I am commonly asked by restaurant manager, chefs, owners or a facility manager and engineer how often a Kitchen Exhaust Hood should be cleaned. There are many different answers to that one simple questions.
First and foremost, these are recommendations and it is always beneficial to have a certified and trained fire protection specialist evaluate your overall system to provide a more accurate recommendation. This hood cleaning frequency can vary based on two common factors; volume of cooking and type of grease produced.
Let’s dig a little deeper into this topic.
Quarterly: High fire risk grease producers – Systems serving high volume cooking operations such as 24-hour cooking, charbroiling or wok cooking are recommended to be serviced quarterly. Many systems however have a much higher grease output than this and we often recommend monthly cleaning for restaurants located in big cities with high volume output.
Semi-Annually: Medium fire risk producers – Systems serving moderate volume cooking operations with medium volume, such as flat top and fryer set-ups are recommended to be serviced twice a year or semi-annually.
Annually: Systems serving low-volume cooking operations, such as: churches, day camps, seasonal businesses or senior centers that cook only a few days a week – for a few short hours. These systems are recommended to be serviced annually
The code spells out the above information very clearly. You will notice throughout the code that it is ultimately the discretion of the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) in your area. If the AHJ wants it done more often then you MUST have your exhaust system cleaned more often. Remember an AHJ’s job is to keep you and your customers safe.
Table 11.3 Inspection and Cleaning of Exhaust Systems
|System Description||Cleaning Frequency
|Systems serving solid fuel cooking operations||Monthly (12x/year)|
|Systems serving high-volume cooking operations, such as 24-hour cooking, charbroiling, or wok cooking||Quarterly (4x/year)|
|Systems serving moderate-volume cooking operations||Semi-annually (2x/year)|
|Systems serving low-volume cooking operations, such as churches, day camps, seasonal businesses, or senior centers||Annually (1x/year)|
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Please comment below if you have any specific questions regarding your locations frequency or if you would like me to come out and look over your set-up personally.