Ventilation Tips for Commercial Kitchens
What Is Ventilation and Why Is it Important?
Ventilation is the process of supplying fresh air to a room or building and removing stale air. It’s an important part of any business, as it helps ensure that indoor air quality remains healthy and comfortable for occupants. Ventilation also plays a role in controlling humidity levels, temperature control, and energy efficiency. In short, without adequate ventilation, your indoor environment would be stuffy, unhealthy, and uncomfortable. And yet, so few first-time commercial kitchen or restaurant owners have factored this all-important process into their plans. At All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical, our commercial HVAC experts are sharing everything you should consider when ventilating your kitchen or restaurant.
Benefits of Proper Ventilation in Commercial Kitchens
Sufficient ventilation is essential for maintaining a safe and comfortable work environment. Not only does it help clear the air of smoke, fumes, and other cooking and cleaning odors, but it also helps to keep temperatures at a safe level for your kitchen staff—protecting employees from heat exhaustion. Proper ventilation systems can also filter out airborne contaminants, prevent grease accumulation, and also save you money on heating and cooling bills.
Types of commercial ventilation systems include:
- Exhaust fans: The two most common types of exhaust fans for restaurants are upblast fans—which are often paired with vent hoods and blow air upwards, away from counters—and downblast exhaust fans—which should be avoided in high heat or moisture environments but can be helpful for general HVAC purposes.
- Vent hoods: Vent hoods are designed to draw smoke, grease, and other airborne particles away from the cooking area—pulling the air up through a filter, which collects particles before exhausting them outside. In general, commercial kitchens hoods should be 6 inches larger on each side as compared to the cooking surface. However, it is also important to understand how much air can be moved, which is measured in CFM (cubic feet minute).
- AC systems: Keeping your space cool and comfortable is only one benefit of installing a quality and adequately sized air conditioning system. These units circulate air from outside and also aid in controlling humidity.
3 Considerations when Choosing Ventilation Systems for Your Business
There are several important factors to consider when selecting ventilation systems for your commercial kitchen or restaurant, as they will play a crucial role in understanding the types and sizes that will work best.
- Local building codes and regulations: Fire codes, building regulations, health and safety codes, and OSHA standards should all be factored into determining the number, type, and size of ventilation systems necessary.
- Kitchen design: Many ventilation systems work in tandem with each other to circulate clean, fresh air into your space, so understanding where each system should be installed to perform optimally is key. However, kitchen spaces are often cramped quarters, so having a plan to seamlessly integrate these systems with the existing design will help increase effectiveness and longevity.
- Operating costs: While upfront costs are always a major concern, it is also important to consider the cost of operation as well as maintenance over time, as ventilation systems often require filter replacement and exhaust cleaning.
A qualified HVAC technician can help you better understand the upfront costs and maintenance costs associated with commercial ventilation systems as well as help you decide what types of units will work best for your needs.For professional ventilation installation and repair solutions for your commercial property, turn to our team at All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical. We offer a full suite of commercial HVAC services in Ontario and the surrounding areas. Call us at (909) 253-0664 or fill out our quick and easy online form.