Data from 2020 showed that ranges and cooking tops were part of 61% of all reported cooking fires. Many of these were simply due to improper range hood maintenance or dirty ranges. Ensuring consistent filter cleaning and build-up in your ranges can help prevent many fires caused in commercial kitchens.
We’re going to cover 5 creative ways to clean and prevent range hood problems. Let’s take a look!
1. Kitchen Filters Care
Your range hood’s air filter is important not just for the quality of the air in your kitchen, but also for the performance of your hood. A dirty filter will reduce the hood’s ability to remove smoke and particulates from the air, which could lead to a build-up of these particles in your kitchen over time. Furthermore, this means your staff will be breathing it all in!
To keep your air filter clean and your hood working its best, it’s important to routinely clean it or replace it. Kitchen filters care is something that can often be overlooked and it is often the reason for the issue with your range hood not removing smoke properly.
Range hood filters come in two different types: metal and charcoal. Metal filters can be easily removed and cleaned with a degreasing solution. Wash it with warm, soapy water and put it in the top rack of a dishwasher for good measure. Before reattaching it, make sure it is completely dry.
Charcoal filters, on the other hand, should be replaced annually.
2. Diagnose & Perform Range Hood Maintenance
Like with any appliance, it’s important to occasionally check in on your range hood to make sure everything is running as it should be.
There are a few key things you can do to troubleshoot and maintain your range hood:
- First, check the filters to make sure they are clean and in good condition. If they are not, clean them if possible as we discussed previously, or replace them.
- Second, check the fan to make sure it is running properly and is not obstructed.
- Finally, if the smoke is still not clearing from your kitchen, have a professional inspect the ductwork to see if it is clogged or needs cleaning.
3. Cleaning the Outside of the Hood Range
It’s not all about what’s going on inside your range hood, though. Just like deep cleaning your kitchen on a regular basis, the outside of the hood can get just as greasy and grimy as the filters, and for that reason, it’s important to give it a good cleaning every once in a while.
Use the following process to clean the exterior of your range hood:
- Start by removing any loose dirt or debris with a soft cloth.
- Next, use a mild degreaser to remove any grease or grime build-up. Be sure to rinse the area thoroughly afterward with water.
- If you have a stainless steel range hood, you can also use a stainless steel cleaner to maintain its shine.
- If there isn’t any grease build-up on the outside and it’s just dusty, then you can skip on the degreaser and use soapy water.
Tips on cleaning the range hood:
- Make a foamy liquid by combining soap and warm water.
- Use a cleaning brush or sponge to clean the surfaces.
- Don’t use a scratch pad though, as this can often scratch your range hood.
- Wipe down any remaining particles or soap with a kitchen towel.
4. Clean Out the Fan
Your range hood’s fan and motor are responsible for moving the air through the filters and ductwork to remove the smoke and particulates from your kitchen. Over time, though, they can become clogged with grease and dirt, which can reduce their efficiency and cause them to overheat.
To clean your kitchen exhaust fan and motor:
- Start by removing any debris or buildup from the blades of the fan.
- Next, use a degreaser to remove any grease or dirt buildup on the motor itself. Be sure to rinse the area thoroughly afterward with water.
- If there is excessive buildup, in which the fans are exposed to quite a bit of grease, you may need to disassemble the motor and fan to clean them properly. However, this is best left to a professional as it requires tools and expertise.
- Lastly, if you remove all grease and it still doesn’t solve your issue, then it’s time to replace the motor on the fan.
5. Clean Out the Vents
As we discussed before, your range hood vents remove smoke and particulates from your kitchen. Over time, though, these vents can become clogged with grease and dirt, which can reduce their efficiency and cause them to overheat. This can also lead to fires, which is the last thing you need in your restaurant or kitchen!
A simple visual inspection can tell you if you need to have it cleaned out. This is a job that should be performed by a professional. So if you start to see the build-up in the vents, make sure to check on a regular basis, then call up your local commercial cleaners.
Commercial Range Hood Maintenance
Maintaining your range hood is an important part of keeping your kitchen running smoothly. By checking the filters, fan, and ductwork regularly, as well as cleaning the exterior and interior of the hood, you can ensure that your range hood is functioning properly.
If there are any problems with your range hood, such as excessive grease build-up or a clogged vent, be sure to call a professional for assistance.
Here at Lotus Commercial, we provide professional range hood maintenance and care. Give us a call next time your range hood needs cleaning, diagnosis, and fixing!