When to change the filter in a commercial range hood

Designed and manufactured specifically for heavy-duty use, the capture and filtration systems built into commercial hoods are durable and resistant. Best of all, they’re ULC approved. Even so, they must be inspected and cleaned regularly in order to remain safe and effective. Because the filters are so exposed, they may need to be replaced prematurely if they aren’t properly maintained.

Efficiency depends on maintenance

Steam, oily fumes, heat, smoke, greasy particles… All of these kitchen by-products are multiplied when the kitchen is in a restaurant or institution. It’s no surprise, then, that certain equipment is generally installed specifically to capture all of those contaminants so the chefs and other kitchen personnel can practice their talents in a clean, safe environment. In short, a commercial range hood must always to be able to do the job with no problem and must work efficiently decade after decade.

The government regulations that apply to food service ensure that the equipment sold to extract the mist and fumes satisfy certain standards in terms of power, design and materials. Nonetheless, just like any other mechanical system that’s subjected to intensive use, a commercial range hood won’t be totally effective if one or more of its components is poorly maintained. Without scheduled maintenance, it will also be more susceptible to premature wear and tear.

That’s why exhaust equipment, regardless of its grade, must be inspected at least once a year by a specialist (especially when the equipment is in a restaurant or institution). What’s more, degreasing the hood and cleaning the filters should never be neglected. This might mean cleaning them as often as every month, especially in the case of grills or when certain types of fuels are used for cooking.

Longevity depends on the filters

In commercial range hoods, the collectors, commonly called “grease filters,” are not throwaway components. These panels or grates are made of aluminum, stainless steel or galvanized steel. Modern baffle grease filters employ labyrinth filter cells, which are easier to clean and less prone to fire than the older mesh-type filters. However, in either case, the basic principle is the same: to trap particles and grease while allowing the air to pass through. This explains why it’s essential to clean them.

Hygiene, cleanliness, safety and kitchen air quality will all be sorely lacking if not ensured through proper commercial range hood maintenance. When the filters are dirty, the system will continue working, which might give the impression that everything’s A-Okay, but it won’t be working at optimal efficiency.

In other words, it will consume more energy, but be less effective at sucking up the fumes. There will also be a greater risk of damage to the other hood components, as well as premature wear and tear on the filters.

Grease filters don’t come with an expiration date. How long they last depends on how much the kitchen is used and how diligently the hood is maintained. One thing’s certain: if your filters contain hardened grease particles that won’t come loose during cleaning, if they show any traces of rust, if they’re warped or if they have holes or bulges, it’s time to replace them (preferably with the baffle-type equipped with labyrinth filter cells).

When the time comes to inspect and optimize your exhaust system, don’t entrust the work to anyone but the experts. At Antiflamme Purafiltre, hoods and filters are our business!