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Commercial Exhaust Hood Selection and Maintenance

As the foremost stainless steel suppliers and fabricators in Perth, we have created and installed a lot of exhaust hoods for bar, restaurant, commercial and hospital kitchens. Consequently, we have had plenty of time to perfect our operation. We have also had plenty of time and experience to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Hoods

Types of Exhaust Hoods

It is extremely important to make the right equipment choices when selecting or creating an exhaust hood. Exhaust hoods come in various shapes and sizes. They can be vented or unvented. Vented hoods draw air into the hood from the kitchen area and then direct it through a series of pipes and/or ducts away from the kitchen area, outdoors.

On the other hand, a ventless hood draws air from the kitchen area through a series of filters that clean the air. The air is then recirculated back into the kitchen.

If you have a vented hood, it will usually need to be cleaned professionally. There are specific protocols and procedures that must be followed. Some require special tools to do the job correctly and keep the hood functioning at its optimum safety and efficiency. Different types of commercial exhaust hoods have different cleaning schedules.

How to Clean

A ventless hood often doesn’t need to be professionally cleaned. This is because they are less efficient and do not circulate or clean the volume of air that a vented hood would clean. Consequently, ventless hoods are not appropriate for use in high volume kitchens.

However, ventless hoods do employ charcoal filters that cannot be cleaned. Those filters must be replaced at regular intervals depending upon the type and volume of cooking that is performed in the kitchen. Kitchens that have fryers and grills require more frequent changing of filters because of the higher amount of grease that builds up.

The charcoal filters are usually available at your favourite appliance store. However, you must take care that you are purchasing the correct filter for your ventless hood.

The exterior portions of both vented and unvented hoods should be cleaned daily. Vented hoods will be more difficult to clean because they will usually have more grease on them than a ventless hood.

It is recommended that you always have a professional clean the interior portion of a vented hood. Professionals know the methods and materials necessary to thoroughly clean the interior of a vented hood without causing any damage to the stainless steel surface. This ensures years of high quality performance.

Bacterial Buildup and Local Regulations

Due to the possibility of bacterial or fungal buildup on exhaust hoods, different locations have different regulations pertaining to how often the interior of vented exhaust hoods must be cleaned. These regulations are helpful, as they help you keep your exhaust hood running efficiently, thus increasing its lifespan.

Bacteria and mould can compromise the safety of your kitchen, exposing your staff and customers to dangerous microorganisms. To keep this from occurring, it is essential to have your exhaust hood cleaned on a regular schedule.

The maximum that a system should ever go without being cleaned is six months, but we recommend that professional cleaning is done much more frequently. The amount of volume produced in your kitchen will determine how much buildup is inside of your hood and how often it needs to be cleaned.

If your kitchen has fryers, charcoal broilers and grills, there will be a lot more build-up inside of your hood and it should be cleaned as frequently as possible. However, don’t think that a “slow” kitchen allows you the luxury of skipping scheduled cleanings. Even a slow kitchen is still subject to bacteria and mould.

Symptoms of Insufficient Cleaning

If you fail to keep the interior of your exhaust hood clean, you are exposing your employees and customers to dangerous microorganisms. Your staff will suffer more because they are there longer and many work beneath the hood.

Common symptoms of bacterial or fungal exposure are frequent or chronic respiratory or gastrointestinal illnesses.

Call Western Stainless Solutions

For more information about a custom fabricated commercial exhaust hood, call us today: 1300 794 647.

About Paul

Paul Bartlett is the owner and director of Western Stainless Solutions. He has a passionate commitment to personally seeing each project through from conception to completion. Mr Bartlett has owned Western Stainless Solutions since 2005. He had prior experience as a foreman for Caterlink, where he learned to fit out numerous restaurants with stainless steel equipment.

With Western Stainless Solutions, Mr Bartlett has overseen numerous large projects, always getting them finished on time and on budget. His favourite projects include:

  • Fiona Stanley Hospital
  • Joondalup Health Campus
  • Coles Inglewood
  • Woolworths Yanchep
  • Mt Barker Chicken
  • The Merrywell Bar
  • Perth Children's Hospital
  • St John of God Subiaco refurb and development

Mr Bartlett has extensive experience in completing large projects, but is always around to add a personal touch to projects such as restaurants and pubs.

Mr Bartlett also has experience in the sports world. He currently serves as a volunteer coach for School Sports WA and spent two years as the General Manager of the Stirling Senators in the State Basketball League.

The bottom line: Mr Bartlett specialises in getting things done. He has a “hands-on” approach that is rare for owners of businesses the size of Western Stainless Solutions.