The exhaust hood is the heart of any commercial kitchen’s ventilation system. The range hood manages airflow by removing smoke, steam, soot, heat and grease vapors out of the kitchen area. The commercial kitchen exhaust hood not only protects your staff from excessive heat but also helps the cooking area remain clean. Poorly ventilated kitchens accumulate heat and humidity that support the growth of harmful bacteria and mold. To avoid this, follow these tips to find the right exhaust hood for your commercial kitchen.
1. Regulatory Compliance
The National Fire Protection Association sets the standards for commercial kitchen appliance use through the National Fire Code (NFC.)It is essential to find an exhaust hood that complies with the set national, state and local codes for commercial kitchens. Ensure that you are well acquainted with the necessary regulations.
2. Type 1 vs. Type 2
Type 1 exhaust hood systems are also known as grease hoods as they expel greasy vapors from the kitchen. The exhaust vent systems are installed above commercial grease or smoke-producing appliances such as deep fryers, boilers, barbeques and griddles. Type 2 exhaust hoods expel steam vapors and heat from non-grease appliances such as coffee machines, general ovens and commercial dishwashers.
3. Hood Exhaust Rate
It is a mathematical calculation that indicates the amount of air expelled by the vent. The rate is measured in cubic feet per meter (CFM.) The design and engineering of your exhaust hood determine the rate. Additionally, the amount of heat, smoke, vapor and grease fumes produced in your commercial kitchen should dictate the exhaust system you buy.
4. Fire Suppression Systems
Most municipal fire codes demand that exhaust hoods have a fire fail safe installed. The system connects to tanks that store fire suppression agents, which through a series of pipes put out fires through the attached sprinklers. Ensure you comply with the local fire codes on exhaust hoods’ fire suppression systems.
5. Hood Size and Design
Exhaust hood systems come in different designs that not only determine their aesthetic appeal but also affect their performance. Your exhaust vent system can be a proximal hood, wall-mounted hood or an island hood. The unique arrangement of your commercial kitchen equipment also determines the size of the exhaust hood. The NFC recommends a six-inch overhang to capture the entire zone of the cooking area.
6. Ventilation Design
Properly installed exhaust hood systems determine the balance of air expelled and pushed in. The hood system comprises of a range hood vent, an exhaust fan and a make-up air fan. The exhaust fan pushes the contaminated air and fumes out of the building while the make-up air fan replenishes the expelled air, attaining a balanced air pressure. Ensure your exhaust hood system meets the standards set for sufficient ventilation.
7. Hood Accessories
Every commercial exhaust hood system requires vents and ducts that channel the air to exhaust and make-up air fans. The tubes may require a curb where they emerge on the roof or wall. The number of bends may affect the effectiveness of your exhaust system. Some hoods may contain lights that illuminate the cooking area. Ensure the lights are compliant with the set ordinances.
Choosing the right commercial kitchen exhaust hood is one of the most important restaurant equipment purchases you can make. The tips above will guide you to an exhaust hood system that meets your needs. For more information, visit our website today.