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  • M. Villarreal

The Importance of Vent Hood Exhaust Maintenance in Commercial Kitchens

If you are looking for places to optimize the running of your commercial kitchen by redirecting your resources where they’re more needed, vent hood exhaust maintenance is not it and it can end up costing you so much more by just ignoring it. That is one of the crucial tasks in your kitchen and has to be DONE RIGHT! To explain why, let’s review the importance of vent hood exhaust maintenance in commercial kitchens.

Protection from dangerous incidents

The first reason behind the importance of vent hood exhaust maintenance in a commercial kitchen is the fire hazard it poses. You see, the smoke that wafts from cooking is not just regular smoke. It is also ‘oily,’ carrying particles from whatever you are cooking. In a commercial kitchen, this means that your vent hood exhaust will, without maintenance, eventually become coated in a sticky, easily flammable layer of gunk. As long as the heat gets high enough, or if a stray spark somehow finds its way anywhere near your vent hood, you run a serious risk of that gunk immediately catching aflame. If you have ignored the building, getting rid of it alone is immensely challenging.

The overall workplace and restaurant air quality

You see, vent hoods are used in the first place because they funnel the ‘bad’ air out of your kitchen. In other words, they eliminate all the smoke and odors of cooking food, letting you maintain a relatively pleasant, sweltering air quality. In a typical commercial kitchen, the smell may still spread out to the customer area, but it will be pleasant. It can even whet the appetite and improve customers' impression of your restaurant. Things quickly change if you neglect the importance of vent hood exhaust maintenance. More and more smoke and odors will get trapped in your kitchen and eventually spread to the rest of your restaurants. At that point, attempts to improve the air quality will not work. And you’ll lose many customers, and maybe even some of your cooks, due to poor air quality.

Compliance with safety and health code requirements

If service quality and proper working conditions for your cooks don’t motivate you enough, this likely will: health and even safety codes require you to maintain and clean your vent hood properly. That is due to two different, equally important reasons for your restaurant. First, as we discussed already, restaurant exhaust hood cleaning is vital to avoid fires. No safety inspector will ever ignore such a massive threat to the safety of your restaurant. Second, health and sanitation inspectors won’t overlook it either.

Just think about what the gunk is made of! Grease, oil, and other nastiness are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. And once your hood gets dirty enough, just like when you’re looking into commercial moving in Texas and team up with the right experts to help you with your relocation, you have to hire commercial kitchen deep cleaning experts to fix things.

A reduction in the cost of your insurance

Here’s another compelling argument for the importance of vent hood exhaust maintenance: it reduces your insurance costs. As you are likely well aware, the cost of your insurance is a complex subject. But one of the main contributors is the risk level of your property. As such, it is somewhat logical that if you have a massive fire hazard in the middle of your restaurant’s kitchen, you will pay extra to insure it. The increase is not exactly small, either. Especially since if you get flagged for a vent hood, you can be shut down by safety inspections, as mentioned. The premium you’ll pay for your insurance makes a ton of difference. You’ll feel nothing but relief when you properly clean your hood and see the cost of your insurance plan fall.

The longevity of your kitchen vent hood

What we already discussed is not the only thing poor vent hood exhaust maintenance might be forcing you to pay more for. Quite frankly, one of the most significant expenses of not properly cleaning it is the cost of forcing it to work. We use the words ‘forcing it’, because that’s what it comes down to due to all the gunk. The filters, grease trap, and even exhaust hood fans get damaged or clogged up much faster without proper cleaning and maintenance. If you ignore them, you’ll eventually need to scrape them altogether. And it would not be surprising if the person you call in to fix it all up charges you extra for working in what can only be described as unsanitary and unsafe conditions. So, you might find out even that’s cheaper when you do proper maintenance!

The quality of your team’s cooking and service

The final reason for the importance of vent hood exhaust maintenance may not be instantly obvious, but it’s as essential. Namely, consider this: when do your cooks and workers perform better? When surrounded by foul odors, smoke, and worse? Or when working in a pleasant, ventilated kitchen? The answer is always the latter. When you are in a pleasant environment, you feel more energized, motivated, and happy to do your job. As a result, you put a lot more effort into it.

Conversely, seeing a run-down kitchen with grease dripping from the exhaust hood immediately signals that they don’t need to try as hard. Even if you bring in the best commercial kitchen cleaning experts, the mentality of your workers will already be worse. And that’s a lot harder to fix than an exhaust hood.

For a nicer and better-smelling kitchen

As you can tell, the importance of vent hood exhaust maintenance in commercial kitchens cannot be ignored. If you let your exhaust hood degrade, it will considerably hurt your restaurant’s quality and profitability. It might even question whether you can keep running it at all! So, never let things get to that point, and try to clean and maintain your exhaust hood regularly.

When you are ready to having it professionally cleaned right, give Cornerstone Commercial Services for a free onsite estimate. 1-800-274-3905

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