Commercial kitchen hood cleaning services are essential for any restaurant′s fire protection system. In most cases, they can extend the life span of your kitchen hood and ductwork significantly while also saving you money on equipment repairs and replacements. The importance of hood cleaning, what to look out for in a cleaning service, and the benefits of using a kitchen hood cleaning service are key topics that need to be considered by restaurants.
Importance of Kitchen Hood Cleaning
Regular kitchen hood cleaning is essential for several different reasons.
1. Enhance kitchen airflow
Cleaning your commercial kitchen hood can improve the airflow and reduce back pressure, which will enhance your commercial range′s fire suppression system by allowing it to function at optimal levels.
2. Reduces kitchen fire risk
The most important reason to clean your commercial kitchen hood is that it reduces fire risk. The more grease and oil that builds up in your hood, the lower your fire suppression system′s ability to fully extinguish a fire.
Kitchen fires that go unnoticed or unattended can quickly escalate into massive infernos that cause significant damage. In addition to the fire risk, cooking oil and grease fires are considered one of the most dangerous types of fires, causing more fatalities annually than all home fires combined.
3. Extend the life span of the equipment
Regular hood cleaning prevents grease and grime from building up on your equipment, which can lower the equipment′s lifespan. By investing in regular kitchen hood cleaning, you can avoid replacing equipment shortly.
4. Ensures compliance with NFPA 96 regulations
NFPA 96 regulations are essential to follow when retrofitting a building with a commercial range, hood, and duct system. Failure to comply with these standards may result in fines and penalties, so it′s essential to hire reputable commercial hood cleaning services.
5. Maximizes energy efficiency
Clean hood filters allow your range to operate more efficiently, saving you money on gas or electricity costs. Dirty filters force your range to work harder, which results in the need for more energy. By investing in regular hood cleaning services, you can save money on your energy bills.
Why use a kitchen hood cleaning service
The following are several benefits of using a professional kitchen hood cleaning service.
1. Professional service
Cleaning your kitchen hoods and ventilation systems by hand is a challenging task. It requires a significant amount of time and effort to do it right. Using a professional service ensures that the job gets done correctly, efficiently, and quickly.
These service providers invest in the proper tools and training to get your system clean. They can easily handle even the most challenging debris, grease, or carbon buildup.
2. Saves time
Restaurants can clean their kitchen hoods, but it is time-consuming and challenging. It certainly isn't a priority for most restaurant owners, thus leading to dirty kitchen ventilation systems.
Using a professional service ensures that the job gets done quickly while saving you from making this a top priority. This will free up your time so that you can focus on other areas of your business.
3. Comply with fire codes
Different areas have different fire codes and regulations. However, it is typically a requirement to regularly clean your kitchen hoods and ventilation systems. Using a professional service ensures that you comply with all local and state regulations while saving you the effort of battling the city or county inspectors over fines for not cleaning your system.
4. Prevent damage
Another reason to use a professional service is that it prevents damage to your vent fans, ductwork, and filters.
When you clean your kitchen hoods by hand using harsh chemicals or abrasives, this can cause significant damage over time. These substances are too vital for many materials inside commercial ventilation systems.
Using a professional service ensures that your equipment will not be damaged or corroded over time. This, of course, saves you the effort and expense required to replace these items.
5. Ensures safety
These companies are fully trained in all aspects of commercial kitchen ventilation systems. They know how to properly inspect, test, and clean the hoods and procedures to ensure complete safety.
What to look out for in a cleaning service
When you choose a professional kitchen hood cleaning service, you must ensure that they meet specific requirements. The following questions and suggestions will help ensure that you find a high-quality service provider.
1. Does the company have certification?
Before hiring any kitchen hood cleaning service, be sure to ask to see their certifications and licenses. This includes business licenses, fire department approvals for safety purposes if they use specific chemicals or other substances, and business liability insurance if they utilize chemicals or abrasives.
2. Insurance coverage details
Never hire any service provider that doesn't have proper business coverage. You want to make sure that they are fully insured for your protection, as well as their own.
By inquiring about their insurance coverage, you can ask how it works and if they have a deductible. It would help determine how the service provider pays for any damage made during cleaning work.
3. Ask to see references from other clients
Ask the company for a list of referrals and their contact information. Then you can call those clients and ask about their experiences with the service provider.
4. Get a written estimate and plan of action
If they do not provide this, move on to the next company. This is part of doing business, and having an agreement in writing, whether on paper or digitally, ensures that you have all terms clearly stated before starting work on any project. What commercial kitchen ventilation services do they offer? Look for a service provider that offers several different services such as:
- Hood cleaning (both interior and exterior)
- Grease removal from traps and pumps
- Remove animal nests/bird droppings inside the hoods
- Repair, replacement, and installation of ductwork and filters for both indoor and outdoor systems
- Test and inspect the entire ventilation system to assure that it is operating properly
5. What chemicals, substances, and tools do they use?
Find out if the service provider uses any harsh chemicals or abrasives in their work and how they ensure that they are safe for your equipment. You also want to make sure that only one person will be using these materials and know-how to handle them properly.
6. Soak or wash – which is better?
Some companies use harsh chemicals and power scrubbing; others use only water and specialized rinses. When you ask about their procedures, find out which is used and if there's a big difference between the two.
7. Ask about pre-inspection and post-inspection procedures
Inspections are an essential part of commercial kitchen ventilation systems, so you want to know how they inspect your equipment. You also want to find out what report they provide for these inspections. What is the cost?
Kitchen hood cleaning is a task that requires special equipment and training. You want to find a professional kitchen hood cleaning service, but you do not want to pay an excessive amount as it is money well spent for your health and safety and the longevity of your equipment.
8. Equipment to clean the kitchen hood
Kitchen hoods are often made of stainless steel, aluminum, or enamel. For these types of hoods, you want to work with a service provider that has experience working with these metals and can use specialized tools for cleaning.
9. Consider the cost vs. benefit
Be sure to consider all aspects before deciding on a service provider. Compare the cost of cleaning yourself versus hiring a professional, and then factor in the benefits of having an expert do it for you, such as:
- Increased safety when using harsh chemicals, power scrubbing tools
- Safety from working at dangerous heights
- Avoiding damage due to faulty equipment
10. Ask about their after-service plans
If you are satisfied with their work, ask the service provider about long-term service contracts. This way, your equipment will always be well cared for and cleaned regularly.
Nothing speaks more eloquently of a restaurant's care for its customers than cleanliness in all areas—especially the kitchen appliances. Most restaurant owners prioritize keeping their furniture, flooring, and kitchen appliances clean to present a pleasant appearance to their guests. The kitchen hood needs special attention because it is responsible for extracting cooking odors, heat, and steam from the kitchen. Still, many restaurateurs ignore this appliance or try to clean it themselves with disastrous results.
Restaurant owners must understand that professional help is required to clean the hood properly. If you try cleaning it yourself, there is no guarantee that you will get all dirt and grease from crevices in the hood because these areas are susceptible to accumulating dirt over time. In other establishments, kitchen staff spray cooking oil on the surfaces to prevent dust from getting—this practice only makes cleaning more difficult. As a result, it is common to see grease and dirt in the hood. Cleaning the kitchen hood regularly ensures that it continues to work correctly.