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What are Ventless Exhaust Systems?

Ventless exhaust systems are self-contained kitchen hood systems that do not require ductwork. They are ideal for kitchens where ductwork is not feasible or allowed, such as island kitchens or kitchens in smaller spaces. Ventless exhaust systems filter the air and recirculate it back into the kitchen.

How Do Ventless Exhaust Systems Work?

Ventless exhaust systems typically use a combination of filters to capture grease, smoke, and odors. The type of filters used will vary depending on the specific model of the ventless exhaust system. Some common types of filters include:

  • Baffle filters: These filters are made of metal and work by trapping grease and smoke in their baffles.
  • Charcoal filters: These filters are made of activated charcoal and work by absorbing odors.

What are the Advantages of Ventless Exhaust Systems?

There are several advantages to using ventless exhaust systems, including:

  • Easy installation: Ventless exhaust systems do not require ductwork, so they are much easier to install than traditional ducted exhaust hoods.
  • Portability: Ventless exhaust systems are portable so they can be easily moved from one location to another.
  • Energy efficiency: Ventless exhaust systems do not exhaust conditioned air from the kitchen, so they can help save energy.
  • Eco-friendly: Ventless exhaust systems do not release grease and smoke into the atmosphere, making them more eco-friendly than traditional ducted exhaust hoods.
  • Space-saving: Ventless exhaust systems are more compact and don't require ductwork, making them ideal for smaller kitchens.
  • Stylish design: Ventless exhaust systems often come in sleek and modern designs that can complement any kitchen décor.

What are the Disadvantages of Ventless Exhaust Systems?

There are also a few disadvantages to using ventless exhaust systems, including:

  • Less effective: Ventless exhaust systems are less effective than traditional ducted exhaust hoods at removing grease and smoke from the kitchen.
  • Filters require regular cleaning: The ventless exhaust system filters must be cleaned regularly to maintain their effectiveness.

What are the Applications of Ventless Exhaust Systems?

Ventless exhaust systems are a good option for various applications, including:

  • Island kitchens: Ventless exhaust systems are ideal for island kitchens because they can be installed directly over the cooking surface.
  • Kitchens in smaller spaces: Ventless exhaust systems are a good option for kitchens in smaller spaces because they do not require ductwork.
  • Commercial kitchens: Ventless exhaust systems are often used in commercial kitchens, such as restaurants and cafes.

What are the Top Brands of Ventless Exhaust Systems?

Some of the top brands of ventless exhaust systems include:

  • HoodMart
  • RATIONAL
  • Giles
  • UNOX
  • Equipex
  • Halifa
  • Alto-Shaam
  • Wells
  • Moffat
  • Cadco
  • BKI

How to Choose The Best Commercial Ventless Hood System?

Choosing the right commercial ventless hood system can significantly impact your kitchen's ventilation and overall performance. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision:

1. Assess Your Kitchen's Needs

  • Cooking Equipment: Determine the type and quantity of cooking equipment you have, such as fryers, grills, ovens, and ranges. This will help you choose a ventless hood with sufficient CFM (cubic feet per minute ft³/min) capacity, typically ranging from:
    • Light-duty cooking: 200-400 CFM
    • Medium-duty cooking: 400-600 CFM
    • Heavy-duty cooking: 600-1000 CFM
  • Kitchen Size: Consider the size of your kitchen. Smaller kitchens may require a compact ventless hood, while larger spaces may need a more powerful and wider hood.
  • Cooking Intensity: Evaluate the intensity of your cooking operations. You'll need a ventless hood designed for high-volume air filtration if you engage in heavy-duty cooking, such as deep-frying or grilling.
  • Local Regulations: Check local building codes and health department requirements for ventless hood specifications.

How to calculate CFM for Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Ventilation?

CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) is the unit of measurement for the capacity of commercial kitchen exhaust fans. The National Fire Code (NFC) recommends that kitchen hoods be 6 inches (15.24 cm) larger on all sides than the equipment they are ventilating. Fresh air CFM is calculated by multiplying the percentage of fresh air by the fan airflow. To determine the CFM needed for a range hood, multiply 100 CFM by the stove width in inches.

Scenario: You have a 36-inch (91.44 cm) commercial range with four burners and a grill. You are planning to install a ventless exhaust hood above the range.

Calculation: Determine the width of the range: 36 inches

Multiply the range width by 100 CFM: 36 inches * 100 CFM = 3,600 CFM

Add 15% for safety: 3,600 CFM * 0.15 = 540 CFM

Total CFM required: 3,600 CFM + 540 CFM = 4,140 CFM

Therefore, you will need a ventless exhaust hood with a CFM rating of at least 4,140.

2. Understand Ventless Hood Types

Ventless hood systems typically utilize various filtration methods to capture and remove grease, smoke, and odors. Key filtration types include:

  • Baffle Filters: These capture grease and smoke through metal baffles. They require regular cleaning, typically every 2-4 weeks, and may not be suitable for heavy-duty cooking. They typically last 6-12 months before needing replacement.
  • Charcoal Filters: These absorb odors and are often used with baffle filters. They may require frequent replacement, typically every 2-4 months
  • Electrostatic Filters: These use an electric charge to attract and trap grease particles. They are more efficient but require regular cleaning every 2-3 months and maintenance, typically lasting 6-12 months before needing replacement.
  • Hybrid Filters: These combine different filtration methods for enhanced performance.

3. Evaluate Key Features

In addition to filtration, consider these key features when selecting a ventless hood system:

CFM Rating: The CFM rating indicates the hood's air filtration capacity. A higher CFM rating is generally required for heavier cooking applications.

Filter Types and Efficiency: Choose filters that suit your cooking needs and provide effective grease, smoke, and odor filtration.

Noise Level: Consider the hood's noise level, especially if it's located near dining or customer areas. Standard ventless hoods typically operate at 30-40 decibels, moderate ones at 40-50 decibels, and powerful ones at 50-60 decibels.

Fire Suppression System: Consider a ventless hood with an integrated fire suppression system for kitchens with high-risk cooking activities.

Ease of Installation and Maintenance: Ensure the hood is easy to install and maintain, including filter cleaning and replacement procedures.

4. Consider Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is important for commercial kitchens, as ventless hood systems operate continuously. To reduce energy consumption and operating costs, consider these factors:

  • Energy-Efficient Motors: Choose a ventless hood with an energy-efficient motor to reduce energy consumption and operating costs. Standard ventless hoods typically use 1-2 amps, while energy-efficient ones use 0.7-1.5 amps.
  • Variable Speed Control: Look for a hood with variable speed control to adjust airflow based on cooking intensity, saving energy when not in full use.
  • Demand-Based Ventilation: Consider a hood with demand-based ventilation that automatically adjusts airflow based on cooking conditions.

5. Choose a Reputable Brand

Selecting a ventless hood system from a reputable brand ensures quality, reliability, and customer support:

  • Reputation and Experience: Opt for ventless hood systems from established brands known for their quality, reliability, and customer service.
  • Warranties and Support: Choose a brand that offers comprehensive warranties and responsive customer support for peace of mind.
  • Industry Recognition: Look for brands that receive industry awards and recognition for their innovative and effective ventless hood systems.

Where Can I Buy Ventless Exhaust Systems?

Ventless exhaust systems can be purchased from various online and retail retailers. Chef's Deal is a leading provider of commercial ventless exhaust systems and offers a wide selection of products from top brands.

 

Ventless exhaust systems are a versatile and affordable option for kitchens of all sizes. They are easy to install, portable, energy-efficient, and eco-friendly. If you are considering a ventless exhaust system for your kitchen, be sure to research and choose a system that meets your specific needs. You may also wish to see our other commercial kitchen hoods for your foodservice business.