clogged kitchen exhaust

What are the Dangers of a Clogged Kitchen Extraction System?

Nowadays, commercial kitchens simply can’t function without extraction systems. These systems consist of a variety of components such as fans, ventilators, and exhaust hoods, and they eliminate the toxic gases, smoke, heat, and grease from kitchen spaces. However, when kitchen extraction systems are overworked and not maintained regularly, they can become clogged, and this may lead to one or more complications.

In this article, you’ll learn about all the dangers posed by clogged kitchen extraction systems. But before we get to the dangers, let’s understand the role of these systems in modern-day commercial kitchen spaces.

How does a kitchen extraction system benefit a commercial kitchen?

A commercial kitchen is very different from a domestic kitchen, as it consists of equipment that draws significantly more power. Also, in a commercial kitchen, food is cooked round-the-clock, and in many cases, multiple items are cooked simultaneously. This leads to the generation of a lot of heat, smoke, fumes, grease, and toxic gases. If these elements aren’t eliminated, it can jeopardize not the cleanliness of the kitchen space, but also the health of those working inside it.

This is where a kitchen extraction system can play a helpful role. Modern-day commercial kitchens mainly rely on these systems for three reasons:

  • They extract all the smoke, fumes, grease and toxic gases produced by large-scale cooking
  • They eliminate excess heat, facilitating temperature management within the kitchen space
  • They replace the heavy air inside the kitchen space with clean air, which allows kitchen staff to breathe minus any discomfort

Why do kitchen extraction systems get clogged? And what are the dangers?

A new kitchen extraction system is incredibly efficient at what it does. However, over time, the hoods and ducts of the system lose their efficiency because remnants of the grease and dirt that they eliminate from the kitchen space get trapped inside them. Regular deep-cleaning of these systems can remove the remnants, but most commercial kitchens rarely clean them. As a result, they get clogged, which can pose several dangers such as:

  • Potential fire hazard: The contaminants building up inside a kitchen extraction system can cause major fires, which can put the lives of the kitchen staff at risk. A fire can also damage other kitchen equipment and lead to mammoth equipment replacement costs.
  • Foul smells and odors inside the kitchen space: The more dirt and grease buildup there is inside a kitchen exhaust system, the more it starts to smell. Eventually, with excessive contaminant buildup, the foul smells and odors may infiltrate the kitchen space, making it extremely uncomfortable to work in. If there’s an eat-in restaurant attached to the kitchen, the odors may make their way into the eating area as well, which is sure to repulse customers.
  • Higher electricity bills: A clogged kitchen extraction system is inefficient, and this can cause a commercial kitchen’s electricity bills to skyrocket. In the long run, it may also significantly reduce the kitchen exhaust system’s lifespan.

How can a kitchen exhaust system be maintained?

Kitchens with light cooking requirements should clean their kitchen exhaust systems at least once every month and schedule professional deep-cleaning once every year. For kitchens with medium cooking requirements, cleaning is recommended once every week while deep-cleaning is necessary once or twice every year. For kitchens with heavy cooking requirements, cleaning the system twice per week and deep-cleaning it twice to thrice per year is recommended.

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