How to Clean Commercial Kitchen Exhaust System

kitchen exhaust system cleaning

Commercial areas like restaurants, kitchens, and industries have exhaust and ventilation systems installed to keep the environment free of pollutants. Unfortunately, many restaurants do not ensure kitchen exhaust system cleaning. With the continuous and excessive use of the exhaust fans, grease accumulates in the exhaust system can put stress on the fan motor and bearings and cause the motor to fail.

Once the system fails, the ambience of the commercial area gets ruined, thus badly affecting the productivity of the commercial kitchen. That is why cleaning the exhaust system now and then is compulsory to extend the life of your exhaust system and avoid any mishaps.

How to Clean Exhaust Kitchen?

How to Clean Commercial Kitchen Exhaust System 3 How to Clean Commercial Kitchen Exhaust System Alturas Contractors 1

As important as it is for the outer part of the exhaust system to look appealing and clean, keeping the inner part is even more important. Following are some of the commercial kitchen exhaust system cleaning tips to ensure people’s safety and hygiene and decrease the costs of repairing equipment.

  • It makes the unit run more efficiently
  • Prevents grease fires 
  • Customer satisfaction (no one likes a dirty atmosphere to eat in!)
  • Enhanced air quality
  • Removal of odor and grease:
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Lower temperatures
  • Reduce the risk of health problems
  • Reduces dampness

Easy Kitchen Exhaust System Cleaning Checklist

kitchen exhaust system cleaning

Following are the steps that can be followed to perform regular kitchen exhaust system cleaning:

Turn off The power supply

Make sure to switch off the power supply of the exhaust system before cleaning. By switching off the power supply to the system, cleaning can be done properly, while reducing the risk of an electric shock. It will also prevent any damage to the exhaust system and the risk of appliance vibration that will shake off all the dirt and make the area messy.

Cover Equipments

To contain all the greasy water runoff, cover the equipment with plastic and channel it into a container using a funnel.

Use a Vacuum

A very cost-effective way to clean the dirt and debris from the inner parts of an exhaust fan is to suck it with a vacuum cleaner. A vacuum will remove any clogs inside the fan. It will also remove allergens and other particles that might trigger an asthma attack if inhaled directly.

Clean and Remove Filters 

First carefully remove the grease filter with gloves on. The grease and dirt on the filter affect the smooth functioning of the exhaust system.  Make a dishwashing soap and baking soda solution in hot water. Place the hood filters in the solution and let them soak for 15 minutes. Take a non-abrasive cleaning brush and scrub the filters to remove the remaining grease. Rinse your filters and dry them off.

Apply Degreaser

To save yourself from this situation, it is necessary to clean the fan blades. To do so, Wear your synthetic rubber gloves. Grab an aerosol degreaser. Spray all over the surfaces of the fan. Remove the extra grease on the fan blades by rubbing soft brush bristles on them. Wait a few minutes for the liquid to dissolve the grease and dust, then wipe the fan with a clean cloth. Finally, you can wash your exhaust fan with warm soapy water to remove any remains of grease. The process takes a few minutes so it is easy to do it regularly.

Check fan blade movement

The dirt accumulates very easily on the blades of the exhaust fan with continuous use. Check the fan blade’s movement, if they are moving freely without any friction, it means the condition is fine, If they are not, you may need to lubricate them.

Clean the Exhaust Fan

Take out the exhaust fan for degreasing with the appropriate chemical. Replace the fan belt if needed, then pressure wash thoroughly to eliminate all grease.

Clean the Hood

Scrub the hood manually to loosen grease and debris, followed by applying degreasing chemicals. Finally, use a hot water pressure washer to eliminate any remaining grease from the system.

Re-install filters

Once all parts of the exhaust system have undergone thorough cleaning, reinsert the filters into the hood.

Verify Airflow

Following the reinstallation, conduct an airflow verification process. This involves testing the system to confirm that air flows smoothly through the filters and the entire exhaust setup.

Related: Importance of a Restaurant Ventilation System

Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Requirements

Adherence to NFPA 96 standards is essential in maintaining safety and hygiene within commercial kitchens. These guidelines outline rigorous requirements for kitchen exhaust cleaning, ensuring the removal of grease buildup in ducts, hoods, and filters. Compliance with NFPA 96 standards is crucial to prevent fire hazards, maintain air quality, and promote a clean environment, thus safeguarding both the establishment and its occupants.

How Often Should You Clean Kitchen Exhaust Fan?

Monthly: Systems serving solid fuel cooking operations.

Quarterly: Systems serving high-volume cooking operations, such as 24-hour cooking, charbroiling, or wok cooking.

Semi-Annually: Systems serving moderate-volume cooking operations.

Annually: Systems Serving low-volume cooking operations.

Commercial exhaust and ventilation system cleaning can be very challenging and time-consuming as exhaust fans are usually heavy and can be difficult to move, thus it’s the job of HVAC specialists to provide cleaning and maintenance services for exhaust systems. A thorough inspection, cleaning regularly, and getting it serviced by Alturas HVAC specialists in Los Angeles ensures the long-lasting life span of your exhaust system.

Common FAQs About Kitchen Exhaust System Cleaning

How to clean kitchen exhaust fan without removing?

To clean a kitchen exhaust fan without removing it, start by turning off the power. Wipe the visible surfaces with a degreaser or soapy water. Use a vacuum with a brush attachment to remove loose dirt. Finish by spraying a cleaning solution onto the fan blades and grille, then wipe them clean with a damp cloth.

How do you clean kitchen vent ducts?

Cleaning kitchen vent ducts involves several steps. Start by turning off the power and removing the vent covers. Use a vacuum with a brush attachment to remove loose debris. Then, scrub the ducts using a long-handled brush and a cleaning solution. Finish by reinstalling the vent covers.

What is the best thing to clean exhaust with?

Degreasers or a blend of hot water and dish soap are excellent for cleaning exhaust systems. Use commercial degreasers or solutions formulated for kitchen grease. Apply onto the surface, scrub thoroughly, and rinse with water. Always verify the cleaner’s compatibility and adhere to safety precautions during the cleaning process.

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