The Kitchen Exhaust System Cleaning Process
Kitchen exhaust cleaning (or vent hood cleaning) involves removing all grease and debris from the hood, filters, exhaust fan and ductwork. Commercial kitchens are required by NFPA 96 to clean their systems anywhere from every month to once per year. The entire process will take a professional company from approximately on average 3 to 6 hours, depending on the size of the job and the condition of the exhaust system. However, large and complex systems may take several days to complete.
When hiring a company, make sure they have insurance, references, and are certified. Below is the process that our certified technicians at Halo Restoration Services follow in order to ensure a grease-free and fire-safe cooking environment.
- Prep for cleaning – All the pilot lights and gas valves on the appliances must be shut off and covered with tarps to protect kitchen equipment from chemicals or grease splatter.
- Wrap the hood – To catch all the greasy water runoff, wrap the hood in plastic and funnel it into a container.
- Clean the grease baffle filters – Remove filters and soak them for a couple hours. After the grease is loosened, pressure wash the filters to remove all grease.
- Degrease the ductwork – Prior to spraying the ductwork with the chemical, manually scrape and remove all hardened grease and debris.
- Remove and clean exhaust fan – Remove the exhaust fan to spray with the degreasing chemical. Change the fan belt if necessary and pressure wash to remove all grease.
- Pressure wash entire system - After letting the degreasing chemical set, hot water pressure washers are used to spray the grease out of the system, from top to bottom.
- Clean the hood – Manually scrape the hood to loosen grease and debris, and then spray with degreasing chemicals before using the hot water pressure washer to remove all remaining grease from the system.
- Polish the hood – After the hood has been dried, apply polish to the interior and exterior of the canopy.
- Re-install filters and inspect the entire system – When all the components of the exhaust system have been properly cleaned, place the filters back in the hood. Wiped down the hood with polish and test the exhaust fan to make sure it is working properly.
- Apply the certification sticker – A certification sticker on the hood is required by law that after a technician cleans the kitchen exhaust cleaning company. This sticker will show the fire inspector, health department or insurance agent the date the hood was cleaned and when the next cleaning date is scheduled.
- Return the kitchen to its original condition – The certified kitchen exhaust cleaning company should leave the kitchen in its original condition, such as wiping down the system, mopping the floors, re-lighting the pilots and turning on the gas.