Kitchen Exhaust System Design vs Functionality

Kitchen Exhaust System Design vs Functionality

Design vs Functionality

A common struggle of anyone who has had the pleasure of going through restaurant construction or building finish out can be the sacrifices, compromises, and changes that often occur during the building process.  The architect comes up with a design that is going to beautiful.  He hands the plans off to the contractor and explains his vision, only to be returned by a blank stare and the very apparent thought bubble that reads, “How does this guy expect me to put this together?”  The plans were sound, but the execution can sometimes be more of a challenge often adding important things to the budget such as time and especially money.

Often in these cases, one thing that gets overlooked is the maintenance of certain equipment long after the architect and contractors are paid and gone.  In particular, concessions might have been made in regards to the duct work for your kitchen exhaust system.

It is important to know how the Kitchen Exhaust System works.  The exhaust fan pulls away the smoke and the grease from the vent hood in the kitchen.  These two components are connected somehow by a series of duct work.  The most efficient way, not only in performance but in cost to maintain, is to have the exhaust duct work run vertically from the hood to the external exhaust fan above.  These are the most common systems, and you will find that there is a market value for cost to maintain these systems and keep them up to code.  However, there is always going to be the case where certain design or structural elements forbid the exhaust ducts to run vertically.  In these circumstances, a horizontal exhaust duct will have to be put in place to connect the vertical duct work together.  While not really affecting the performance of the system, the maintenance required is marginally more difficult based on the length of the horizontal run.  There are other factors dictated by the NFPA 96 code that pertain to horizontal duct work such as the required amount of access panels and the slope of the plane needed.  The bottom line is that any length of horizontal duct work is going to add to the scope of maintaining the system not only in time but in money.

It is always a good practice when budgeting to have a kitchen exhaust cleaning professional give their opinion during the design phase of your project.  Often these services can be offered at little to no cost depending on the size of the project.  In many cases, the initial cost of having the system designed and constructed to be maintenance friendly will be highly outweighed by the lower costs of keeping the system safe and up to code.

If you have any question please do not hesitate to call us at 972-704-1812 or visit us at www.thehoodboss.com.

The Importance of a Kitchen Exhaust System Diagram

The Importance of a Kitchen Exhaust System Diagram


With the turnover rate in most restaurants today, having a kitchen exhaust system diagram on site is a must for restaurant owners. The diagram will allow the Kitchen Manager, General Manager, Maintenance Company, Fire Marshall, and Health Inspectors to have a clear cut understanding of the design of the system in order to be sure that the system is being maintained properly. A proper understanding of your kitchen exhaust system could prevent a fire in your facility and prevent potential risk of danger to your staff and guest. Below are a few questions that you can’t afford not to ask yourself. 

  • Do you know every bend and turn in your kitchen exhaust system?
  • Does your managing staff have the same understanding as you?
  • If not, how can you be sure that you are not at risk of fire?
  • What is the current condition of the exhaust duct between the hood canopy and the roof top?
  • How can you hold your current kitchen exhaust cleaning company accountable?
  • How can you be sure that your managers are properly performing a post cleaning inspection of service? 

If you answered no or do not have procedures in place for the proper understanding of your exhaust system, I would urge you to put one in place before it costs you thousands.

Hood Boss Vent Hood Diagram

Most Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Companies will provide you with a professional drawing of your system upon request. The diagram should consist of a drawing of the system with the number and location of the access panels. The diagram should be on display so that your managing staff can refer back to it each time the cleaning service is performed at your facility. 

If Hood Boss can be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate call 972-704-1812 or visit us online at www.thehoodboss.com . One of our team members would be happy to help direct you in how to get a diagram on display at your facility. 

Importance of a Kitchen Exhaust System Inspection

Importance of a Kitchen Exhaust System Inspection

As a former restaurant manager, I relied on my Kitchen Exhaust Cleaner to help manage and maintain my exhaust system.  Making sure a restaurant is within NFPA 96 code and safe from potential fire, are two paramount responsibilities of any exhaust cleaning company.

Like most front of house managers, I was naive to the importance of maintaining the exhaust system properly.  I had a maintenance program set up for our baffle filters and polished our hoods, but that was the extent of my involvement.  I put my trust in the hood cleaner to manage the rest.

Vent Hood with Filters

Vent Hood with Filters in Place

The “bottom line” is always at the forefront of running any business.  With that in mind, another exhaust cleaner approached me, and he was able to under bid my current vendor by a significant amount.  I was operating under the misconception that the service and product would be equal, so I went with the lowest bid and based by decision solely on price. The service seemed to be the same and both parties seemed happy with the relationship.

After leaving this particular restaurant to come work with Hood Boss, the opportunity to inspect and bid my previous workplace presented itself.  Now, on the other side of the relationship as a vendor, I understand the meaning of, “inspect what you expect.”

The previous company had not held up its responsibility to maintain the system properly.  Horizontal duct work had not been serviced and thus leaving the system at risk of fire.  The exhaust fans had been neglected which caused expensive roof damage.  There were inaccessible areas that had not been addressed that resulted in excessive grease build up. I thought that the kitchen exhaust cleaning company I selected was handling all of these issues, and I was unaware of the neglect, potential hazards, and damage that was being done by the improperly handling of the job that they were hired to do.

Whether it was neglect or incompetence, these issues were not managed properly.  Following up with your vendor’s work is an important part of managing your exhaust system. Managing you exhaust system properly will reduce the risk of fire and prolong the life of your system.  Most companies offer complimentary inspections of your system. I recommend having your exhaust system periodically inspected by another cleaning company

If you have any questions or concerns, go to our website www.thehoodboss.com or call 972-704-1812.