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  • Shawn Anderson

Your Comprehensive Guide to Commercial Kitchen Hoods

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

Choosing the right kitchen hood for your commercial kitchen is a critical decision. It can make or break your kitchen's success, as the wrong choice can lead to costly repairs and a lack of efficiency. This comprehensive guide will help you navigate the different types of commercial kitchen hoods and make an informed decision when it comes to selecting the best option for your business. We'll cover the pros and cons of each type of kitchen hood, so you can make the most informed decision for your kitchen.

The Basics: What is a Commercial Kitchen Hood?

If you run a commercial kitchen, you're likely familiar with commercial kitchen hoods. But for those who are new to the industry or looking to learn more, let's start with the basics.

A commercial kitchen hood is an essential piece of equipment designed to remove smoke, grease, steam, and heat from a kitchen area. It helps to ensure proper ventilation and maintain a comfortable environment for kitchen staff and diners. Without proper ventilation, a kitchen can quickly become unsafe, smelly, and uncomfortable.

Commercial kitchen hoods are typically mounted above the cookline and connected to ductwork that leads to the building's exterior. As air is drawn into the hood, it's filtered through metal baffle filters that trap grease and other particles. From there, the air is transported outside, keeping the kitchen clean and reducing the risk of fire.

Commercial kitchen hoods come in various sizes and configurations, depending on the kitchen's size, the type of cooking equipment being used, and the amount of ventilation needed. In general, a kitchen hood should be sized to handle the volume of air produced by all the equipment under the hood.

When designing or retrofitting a commercial kitchen, it's crucial to take the size and layout of the kitchen into consideration, as well as the local codes and regulations regarding kitchen ventilation. Working with a qualified professional can help ensure that your kitchen hood system is designed and installed to meet all safety and efficiency requirements.

The Three Main Types of Commercial Kitchen Hoods

Commercial kitchens have unique ventilation requirements. Kitchen hoods help to extract heat, smoke, grease, and other pollutants generated by the cooking process. When it comes to commercial kitchen hoods, there are three main types available in the market: canopy hoods, exhaust-only hoods, and supply and exhaust hoods. Let's take a closer look at each type of commercial kitchen hood:

1. Canopy Hoods:

Canopy hoods, also known as exhaust hoods, are the most commonly used type of commercial kitchen hood. They are designed to capture the smoke and heat that rises from the cooking surface and transport it outside via a duct system. Canopy hoods are typically installed above the cookline, covering the cooking equipment like stoves, ovens, grills, and fryers.

2. Exhaust-Only Hoods:

Exhaust-only hoods are another popular type of commercial kitchen hood. As the name suggests, these hoods only remove the air from the kitchen without supplying fresh air. Exhaust-only hoods are suitable for kitchens with proper ventilation systems. These hoods are often paired with a make-up air unit that provides conditioned air to the kitchen.

3. Supply and Exhaust Hoods:

Supply and exhaust hoods are designed to supply fresh air to the kitchen while exhausting the stale air. These hoods use two separate duct systems, one for supply air and one for exhaust air. They are suitable for commercial kitchens located in buildings where the ventilation system is inadequate.

When selecting a commercial kitchen hood, it's crucial to consider the cooking equipment, the kitchen layout, and the ventilation requirements. The right type of hood will ensure that your kitchen meets the ventilation standards set by the local building codes and keep your employees safe from pollutants generated by the cooking process.

Other Considerations When Choosing a Commercial Kitchen Hood

While the type of commercial kitchen hood you choose is important, there are several other factors to consider before making a purchase. Here are a few additional considerations:

1. Size and Ventilation Requirements

It is important to choose a hood that fits the size of your kitchen and meets the ventilation requirements for your cooking equipment. A hood that is too small will not effectively remove smoke, grease, and odors, while a hood that is too large will waste energy and be inefficient.

2. Hood Material and Construction

The hood should be made from durable and fire-resistant materials, such as stainless steel or galvanized metal. Additionally, the construction should be sturdy and well-sealed to prevent leaks and ensure proper airflow.

3. Location and Installation

The hood must be installed in a location that provides optimal ventilation and clearance from other equipment. Proper installation by a licensed professional is critical for ensuring safety and efficiency.

4. Maintenance and Cleaning

Regular maintenance and cleaning are crucial for ensuring that your hood functions properly and complies with health codes. Choose a hood with removable parts for easy cleaning and schedule regular professional cleaning services to prevent the buildup of grease and other debris.

5. Local Codes and Regulations

Be sure to research local codes and regulations for commercial kitchen hoods in your area. Your hood must comply with all safety and ventilation requirements set forth by the local health department and fire department.

By considering these factors in addition to the type of hood, you can choose a commercial kitchen hood that will provide optimal ventilation and safety for your kitchen.

Final Thoughts on Commercial Kitchen Hoods

When it comes to commercial kitchen hoods, there are many factors to consider. Not only do you need to choose the right type of hood for your specific kitchen and cooking equipment, but you also need to ensure it meets all necessary safety and code requirements.

It's important to work with a qualified professional who can help guide you through the selection and installation process. They can provide recommendations and advice based on your unique situation and ensure your kitchen is safe and up to code.

Remember, a well-designed and installed commercial kitchen hood is essential for keeping your kitchen safe, healthy, and efficient. It helps remove heat, smoke, and harmful airborne particles, reducing the risk of fires and improving air quality for your staff and customers.

Investing in a quality commercial kitchen hood is not only a smart business decision but also a crucial step toward ensuring the long-term success of your restaurant or food service establishment.

So, take the time to research and carefully select the right commercial kitchen hood for your business, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your kitchen is safe, efficient, and up to code.

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