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  • Shawn Anderson

Types of Commercial Kitchen Hoods: Which One Fits Your Restaurant Best?

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

If you’re planning to open a restaurant, the kitchen hood is an essential piece of equipment. The type of hood you choose will depend on the size and layout of your kitchen and the type of food you plan to serve. In this blog post, we'll discuss the different types of commercial kitchen hoods available and help you decide which one is best suited for your restaurant. Read on to learn more!


Overview of commercial kitchen hoods


Commercial kitchen hoods are essential for ensuring a safe and healthy environment for both kitchen staff and customers. These hoods remove heat, smoke, and other harmful pollutants from the kitchen and maintain the air quality. A proper ventilation system helps reduce the risk of fires, maintain the temperature in the kitchen, and ensure that cooking odors do not affect the dining area.


Commercial kitchen hoods come in different sizes, shapes, and styles, but their primary function is to trap and remove heat and smoke. These hoods feature a fan that draws in the contaminated air, which passes through filters to remove the grease and other pollutants. The air then flows out of the building through the exhaust system.


The design and size of a kitchen hood depend on the type of cooking equipment and the volume of cooking. The ideal ventilation system is one that meets the local safety regulations and provides an effective solution for removing pollutants and maintaining the kitchen's air quality. A professional ventilation contractor can help select and install the best hood system for your commercial kitchen.


Types of exhaust hoods


Exhaust hoods are a critical component of any commercial kitchen, as they help to remove smoke, grease, steam, and other contaminants from the air. There are several types of exhaust hoods to choose from, each with their own benefits and drawbacks.

1. Wall-mounted canopy hoods: These hoods are mounted on the wall behind the cooking equipment and extend over the cooktop or range. They are one of the most common types of exhaust hoods, and can be used in most kitchen setups.


2. Island canopy hoods: Similar to wall-mounted canopy hoods, island canopy hoods are suspended from the ceiling above cooking equipment located on an island or peninsula.


3. Proximity hoods: These hoods are typically used in smaller kitchens or for individual pieces of equipment, such as a pizza oven or fryer. They are designed to be positioned very close to the cooking surface, which allows them to capture smoke and heat more effectively.


4. Dishwasher hoods: These hoods are designed to remove steam and heat from commercial dishwashers, helping to prevent water damage and ensure a comfortable work environment for staff.


Choosing the right exhaust hood will depend on a variety of factors, such as the size of your kitchen, the type of cooking equipment you use, and local codes and regulations. A commercial kitchen hood specialist can help you determine which type of exhaust hood is best for your needs.


Types of makeup air units


When considering a commercial kitchen hood system, it’s important to also think about makeup air units. These units help replace the air being exhausted from the kitchen and maintain proper air balance.

There are a few different types of makeup air units, including powered makeup air units, passive makeup air units, and tempered makeup air units. Powered makeup air units utilize a fan to bring in fresh air from the outside. These units are great for larger kitchens that require a lot of ventilation. Passive makeup air units don’t use a fan but instead rely on natural air flow. These units are best for smaller kitchens with low air flow requirements.

Tempered makeup air units use heating or cooling elements to adjust the temperature of the incoming air. This is important in areas with extreme temperatures, as it helps regulate the overall temperature in the kitchen.

Choosing the right makeup air unit is crucial to ensuring your kitchen stays well-ventilated and comfortable for your staff. Consult with a professional to determine which unit is best for your specific needs.


Ventilation hood designs


When it comes to the design of commercial kitchen hoods, there are two main types: canopy hoods and proximity hoods.


Canopy hoods are the most common type of ventilation hood found in commercial kitchens. These hoods are mounted directly over the cooking equipment and capture smoke, grease, and steam through a series of filters. The contaminated air is then extracted through ductwork and expelled outside.


Proximity hoods, on the other hand, are typically found in larger kitchens where there are several cooking stations. These hoods are placed above the entire cooking line and have a deeper canopy that covers multiple appliances. This design helps to ensure that all the smoke, grease, and steam generated by the cooking equipment is captured.


Additionally, there are also specialized hoods designed for specific types of cooking equipment, such as wok hoods, which have a unique shape to accommodate the round-bottomed woks commonly used in Asian cuisine.


When selecting a ventilation hood, it's essential to consider the specific requirements of your kitchen and cooking equipment. Working with a professional hood installation team can help ensure that you choose the right design for your kitchen and that it's installed correctly.


Factors to consider when choosing a hood


When it comes to selecting a commercial kitchen hood, there are several important factors that restaurant owners and operators need to consider. Here are some of the key considerations:


1. Kitchen size: The size of your kitchen will play a significant role in determining the size and type of hood you need. A larger kitchen with more equipment and higher volumes of cooking will require a larger hood and more powerful ventilation system.


2. Cooking equipment: Different types of cooking equipment generate different levels of smoke, grease, and heat, so it's important to choose a hood that's suitable for the type of cooking you do. For example, a high-volume fryer may require a more powerful hood than a small grill.


3. Hood location: The location of the hood can impact its effectiveness. Make sure your hood is placed over your cooking equipment to capture smoke and grease at the source.


4. Building codes and regulations: There are numerous building codes and regulations that dictate the requirements for commercial kitchen hoods, such as minimum airflow rates and clearance requirements. Make sure your hood meets all applicable codes and regulations.


5. Budget: Hoods come in a wide range of sizes and styles, and prices can vary greatly depending on the features and specifications. Be sure to choose a hood that fits your budget while still meeting your needs.


By taking these factors into account, you can choose a commercial kitchen hood that will effectively control smoke, grease, and odors in your restaurant kitchen.


Maintenance and cleaning requirements


Proper maintenance and cleaning are crucial in ensuring the effectiveness and safety of your commercial kitchen hoods. Neglecting regular maintenance can lead to grease buildup, which can ignite and cause a fire. The National Fire Protection Association requires hoods to be inspected and cleaned by a professional at least once every six months.


The cleaning process includes disassembling the hood and exhaust system, scraping off any built-up grease, and using a degreaser to remove any remaining residue. It's important to note that using harsh chemicals can damage the hood and exhaust system, so it's essential to use only the manufacturer-recommended cleaning products.


Additionally, it's crucial to regularly check the fans and motors and ensure they're functioning correctly. If you notice any strange sounds or odors coming from the hood, it may indicate an issue that requires professional attention.


A Quick Wrap


Choosing the right commercial kitchen hood is crucial to maintain the health and safety of your kitchen staff and customers. Exhaust hoods and makeup air units are available in various types and designs, each with its own benefits and limitations. While considering a hood, you must assess your restaurant's cooking volume, appliance size, and fuel type. Apart from this, the hood's maintenance and cleaning requirements should also be taken into account. A dirty or faulty hood can compromise the quality of the air and increase the risk of fire. Hence, ensure regular cleaning and inspection to ensure optimal performance. Consulting a professional hood installation company can assist you in finding the best hood solution that aligns with your restaurant's specific requirements and regulations. So, make an informed decision and create a safe and healthy kitchen environment for all!

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