A common cause of commercial kitchen failure is poor kitchen ventilation. Not only is it a legal requirement to keep up with your commercial kitchen ventilation maintenance, but if your extraction system isn’t looked after it’ll lead to a build-up of grease and dust resulting in uncomfortable working environments, poorly functioning equipment, and an increase in the risk of fires.

We’ve created a useful guide that explains the importance of a commercial kitchen ventilation system and how you can ensure yours is maintained effectively.

Why commercial kitchen ventilation maintenance is so important

The purpose of kitchen ventilation is to safely remove harmful gases, heat, vapours, and smells. It also reduces the risk of potential fires whilst creating a cooler and more comfortable space for your colleagues and customers. Regular cleaning will avoid the build-up of dust and dirt within your appliances too, enabling them to perform to their peak for longer.

More importantly, you need to ensure you’re following health and safety regulations. For some commercial kitchens, without a fully functioning ventilation system, you may not get the planning permission you need from your local authority. To find out more take a look at the HSE’s Ventilation in Catering Kitchens regulations.

a clean air vent showing the importance of commercial Kitchen ventilation maintenance

It will improve air quality

As your kitchen heats up it’s important to cool things down by removing steam and heat that can create an uncomfortable environment for your staff. Whether this involves utilising fresh air by opening windows or using recirculation systems to refine and refresh the air. Either option ensures the safe removal of heat but can even reduce the amount of cleaning as it limits condensation forming, and the build-up of grease and grime within your vents – and if these are blocked, air will not flow smoothly, causing more problems.

It will help manage odour control

Behind every good kitchen ventilation system should be an effective odour control such as ozone or ESP systems. This includes filters that are built in to draw unwanted smells out of your kitchen. It’ll create a nicer environment for your colleagues and customers but the filters will need to be changed every two weeks to work effectively.

a clean commercial kitchen ventilation system in a restaurant kitchen
a commercial kitchen ventilations system in situ

What are the effects of poor commercial kitchen ventilation maintenance?

By ensuring your extraction system is regularly maintained you’re looking after the welfare of those within the kitchen as well as the equipment that’s essential for your business to run. If you neglect your ventilation you’ll allow grease and dirt to build up, blocking the airflow and potentially not complying with Food Safety Regulations 1995. You’ll also be causing damage such as:

  • Accumulation of dirt, dust and grease
  • Blocked ductworks
  • Increased noise pollution
  • Hot, uncomfortable working environments
  • Unwanted smells and fumes
  • Risk of fires
  • Diminishing your equipment’s efficiency and lifespan

How to maintain your ventilation between service visits

A maintenance service routine will help maintain your ventilation system and increase the lifespan of your kitchen, but there are steps you can put into place in-between visits. We’ve listed 3 key areas below:

Keep your ventilation clean

There are various ways to clean your extraction system – steam clean, chemical clean or manually with the correct cleaning supplies and equipment. Whichever option you choose, set up a cleaning schedule and ensure your colleagues are trained on how to do this safely.

Clean your extraction filter

This can become clogged with dust and dirt and if left, can become harder to clear. Remove the filters and clean with a degreaser and hot, soapy water every 1-2 weeks. Don’t forget around the edges of the filter too.

Clean the extraction vents

If left, the blades on vents can become sticky, collect dust and eventually slow down or break. Use the right-sized cleaning brush for your vent and sweep them weekly. Top tip – you can use a vacuum cleaner on them too.

How Midland’s Catering Equipment can help you

We understand the importance of fully functioning equipment and by using specialist maintenance engineers and cleaning services you can feel assured that your commercial kitchen ventilation maintenance is being handled correctly and regularly.

Our experts not only use the right equipment, but they can also spot any early faults and prevent costly breakdowns with our commercial kitchen maintenance contracts. Take a look at our Air Control Systems and Canopy Cleaning services to see how we can support you.