In any restaurant kitchen, a good hood is necessary in order to exhaust any steam, greasy smoke, and other airborne residues. However, even the best hood won't keep doing its job for long if you don't take care of it. Many restaurant owners have questions about maintaining their kitchen hoods. If you're one of those owners with questions, you'll likely find the answers below.
1. How do you clean the hood?
You can clean the surface of the hood yourself. Make sure the hood is turned off when you go this, and use a degreasing cleaner solution. Spray the cloth or rag you're using rather than the hood. This keeps the cleaner from going through the hood itself. Wipe the hood down, switching to a new cloth as needed. If you do this two or three times per week, it will limit buildup on the hood and it will keep the vent and filter from getting dirty so quickly.
2. How often do you need to change the filter?
This depends on how much you cook and what you're cooking. If you use fryers extensively, then the filter will clog with greasy residue quite quickly, and you may want to change it once a week. If you do not have fryers and are doing basic lunch and dinner service 6 to 7 days a week, changing the filter every month should be sufficient. Note that some filters are cleanable; you remove, scrub, and reuse them. Others are one-time-use. Neither option is necessarily better, but the reusable ones do tend to be more affordable assuming you have time to actually clean them.
3. How do you clean the vent?
The vent, which is the part of the unit that carries the air from the hood to the outdoors, is not something you should clean yourself. Doing so requires special equipment, and you also need to take the hood apart in order to clean the vent properly. Hire a hood cleaning company to do this about every three months. While they are on-site, they will also clean the fan, which can get pretty gross over time. Ask them to inspect your unit and make recommendations for proper repairs, too.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what cleaning and maintenance your vent hood requires. Talk to a kitchen hood cleaning company near you to learn more or to schedule an appointment for a deep clean.