Planning an efficient ventilation system for your commercial kitchen
Commercial kitchen ventilation is crucial to the food or beverage industry, as it is central to the kitchen’s operational flow, safety, convenience and, ultimately, revenue.
Planning a commercial kitchen ventilation system
When planning to install a new ventilation system in a commercial kitchen, several factors need consideration:
- Building layout: The layout of the building is crucial when ventilation is concerned. The presence of open spaces, headspace, floor area, and room position impact the ventilation system’s placement.
- Kitchen size and layout: The size and layout of the kitchen are possibly the most important factors to consider. These two factors dictate the ideal output ducts, which hood is installable, and which exhaust fans will work best.
- The size or placement of windows and doorways: Doorways and windows are natural parts that help with the airflow. The more windows and doorways there are, the better that air can flow naturally. Larger windows also allow air to flow better, but this is not usually advisable for commercial kitchens.
When in doubt, consult a professional installation company, such as Coles Catering Equipment, based in Broadmeadow, near Newcastle, NSW. An HVAC pro can expertly assess all these factors to decide on what ventilation systems are optimal.
What are the key elements of good commercial kitchen ventilation?
Proper ventilation should always be a priority in commercial kitchens. Among the best practices for commercial kitchen ventilation include the following (click on each one to find out more):
Correct exhaust fans
Exhaust fans are among the most basic requirements for good ventilation in commercial kitchens, but not all types are usable in every situation. The most common ones for commercial kitchens are the following:
- Propeller fans: These move air in a parallel manner. Propeller fans work best in places with little resistance.
- Centrifugal fans: These move air in a radial manner. These can work even against high resistance and are typically better suited for dusty areas.
Fan placement is also something to consider. Inline fans work with a duct system to circulate air properly in the kitchen. An up-blast exhaust, on the other hand, is a viable option for kitchens that are close to outside areas. Carefully survey the layout of the building and kitchen use when deciding on the type and placement. These two factors will heavily impact how well the exhaust fan will work.
Make-up air systems
Exhaust fans work excellently with make-up air systems. Simply put, a make-up air system is a system that allows fresh air from outside to replace the air lost from exhaust fans. Replacing this air is essential due to the following factors:
- Air pressure: The pressure difference stemming from the removal of air can cause some appliances to work inefficiently. It’s crucial to prevent this in commercial kitchen settings where time is of the essence.
- Stale air: Air tends to get stale after a while. Having an exhaust fan and make-up air system working in tandem can effectively prevent stale air from building up.
- Health: Poor circulation can lead to pollutants building up inside the commercial kitchen. A make-up air system prevents pollutants from building up and keeps people inside the kitchen healthy.
Again, the building layout is significant when it comes to make-up air systems. So, make sure to survey the layout carefully beforehand – the best way to consider commercial kitchen layout is to contact Coles Air conditioning, Refrigeration and Catering Equipment and have them draw up an excellent efficient, productive and safe design.
The correct hood
Range hoods are another must-have when it comes to commercial kitchen ventilation. Some of the more common types are:
- Undercabinet hoods: These usually go under cabinets and adjacent to the output ducts. Don’t be misled by the name – these are still installed above stoves and ranges.
- Island hoods: These hoods hang over kitchen islands and counters, with the output ducts passing through the ceiling.
- Ductless hood: Ductless hoods merely disperse smoke throughout the kitchen. Only use these if there are already sound ventilation systems in place.
- Downdraft hood: The output ducts of downdraft hoods go below the range, typically under the floor. These work well if there’s not much headspace in the kitchen.
Advanced planning is the most crucial aspect of installing a range hood. It would surely help to have a commercial air conditioning specialist look at the kitchen to advise which type of range hood would work best for that layout.
Hood filters are placed in the inflow area of a range hood to help filter out smoke, grease, dust, and other fine particles. This means that all these are restricted close to the inflow area and cannot cause damage to the duct system itself.
Installing a hood filter can make the hood and the adjoining duct system last longer. Just make sure that these filters are replaced regularly. This is especially notable in commercial kitchens because constant cooking means that the filters get dirty quite quickly.
Fire suppression systems
Since ventilation systems are also potential fire hazards, it’s common for them to work in tandem with fire suppression systems. Regarding ventilation fire safety, some recommendations that the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Airconditioning, and Heating are as follows and accounting for all these factors is a job only for a company with lots of experience and skill:
- The placement of grease removal devices at a safe distance from heat sources.
- Proper access and maintenance of the ventilation systems.
- Delegating fire safety and maintenance responsibilities.
- Proper duct placement and installation.
- Separation of ducts and fire-isolated shafts within one building.
Contact a Coles for Commercial Ventilation System Installations or Repairs.
As mentioned, there are many things to consider when installing the optimum ventilation system for your commercial kitchen. Taking all these into account is a little intimidating, but achievable, especially for a professional team on your behalf.
Coles Air Conditioning and Refrigeration is your best professional choice in Newcastle, Central Coast and Hunter Valley. We’ve been in the HVAC field since 1939, so you can rest assured that we have the experience you require. Learn more about our services by clicking here or contacting us on 02 4957 0221. You can also click her to request a Free Quote today, to get your kitchen functioning to its most safe and efficient capacity.