HoodMart Exhaust Hood Cleaning Guide

If you have run a restaurant or commercial cooking space you will be required to have an exhaust hood system. This also means you are tasked with ensuring the exhaust hood is properly cleaned and maintained. Firstly, you are required by code , law by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), to clean and maintain your hood system, however a properly cleaned hood will also prevent fires due to grease buildup and helps ensure the hood system continues functioning properly to avoid any downtime. Cleaning of the hood system requires cleaning the exhaust hood, the hood filters, and also the ductwork. The ductwork is often overlooked and grease buildup in the ductwork is actually one of the leading causes of grease fires in restaurants.

NFPA 96 gives several outlines for requirements and best practices for exhaust hood cleaning / inspection for grease build up. For frequency, NFPA 96 suggests the following. 

Systems serving solid fuel cooking operations - MONTHLY

High-volume operations such as 24 hour cooking, charbroiling, etc. - MONTHLY or QUARTERLY

Moderate volume cooking operations -QUARTERLY or SEMI-ANNUALLY

Low-volume cooking operations such as churches, day camps, etc. -  SEMI-ANNUALLY

Exterior cleaning of the kitchen is expected daily from a restaurant’s employees, however, the extensive process of cleaning the exhaust hood system should be done by someone who is familiar with the system, if not by a cleaning professional if possible. 

NFPA 96 outlines the scope of the hood cleaning work as follows:

  • Hoods should be dissembled for cleaning and degreasing. This applies to hoods as well as the hood filter tracts, removable grease cups, and grease troughs. 
  • Roof and / or wall mounted fans should be removed from ductwork for degreasing of the base, shroud, and blades.
  • Inspect exhaust fans for loosening or worn out fan belts
  • Hood filters, parts, and accessories should be cleaned and degreased, and replaced if necessary. 
  • All accessible parts of exhaust fan ductwork need to be cleaned for each hood.
  • Polish any stainless steel ductwork with food-safe polish.
  • All affected areas of the hood system should be thoroughly cleaned, including removal of plastic and removal of any debris. 
  • When cleaning is complete provide a complete, detailed written report of all work performed along with any deficiencies decencies in the exhaust hood system and your recommendations to addressing said problems. 
  • Provide a certificate showing the company name, the person performing the work, and date of cleaning of each hood. 

Due to the extensiveness of the cleaning, we would recommend hiring a professional company to perform the full system cleaning. This will help avoid any possible violations of the cleaning guidelines as well as assuring no failures that could lead to potential hazards and fires in the kitchen. 

HoodMart provides our customers with a wide range of exhaust hood systems - from Compensating (Short Cycle) to Perforated Supply Plenum PSP - as well as all exhaust hood accessories such as hood filters, canopy hood lights, and curbs. If you still have questions regarding cleaning your exhaust hood system or the purchase of your hood system, please feel free to contact one of our experts today by calling us at 1.800.715.1014 or by contacting us through our live chat system.