Vent Hoods - Exhaust Fans - Return Air Fans
One of the most important elements of any commercial kitchen is the ventilation system. Ventilation systems are designed for both safety and for the functionality of your building. If it were not for the vent hood most of your establishment would be covered in air-born grease vapors. Our commercial cooking equipment is specifically made for use under a vent hood in a commercial establishment. Never use this type of equipment in an unventilated area or in a residential setting as you run the risk of not only voiding all warranties for your equipment, but also any building insurance you have. In a vent hood system you have 3 main components: the exhaust fan, the return air fan (also known as 'makeup-air fan'), and the vent hood itself. Lets look briefly at how these components make up a complete vent hood package.
Exhaust Fans Under ideal site conditions these fans are normally located on the roof, centered directly above the hood location. By creating a reverse draw of air, the exhaust fan removes smoke, soot, steam, heat, and grease vapors away from your building. Like any component in contact with constant grease vapors, your exhaust fans will need to periodically be cleaned. For larger vent hoods, more than one exhaust fan will be used. The ductwork coming from the top of the vent hood will lead through your ceiling, and out to the exhaust fans.
Return Air Fans (Make-up Air Fans) Return air fans are designed to bring fresh air from the outside back into your building. This fresh air is to 'make-up' for the air that is being sucked away from your building via the exhaust fans. By providing a fresh air balance, your air conditioning will not have to work harder to compensate for the loss of air meaning lower energy bills. Return air and make-up air fans are also installed on a special electrical switch that shut off the flow of air in the event of a fire.
Vent Hoods Vent hoods are called by many names; venthood, vent-a-hoods, grease hoods, and fire hoods to name a few. No matter what you call them they all do the same job which is to eliminate the smoke and grease vapors created whenever cooking on hot equipment and to aid in the suppression of fires which keeps you, your customers and your business safe. Vent hoods come in both stainless steel and galvanized aluminum. They can also be customized to display crests, logos or a variety of other aesthetic additions. The critical part about buying a vent hood is determining the proper size. Know what equipment will be under the hood and get the linear dimension of that line up from left to right. Make sure to give yourself a minimum of 6" clearance per side of equipment for the vent hood. For example, a 60" left-to-right linear dimension of the over all cooking equipment would require a minimum vent hood size of 72''. This gives 6" to the left and the right side of your cook line. This is needed to ensure that any fire or smoke hazards stay within the boundaries of the vent hood. Always check with your local building and fire code inspector to know what your area's requirements for combustible and non-combustible clearances are. If you are ever in doubt about choosing a vent hood, give us a call and we will be happy to consult with you.
Baffle Filters & Grease Filters Make sure that you keep up with your baffle filters and grease filters for your vent hood. By keeping your filters clean, you allow better passage of the air flow to the exhaust duct. This in turn provides improved removal of all smoke, soot, and grease laden vapors that can potentially harm your kitchen. Grease filters should be replaced often.