The Importance Of Makeup Air Units In Your Exhaust Hood System

Any and all commercial kitchen spaces will be required to have an exhaust hood system. These exhaust systems are designed to remove contaminated air from inside the kitchen and exhaust it to outside of the building. Exhaust hood systems do this by pulling and trapping dirty air, including odors, heat, smoke, grease, and other grime, and then filtering the air before pushing the rest of it out of the kitchen. Because you are removing air from inside the kitchen you need to replace that dirty air with clean air from outside. This task is done through what is called a makeup air unit, and this unit essentially takes clean air from outside and pushes it back into the kitchen space to replace the dirty air that has been removed. But the real benefits of makeup air units are often overlooked. Here are few other ways that makeup air units can help your kitchen.


1. Makeup air units help the overall airflow in the kitchen space, and help remove strong and / or unpleasant odors from the air before they ever have a chance to make their way to where your customers may be dining.


2. When the exhaust system removes the dirty air, that air must be replaced with the same amount of clean air otherwise you could run into additional issues such as drafting and pressure issues with doors, irritating whining noises, and more. These issues are due to what is referred to as negative air pressure that is causing all air to try and escape through any type of opening - be it windows, doors, or even cracks in the building itself. 


3. Commercial kitchens require features such as draft stacks or chimney to help remove carbon monoxide, grease, and other by condiments and byproducts of heating and cooking appliances. Having negative air pressure due to improper supply air can lead to drafts, which can not only help make it difficult for the carbon monoxide to be removed, but a back draft can actually cause these contaminants in the air to be pushed back into the restaurant. This puts your staff and your customers at risk of inhaling potentially dangerous substances. 


4. If you have too much negative air pressure it can also affect your exhaust hood’s ability to properly remove grease from the kitchen space. Grease build ups are not only a pain to clean, but they can cause health issues if there is enough grease in the air and large grease build ups are a huge fire risk.


5. When your commercial kitchen is experiencing an imbalance in air due to improper supply air it affects your HVAC and temperature control systems. These systems are designed and calibrated for optimal performance and when you have improper supply air it can throw off the whole unit. This can lead to unstable temperatures in the restaurant, improper ventilation both in the kitchen and the customer dining area, and push your exhaust hood and HVAC equipment to work harder than needed. This excessive overworking of the equipment can cause significant increases in your electricity usage / bill, and overworking puts excessive wear-and-tear on the equipment which causes damage that can lead to expensive repairs or even replacement of equipment. 


If your air balance or temperature feel slightly off, even at all, you should definitely consider hiring a professional technician to come in and review your exhaust hood system and components. It is possible that your makeup air unit could be malfunctioning and need repair, or even that the makeup air unit your kitchen is set up with is underpowered for the requirements of your cooking space. A professional licensed technician can help run tests, fix any issues, and also provide cleaning services to ensure that your exhaust system is running efficiently - prolonging the life cycle of your exhaust equipment and also making your dining and kitchen areas more pleasant with clean, climate-controlled air. 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.