- M. Villarreal
A Commercial Kitchen Guide to Vent Hood Exhaust Cleaning for the Holidays
Now that the holiday season is approaching, customers are rushing back into restaurants after a gigantic, unprecedented break induced by the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, you are probably preoccupied with improving your restaurant’s décor or menu to cater to your faithful customers. However, you might be unintentionally disregarding an essential component of your restaurant - exhaust hood cleaning. To find out more about the importance of this cleaning protocol, read this restaurant owner’s guide to exhaust hood cleaning!
A well-functioning exhaust hood is like a good waiter - it should be efficient, invisible, and most of all - clean. In fact, maintenance of the exhaust hood is part and parcel of managing a healthy kitchen. And you simply cannot have a functional, successful restaurant without a clean kitchen. Hence, many restaurant owners are advised to hire a commercial hood cleaning company for the regular maintenance of their exhaust systems.
Why is it Important to Do Now?
The purpose of the exhaust hood is to remove the smoke, fumes, and odors from the kitchen, then returning it to the kitchen and surrounding areas fresh and clean. It's not just nice to have, but if properly running, it creates a healthy environment for both employees and customers. Hence, it is a certainty that grease, germs, and other substances carried by the fumes gradually line up along the exhaust hood. The evidence is everywhere. However, sometimes it happens that restaurant owners entirely overlook this. A neglected exhaust hood can lead to several hazardous situations. How does this happen? Excess grease piled up on the filters, fans, ducts, pipes, and other components make the exhaust vent a legitimate breeding ground for bacteria, foul odors, and kitchen fires.
That is why timely restaurant exhaust hood cleaning is absolutely indispensable. Without it, you could be putting the health and safety of your staff and customers at serious risk. Not to mention that bad air quality inside your restaurant might even put off customers for good and when they leave, they won't do it quietly... their story and experience will DEFINATELY be shared on social media for everyone else to see and (possibly) avoid.
At this time of year, potential customers don't have the time or patience to deal with issues, they will look at reviews and make a split-second decision as to whether or not they will do business with you based on what others have said they experienced. Don't take chances. Furthermore, commercial range hood cleaning is vital for your restaurant equipment because ensures the the long-term functionality and durability of the appliances and equipment in your kitchen depend on it. This is not the time of year to have your equipment break down, especially with parts and supply chain issues we are experiencing as business owners. So what do you need to do?
Understand the Condition of Your Commercial Vent Hood Exhaust System (not just the filters).
It helps to do regular check-ups where you can assess the condition of the range hood. As we mentioned, grease and fumes contribute to the wear and tear of the hood vent. It is a common problem all restaurant owners face. This makes cleaning and maintaining the exhaust hood a must. Take note of the following situations when you are inspecting the exhaust hood:
The range hood is working, but there is smoke in your restaurant
If the kitchen is full of smoke, but the appliance is in high mode, you definitely have a problem. It is quite possible that the grease piled up enough to block the range hood ducts. However, another source of this malfunction could be a worn-out motor. Also, you could be dealing with an air filter in need of a replacement or thorough cleaning. To make matters worse, your exhaust hood system could be experiencing more than one issue at the same time. If cleaning the range hood does not seem to make things less smoky, you may need to call in experienced commercial hood cleaners. They should be able to give you a professional assessment of the problem and possible solutions.
Surface cleaning does not eliminate the smoke
In the worst-case scenario, the situation might be too grave to be fixed. In this case, the restaurant hood cleaning business you have called in might have to remove and install all or some of the components of the exhaust hood system. Indeed, this can be quite an inconvenience for the functioning of your kitchen (and, in turn, your restaurant). Things can get even more complicated if you have to bring in replacement parts from another town or rearrange the kitchen elements to fix the hood. That is why many restaurant owners decide to look for a moving company that can help speed up the process. There is no need to stall things more than necessary. You can search a database such as Best Long Distance Movers and find a moving company that works in your area.
Strange noises, switches not working
It is best to not wait for the smoke to indicate something is wrong with your exhaust hood. Even a seemingly insignificant, unusual buzz may point to a big malfunction of the motor. However, such sounds can be difficult to detect while the kitchen is rattling during the workday. Be sure to turn it on and check the exhaust hood after work. If the switches are not working, your range hood could be having some electrical issues.
How to clean the ventilation hood filter
The laws enacted by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) bind all restaurant owners to hire a commercial range hood cleaning service based on volume of food, types of cooking and cooking types (ex: baking, frying, grilling). It's not just about your staff cleaning off the exhaust hood or filters to make it look clean, the entire system needs to be rid of buildup and that can only be done properly by a licensed commercial vent hood exhaust system cleaning company. And not all commercial service companies that clean vent hood systems are created equal. Do your homework. Look at reviews, their website and meet with them at your restaurant to do walk through. Failure to comply with these requirements can lead to fire, hefty fines, or restaurant closure.
You should make an effort to inspect your exhaust hood, filter and exhaust fan even if you hire restaurant exhaust vent hood services company regularly. Hopefully, this short restaurant owner’s guide to exhaust hood cleaning has provided some insight and reminders to keep your commercial kitchen and business running smoothly.
If you have any questions or would like to have a free system evaluation, give Cornerstone Commercial Services a call at: 1-800-274-3905