Keeping Exhaust Hood Baffles Clean: Daily, Weekly, or Monthly?

At Pronto MS, our goal is to be your all-in-one provider for industrial and commercial businesses needing expert janitorial, HVAC-R, kitchen exhaust cleaning and repair, and telecommunications. With the current COVID-19 crisis, cleaning is an essential part of every business, whether open for business or preparing for the time to reopen.

Resources Available Regarding COVID-19

While many restaurants are not open to the public, many restaurant kitchens are in full operation to provide clean and healthy meals for pickup and delivery to their patrons. More than ever, keeping the kitchen clean is imperative, and we want to share the resources for restaurants and commercial kitchens that are vital to use during this trying time. The kitchen exhaust is an area that needs to be clean, starting with the baffles.

What are the Exhaust Hood Baffles?

Also referred to as the exhaust hood filters, they have several functions in the operation of a kitchen's exhaust system.

  1. In the event of flames or a fire, they function as a blockade.
  2. During the cooking processes, they are the first line of defense to filter out grease-laden vapors from entering the duct work.
  3. Airflow is important to the exhaust system, and the baffles help to evenly distribute the air flowing into the hood canopy.

Why is Routine Maintenance Vital?

There are more than three reasons you want to keep your baffle hood filters clean, as listed on HoodFilters.com.

  1. "Impaired Filtering Capabilities"
  2. "Smoky Air Accumulation"
  3. "Excessive Heat"
  4. "Increased Air Conditioning Costs"
  5. "Extreme Fire Hazards"
  6. "Exhaust System Strain"

To add more importance to the "why," the National Fire Protection Agency specifies what every commercial kitchen must do to ensure the safety of its operation, as explained on Foodservice Equipment Reports (FER). "According to the NFPA-96, section 4.1.5, you (the owner) are responsible for the "inspection, testing, maintenance and cleanliness" of the exhaust and fire protection systems.

What is the Best Way to Clean the Baffles?

Depending upon the volume of cooking, it's a good idea to decide whether to set up a daily, weekly, or monthly cleaning process for the baffle filters. As HoodFilters.com explains, there are three options for cleaning: "hand or power wash, dishwashing, or soaking.".

You may realize that the time to "hand or power-washing" doesn't add much time to the kitchen's end of the day clean up. It may be worth the additional time, knowing these filters are clean for the best operational function.

Fully-Equipped, Positioning, and Adjustment are Essential for Proper Exhaust Function

You should find this "inspecting the commercial kitchen exhaust" write-up by Certified Commercial Property Inspections Association helpful to understand what inspectors will look for, regarding the baffles. Take note of "Exhaust Hood Filters" that is part of passing inspection.

  1. "Is there excessive grease buildup?"
  2. "Is the filter installed correctly, or is it bent and damaged?"
  3. "Are the baffles on a baffle filter evenly spaced?"
  4. "Are any baffles missing from the filter?"
  5. "The bars of baffle filters should run vertically. Do they?"
  6. "Is the filter easily accessible and removable for cleaning?"
  7. "Baffle filters should be installed at an angle no less than 45 degrees from the cooktop. Is it?"
  8. "Is there proper storage of fuel or combustibles near the exhaust system, such as paper products?"

Pronto MS: Serving Chicagoland and the Entire Midwest with Professional & Certified Services

Most importantly, we want to take this time to express our sorrow for all those families experiencing loss during this difficult time. Like so many others, we're ready to be on the front lines. We are taking extra precautionary measures to keep our technicians and our customers as safe as possible.

We're here offering our trained, experienced, and skilled professionals to be where our services are needed. Please do not hesitate to call our team at (815) 782-8568, when your team needs the professionals to go into action with janitorial, HVAC-R, kitchen exhaust cleaning and repair, and telecommunications.