Clean hood filters are the first step in preventing kitchen fires from spreading through the vent hood and into the rest of the exhaust system.
When filters are damaged or too worn to do their job properly, it’s time for replacement. Otherwise, keeping filters cleaned on a weekly, if not nightly basis is good kitchen exhaust system maintenance.
The risk of a kitchen fire signicantly increases when hood filters are failing to do their job. Regular filter maintenance is crucial for limiting the amount of grease passing into the ductwork and exhaust fans. Preventing an excess amount of grease in these areas ultimately helps to reduce your risk of kitchen fires and prevent the need for costly repairs.
Filters that are clogged with grease do not allow the system to “breath” properly and can cause premature failure of the fan motor and smoke to escape outside of the kitchen.
In any kitchen regardless of intensity of use, one of the most important tasks in kitchen exhaust maintenance is keeping hood filters clean. Clean filters are a crucial element of a well-functioning exhaust system.
There are three materials typically used to make filters: stainless steel filters, galvanized filters, and aluminum filters.
For high volume kitchens, the best option might be a stainless steel filter. These and galvanized filters are helpful for kitchens that experience grease, high heat, air particles, humidity, and cleaning chemicals. Stainless steel is durable, easy to clean, and less prone to corrosion. It is known for its strength and durability in addition to its ability to retain its shiny appearance even after applying degreasers. This makes it great for kitchens that are visible to customers. It is a bit pricier than the other material options, but due to the fact that it is stronger, it is able to last longer and to be replaced less frequently, so it costs less over time.
This material has the strength and long-term durability of stainless steel filters, but is a more affordable option. Like stainless steel, it has no problem handling tough degreasers and cleaning chemicals and standing up to high heat, grease, and humidity, but unlike stainless steel, prolonged use of these chemicals will eventually discolor the metal. For kitchens that are not visible to customers, though, galvanized steel filters are a wonderful, affordable alternative to stainless steel.
Aluminum filters are much less expensive than the previous two materials. They are more prone to corrosion and damage, but they are also of a lighter weight, which makes them easier to handle. They have a shiny finish that is great for open kitchens with a lower cooking volume. For high volume kitchens though, aluminum is almost completely unable to withstand harsh chemicals and degreasers, and would need frequent replacement.
At Halo Restoration Services, we have extensive experience in all types of hood filters. Whether you need routine maintenance, consultation about different options for installation, or emergency repairs, we are here to help.
After selecting a filter material, the next element to consider is how the filter is constructed, and how the choice of construction type can benefit your kitchen. Two common types of hood filter construction exist: welded or riveted.
Both construction methods are available in all three material types, and share the same design that relies on a series of vertical baffles to trap and keep grease away from the duct system. Making sure a filter is UL Listed is also important in assuring that it will pass safety standards and fire codes. While UL listed filters might be a little more expensive, they make sure your kitchen isn’t liable for a number of issues that may cause trouble in the future.
Welded filters are made with the baffles being the same piece of metal as the frame. They are rigid and durable, so they won’t easily bend or give. Plus, there are no rivets to come loose or fall out when handled frequently or dropped. This option is more expensive, but it is a heavy-duty filter that will typically last much longer.
Riveted filters are composed of a multi-piece frame held together by rivets with a series of individual baffles enclosed inside. This option is less expensive than others, but it is flexible and rivets may loosen or fall out over time. If frequently handled or dropped, rivets can come out and will require repair or replacement. While this option is less expensive, it is also less durable and will need more frequent repair and sooner replacement in the long term.
To determine what type of hood filters are recommended for your commercial kitchen, give us a call today at (214) 838-2200.
In addition to welded and riveted filters, there are a few other terms related to hood filters that you may here: spark arrestor hood filters, hinged hood filters, and captrate hood filters.
Spark arrestor filters are necessary when using solid fuel (i.e. wood burning) grills and cooking appliances. They are designed to block sparks and embers before they make their way into the ducts where it is more likely for a fire to start from leftover grease.
The primary goal of a hinged filter is to simplify cleaning. This benefits your kitchen in two ways: one, it’s easier to keep your filters clean thereby making your kitchen safer and two, it likely leads to cost savings whether your staff is doing the nightly cleaning or offloading it onto a third party such as Halo.
This heavy duty filter captures significantly more grease than a normal baffle filter. It can also double in your kitchen or cooking environment as a spark arrestor.
Halo Restoration Services is here to not only help choose the best filters for your kitchen, but also keep them up to date and replaced on time to ensure that your cooking environment is clean, durable, and, most importantly, safe. Our experienced staff is available 24⁄7 to take your call and assist you in your hood filter management. Call us today for a free estimate at (214) 838-2200 or learn more about our vent hood cleaning services!