A kitchen hood system is important for many reasons. If it is a grease hood, the safety of the staff and customers is involved. Other types likewise have an impact on the comfort and safety of the customers and staff.
A hood system that is not working properly may allow contaminants to enter the kitchen or even the dining areas. Grease buildup due to insufficient air flow can become a fire hazard. It will surely impact the cleanliness of the kitchen and grease build up may even be a slip and fall hazard. Other equipment can become clogged with grease, affecting it's performance. If the air flow is too high, the conditioned air may be sucked from the kitchen (and even the dining areas) resulting in drafts, higher energy bills, uncomfortable staff and guests. Gas appliances will not operate properly if subjected to drafts induced by improperly operating exhaust hoods. Heat output of equipment will be affected, impacting cooking time and quality.
A small dishwasher hood may seem insignificant but, if not working properly, it will allow large volumes of water vapor to enter the kitchen. This will greatly increase the load on the air conditioning system, making the kitchen very uncomfortable. Moisture may condense on the floor making it unsafe. Dishes and floors will not dry properly due to the high humidity levels. Food items may also be affected by these high humidity levels, lowering their quality.
An improperly operating hood system can pull in unconditioned air that will cost you, not only on your energy bill, but in customers. High humidity levels are often a result of hoods not properly adjusted. This condition can make your dining area feel like a cave. As you lower the thermostat trying to compensate, the problem just gets worse. The kitchen hood systems will affect the dining areas and your customers.
Most grease hood systems not only exhaust air, they also replace a portion of the air they exhaust. If not properly adjusted, this can result in pressure imbalances within the building. This imbalance will induce uncontrolled air flow. Unconditioned and unfiltered air will be pulled into the building, introducing heat, humidity and contaminants to the occupants.
Other hood types only exhaust air. The make-up air (air to replace the exhausted air) is provided by a separate system (many times through the air conditioning system or a dedicated make up air unit). In any case the air flows must be properly adjusted to provide the proper amount of air. This balance must be maintained or the problems we discussed will occur. With time, this balance is lost. Replacement of fans, repairs that affect air volume, cleaning of fans and ducts (or the lack of it), changes in other equipment which supply air to the hoods or building - all these things will affect the proper balance of air into and out of your building.
Having your grease hoods cleaned on a regular schedule is mandatory. But when was the last time you had your hood systems properly inspected and adjusted? Call us and we'll perform a free pressure test.
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Advanced Building Diagnostics
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