary from state to state, they mostly follow the same international structure and rules. You can ensure you don’t run into any legal problems by paying attention to the details listed below. Make sure to check with your local government to find out about the ranges required for your specific location.
- Install the hood at least 6 inches above the cooking area but do not exceed 3.5/4 feet. The elevation range depends on the type of cooking area and hood you have. Each model has its own specification set by the local codes.
- Fire suppression systems are a must-have if you want your exhaust hood to operate safely. The law usually requires vent hood fire suppression systems, and you cannot open your restaurant without one. If you are unsure which fire suppression is proper for you, consult the company you buy the exhaust hood from.
- Make sure the joints are appropriately sealed during installation. Leakages can cause your kitchen to become stuffy and might harm the food you prepare.
- Utilize a makeup-air system to safely filter and displace the air in and out of the building.
- Make sure to use high-quality material in the production of the hood and the ducts. Once again, your local government might require the use of specific materials (such as stainless steel of certain sizes) but using high-quality material, in general, will ensure you don’t face sudden problems in the middle of a busy day.
Commercial Exhaust Hoods Cleaning Tips
Due to their function, commercial exhaust hoods attract smoke, grease, and dirt particles. They require thorough and regular cleaning. Keep in mind that commercial kitchen hood cleaning is an important task that needs to be taken very seriously. Unless you clean restaurant hoods regularly, they might start malfunctioning and cause all sorts of problems. Plus, cleanliness is an essential aspect of a restaurant’s reputation. No one would want to dine in a stuffy place with poor ventilation. Follow the simple steps listed below, and you won’t run into any problems!
- Decide on how frequently you need to clean your hoods. The more actively it is used, the more frequent cleaning it will require.
- Invest in an easy-to-clean model. Some designs might prove difficult to clean depending on the amount of space you have. Make sure you get a model you are comfortable working with.
- Disassemble the pieces as much as possible to ensure there aren’t any build-up products left in the ducts or the filters.
- Use protective gloves and clothing to avoid health hazards.
- Clean the filters of grease and dirt. Be careful not to spill the grease around and not to pour it down the drain since it might cause blockages, which is certainly not environmental.
- Clean the fans to ensure they work properly.
- Check regularly to see if there are any broken pieces or filters that need replacing.
- Make sure you reassemble the hood carefully to avoid any air leakage.
- Keep track of your cleaning dates for possible inspections.
- Schedule for a professional kitchen hood cleaning. The help of a professional now and then can prove to be a real game-changer. They could help you with upcoming inspections and ensure you aren’t missing anything during your regular cleanings.
Best Commercial Exhaust Hood Manufacturers
The brand is an important aspect to consider when purchasing a commercial kitchen hood for your business. Luckily for you, there are several brands you can choose from. In a world of options and possibilities, here listed are some safe bets that will help you get started with your business from a strong point.
Now that you are familiar with the concept and the basics of commercial exhaust hoods, you can get the model best suited to your dream restaurant kitchen and start living your dream one clean breath at a time. Check out our other posts to find out everything there is to know about opening and running a fully fleshed-out restaurant kitchen!