The appliances and cooking surfaces in a restaurant kitchen produce enormous amounts of exhaust smoke, heat, and vapor. Such substances must be effectively cleared from your kitchen. Otherwise, they may lead to unsuitable working conditions and a highly elevated risk of fire. Exhaust hoods play a crucial role in venting such unwanted cooking byproducts.
Yet not just any exhaust hood will suffice to meet your needs. In fact, an improperly designed hood may perform as poorly as no hood at all. If you own a restaurant and would like to learn more about what it takes to design a sheet metal exhaust hood correctly, keep reading. This article outlines three important things to know about restaurant exhaust hoods.
1. Size Is Key
The single most important characteristic of an exhaust hood is its size. Simply put, an undersized vent hood may fail to capture all of the exhaust coming off of your cooking equipment. Here, the key concept is the overhang - in other words, how far the exhaust hood extends beyond the edges of the cooking equipment.
According to the National Fire Code, an exhaust hood should extend at least 6 inches beyond all sides of a piece of cooking equipment. In other words, a 48-inch wide stovetop would require an exhaust hood at least 60 inches wide. Some cities and states have even more stringent requirements.
Be sure to investigate your local building code before hiring a contractor to fabricate your exhaust hood. Failure to comply with local regulations could make you liable to legal penalties.
2. Two Different Types Exist
Once you've determined the appropriate size of exhaust hood for your kitchen, you'll need to select the appropriate type of exhaust hood. Exhaust hoods can be broken down into two main categories: Type 1 and Type 2. Using an improper type of hood for a particular application can increase your risk of fires and other problems.
The main difference between Type 1 and Type 2 exhaust hoods has to do with the presence - or absence - of fire prevention systems. Type 1 exhaust hoods contain fire prevention systems. These systems provide an extra layer of protection for cooking surfaces that produce combustible byproducts such as grease and smoke. Fryers, broilers, and grills should all be vented through a Type 1 exhaust hood.
Type 2 hoods, by contrast, do not contain a fire preventions system. Such hoods make a suitable option for cooking equipment that produces only heat and/or moisture - for instance ovens and steamers.
3. Hood Design Affects Exhaust Rate
Both types of exhaust hood come in a wide variety of different designs, each of which has its own unique set of benefits. The two most important factors to consider when selecting a hood design are physical footprint and exhaust volume.
Proximity hoods make a popular choice for venting smaller cooking appliances. As their name implies, proximity hoods sit at a fairly close range to the appliance. Their compact nature allows proximity hoods to fit into even the tightest of corners. Proximity hoods excel at venting appliances that produce lower exhaust volumes. Styles of proximity hoods include eyebrow hoods, back-shelf hoods, and pass over hoods.
Another widely utilized category of exhaust hoods is wall-mounted canopy hoods. Instead of attaching to the appliance itself, such hoods mount on the wall behind. These exhaust hoods tend to be larger, providing better results for appliances that produce greater volumes of exhaust.
The exhaust hoods in your restaurant have a huge effect on the comfort and safety of your kitchen. For more information about what it takes to select the best exhaust hoods for your needs, please contact Baton Rouge’s restaurant experts at Chandler's Parts and Service.