Hoodmart Guide to Ductwork Cleaning

Restaurants and commercial kitchen spaces rely on their exhaust hood system to keep the air in their kitchen clean of odors, smoke, and components such as grease and oil. Like the kitchen relies on the exhaust hood system to clean the air, the exhaust hood system itself is reliant on the ductwork for transport of that dirty air out of the establishment. As time goes on the air ducts can begin to have grease buildups which will need to be cleaned out, otherwise it could put you at risk for health and fire issues.


When grease and other particles build up in your ductwork it can have several damaging effects. For one it can lead to potential fire hazards, as grease buildup can and will ignite very easily if there’s any spark or fire nearby. As grease builds up it also limits and restricts air flow in the ducts, and does not allow the exhaust hood system to properly clean the air in the establishment. Over time this will allow for more and more impure and unclean air to enter the building, and cause your HVAC and makeup air units to over work to cover the impure air and puts those systems at risk for damage. Don’t forget that any equipment working over it’s normal usage will also cause spikes in your electricity and that will absolutely be reflected on your energy bill at the end of the month.


The cheap route would be to try to clean the ductwork yourself, however it is not recommended to go this route. Not only are you or your staff likely unqualified to do this work, but it may also lead to more damage and downtime in the end if anything happens during the DIY cleaning, and that is more money out of your pocket. The proper approach when requiring ductwork cleaning is to hire a professional certified ductwork cleaning company local to your business. This will ensure that the job is done correctly the first time, as well as making sure that your system is up to par with local code requirements.


After setting up an appoint the ductwork cleaning company will come out to your business and give you an estimate on the work required. Get as many quotes as you’d like to be sure that it’s within budget and that you get the right feel from the company. From there you will schedule a time for the company to come out and do their work. A typical ductwork cleaning will take several hours depending on the size of the establishment and amount of ductwork, so choosing a day where your restaurant is either closed or generally slow is the best option.


When the team shows up to perform the cleaning they will shutdown all necessary appliances, machines, and equipment to ensure that the equipment remains safe. All cooking and surfaces are covered, and then the team gets to work both inside and outside of the building. A team will go to the roof to begin working on the ductwork that is located there, using pressure washing systems as well as steam to clear out the grease from the ductwork. Another team will stay in the kitchen area and begin the cleaning process there, and use special equipment to catch and collect all of the flushed out grease and debris from the ductwork system to ensure proper disposal.


After the ductwork system has been flushed and all grease and debris properly removed the team will run a final inspection to ensure everything is clean and looking good. The final inspection consists of checking that all grease and debris is removed, that all waste is properly stored for disposal, and that all equipment is checked to ensure proper operation. Once that is complete the team will breakdown and clean up their items in kitchen and roof and the ductwork cleaning process is compete.


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 no weld Grease Duct, hood filters, canopy hood lights, and curbs. If you still have questions regarding 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.