During the cooking process, a tremendous amount of heated air, exhaust and grease vapor are expelled into the kitchen environment. These materials are captured by the kitchen exhaust system, which are designed to filter and collect unhealthy waste materials. The three major components of the kitchen exhaust system are:
- The Kitchen Hood
The hood is what you may be familiar with. The hood is located in the kitchen itself and is always located directly above the cooking equipment. The filters are located within the hood and are purposed with collecting the grease vapor.
- The Ductwork
The ductwork connects the kitchen hood to the exhaust fan on the exterior of the building. The configuration of the ductwork will change depending on the needs of the facility.
- The Exhaust Fan
The exhaust fan is the device that pulls the air out of the kitchen, through the kitchen exhaust system, and into the open air outside the building.
The kitchen hood, ductwork, and exhaust fan are used in every kitchen exhaust system. During the operation of the complete system, these pieces of equipment remove heat and grease vapor. It is a natural process for grease vapor to accumulate within the filters as well as inside all other interior portions of the system.
The accumulation of grease creates the need for regular maintenance intervals in order to remove this buildup for proper operation of the system and fire risk mitigation. Proper service cleaning requirements and guidelines can be found in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Standard 96.