How To Clean Kitchen Exhaust Ducts

Friday 30th June 2023

Ellen Warren

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Kitchen ventilation hoods

CONTENTS

Commercial kitchens are expected to maintain the highest quality of cleaning due to handling and use of food products. This prevents the spread of germs and keeps all customers safe. However, staff must keep every area of the kitchen clean, including kitchen ductwork and extraction fans.

If your commercial kitchen needs air duct cleaning services, you can rely on ICE Cleaning's team of specialists to deliver. Our technicians clean those hard-to-reach areas and ensure your kitchen exhaust ducts are clean when we leave the site.

Read on to learn more about kitchen ductwork and how you can keep these vital systems clean.

What is an exhaust duct?

Industrial exhaust ducts channel both hot and cool air to other areas while extracting unwanted contaminants from a room. They are used in most industrial or commercial settings but are available for domestic use in homes or rental buildings.

Some properties or businesses are legally obligated to install the correct ductwork in the building, especially those that cook and prepare food.

The Building & Engineering Services Association published the TR19 Report, which outlines the legal standard for cleaning kitchen ductwork, and states how often it should be conducted.

How often do you need to clean a kitchen exhaust duct?

The TR19 report states that the amount of cleaning a kitchen exhaust duct requires will depend on its usage. A business such as a bakery, with a standard cooking time, has cleaning requirements for its ducts which are less strict than a restaurant, operating round the clock.

  • For a high usage of 12-16 hours, cleaning should take place every 3 months
  • Lower usage of 6-12 hours requires a cleaning service every 6 months
  • Minor usage of 2-6 hours needs annual cleaning

These exhaust ducts require more frequent cleaning than other businesses’ air ducts. This is because an accumulation of grease, oil, and organic smoke will eventually make the duct unable to channel air properly.

This creates a serious fire hazard where grease could drip from the ducts, or smoke will flood the kitchen.

Signs that your kitchen exhaust duct needs cleaning

There are several signs to recognise when your kitchen exhaust and extraction fan need cleaning. An easy way to tell if it is working as it should is to turn the fan on and place a newspaper page underneath it.

If the paper flies up to the exhaust grate, it is working. However, if it does not, it likely needs cleaning, or something is blocking the duct. Another way to detect whether your kitchen exhaust duct needs cleaning is when you notice some of the following signs:

  • The room is filling up with smoke during cooking
  • A loud noise is coming from the extractor
  • A foul smell is coming from the duct
  • Grease, oil, or fats are dripping from the grate

What are the risks of a dirty kitchen exhaust duct?

A commercial kitchen must maintain good hygiene and cleaning standards. If it fails to do this, there are several hazards present that may eventually cause an injury or incident, resulting in the closure of a business.

Leaving your kitchen extraction fans, ducts, and filters to accumulate grease and smoke residue will not only lead to an eventual breakage but also:

  • Kitchen fires from oil and grease
  • Inspection failures
  • Lowered hygiene standards
  • Slip, trip, and fall hazards

How to clean a kitchen exhaust duct

Do not attempt to clean a kitchen exhaust system yourself, as this requires professional assistance due to the dangers present. However, you can clean the filters of the extraction fan hood yourself. These are usually easily detachable and cleanable in a sink with a degreaser and scrubber.

Simply wiping down the hood where grease and smoke residue accumulates can help prevent further build-up in the filters. However, if you have cleaned the filters and there is a lack of air extraction, you must seek professional cleaning services.

What to do when your duct needs cleaning

If your kitchen duct requires cleaning, you must not attempt this yourself. A qualified cleaner or technician should do this for you, as the accumulation of smoke and grease in your vents could be dangerous to interact with.

Instead, you must not use the extractor hood and switch to an alternative if possible. You should clean the detachable filters in the meantime, and arrange air cleaning services from a reputable cleaning company to restore the state of your ducts.

Get in touch

If you believe you require kitchen duct cleaning, the professionals at ICE Cleaning can step in and deep clean the exhaust ducts, kitchen hoods, and air vents. We utilise state-of-the-art technology to clear all obstructions in duct systems and ensure they are safe to use again.

Our team is available all day and night, 365 days a year, nationwide. You can enquire about our services further by calling 0208 066 0360 or reaching out to enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk.

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