Hood Cleaning Can Keep You in Business

Hood Cleaning Can Keep You in Business

A food business can be your regular source of income and it can also be a great investment for some. Many businessmen try to venture in the food industry because chances of earning big are high. Why? All people have to eat at least three times a day. The only room for competition is what type of cuisine you serve and how well you prepare your dishes.

However, not only the type of food you serve and the quality of service you give to your customers can be the basis of success of your food business. These can be considered as small steps. You also need to consider small things. For example, would you believe that a well maintained kitchen hood cleaning can actually contribute in the success of your business?

Let me tell you how.


Complying with proper hood cleaning is not only mandated by the law (NFPA-96 Standard), but it can also play a major role in the success of your restaurant business.

  1. A well-cleaned kitchen hood can reduce or minimize fire hazard.

All commercial kitchens have installed hoods to prevent grease, smoke and odors from spreading in the kitchen. While it is true to its job of preventing grease build up, these unsavory elements sometimes stick to the top of the kitchen hoods going to the fans, ducts, hoods and vents. You know that a grease build-up over time can be a cause of fire. However, if your kitchen hood is regularly inspected and cleaned, chances of fire is low.


  1. A well-cleaned kitchen hood helps improve air circulation.

Cleaning your hood helps in improving the air ventilation inside the kitchen. If your kitchen hood is clogged with grease, and other unwanted particles, it might even affect the quality of the food you serve due to high presence of carbon monoxide in the area. A well-cleaned kitchen hood helps in preventing carbon monoxide poisoning. It also creates a more comfortable working environment for your staff.


  1. A well-cleaned kitchen hood contributes in energy efficiency.

In relation to the previous argument, a well-cleaned hood also helps in saving energy. Since it improves the air circulation inside the kitchen, it also increases the efficiency and performance of your equipment. In a businessman’s point of view, more efficient kitchen equipment means more production at lower costs. In the long run, you will be saving on your energy bills and maintenance costs as well.


  1. A well-cleaned kitchen hood is in compliance of governing standards.

NFPA-96 Standard has the detailed guidelines on the proper maintenance of the whole kitchen exhaust system. It is mandated by this standard to have a regular inspection of the cleaning done in your exhaust system. Failure in meeting these guidelines can cost you a lot of time and money, or worse, you can be put out of business.

Kitchens are held to a high standard of cleanliness for the benefit of those who work and dine in the restaurant. Always keep in mind that sometimes in business, the small things may matter more. Having your kitchen hood cleaned regularly will benefit you in the long run and will keep you in business.


How Important is Certified and Insured Hood Cleaning

Regular kitchen hood cleaning is a necessity for any commercial kitchen operator. NFPA-96 Standard strictly requires all restaurant operators to comply with kitchen exhaust system cleaning. This regulation provides the minimum fire safety standards related to the design, installation, operation, inspection and maintenance of all public and private cooking operations. The regulation also states that only qualified and licensed people are allowed for this kind of job.

Benefits of a clean kitchen exhaust system

  • Reducing fire hazard

Primarily, this can be the main reason behind the cleaning process. As stated earlier, grease accumulation can cause a restaurant fire. Grease can easily ignite in solid, liquid or vapour form. Having a regular clean-up of your kitchen exhaust system can help reduce the risk of a fire hazard.

  • Maintain proper air flow inside the kitchen

Having an improved air flow inside the kitchen creates a cooler working environment for you and your kitchen staff. It helps in reducing odours and excess smoke caused by grease and oils. Excessive cooking can cause high presence of carbon monoxide in your kitchen which can cause poisoning.

  • Extends the life of the kitchen exhaust fans

Regular inspection and cleaning of your kitchen exhaust system will make your exhaust fans last longer. It will also help the fans to maximize their performance in terms of exhausting odours and other smoke inside the kitchen.

  • Compliance with NFPA-96 Standard

Inspectors usually ask for certificates issued by professional cleaning experts as proof of your compliance with the existing standard. Failure to comply with the standard can be bad for your business standing.

  • Compliance with state and local health codes and regulations

Aside from the fire safety standard stated in NFPA-96, you also have to comply with your local health codes and regulations. Clean air is important inside your whole kitchen for the benefit of your employees.

Why do you need to a certified and insured kitchen hood cleaning operator?

  1. To make sure you are dealing with professionals

Your chosen kitchen hood cleaning company should be certified and insured to be sure that whom you are dealing with are professionals. If they passed the exam to qualify as a kitchen hood cleaning company, that means they are knowledgeable enough for the job.


  1. To maintain compliance with NFPA-96 Standard

Certified kitchen hood cleaning companies are knowledgeable enough of the governing standard. They know where the areas that needed cleaning are located, and the quality of cleanliness that your kitchen exhaust system needs. Professional kitchen hood cleaning companies need to have sufficient knowledge in order to help their clients maintain compliance with the standard.


  1. To acquire certification as proof of compliance

After thorough cleaning, your kitchen hood cleaning company will give you a certification which you can use to show that you are compliant with NFPA-96 Standard. Most reputable hood cleaning companies will also recommend further actions to areas that needed more attention.


  1. To ensure proper and thorough cleaning

The standard requires cleaning down to “bare metal”. A certified kitchen hood cleaning company knows the definition of this. You cannot clean your kitchen hoods by yourself because you do not know the areas that need proper cleaning. Hiring a certified cleaning company will give you the peace of mind that your kitchen hoods are well-cleaned and maintained.


Putting up a Hood Cleaning Business

Every structure whether residential or commercial has a kitchen. All kitchens have kitchen hoods installed because of the many benefits it gives to the owner. Businessmen owning food businesses are mandated by law (NFPA-96 Standard) to have their kitchen hoods regularly cleaned and inspected. Therefore, putting up a hood cleaning business can be a good business venture. Other establishments like schools, hotels, hospitals, malls and airports also need this service. You can have a lot of potential clients when you think about it. These establishments are willing to pay for hood cleaning not only to be law-abiding business but also because of the numerous advantages it can give to them- minimizing fire hazards, improving air circulation inside their kitchens and many more.

What will you need?

The following are the things you need to put up your own hood cleaning business.

  • Liability insurance
  • Business license
  • Certification
  • Pressure Washer
  • Buckets
  • Caustic Chemicals
  • Lubricants
  • Wands

How to start a hood cleaning business?

  1. Enrol in a course offered by the International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Association (IKECA) to become a certified hood cleaner. You need to study and learn by heart the NFPA-96 Standard and all its sections. This is the existing standard for all kitchen hood cleaning business. in addition to cleaning and polishing the hood, you need to clean the surrounding area, contain the grease, degrease filters, clean out air ducts and repair and install fans, motors, panels, or filters.


  1. Go to your local city licensing department. Operating as kitchen hood cleaning contractor requires you to obtain a business license to operate. Apply for your license and purchase liability insurance for your business.


  1. Purchase necessary equipment that you need: access panels, repair tools, protective sheet for covering kitchen appliances, degreasers, filters, pumps, hood stickers, cleaning buckets, caustic chemicals, pressure washer, rubber gloves, boots, and others. Try to purchase a vehicle and register it under your business.


  1. Rent a place which will serve as your office. If you do not have yet the sufficient capital to rent an office, you can use a portion of your house to serve as your temporary office. When you saved up the amount you need, you can rent your own office.


  1. Hire people to do the cleaning job. Send them in trainings so they can be qualified. Purchase uniforms for them and give them the proper compensation.


  1. Learn how to bid on commercial or government contracts as this will give you sure jobs. However, you need to make sure that you have the right manpower and the right equipment to perform these contracts.


  1. Study the market and set your hood cleaning rates based on the current market rates in your area. You may choose to be paid on a per hour basis or on a flat rate basis. If you are new to the hood cleaning industry, you need to work hard especially on your first project. This will give them the impression that you are serious on this job and they may recommend you to other people who need hood cleaning. You may also offer discounts and promos to your loyal customers.

Stainless Steel Hoods Look Good

Stainless Steel Hoods Look Good

A range hood is an important appliance in home kitchens especially in commercial kitchens. It is designed to eliminate any unwanted smoke, grease and other air contaminants that result from the cooking process. It prevents any unwanted particles from spreading throughout the kitchen area. It also adds a little comfort to your kitchen. Buying and installing one can be a hard decision because of the many brands out there in the market today. Each brand offers its own distinct looks, features and warranty- the better the features and warranty, the higher the price.


Another good benefit of having a range hood is it gives your kitchen the additional beauty it needs. It also adds an additional lighting to the place making your chef cook more in style. When you plan to buy a range hood, keep in mind that it should accentuate the overall look of the kitchen.

There are different kinds of range hoods today in the global market. Some are porcelain made, copper made, stainless steel made and many others.

For most commercial kitchens, they prefer a stainless steel range hood not only because of its classic beauty but also of its numerous advantages.

  • A stainless steel range hood has a higher hot strength.

The main purpose of a range hood is for cooking so it needs to have a higher heat resistance. The point is you don’t want to waste your hard-earned money in an appliance that cannot withstand the heat. On another note, because it is made of stainless steel, it contains a high chromium content that helps resist scaling at elevated temperatures.


  • A stainless steel range hood is corrosion-resistant.

All appliances made of stainless steel adopt the characteristics of stainless steels. Stainless steels are iron-based alloys that contain a minimum of around 10.5% chromium. The chromium in the alloy forms a self-healing protective clear oxide layer. This oxide layer gives stainless steels their corrosion resistance.


  • A stainless steel range hood is durable.

One thing to consider when buying a new range hood is its durability. A stainless steel hood will not disappoint. Stainless steels are tried and tested by many people when it comes to durability. In the long run, you will be saving a lot on maintenance costs.


  • A stainless steel hood range has a more attractive appearance.

Compared to standard plain carbon mild steel, a stainless steel hood range gives an additional beauty to your kitchen. Its overall appearance complements any look you want to have in your cooking area. Overall, a stainless steel hood range can match any look in the kitchen.

A wonderful cooking area needs a durable range hood. A stainless steel range hood can definitely add to the wonderful ambiance of your kitchen. It can also increase the value of your kitchen if you consider re-selling it someday. Consider these great benefits it can give you because a stainless steel range hood can be more economically viable once service life and life-cycle costs are considered.

Every Commercial Kitchen needs Exhaust System Cleaning

All commercial kitchen operators are mandated by the governing authorities to comply with the NFPA-96 Standard. It is your single source for state-of-the-art safety guidelines on the design, installation, operation, inspection and maintenance of the full spectrum of cooking equipment, kitchen hoods, grease removal devices, exhaust duct systems, fans, fire suppression systems and clearance to combustibles.

All areas of your kitchen exhaust system need proper cleaning. However, some parts of your exhaust system need cleaning on a more frequent basis. Employees should wipe down the hood box itself with a mild detergent and water solution daily to prevent grease build up.

opening filter

Areas of Kitchen Exhaust System Cleaning

  • Top to Bottom Cleaning

Exhaust systems comprise five major elements: hoods, filters, ducts, fans and rooftop containment. Kitchen exhaust cleaning contractors start at the top and work their way down the system.


  • Wastewater containment set-up

Contractors should disconnect movable equipment under the hood and wheel it out of the way. Then they will typically cover the stationary equipment with plastic sheeting and canvas tarps. They will remove the grease filters and form a chute with tarps or plastic sheeting around the perimeter of the hood that leads into a 55-gal drum.


  • Rooftop containment clean-up

Contractors start the cleaning process up on the roof, first cleaning or replacing any grease pads around the exhaust fan housing and emptying and cleaning the grease containment trough or trap around the housing. While they are up there, responsible contractors will check for grease accumulation or damage on the roof, and will check and clean or replace supply-side kitchen ventilation filters, too.


  • Exhaust fan cleaning and inspection

A properly designed exhaust fan housing should be hinged to give contractors easy access to the fan and ductwork. They will clean the fan blades and housing, inspect the fan and motor, test and tighten the fan belt if necessary and grease the bearings if needed.


  • Duct cleaning

Contractors usually clean ducts with either pressurized steam hoses or more commonly hot water pressure washers. They may also add a chemical cleaner recommended by the manufacturer or one they make up themselves. Technicians apply it with a pressurized foaming system on their trucks. For caked-on grease or tough spots such as corners or flanges, technicians might use scrapers, stiff synthetic bristle brushes or poly scrub pads. When these are used properly, these tools do not scratch the ductwork.


  • Hood Cleaning

Contractors may use scrapers and brushes on the plenum and hood interior for stubborn grease accumulation. Otherwise, they will usually clean it with the same pressure washer system used for the ductwork. The hood’s interior and exterior stainless may be manually cleaned with a degreaser if necessary or mild detergents wiped down and dried with clean cloths. Contractors take special care with demand-control hoods to protect their heat and or effluent sensors during the cleaning process.


  • Grease filters

Cleaners dissemble and pressure wash baffle filters or wash them manually; then they dry and reinstall them in the hood.


  • Clean-up

Cleaners will collect all wastewater and grease from traps and clean and dispose of those collection containers properly. They return and reconnect all equipment. Technicians should leave kitchens as clean or cleaner than they found them.


  • Final inspection and report

After cleaning up, contractors test exhaust systems to make sure they are operating correctly and that the system is not losing pressure or leaking through the ducts anywhere. They should provide you with a written report documenting everything they performed in your exhaust system.

Enrolling in a Kitchen Exhaust School is Good

A kitchen hood cleaning business is a good business and a lot of establishments need this service. All restaurants, churches, airports, hotels, pubs, schools are willing to pay good money for kitchen hood cleaning services. You can have a lot of potential customers. You also don’t need to start big. You can cater to small establishments and as you cater to more customers, you can expand your business.

If you are interested to venture in a hood cleaning business, you have to invest in yourself first. You need to equip yourself with the proper knowledge and the necessary tools for this business. You must have sufficient understanding of the regulating standard which is NFPA-96 Standard. Apparently, you may acquire your knowledge through different ways. A very good way is to enrol in a kitchen exhaust school.

In order to start a kitchen hood cleaning business, proper hood cleaning training will also be required. You can enjoy many benefits by enrolling a good hood cleaning school.

A good hood cleaning schools provides facilities and benefits such as the ones below.

  • They offer training to teach their students cooking waste oil collection, cooking oil filtration machine rental and kitchen exhaust hood cleaning.


  • They offer an affordable course fee that can be availed by anyone.


  • They teach their students to provide safety and security while performing cleaning services of cooking oil filtration.


  • They provide a detailed list of the tools and equipment that experts will need during kitchen hood cleaning.


  • They can help their students to become a good contractor.

These are just some of the wonderful benefits that you can get should you choose to enrol in a good kitchen hood cleaning school. You can use all the knowledge you learned to build a successful hood cleaning business.

Efficient Rooftop Exhaust Fan Cleaning

Good roofing is needed for a restaurant. In the same way, you need to protect your kitchen roof. In the scope of kitchen exhaust cleaning, rooftop exhaust fans are an important and challenging part of the overall cleaning job. The reason behind is there are more surfaces for greases to accumulate on, such as fan blades and the motor casing. If it is not properly maintained, the system can fail due to heavy grease build-up which can damage different areas such as fan motors, bearings and drive belts.

Why is grease not good for your kitchen roof?

It is particularly important to make sure that upon cleaning the fans, no grease can contaminate the roof. Grease is not good for your kitchen roof because of the following reasons:

  • Grease and oil residue can cause deterioration and structural damage including leaks, blistering and cracks
  • Grease and oil residue pose a risk of fire hazard
  • Grease and oil residue can result in environmental issues, code violations and unsightly build up around the exterior of the building

What is Pressure Washing?

Pressure washing is the most common method used for cleaning upblast exhaust fans. Pressure washing or power washing is the use of high-pressure water spray to remove loose paint, molds, grime, dust, mud, and dirt from surfaces and objects such as buildings, vehicles and concrete surfaces. The volume of a mechanical pressure washer is expressed in gallons or litres per minute, often designed into the pump and not variable.

NFPA-96 Standard requires an exhaust fan hinge kit for rooftop ventilators. It is stated particularly in section 8.1.1, “approved upblast fans with motors surrounded by the airstream shall be hinged.” A hinged exhaust fan is safer and easier to clean.

What are the risks of not installing an exhaust fan hinge kit?

  1. If you install a regular kind of fan and not one with a hinge, it can be difficult to tell if the fan is broken. Also, if cleaning is not done properly, this can lead to dirty kitchen area which is not good for you and your customers.


  1. An ordinary fan when broken or when running poorly, may need a lot of money for repairs. An improperly maintained ventilation system could also put your business at risk for violating the NFPA standard.


  1. If you do not install an exhaust fan hinge kit, you are exposing yourself to financial risk because insurance companies requires the installation of these.
What are the ways to effectively clean the rooftop exhaust fans?
  1. Install an Exhaust Fan Access Panel. This is one of the best ways to make cleaning easier. In addition to the requirement of NFPA-96 Standard, an exhaust fan access panel (also called a “port”) is an integral part of kitchen exhaust cleaning and maintenance. Access ports allow you to reach areas that are usually concealed, such as the fan blades, making it easier to keep grease off of the blades and keep the fan from being thrown off balance.


  1. Use Poly Wash Pads when doing the first stage fan wash. These pads lock and trap the grease and oil while letting water pass right through. For just a few bucks per cleaning, poly wash pads eliminate the typical mess that occurs when an exhaust fan is washed. They keep grease and oil residue from reaching the roof and prevent unnecessary wash grease from entering the environment.


  1. Use Spray Wash Cap when cleaning the underneath portion of the fan. It is another simple but effective way to control oil and residue and make exhaust fan cleaning easier. The wash cap is an affordable solution designed to protect rooftops and equipment like AC coils, motors and lighting systems by controlling excess grease overspray while fans are being cleaned. Wash caps are another step towards ensuring the environment and the roof stay free of greasy wash water.

There is no stopping grease from building up in your roof exhaust fans. What you can do is to slow it down. With the help of these tools, cleaning can become easier and much comfortable. It is also important to pay attention to your roof exhaust fans for a better kitchen exhaust system experience.