What Is A Hood Filter?
Hood filters are installed over stoves and are designed to capture and remove smoke, grease, and debris to prevent them from getting into the ventilation system. Without these hood filters, grease, particulate matter in smoke and other types of debris would build up in the air ducts and could become a fire hazard. Kitchen hood filters are very important for homes and commercial kitchens.
In order to meet the International Fire Code and National Fire Protection Association regulations, residential and commercial kitchens are required to have hood filters. These organizations recognize the importance of having hood filters to improve the kitchen’s air quality, protect the ventilation system and to help prevent kitchen fires.
Three Different Materials
Standard hood filters are available from three different materials. They are aluminum, galvanized steel, and stainless steel. There are several factors to consider when deciding which type is best suited for your commercial or residential kitchen. Two of these factors are how the hood filter will look with the décor in the kitchen and how high is the volume of activity regularly taking place in the kitchen.
Aluminum hood filters are shiny and attractive, but they can be easily damaged and need to be replaced. Galvanized steel hood filters are durable but dull and not aesthetically pleasing in appearance. Stainless steel hood filters are durable and attractive, but cost more than the other two types.
Choosing The Right Size
There are a number of factors that determine what size hood filter is needed. The size of the kitchen where it will be used is one of them. The size of the stove with which it will be used, the type and amount of food being prepared, the methods being used and the frequency with which food is prepared in the kitchen should all be considered when deciding on the right size hood filter. When ordering a hood vent, the common industry practice is to state its vertical dimensions first, followed by its horizontal dimensions.
Attaching The Hood Filter
There are two common ways that hood filters can be attached to the hood above the stove. They can be riveted or welded on using baffles. If the hood is being riveted in place, it requires a frame held together using rivets and individual baffles. Hood filters attached this way tend to be more flexible, but they loosen over time. Hood filters that are welded into place use baffles constructed from one piece of metal. This makes the hood filter more rigid and durable. While the heavy-duty materials used to weld the hood filter in place cost more, welding it in place holds it steady for a much longer period of time.
Cleaning and Maintenance
It is very important to make sure the hood filter is regularly cleaned and properly maintained. This is of particular importance with hood filters for commercial kitchens that see a lot of activity. Dirty hood filters make a kitchen unsafe. It can be a serious fire hazard, cause the kitchen to have extremely smoky air and excessive heat and strain on the exhaust system leading to dangerously poor air quality. Keeping the hood filter clean and properly maintained will make it run more efficiently, reduce utility costs and extend its life.
How To Clean Hood Filters
Cleaning the hood filter is simple.
- Hood filters can be washed by hand using non-abrasive sponges and hot soapy water to remove the grease and grime.
- Do not use harsh chemicals in the hood filter cleaning process, as they can cause corrosion.
- One option for faster, easier cleaning of the hood filter is to put the parts into the dishwasher.
To ensure the hood filter is working properly, maintenance service should be performed on it at regularly scheduled intervals several times each year by a trained professional.
Preventing Kitchen Grease Fires
Kitchen hood filters play an important role in keeping kitchens safe. They are considered to be among the first lines of defense when it comes to preventing grease duct fires. That’s why regularly cleaning, maintaining and replacing them is crucial. Many kitchen fires that resulted in serious injury and extensive, expensive damage can be traced to the excessive build-up of grease and debris on the hood filter. That material is highly flammable, can burst into flames when people least expect and have serious consequences. Hood filters for commercial kitchens are highly susceptible to that.
Disposable Hood Filters
Some people use disposable grease filters in their kitchen hood. These filters can be installed in seconds, capture as much as 98% of grease particles and keep them out of the kitchen hood. They do not require cleaning or maintenance from a professional and can be thrown out and replaced when dirty. Made of wool, disposable hood filters are fire retardant and completely biodegradable. They are used in commercial kitchens worldwide. Plus, used properly, they meet the National Fire Protection Association safety requirements.
Kitchen hood filters provide many benefits. They help prevent kitchen grease fires, trap grease, and smoke and prevent them from contaminating the ecosystem. Hood filters also help keep air ducts, kitchen exhausts, and the entire HVAC system cleaner and running more efficiently. Many people don’t realize grease, smoke and kitchen exhaust effluent all travel on vapors. If they aren’t trapped by the hood filters for commercial kitchens and residential kitchens, they can cause serious problems. Homes, hospitals, warehouses, and industrial kitchens should make sure to have hood filters for safety and to improve indoor air quality.