Five Things

Five things you can do right now to maintain your kitchen exhaust system.

  1. Clean your filters weekly in the dishwasher. This is an easy way to keep grease from getting built up within your system and baked on!
  2. Horizontal duct work requires access panels every 12 feet, or frequent enough to allow total access. Strategic placement is critical, per NFPA 96 Fire Code 7.4.1.2. We use these panels to gain proper access to get in and get grease out! If panels are needed, we can install any of a variety of 2,300 degree fire-rated panels.
  3. Are your rooftop fans hinged? Not only is NFPA Fire Code 7.8.2.1, but it allows us to clean the duct work below properly. Just as importantly we can clean grease from your fan blades, which can get out of balance and cause serious vibration. We sometimes see fans that are hinged, but the electrical wiring prevents them opening to 90 degrees.
  4. Do you have grease containment for your roof? Again, NFPA Fire Code 7.8.2.1 states upblast fans need a grease catching system. You'll want one too so the grease doesn't damage your roof!
  5. Estimate how often your hood needs cleaning. This comes under NFPA Fire Code 11.4, 11.6.1, 11.6.2. It's actually very easy to get a general idea with a little guidance: For low use, such as seasonal or kitchens that are only operating 1-2 days a week, a yearly cleaning may be enough. Most year-round businesses need at least a twice per year schedule. For higher volume kitchens it will be every three months, monthly, or even bi-weekly. If you are still wondering how often your kitchen exhaust system should be cleaned, give us a call! We have a three-step process that narrow it down to the optimum cycle for your establishment.
pressure washer

Great! You now have some things you can do on your own. What about your hood and duct cleaning company? Are they going to do a good job? What makes for a great hood and duct cleaning company? Read on!

Five things you should look for in a kitchen exhaust cleaning company.

  1. Great communication. A thorough company will set up a proper cleaning cycle with you and notify you when it's time.
  2. Look for computer savvy: e-mail prolific, electronic invoicing, flexible payment terms, and scheduling by e-mail, text, or phone.
  3. Conscientious and dedicated technicians.Technicians are certified and who get paid hourly rather than "by the job" will normally take the time to do the job right instead of rushing through it.
  4. Equipment matters. If powerful enough, one pressure washer can handle all the right cleaning tasks. However, two pressure washers--one for the kitchen and another for the roof--is a much more efficient use of time. Look for the latest technology in tools: magnetic scrapers and duct spinners allow cutting-edge cleaning for getting the job done right. Another great tool is the digital camera which can take before/after photos to validate the work done.
  5. Find a separate certified fire suppression inspection company. It is your interest to meet NFPA 96 fire code and have your hood and duct cleaning done to a high standard. To be sure, you need your hood and duct cleaning company to be accountable to a separate inspection company. This does not happen if the same company inspects its own cleaning.