Cleaning the hood and removing grease from the exhaust system in a commercial kitchen are important fire prevention steps. However, there are additional reasons why restaurant owners should want to keep these areas clean. Anyone that wants a fresh, clean and safe kitchen needs to understand the risks of failing to maintain these areas
1. Eliminate Unpleasant Odors
Grease and food particles collecting around the kitchen and in the vents will begin to rot and smell. The odor from this greasy mess is bad enough, but it becomes even more offensive when it combines with the smell of every meal cooked in the kitchen. Clogged vents cannot remove airborne odors, so the scents of onions, fish and other food build.
The odors may not be noticed by kitchen staff used to working in this environment, but eventually the smell will drift into the dining areas. People are much less likely to want to dine where there is a strong, stale smell in the air. The scent in the air clings to furnishings, carpets and curtains and is very difficult to remove.
2. Prevent Pest Invasions
Fetid cooking grease is horrendous to humans but a giant welcome sign for pests. The odor assures ants, cockroaches and mice that a meal is possible in this location. Rodents have a keen sense of smell and can detect food odors from great distances. Once a food source is located, they will typically establish a home within a 25 foot radius.
Regularly cleaning the grease around cooking surfaces, the hood and the ductwork not only eliminates what is luring the creatures in but also provides early detection of pest problems. The sooner business owners notice a potential pest problem, the less likely it is for the creatures to become a removal challenge or a health department violation.
3. Control Temperature Levels
Commercial kitchens are always warm, but during certain times of the year, it is possible for the heat to become a safety issue for workers. Clean ducts and vents are essential to drawing the heat away from the grills and ovens. Excessive heat is common when a clogged duct or vent prevents the air from circulating properly.
Employees face health risks when the temperatures are too high and the air is heavy with grease and humidity. The quality of their performance could suffer as tempers grow short and as people move slower and find it difficult to concentrate properly because they are not physically comfortable.
4. Improve Energy Efficiency
Business owners love to save money, and a dirty kitchen is never efficient. Exhaust systems malfunction more frequently when they are not cleaned. Ventilation systems in a commercial kitchen consume as much as 11 percent or more of the electricity, so ensuring this system is working as efficiently as possible could reduce utility bills.
Consider the cost of air conditioning too. When the kitchen is not able to circulate air and maintain a reasonable temperature, the excessive heat will eventually leak into the dining areas. This heat causes AC units to work harder, wear out faster and use more power to keep the customer areas cool even if the kitchen is not climate controlled.
There is nothing that damages the reputation of a food business faster than rumors of a dirty kitchen. Venting systems play an important role in maintaining hygienic standards. It is easy to see how valuable grease cleaning is since the systems also play a role in safety, efficiency and overall comfort.
Establishing a routine to prevent grease buildup is a simple task. At National Hood Exhaust & Fire Group, that is exactly what we do for our customers. Arrange a kitchen inspection to determine what schedule is best for the volume of work performed. Contact us with any questions, for emergency help or for a free quote.