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UV Light in Kitchen Exhaust Systems

For every minute of every day, it seems there is a technological advancement which changes the way someone does business. The most recent and interesting technological advancement in the kitchen exhaust system industry is the use of UV light. How does this work? Well, long cylindrical UV light bulbs mounted into cabinets behind the baffle filters in the hood work to break down grease molecules in the exhaust air stream. When the molecules split they create two new substances, ozone, and dry carbon ash. Now instead of having a duct system full of liquid grease fuel, you end up with a duct full of low combustion ash.

Now here is the first question to answer “does the exhaust system still need to be cleaned?” The answer is yes it does, but much less often than a non-UV system. The second and more critical question “how often does the UV system need to be maintained?” well, daily in most kitchens. UV exhaust systems utilize multi-stage filters to catch larger grease particles which the UV light cannot break down. Those filters clog up VERY quickly in heavy load systems. If the filters are not taken down and cleaned nightly, the large grease particles can pass into the hood and UV light cabinet causing the bulbs to coat with grease and fail.

So what is the point of this article? It’s to help everyone out there understand that with any new technology there are also new requirements for it to function properly. If your company is considering utilizing this technology, reach out to an IKECA certified vendor with experience cleaning UV systems, the manufacturers are not always as clear about the maintenance requirements as the could be. The exhaust company can help you put together a maintenance plan to ensure your new UV hood system functions properly and without issue.