Commercial kitchens are highly regulated environments requiring a stringent hygiene and cleanliness approach to maintain optimal performance and safety. One of the most critical components of any commercial kitchen is the kitchen hood, which serves as the primary defense against the buildup of grease, smoke, and other pollutants that can accumulate during cooking. Without regular cleaning and maintenance, commercial kitchen hoods can become a significant fire hazard and pose a risk to the health and safety of staff and customers alike.
Given the importance of commercial kitchen hoods, it is essential for business owners to understand how often they should be cleaned to ensure optimal performance and safety. In this article, we will discuss the factors determining how often a commercial kitchen hood should be cleaned and provide practical advice for business owners looking to maintain a clean and functional kitchen hood. From the types of cooking equipment to the volume of cooking and the types of food being prepared, we will cover everything you need to know to keep your commercial kitchen running smoothly and safely.
How Often Should a Commercial Kitchen Hood Be Cleaned?
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has established guidelines for cleaning commercial kitchen hoods to prevent fires. These guidelines are designed to ensure that the hood systems are regularly cleaned to reduce the risk of fire.
According to NFPA 96, which is the standard for ventilation control and fire protection of commercial cooking operations, the frequency of cleaning the hood system will depend on the cooking type in the kitchen. Here are the general guidelines:
- For systems serving solid fuel cooking operations, they should be cleaned monthly.
- For systems serving high-volume cooking operations such as 24-hour cooking, they should be cleaned quarterly.
- For systems serving moderate-volume cooking operations, such as those that are open for business for 6 to 12 hours per day, they should be cleaned semi-annually.
- They should be cleaned annually for systems serving low-volume cooking operations, such as churches or seasonal businesses.
It’s important to note that these guidelines are the minimum requirements and that the hood system should be cleaned more frequently if there is an accumulation of grease or other flammable substances.
The NFPA guidelines also state that the hood system should be inspected regularly by a trained and qualified professional to ensure it is in proper working order. This inspection should be conducted at least annually, but more frequent inspections may be necessary depending on the cooking type in the kitchen.
Overall, it is essential to follow the NFPA guidelines to ensure that the hood system is clean and functioning correctly, which will help prevent kitchen fires.
How Do You Clean a Commercial Kitchen Hood?
If you’re running a commercial kitchen, leaving hood cleaning to a professional technician is probably best. However, if you’re determined to do it yourself, here are six simple steps.
Step 1: Prepare for Hood Cleaning
First, ensure everything is turned off and unplugged and all valves are closed. Cover everything with plastic sheets to protect it from grease and gunk. You’ll need rubber gloves, a concentrated degreaser, plastic coverings, a non-abrasive scrubbing pad, a soft brush, and a plastic pail or bucket.
Step 2: Clean Your Hood Filters
Filters are easy to remove. Take them out, along with the stainless steel spacers near the grease traps. Scrub the filters with a soft brush or put them in the dishwasher. If they’re too big or heavily covered with grime, soak them in water and degreaser for at least three hours, then let them dry.
Step 3: Clean the Grease Trap
Remove the grease cups carefully, and don’t spill any remaining oil. Put the grease in an airtight container for disposal. Clean the traps with a soft-bristled brush or non-abrasive scouring pad. Soak them in the degreaser solution if necessary.
Step 4: Clean the Exhaust Hood Fan
Remove the blower blades or fans. For dual-motor and dual-fan exhaust systems, unscrew the center hub and pull it down. Clean the fan blades with a soft-bristle brush or non-abrasive scrubbing pad. Add the filters and traps to the soaking solution if needed.
Step 5: Clean the Hood Duct
Make a degreaser solution and use it to clean the inside and outside of the hood duct with a soft-bristle brush or non-abrasive scouring pad. Once the exposed ducting is clean, replace the rest of the components.
Step 6: Assemble the Vent Hood
Reinstall the cooling blowers after everything has been washed and dried. Remember that the dual-fan systems’ cooling fans have directions and must rotate back to their proper locations. Remove all plastic coverings and mop the floor before reinstalling the filters, fans, and spacers.
Congratulations, you’re done!
How Much Does It Cost to Clean a Commercial Kitchen Hood?
The cost of cleaning a commercial kitchen hood can vary based on some factors. The hood system’s complexity and size, as well as the level of grease buildup, can all impact the cost.
Generally, the cost ranges from $200 to $1000 per cleaning, with an average cost of around $500. This cost may seem high, but it is crucial to understand that regular cleaning is capable of helping you in saving some cash in the long run by preventing costly repairs and improving kitchen safety.
Some hood cleaning companies charge a flat rate per cleaning, while others charge based on the hood system’s complexity and size. For example, a simple hood system with only a few filters and a short duct run may cost around $200 to clean, while a larger and more complex system with multiple filters and a longer duct run could cost about $1000 or more. Some businesses also offer ongoing maintenance plans that include regular cleanings at a discounted rate.
Selecting a reputable and licensed hood cleaning company ensures the job is completed correctly and safely. Grease accumulation on the commercial kitchen hood’s ducts, filters, and ventilation fans must get cleaned along with the remaining part of the kitchen. A certificate of cleanliness, per local fire and health regulations, must also be provided by the business and displayed in the kitchen. While keeping a secure and effective cooking environment may seem expensive, it’s crucial to clean your commercial kitchen hood.
Commercial kitchen hood maintenance is crucial to preserve a secure and healthy atmosphere for employees and clients. Several variables can affect how often a commercial kitchen hood needs to get cleaned, like the number of meals getting cooked, the kinds of meals getting cooked, and the appliances being utilized. On the other hand, an industrial kitchen hood should be cleaned at least once every three months. However, business owners must be on high alert to avert the grease and other contaminants’ accumulation that could endanger the health and safety of employees and clients and result in the need for accelerated cleaning schedules. By keeping their commercial kitchen hood neat and properly maintained, business owners can guarantee the safety of their employees and patrons while maximizing the kitchen’s productivity.
I’m a mom of three, a chef, a writer, and food blogger. I live in the suburbs of New Jersey where I love to cook and bake all day long. Cooking is a form of art and a way to preserve the beauty of nature. I create an edible canvas with fresh, seasonal ingredients.