MonthOctober 2018

Investing in Kitchen Hood Cleaning

You can clean the external portion of your kitchen hoods along with the kitchen surfaces as part of your daily cleaning process. However, for the more complex kitchen exhaust system, you need professionals for the job. You need to be compliant of a certain regulation called the NFPA-96 Standard. This standard calls for compliance for all commercial kitchen operators.

Benefits of clean kitchen hoods

  • Reduced risk of kitchen fires
  • Incorporated as a standard part of the overall maintenance plan
  • Improved ventilation for smoke and odor removal
  • Compliance with fire and health codes requiring kitchen exhaust cleaning
  • Comfortable working environment for kitchen staff
  • Lower insurance premiums offered by some insurance companies

Hiring a kitchen hood cleaning company is quite easy because there are a lot of them nowadays. You just need the right people to do the job. NFPA-96 Standard requires them to be properly qualified and licensed. Since your kitchen exhaust system needs a thorough cleaning down to “bare metal”, it is best to hire professionals. Remember that a clean kitchen exhaust system creates a more comfortable cooking environment for the people inside it. It will also minimize the risk of a fire hazard which is extremely dangerous for everybody.

It is important to invest in good kitchen hood cleaning companies because they can make you stay in the food business. Incompliance with NFPA-96 Standard can give you a hard time especially when you’re dealing with authorities. Regular kitchen hood cleaning makes you compliant with the standard and decreases the chance of a restaurant fire.


Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Improves Kitchen Productivity


Many businessmen are trying to venture into the food industry because they can see potential growth in this area. Of course, all people need to eat. When traveling abroad, people love to explore different kinds of cuisines. That’s why a restaurant business is always a good idea.

However, in the same way, that you think of ways to keep your restaurant in business, you should also keep in mind the responsibilities you have as a restaurant owner. One of these things is your kitchen exhaust system. Your kitchen exhaust system is a vital part of your restaurant. It pulls away unwanted odors, air pollutants in the air and exhausts it out in the atmosphere. Imagine your kitchen life without your kitchen hoods. Your restaurant will be filled with smoke, and you may lose your patrons because of this. Any businessman won’t like that, so remember to always keep your kitchen hoods free from any grease build-up.

Why do you need professional kitchen hood cleaning?

Spraying hood for cleaning

To start, let’s define kitchen hood cleaning. It is the process of removing any accumulated grease inside the ducts and vents of your kitchen hoods. A thorough cleaning of your kitchen hoods involved all the ducts, fans, and all associated ductworks. A much stricter compliance of kitchen hood cleaning is being implemented if you are a commercial kitchen operator. You need professional kitchen hood cleaning for the following reasons:

  • To minimize fire hazard

Your kitchen hoods over time are filled with grease and other grimes which are not good. Grease is a contributing factor for a fire to occur. In any state- solid, liquid or vapor form, grease can ignite easily. Regularly cleaning your kitchen hoods will save your investment in structure and your people. It can prevent the occurrence of a restaurant fire.

  • To be compliant with the existing regulation

The standard governing the proper cleaning of kitchen hoods is outlined in the National Fire Protection Association Standard 96 (NFPA-96 Standard) otherwise known as the Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations. This regulation provides the minimum fire safety standards related to the design, installation, operation, inspection, and maintenance of all public and private cooking operations. All commercial kitchen operators are required of full cooperation and compliance of this standard.

  • To create an improved air circulation inside the kitchen

If your kitchen hoods are clogged with grease, the air inside your kitchen can be polluted. Also, the overall ambiance of your kitchen will not be good. There is also a high presence of carbon monoxide in your kitchen which is not good for the human body. A high level of carbon monoxide can cause poisoning. If your kitchen hoods are clean, air circulation is improved inside your kitchen.

  • To maximize your kitchen equipment’s performance

Since kitchen hood cleaning improves the air circulation inside the kitchen, it also increases the efficiency and performance of your equipment. In a businessman’s point of view, more efficient kitchen equipment means more production at lower costs. In the long run, you will be saving on your energy bills and maintenance costs as well.

How does kitchen exhaust cleaning improve kitchen productivity?

Since kitchen exhaust cleaning creates a cooler environment in your kitchen area, it will also give you a more comfortable working environment. The people who will benefit the most in this are your employees. They will appreciate you as their employer because you are thinking of their comfort. In return, happy employees are productive at work. Your chef might invent a new recipe or he might improve one of your signature dishes. Your other employees will serve your customers with a smile on their faces. If your kitchen staff are productive, work is done faster while reducing production costs. Analyzing it carefully, you are a winner in both situations.

Over time, grease buildup within the kitchen systems may cause component failure, preventing your staff from completing their work to the highest of standards. Within a commercial kitchen space, exhaust cleaning ensures systems remain clean and perform to peak capacity. This enables staff to focus on their work with the ideal tools at their disposal around the clock. Also, a regular cleaning or inspection schedule reduces the risk of the exhaust system and its components from operating poorly. In the long run, it will reduce any costly downtime that comes with mechanical failure.


DIY Cleaning vs. Kitchen Hood Cleaning Professionals

Kitchen hoods are sometimes overlooked in the kitchen. However, this amazing kitchen equipment contributes a lot in preventing odors from spreading in the entire kitchen area. Thus, kitchen hoods need to be cleaned and maintained properly to ensure their maximum performance.

Spraying foam

But the big question here is, “Should you do the cleaning by yourself or should you hire kitchen hood cleaning professionals?”

DIY Cleaning

Although it may seem simpler to hire professionals to clean your kitchen hoods, there are some advantages to cleaning them yourself.

  • Cost Savings

Most restaurant owners are always looking for cost savings. Cleaning your hoods can save you some dollars every year.

  • More frequency in cleaning

Since you are doing it yourself, you can always clean your kitchen hoods anytime you want. The result will be a much cleaner restaurant and a decreased chance of fires.

Kitchen Hood Cleaning Professionals

Now, these are the reasons why you should hire kitchen hood cleaning professionals in dealing with grease buildup in your hoods.

  • State of the art equipment

Kitchen hood cleaning companies regularly upgrade their equipment to be able to meet customer’s maximum satisfaction. They need to do that to stay in business and to be at par with their competitors. Due to their state of the art equipment, kitchen hood cleaning can be a breeze. They will also find other ways to clean your kitchen hoods properly and thoroughly.

  • Licensed and certified

Most kitchen hood cleaning companies are licensed to perform cleaning. They have expertise in this kind of profession. They did not stay in this kind of business for nothing. They have the necessary experience to do the cleaning job and give you the best results. You can check their past works to have an idea on how they handle the cleaning job.

Now it is important to know here that a commercial kitchen operator needs to be compliant with the NFPA-96 Standard in order to continue in business. DIY cleaning can be applied to small food businesses such as food truck business.


A Walkthrough of the NFPA-96 Standard


Any commercial kitchen operator is familiar with the NFPA-96 Standard. Why? It is because they will not be able to operate if they are incompliant with this standard. This law is the governing standard by which all kitchen exhaust systems will operate. It provides the minimum fire safety standards related to the design, installation, operation, inspection, and maintenance of all public and private cooking operations.

This standard has changed drastically throughout the years from the first time it was published in 1961 to today. When this fire code was first written by the National Fire Protection Association in 1961, it was just a simple requirement on how one should go about cleaning a kitchen exhaust system. In our present time, it also outlined the specific guidelines on the design, installation, operation, inspection, and maintenance of the full spectrum of cooking equipment, kitchen hoods, grease removal devices, exhaust duct systems, fans, fire suppression systems and clearance to combustibles.

Important guidelines of the standard

  1. Frequency of cleaning

NFPA-96 Standard section 11.4 states, “The entire exhaust system shall be inspected for grease build up by a properly trained, qualified and certified person(s) acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction and in accordance with Table 11.4”

  • Monthly- These are for systems serving solid fuel cooking operations
  • Quarterly- These are for systems serving high-volume operations, such as 24-hour cooking, charbroiling, wok cooking, etc.
  • Semi-annually- These are for systems serving moderate-volume cooking operations
  • Annually- These are for systems serving low-volume cooking operations, such as churches, day camps, seasonal business or senior centers.
  1. Definition of clean

The industry standard is to clean to “bare metal.” According to NFPA-96 Standard section 11.6.2, “Hoods, grease removal devices, fans, ducts, and other appurtenances shall be cleaned to remove combustible contaminants prior to surfaces becoming heavily contaminated with grease or oily sludge.” The best way to determine if a surface is clean is to inspect it. If it looks like there is an accumulation of grease on a surface, then it probably needs cleaning. You can ask your kitchen hood cleaning contractor for the procedures they can perform to have your whole kitchen exhaust systems cleaned to bare metal.

  1. Reporting of cleaning

NFPA-96 Standard 11.4.13 states, “After cleaning is completed, the vent cleaning contractor shall place or display within the kitchen area a label indicating the date cleaned and the name of the servicing company, as well as areas not cleaned.”

  1. Importance of access doors

NFPA-96 sections 7.4.1 and 7.4.2 recommend the installation of openings large enough to permit thorough cleaning at a minimum of every 12 feet of horizontal ductworks and on every floor of vertical ductwork. It is also necessary to have access doors at every change of direction.

  1. The responsibility of the owner

In accordance to NFPA-96 Standard section 4.1.5, “the responsibility for inspection, testing, maintenance and cleanliness of the ventilation control and fire protection of the commercial cooking operations shall ultimately be that of the owner of the system, provided that this responsibility has not been transferred in written form to the management company or another party.”