The Importance Of Makeup Air Units In Your Exhaust Hood System

Discover the crucial role of make-up air systems in commercial kitchens for enhanced safety and efficiency, from the experts at HoodMart.


In any commercial kitchen, an exhaust hood system is a vital component to keep the air clean and safe. These systems work diligently to remove contaminated air, including odors, heat, smoke, and grease-laden vapors, and expel it outside the building. However, as air is extracted from the kitchen, it creates a void that must be filled with fresh, clean air from outside. This crucial task is accomplished by a make-up air unit, which reintroduces clean air back into the kitchen space. While the primary role of make-up air units is often acknowledged, there are other essential benefits that these units provide, enhancing the overall performance and safety of your kitchen.


Improved Airflow and Odor Control

Make-up air units play a significant role in enhancing the overall airflow within your kitchen space. By supplying fresh air, they help prevent the buildup of unpleasant odors that could otherwise reach your dining area, creating a more pleasant and inviting atmosphere for your customers and a more comfortable workplace for your employees.


Balancing Negative Air Pressure

Without an adequate make-up air system, negative air pressure can occur when the exhaust system removes dirty air without replacing it with an equal amount of clean air. This imbalance can lead to various issues, such as irritating whining noises, drafting problems with doors and windows, and compromised ventilation. Properly balanced air pressure ensures that the air is efficiently exchanged, maintaining a healthy and comfortable environment.


Enhancing Safety by Reducing Contaminant Buildup

Commercial kitchens often utilize draft stacks or chimneys to remove harmful byproducts like carbon monoxide and grease. However, inadequate supply air can cause negative air pressure, leading to drafts that hinder the efficient removal of contaminants. In severe cases, backdrafts can even push these harmful substances back into the restaurant, posing a risk to both staff and customers' health.


Preserving Exhaust Hood Functionality

Excessive negative air pressure can impair the exhaust hood's ability to effectively remove grease and other pollutants from the kitchen space. Grease buildup not only presents cleaning challenges but also poses fire hazards. A properly balanced make-up air system ensures that your exhaust hood functions optimally, reducing maintenance and safety concerns.


Maintaining HVAC and Temperature Control Efficiency

When your commercial kitchen experiences an air imbalance due to improper supply air, it affects the performance of your HVAC and temperature control systems. Calibration and efficiency are compromised, leading to unstable temperatures in the restaurant, inefficient ventilation in both the kitchen and dining area, and increased strain on the exhaust hood and HVAC equipment. This strain results in higher electricity bills and unnecessary wear-and-tear on the equipment, potentially leading to costly repairs or replacements.


When to Seek Professional Assistance

If you notice any issues with your air balance or temperature control, it is crucial to engage a professional technician to review your exhaust hood system and components. A malfunctioning or underpowered make-up air unit could be the root cause of the problem. A licensed technician can conduct tests, identify and fix any issues, and even provide cleaning services to ensure that your exhaust system operates efficiently, extending the life cycle of your equipment and improving air quality throughout the restaurant.



Make-up air systems are essential for maintaining a well-balanced and safe commercial kitchen environment. By ensuring proper air exchange, these systems contribute to improved airflow, odor control, and the efficient removal of harmful contaminants. Properly balanced air pressure enhances the functionality of exhaust hoods, HVAC systems, and temperature control, preventing unnecessary strain and wear on equipment. At HoodMart, we provide a diverse selection of exhaust hood systems and accessories to suit your specific needs, and our expert team is ready to assist you in finding the right solution. For any inquiries about your hood system purchase or related services, feel free to contact one of our knowledgeable experts via phone at 1.800.715.1014 or through our live chat system. Experience the benefits of a well-maintained make-up air system and ensure a pleasant and healthy environment in your commercial kitchen.