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Blog » Choose the Right Exhaust Hood for Your Commercial Kitchen

November 9, 2022


The time, effort, and capital required to build a commercial kitchen are colossal, let alone the design work and creativity that goes into planning a restaurant. A range hood may be the very last thing on your mind, but we are here to tell you, that big boxy piece of stainless steel is going to make or break your ability to properly run a kitchen. A good quality exhaust hood will be the most important investment in ensuring thorough ventilation in a commercial kitchen. It’s not to be sidelined in the decision-making process.

The range hood in a kitchen manages airflow by removing smoke, steam, soot, heat, and grease vapors from the cooking area. Poorly ventilated kitchens allow a buildup of heat and humidity which then supports the growth of harmful bacteria and mold. A big no-no in a commercial kitchen. A quality commercial kitchen exhaust hood clears the air of humidity and particles, protecting the kitchen staff from overheating and keeping the kitchen air safe and clean.

Consider the following when looking for a commercial kitchen exhaust hood:

Ventilation Design

The entire range hood system consists 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. The make-up air fan replenishes the expelled air, attaining a balanced air pressure. Whatever design you choose must meet the standards set for sufficient ventilation, providing the right balance of air pulled out and clean air pushed back in.

Two Types of Range Hoods

Depending on the type of food your kitchen prepares, you will need to know the differences between the types of exhaust hood systems. You may need to have both types installed. Type I hoods, or Grease Hoods, are used to remove heat, smoke, condensation, and greasy particles from the kitchen. These exhaust systems are installed above commercial grease or smoke-producing appliances such as deep fryers, boilers, barbecues, and griddles. Type II exhaust hoods remove steam vapors and heat from other appliances such as coffee makers, pasta cookers, general ovens, and commercial dishwashers.

Hood Size and Design

Once your dream cooking range is installed, you’ll want to consider an exhaust range that compliments the design and accommodates the size needed. The different designs of exhaust hood systems affect their performance. You will also need to determine its location, which will also determine the style you choose, whether a proximal hood, wall-mounted hood, or an island hood. The arrangement of your kitchen appliances and equipment will also be a factor in determining the size of the exhaust hood. The National Fire Code recommends a six-inch overhang to ensure the entire cooking area is covered

Fire Code Compliance

Get yourself familiar with local, state, and federal fire codes. The range you choose must comply with all three. The National Fire Protection Association sets these standards for commercial kitchen appliance use through the National Fire Code and the right range hood will help keep in compliance.

Hood Exhaust Rate

The design and engineering of your exhaust hood determine the rate and volume of air expelled by the vent in cubic feet per meter. If you are operating a large, busy kitchen, you will need to remove larger quantities of heat, smoke, vapor, and grease fumes produced in your commercial kitchen. Look for a range hood that can accommodate this larger rate.

Fire Suppression Systems

Another reason to get familiar with local, state, and federal fire codes. 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. Your exhaust hoods should have a fire suppression system in compliance with the fire codes.

Hood Accessories Must Maintain Compliance

Commercial exhaust hood systems need to channel air to the exhaust fans and make-up air fans via a system of vents and ducts. The tubes and ducts may require a curb where they emerge on the roof or wall. The number of bends in the curb may affect the effectiveness of your exhaust system. Some hoods may contain lights that illuminate the cooking area but they must be compliant with the set ordinances.

Purchasing a commercial kitchen exhaust hood is one of the most important restaurant equipment purchases you’ll make. Once your hood range is installed, you will need to maintain its cleanliness in order to ensure its effectiveness. Check out the reasons behind this here.

At On the Spot Cleaners, we use the latest technology and equipment to clean your commercial kitchen exhaust hood. This includes a system that removes all of the grease and debris from your hood, as well as an industrial-strength degreaser that cuts through the toughest grime. If you operate a commercial kitchen, then you know how important it is to keep your exhaust hood clean. Not only does this help to prevent fires, but it also helps to keep your kitchen clean and free of smoke and odors. At On The Spot Cleaners, we use the latest technology to clean your exhaust hood according to NFPA 96 standards. We will clean the hood exhaust fan, hood plenum, interior of the hood, grease trays, grease cups, and grease filters. This will help to keep your kitchen safe and clean and free of fire hazards.

On The Spot Cleaners has been cleaning kitchen exhaust hoods in the Rochester, NY, and Canandaigua, NY areas for over 20 years, we're dedicated to exceptional service and customer satisfaction. Get in touch today!