When you run a commercial kitchen, an important (and sometimes overlooked) part is the ventilation. The ventilation is responsible for sucking up all the smells, vapours and heat. This is transferred outside and replaced with fresh air. This makes the kitchen a more pleasurable and tolerable place to work in.
A commercial kitchen that runs properly and efficiently as a result of a good ventilation system can also reduce the risks of fires since combustible grease and vapours are sucked up and away from open flames. Let’s take a closer look to learn more about commercial exhaust fans in a kitchen.
1. Importance Of Controlling Fan Speed
When you are running the oven, fryers and grill, most of your electricity is actually used by the ventilation. Some studies suggest that at least half of that energy may actually be wasted. Many commercial kitchens may be guilty of running their ventilation fans at full speed all the time, regardless of whether anything needs to be removed by ventilation or not.
There are times when it obviously has to be at top speed, especially when you are busy cooking, but when that rush period is over, many kitchens do not control their fan speed. Lowering the speed will save energy. The fan speed can also be controlled depending on what is being cooked.
2. Problems Of Over-And-Under Ventilating
Both under ventilating and over ventilating can cause problems. Exhaust fans are responsible for removing the emissions of cooking such as vapour and particles of grease. Under ventilating can lead to higher temperatures as well as a build-up of grease and smoke. Anyone who has worked in a commercial kitchen knows how hot it can get and the last thing kitchen staff need is a raise in the temperature level.
On the other hand, over ventilation can place a bigger demand on other ventilation or heating systems that all make up a part of a commercial kitchen. This results in higher energy costs. Exhaust fans should be used in a smart way for whenever it is needed.
3. Smart Exhaust fans
There are smart exhaust fans where you don’t have to do things manually because they are capable of automatically adjusting fan speeds accordingly. These have thermostats built into the hood. So, if the temperature of the cooking surface rises, then the fan speed will increase and vice versa. These smart exhaust fans also have an infrared sensor that can detect a rise in emissions and steam, causing fan speeds to increase.
Once it has dissipated, the fan speeds decrease. These modern exhaust fans are automated but someone can override it if the situation calls for it. Current exhaust fans that do not make use of modern technology can have this technology fitted to current hoods.
4. Increase Comfort, Reduce Energy
Remember, even if you have an old hood, you can use modern technology to make it into a smart exhaust hood. These types of exhaust hood fans can be made automatic so that staff and patrons stay comfortable. It saves energy by reducing speed whenever it needs to, so this cuts down on noise as well. It is also safer as well.
Remember that many kitchens run their exhaust morning, noon and night and also at high speed. This can actually fan the flames in case of a fire whereas an automatically controlled system can make it less severe. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense to have a commercial kitchen exhaust hood that is automated to keep everyone comfortable and safe. Saving on energy bills is also a nice benefit which is also good for the business.