All You Need to Know About Exhaust Baffles

Why Exhaust Baffles Need Your Attention

A commercial kitchen is a busy place with many maintenance nuances. It's often tough to keep track of all components that need your attention. A silent but extremely important knight in shining armor that defends kitchen personnel's well-being and workplace environment is the exhaust system.

To ensure the system works properly, you need to schedule regular baffle filters' maintenance.

What Are Baffle Filters?

Baffle filters (also called hood filters) are an integral part of your commercial kitchen's exhaust system. By maintaining, cleaning, and replacing them timely, you can increase the efficiency of the system and reduce the risk of fire.

Baffle filters are usually made of stainless steel, mild steel or aluminum. They are sitting in the visible part of the kitchen hood facing down the stove or other cooking equipment.

Two main tasks performed by these filters are keeping the fire from entering the exhaust system and removing grease droplets from the air.

  • Baffle filters block flames from spreading in case fire escapes the cooking equipment.
  • They make sure the air is pulled evenly through the canopy.
  • These filters separate grease droplets from the air and send them to a tray.

The major benefits of using baffle filters for commercial kitchens include high durability and low maintenance.

Even though caring for baffle filters is easy, avoiding maintenance altogether isn't recommended. After some time, the filter may get clogged and stop doing its job, thus endangering the lives and health of kitchen workers.

How Often Should You Clean the Baffle Filter?

The cleaning frequency depends on how heavily you use the facility. In commercial kitchens, which are exploited continuously, baffle filters must be cleaned daily. In case there is a slow day, you could consider washing the filter once every two days.

For schools or colleges that don't plan to operate a kitchen for a while during the vacation time, it's important to clean the filters before closing down.

How Do You Clean the Baffle Filter?

Even though it's always better to hire a professional to clean commercial kitchen equipment and appliances, it's possible to wash baffle filters without experts' assistance.

Hand Washing:

For heavily greased filters, hand washing may be necessary.

  • Turn all equipment off and remove the filter safely.
  • Soak the filter in a sink filled with hot water and detergent. Depending on how dirty the filter is, you can leave it to soak overnight.
  • Use non-abrasive sponges or scrubbers to get rid of grease. Use detergents and chemicals, which are safe for the material your filters are made of. Never apply bleach to stainless steel since it has a corrosive effect.
  • Dry the filter and reinstall it.

Dishwasher Cleaning:

The majority of baffle filters are dishwasher safe.

  • Turn all equipment off and remove the filter safely.
  • Open the filter and place it inside the dishwasher. You may have to soak it beforehand to ensure top results.
  • Run a high-temperature cycle with appropriate detergents. Don't use bleach on stainless steel.
  • Dry the filter carefully and reinstall.

Even if you choose DIY cleaning for baffle filters, consider hiring professionals to do annual kitchen exhaust system maintenance.

Final Thoughts

Taking good care of baffle filters in a commercial kitchen can help maintain a safe environment for workers. Clogged filters aren't just a fire hazard, they reduce the quality of the air people breathe while contributing to high temperatures at the workplace. This can be physically uncomfortable and morally exhausting for the kitchen personnel.

Regular baffle filter cleaning isn't time-consuming. Make it part of the daily kitchen maintenance routine to improve the overall workplace environment and reduce risks of fire in the building.