The Importance Of Regular Maintenance For Your Exhaust Hood System
Operating a commercial / restaurant kitchen is reliant heavily on a functioning exhaust hood system. The exhaust hood system is not only your first line of defense against a kitchen grease fire, but it also proactively pulls grease, dirt, and other airborne particles out of the kitchen and replaces it with clean air. By removing the airborne contaminants and replacing the air with clean air the exhaust hood system helps prevent grease build ups that can lead to grease fires, provides fresh air clean of contaminants for the kitchen staff, removes smoke and odors from the kitchen, and more. The importance of the exhaust hood system to a clean, functioning system is exactly why it is imperative to keep up with all cleaning, maintenance, and repairs that your exhaust hood system may need.
There are a few tell-tale signs that it may be time to call in a professional hood cleaning or hood repair company. For one if you start to notice a constant smoke or lingering haze in the kitchen, or if there are odors from outside the kitchen that are noticeable inside the kitchen, it is possible that the system is having problems pulling out the dirty air and / or replacing it with clean air. If you begin to detect changes in the indoor temperature or it fees like the heating / cooling is inconsistent in regulating the temperature then your make up air unit may be having problems. Another sign of this is irregular pressurization, which is made apparent by difficulty opening or closing outside doors to your kitchen. Lastly - if you begin to notice an excessive amount of grease, dirt, and dust on your kitchen equipment then it is definitely time to call in a technician to review your system because the system is not properly removing the contaminants from the air and they are in turn able to build up on kitchen surfaces.
A lot of the issues above occur when an exhaust hood system has not been properly maintained for an extended period of time, letting small issues that could have easily been resolved by the owner of the exhaust hood system and have now snowballed into much larger issues that require a certified technician to help fix. Some ways to preventively maintain your exhaust hood are:
1) Clean, Clean, & Clean - make it a habit to do daily quick-cleans of all of your kitchen equipment, and this includes your exhaust hood system as well. Do more thorough cleaning every few weeks, and schedule a professional hood cleaning every 6 - 12 months. Not only will this help prevent a large amount of problems with the unit itself but will also make sure that your system is up to code for any inspections that may occur.
2) Grease Traps - remove and empty your exhaust hood’s grease traps, and then soak / wash the grease cups in hot, soapy water. This will prevent build ups in grease that could potentially cause a fire.
3) Hood Filters - remove the hood filters and clean any & all grease, dirt, dust, and other contaminant build ups. If the hood filter seems unclean able it may be time to replace it. A clean hood filter allows the fans to move air more easily.
4) Check The Fans - if your exhaust hood’s fan stops working you are pretty much out of commission until a technician can repair or replace it. One of the most common problems is the fan belts. Fan belts wear down over time and can eventually slip or break due to wear. Inspect and clean the fan belt every few weeks, and if there are signs of damage due to use then it may be time to replace the fan belt.
As stated above, all of these items can be handled preventatively by kitchen staff, however the more extensive items can be handled by exhaust hood technicians and cleaners. It is worth it to make sure that your exhaust hood system stays functional to prevent any down time that may require you to close down your business for a few days until it can get resolved. A proper running exhaust hood keeps your kitchen clean, your staff and patrons safe, insurance premiums down, and ensures that you pass all health and fire inspections that may occur. 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.