Terms to Know About Restaurant Hood and Duct Cleaning
Restaurants which prepare foods that release steam or grease when being cooked such as French fries and burgers are required to have a hood or duct installed above their cooking range. These vent hoods require regular cleaning to remove collected dirt and grease. Vent hood cleaning is typically completed by experienced professionals. Here are some terms to know about restaurant hood and duct cleaning.
Exhaust Hood – An exhaust hood removes fumes, mists, vapors, grease, particles and hazardous substances from kitchens and bathrooms. Exhaust hoods must be vented outdoors and regularly cleaned.
Inline Duct Fan – Inline fans increase circulation to a specific location and are often used in commercial settings such as restaurants. An inline fan can provide additional fresh air to keep kitchen temperatures down.
Plenum – The plenum refers to a specific area between the ceiling and the roof or floor above the where the vent of a restaurant hood is located. The plenum space should also be cleaned along with the duct and hood.
NFPA – The NFPA stands for National Fire Protection Association which offers training and certifications to professionals on the process of cleaning vents to avoid kitchen fires.
Caustic Chemicals – Caustic chemicals are specifically used for breaking down grease that has accumulated in vent hoods. These chemicals are applied with a pressure washer or hose.
Authority Having Jurisdiction – Authority Having Jurisdiction is an agency which overseas construction inspections and follows up on planning, building and code compliance. At the end of the cleaning process, the professional cleaner may apply a sticker to prove to insurance adjusters and inspectors that the vent was cleaned and maintained according to code.
Restaurants are busy places, and nowhere is that more evident than in the kitchen. This is where cooks busily prepare dishes day after day, using all sorts of equipment like stove tops, ovens, and exhaust fans to air it all out. Over time, though, dirt and grime can build up within hoods and ducts, posing a health and safety problem if not regularly addressed.
Most restaurants choose to hire a professional for the job, usually someone with a background in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). They can thoroughly wash fans, exhaust systems, vents, and air ducts, using special tools and cleaning supplies. Hood cleaning services use special foams, abrasives, and other cleaning supplies to safely remove grease from kitchen exhaust systems.
Basic services cover things like hood interiors and exteriors, fans, vents, and filters. Professionals should protect and cover all surfaces when working, plus they should completely clean up the mess afterwards. Many companies offer a follow-up report to let the client know of their findings. Some offer sales and installation of products such as access panels, grease containment systems, fan belts, and hinge kits. Many provide insulation inspection as well.
Technicians must be insured, certified, and licensed to perform this job. It is recommended that full-service kitchens working at full steam all day have their restaurant hoods and ducts cleaned at least one a month or even quarterly. But those with low-volume cooking output are expected to retain these services at least once a year. It varies by type of restaurant, as well as frequency used.
Each restaurant hood and duct cleaning company may offer a different way to clean these objects. Some use a special foaming solution, that, when removed via pressure washing, leaves a shiny new look.