The commercial kitchen exhaust fan is a key piece of equipment in any restaurant, for the safety and functionality of your operation. Learn more about this critical equipment, how to care for it, and what to do about a replacement. SLM Facility Solutions answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the ever-important commercial exhaust fan.

Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Fan FAQs

FAQ: What is a commercial kitchen exhaust fan?

Simply put, a commercial kitchen exhaust fan is mechanical ventilation equipment which allows contaminated air to pass out of the kitchen and brings clean air into the restaurant. 

The exhaust system removes smoke and flammable fumes from within the kitchen to improve both air quality and safety. Your fan and hood vents what’s commonly referred to as the “effluent” from cooking. This refers to grease, smoke, heat and any by-products from cooking equipment.

FAQ: How do I clean my commercial kitchen fan?

Proper cleaning starts at installation. Install your commercial kitchen exhaust fan with access panels in the kitchen system for cleaning and removal of grease buildup, odors, fires, and contamination. 

Before cleaning, check the ductwork blueprint to determine the type of ducting in the building as well as whether access panels are needed.

To clean, remove grease buildup within the system to prevent it from entering floor drains. Chemical degreasers along with scrubbing and power washing remove all grease particles from the exhaust system’s hood, fan, and ducts.

Install a hinge kit so the rooftop fan tips, rather than lifts, for cleaning. This allows for efficient cleaning of the unit and prevents damage to wiring or the structure.

Finally, replace the system’s filter about every six to eight months.

FAQ: My kitchen exhaust fan is making noise…

A rattling noise commonly results from improper maintenance or defective parts. Common causes include grease buildup on fan blades or a worn belt. To troubleshoot this issue, change the belt and clean the fan.

FAQ: How do I know if my fan needs replacement?

Like any piece of equipment, an exhaust fan system only lasts so long. To extend its lifespan, be sure to regularly maintain it. The average service life of a kitchen ventilation system is 15 to 20 years with good care and normal wear and tear. 

Signs your restaurant kitchen exhaust fan needs a replacement include:

  • There is damage to the filter
  • Smoke and cooking odors linger in the kitchen
  • The fan stops revolving or makes unusual sounds during operation

FAQ: What problems come from a poorly-functioning commercial kitchen fan?

A poorly-functioning restaurant kitchen exhaust fan is dangerous and increases the chance of problems in a restaurant such as:

  • Fire in the kitchen
  • More cooking odor in dining areas
  • Smoke in the kitchen and dining areas

Help with Your Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Fan Needs

Whether your commercial kitchen exhaust fan is due for maintenance or needs a new fan installation, SLM Facility Solutions is ready to assist. We provide the services you need to ensure safe operation and ongoing performance. 

Contact us today to discuss commercial kitchen needs for your restaurant or facility.