Nobody can debate on this that restaurant kitchens are the best heat traps, most particularly in the cooking areas, where temperatures in front of a busy grill can top 105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. But how to Keep a commercial Kitchen cool. The best way to deal with this heat is the combination of ventilation, circulation and even hydration.
The efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning system will effectively provide a foundation to eliminate heat from your restaurant’s kitchen. Enhancement of essential HVAC arteries with the use of general ventilation, spot cooling with small fans or evaporative cooling, would reduce strain on employees as well as refrigeration systems.
As in the summer season the things are heating up in your commercial kitchen. The time-honored advice is “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”. But you would never want your cooks and kitchen staff to be in this hot environment.
Some basic steps to keep your commercial kitchen cool
Here are some basic steps you can take to cool things off and help keep your staff safe, healthy, and happy. Lets find out how to keep a restaurant kitchen cool.
As the exhaust hoods are basically used to capture and filter out heat, fumes, smoke and particles which makes it a lot more easy for all the air conditioners to perform at their best. The ventilation systems amount to about 28 percent of your overall energy costs and are subject to health department inspections, so you will always pay to get professional advice on installing a new or retrofitted system. You may have to consider side panels so that you can reduce cross drafts and adjustable speed ventilation fans that would consume less energy during less busy hours.
Keep it Clean
Keep in mind that your HVAC system would work at its best when it is clean which means that it will keep you cool as well as compliant with the health department as well as with every fire safety regulations.
You should always check frequently for any sort of grease, dust and other build-up throughout the whole system, and you must perform maintenance, such as replacing all the filters and vacuuming ducts, as required. You may also ask your employees that they must report any unusual room-temperature changes, which may be the first sign of developing any problem.
The air that would go out of your kitchen exhaust vents is usually replaced with a mix of make-up air through many sources that may also include the dining room, a rooftop intake unit, any open doors, or windows that are appropriately screened in order to prevent insects and other pests from invading food preparation zones. Well in order to reduce excess heat you must use shade or shutter to all of the kitchen windows that are exposed to full sun. You can later open these shades in the cool of the morning or later in the evening to let the fresh air inside.
If you work with a professional HVAC provider, you can have a good ventilation system installed. Then, you can help in making sure that you’re getting rid of smoke, odors, and hot air in your kitchen. You and your employees do not have to be unhappy this summer. If you’re tired of cooking and working in an overly hot commercial kitchen, try having a proper ventilation system. Then, you and your employees can stay nice and comfortable during the hottest months of the year.
Use little Fans
In order to eliminate excess heat you can also experiment with the proper placement so that you can find the best spot for best air circulation. Not to forget that auxiliary fans should never interfere with the working of your exhaust fans. You must aim fans away from the pick-up areas for hot food and prep areas where blowing air could scatter lighter items. You can also try with one fan on the floor and the other placed on any sturdy surface which is overhead, for example at the top of a refrigerator. All the window fans that are faced out to clear hot air or faced in to stream a cool breeze can also be useful, but you can keep the blades, boxes and fan guards dust-free obviously.
Evaporative Cooling Strategies
The debut of evaporative cooling is credited to Arizona desert dwellers who in the 1920s hung water-soaked sheets in front of their electric fans. So basically the whole concept of blowing dry air over the wet fabric developed into “swamp coolers,” that are available in all sizes from window-mounted to rooftop units. But not to forget that they usually do not function in high humidity, and they also require an outside air source, for example an open window to work properly. But on the positive side, they use four times less electricity than air conditioners and circulate fresh air other than recycled air.
Examine Your Kitchen’s Temperature
You must always monitor the temperature with the help of the thermometers that are placed around the kitchen in food preparation as well as pick-up areas. You must also educate your whole staff regarding the signs of every illness that is heat-related which also includes headache, dizziness, and nausea. You and your staff members must know how to prevent any of this illness.
You must also encourage your employees to drink a lot of water rather than dehydrating caffeine beverages and to take breaks in a shaded, cool area. Not to forget that some walk in your walk-in cooler can help a wilting worker. You should schedule all your deliveries for mornings before the heat of the day.
Have Separate HVAC Zones Installed
One thing that you will always notice is that the temperature in your commercial kitchen will always be different from the temperature that is there in your dining area. Your kitchen might be very hot due to all of your cooking that is happening all day long, while your dining area might be very cool due to the presence of air conditioners in there so all those who are sitting, and dining might feel comfortable or even cold. But just because of these reasons, you should never have your entire restaurant set up in one HVAC zone.
Instead, consider working with a commercial HVAC professional to have separate zones installed in your business. You can have one zone set up in your kitchen and one set up in the dining area. Then, you will be able to control the temperatures separately. This can help you keep your customers comfortable while ensuring that your kitchen isn’t too hot.
Keep Your Air Conditioning System in best of its Shape
Another very important tip you can follow is by keeping your commercial kitchen and the rest of your restaurant cool for the summer season, for this purpose you should always make sure that your HVAC unit is well-maintained. So, without appropriate servicing, your whole HVAC unit may break down, or it might not work as well as usual, which will leave everyone in your restaurant, from your employees to your customers, uncomfortable and nobody wants that.
For this purpose you must work with a commercial HVAC company to help you ensure that your air conditioner is properly serviced and well-maintained. You can always contact Alturas Contractors for any of this cause so that they can help prevent any breakdowns or any other issues.
Install Air Curtains
You must open up the doors and windows of your kitchen to have some cool air. Nevertheless, this might be something that you would also want to avoid due to the possibility of insects flying into your kitchen. So, to handle this situation one of the good ways to take advantage of the cool outdoor air without worrying about pests is that you can install air curtains on your kitchen’s exterior doors.
These air curtains are designed in such a way that they blow out a burst of air to help you prevent insects from coming in. With the help of these curtains you can open up your doors so that you can enjoy both ventilation as well as the nice and cool breeze that can help you and your employees stay comfortable even in the hot weather conditions.
Same as air curtains, screens can also let you open kitchen doors and windows in order to keep cool. Nevertheless, some of these restaurant managers are doubtful about opening doors and windows for ventilation, because again it can create an opportunity for pests to enter the facility just as with the curtains. But The National Restaurant Association recommends using 16 mesh per square inch screening to keep out insects. So all of your door and window frames should be properly installed with no cracks or openings so that you can keep out crawling pests such as roaches and rodents away.
When you are working in a hot environment, your body will definitely feel like using a lot of fluids more quickly so that it keeps your body functioning well. Which also includes your body being able to cool itself. You must advise your workers to drink between two to four glasses for every hour that you are working in a hot restaurant kitchen. These fluid intakes would help to maintain the proper temperature for your entire body.
Take Turns in The Walk-In
Taking turns in the walk-ins will give you the chance to cool down quickly. you can try and have turns with the whole staff so that it gets distributed fairly. When you walk in to get something try to spend an extra minute in the walk-in and let your body temperature cool down. Also putting a chair in there will allow the employees to take a cool break, as long as they are clean about it.
All those restaurants that take up this particular step will find out that their walk-ins are cleaner, treated well, and even become a place cherished by the team members.
Many of the restaurants have started to keep moist hand towels in their fridge or freezer. These hand towels are then pulled out by any of the staff members in order to put them on their necks. The cool temperature on their neck will help them to chill down for the rest of their body. They can then swap out towels whenever their towel is no longer cold. Well all the practices like these are considered best when followed up by the restaurant, so that your employees do not need to bring their own towels from home. In this way, your towels would be cleaned on site and reused by every staff member once cleaned.
Keeping your restaurant kitchen cool is very crucial. But keeping it cool can raise efficiency and protect all of your employees from heat-related health problems. You must talk to all of your team members to see if they have any more ideas to help keep the kitchen cooler because people working in the kitchen will often see areas that can be improved more than owners or managers, simply due to the fact they are in the kitchen more often.
Exhaust Your Stove
Well with ovens, grills, and fryers going frequently, kitchens get super-hot in the summer season. Add in the super-fast speed at which most chefs and kitchen staff must move, and overheating is a real issue. The efficient exhaust fan and proper venting system will help beat the heat. Air exchangers are another option. You must cool down your chefs and reduce your energy costs. Alturas Contractors can help you install, maintain, and repair the right system in your commercial kitchen.
Circulate – Get the Air Moving
Installing the appropriate air conditioning or HVAC system is the most important key. You can buy lots of energy drinks and get your staff a lot of frozen towels. Still nothing can beat having the proper cooling system. No one wants chefs passing out in the heat, many kitchens do not have the right-sized units or the proper air venting to work properly.
Keep It Moving
Can you imagine the hassle you may face in case your kitchen air conditioning or HVAC system malfunctions or breaks down? Not only will your kitchen be hot, but all of your customers are going to be uncomfortable as well. You should avoid disaster by properly maintaining your air conditioning or HVAC system. Alturas HVAC Contractors are experts in commercial appliance repair and will come to the rescue if you have a kitchen meltdown, we will rather help you with regular equipment maintenance. They can also show you easy daily maintenance to keep things moving. Simple steps like changing the air filters can make the air conditioning more efficient and cool things down. Using better quality filters is another easy fix.
Even the best system will not be able to cool down your commercial kitchen if you have equipment or supplies blocking the air vents. Having an Alturas’s commercial appliance repair specialist do a kitchen review can really help you beat this extreme heat. Effective equipment rearrangements can make a big difference without costing you a lot. Adding windows blinds, and some quality fans are very useful as well. A new set of experienced eyes will get your kitchen cooled down and working great. And that means a happier and healthier kitchen staff and a better restaurant experience for everyone.
Hire an expert from Alturas contractors if you are planning to build or renovate a restaurant kitchen. All our specialists are well trained in local building code and health department regulations. Although some of these services may be costly, having your restaurant kitchen correctly designed the first time could keep you from spending extra money to fix substandard, non-regulation upgrades and from losing money as a result of a negative health department report.
Common FAQs about Commercial Kitchen Cooling Solutions
How do hot kitchens stay cool?
The main techniques chefs use to stay cool in the kitchen are: wearing lightweight breathable clothing, having a good quality extract fan system and taking regular breaks to cooler areas of the kitchen. These are perhaps the least surprising methods but there are many more that add up to one chilled chef.
Can you have air conditioning in a commercial kitchen?
A commercial kitchen is the nerve centre of any restaurant or food-based business. Having a proper ventilation and air conditioning is necessary for any commercial kitchen. Our efficient air conditioning engineers at Alturas Contractors can provide the ideal temperature control solution for your commercial kitchen.
Can you have a floor fan in commercial kitchen?
Use fans. Although fans won’t decrease the overall temperature of your commercial kitchen, they will help circulate the air, which can make the air feel a few degrees cooler. We recommend experimenting with the placement of fans to find the best circulation