Every appliance in your kitchen needs cleaning every now and then. Just like any other equipment in your kitchen, your hoods need the same cleaning and maintenance. If you are a commercial kitchen operator, you need to have your kitchen exhaust system cleaned by professionals. This is in compliance with the existing standard which is NFPA-96.
NFPA-96 Standard 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 and kitchen exhaust hood cleaners must observe strict compliance with this regulation.
National Fire Protection Association Standard 96
This standard also includes the frequency of cleaning your kitchen exhaust system. As the cooking process varies in every kind of kitchen, the frequency of cleaning also differs. According to the standard, your kitchen hoods should be cleaned following this schedule:
- 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.
Steps in Kitchen Hood Cleaning
Depending on your chosen cleaning company, your kitchen exhaust cleaning professionals generally perform the following steps in the kitchen exhaust cleaning process.
- Prep kitchen
Kitchen exhaust cleaning professionals have to protect your kitchen appliances and floors from being splattered with grease before they do anything. Cleaning kitchen exhaust systems is a messy process, which is why the fire protection company you hire should take every precaution to keep the rest of your kitchen clean.
- Clean grease baffle filters
Once the kitchen has been prepared, kitchen hood cleaning companies remove the kitchen baffle filters and soak them in cleaning chemicals for a couple of hours. The solution loosens grease buildup before they pressure wash them to blast away hardened grease.
- Remove hardened grease from ductwork
A kitchen hood cleaning contractor will manually scrape grease buildup from the insides of ducts. After hardened grease has been removed, a chemical mixture will be sprayed and allowed to sit for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Clean exhaust fan
The kitchen exhaust fan is then so removed to be able to spray both the top and bottom of the fan with cleaning chemicals. During this time, kitchen hood cleaners should also change the fan belt before cleaning down to the bare metal through pressure washing.
- Pressure wash kitchen hood
The hardened grease buildup inside the hood is scraped by hand. Chemicals are then sprayed into the hood and allowed to sit until grease loosens. Hot pressure washing is used to remove the loosened grease.
- Pressure wash the entire system
Once the cleaning chemicals have done their job and loosened hardened grease, the contractor will blast out any remaining grease with a pressure washer. Since the contractor sprays from top to bottom, the greasy water runs down and collects in the plastic funnel.
- Replace filters and polish hood
Once the kitchen hood filters have been properly cleaned, they are ready to be placed back in the hood. To help your kitchen hood look professional, the contractor should wipe down the exterior of the hood with a special polish.
- Inspect kitchen exhaust system
During the inspection, the fire protection contractor will test the exhaust fan to ensure the system is working properly and is ready to be used.
- Apply certification sticker
Once your kitchen hood system passes inspection, the contractor will put a certification sticker on each hood. The sticker is required by law because it proves that the kitchen hood was cleaned on a certain date to the health department, fire inspectors and insurance agents. After issuing the certification sticker, your kitchen exhaust cleaning company will clean up so your kitchen looks better.
It is always important to hire professionals for this kind of job. First, they are professionals so they are the experts when it comes to this field. Second, they can do the job perfectly. Last, this is the requirement of NFPA-96 Standard- that your kitchen hoods are cleaned only by certified cleaning companies.