Exhaust Cleaning: A Guide

Busy commercial kitchens need to be running at full efficiency all the time. This means eliminating hazards that create an unsafe or unhealthy environment. Cleaning exhaust ducts regularly is one of the easiest ways to keep the air and food preparation surfaces clean and prevent fires from starting in the kitchen. Grease is a dangerously good fuel: duct fires can reach temperatures over 1,000º within minutes if the fatty residue build-up is ignored.

Regular professional exhaust cleaning is important for a commercial kitchen to meet Australian safety standards and prevent insurance issues if something goes wrong. A clean exhaust system will also improve the air quality in the kitchen by reducing odours and smoke build-up. There are some things you can’t monitor in a kitchen exhaust system and for that you need Kleenduct WA.

But there are some things you can keep an eye on between cleans:

Cooking hood filters

The grease extraction filters must be properly cleaned or changed at least monthly to meet Australian standards. For busy kitchens this should be done every two weeks – a lot of insurance companies require fortnightly cleans so to be on the safe side, we recommend sticking to a more frequent cleaning routine.

These hoods are closest to the food preparation area so they are first to have grease and oil build up on the surface. Generally, they are also closest to any cooking flame, causing a nasty situation if they are not cleaned regularly.

Cooking hood ducts

The system behind the filters visible in a kitchen is also prone to build up, especially if the filter itself is not in great shape. The ducting takes grime out of the kitchen to keep the air safe for kitchen staff. These should be professionally cleaned every six months at least, or at the first sign of a problem.

Australian standards also dictate how far the hoods have to be from ignition sources. In some cases, special flame barriers or spark arrestors are required in the ducting. It’s crucial you ensure the design of your kitchen meets all required standards in order to eliminate potential risks from poorly engineering systems.

The kitchen exhaust ducting system includes the extractor fan and motor, which need to be serviced and maintained as the ducting is cleaned. If the motor fails the air quality in the kitchen will deteriorate very quickly, causing smoke hazards and breathability issues.

The risks of not cleaning

Neglecting the exhaust and canopy cleaning schedule will almost certainly cause a fire in the future. The majority of restaurant fires in Perth start in cooking appliances and flare up into the exhaust system. When flame meets grease, the fire gets out of control fast and damage bills can be in the hundreds of thousands.

Sticking to a regular cleaning schedule also means staff can work in an environment free from harmful smoke and nasty odours. Commercial exhaust systems are designed to move a lot of air for very good reason. With all the activity going on in busy kitchens it is essential to keep fresh air circulating, for everyone’s health.

How to keep exhausts clean

The professional exhaust cleaners at Kleenduct WA will assess the state of the Kitchen Exhaust System from top to bottom, then we’ll thoroughly clean every inch of the exhaust system, leaving the hood sparkling using only kitchen-approved materials.

Kleenduct WA technicians receive extensive training for working at heights, entering confined spaces, and cleaning in areas requiring rope access. We clean hoods and ducting in kitchens large and small over Perth, taking care to do the job thoroughly and safely every time. There is nowhere we can’t clean, because safety matters to us and our clients.